The body of an exiled former Ghanian Prime Minister has been flown home for a state burial.
The body of an exiled former Ghanian Prime Minister has been flown home for a state burial. Dr. Kofi Busia, whose government was overthrown in a coup in 1972, died on August 28 this year of a heart attack while living in England. There had been a reward of several thousand pounds (dollars) offered until recently for Dr. Busia's return on charges of masterminding a counter-coup. The offer was made by the government of Colonel Ignatius Acheampong who had deposed Dr. Busia, but who was in turn forced our of office in July this year by military colleagues. Ghana's new government, headed by Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo, cancelled the reward and set up a committee to arrange a state burial for the late Ghanaian ex-Premier.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Busia's body arrived in Accra last Thursday (21 September) and was taken to the Nkrumah Conference Centre to lie in state.
Civilian mourners were joined by General Akuffo and other members of the governing council. Soon after coming to power, General Akuffo appealed to all exiles to come home and he promised a return to civilian power by July next year. But before 65-year-old Dr. Busia could take advantage of the call, he died of a heart attack in an Oxford hospital.
The former leader had come to power in 1969 when the military rulers who had deposed Kwane Nkrumah three years earlier decided to return Ghana to civilian government. Economic problems led to social unrest - and the intervention of Colonel Acheampong. The Colonel's present detention has meant Dr. Busia's wife and family can return from exile, though not in happy circumstances.
The funeral arrangements have been made by a 13-member government committee headed by Mr. victor Owusu who was Foreign Minister in the late Dr. Busia's administration. After lying in state in Accra, the body was taken to the late leader's home town of Wenchi, in central Ghana. At the funeral to be held on Wednesday (27 September), mourners will pay final tribute to Dr. Busia - politician, international academic, and author.