Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufuor has likened himself to the biblical ‘Elisha’ who was prepared for leadership by his mentor, late Prime Minister Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia, who he likened to the biblical ‘Elijah’.
He told an audience at a memorial lecture in honour of Ghana’s former Prime Minister of the Second Republic, that he felt the late Busia was ‘Elijah’ and he, his ‘Elisha’.
Elisha, according to the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, was a prophet and a wonder-worker of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He became the attendant and disciple of Prophet Elijah and after Elijah was taken up into Heaven via a whirlwind, he (Elisha) was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel. He possessed, according to his own request, "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit.
Extolling Prof. Busia’s attributes at a centenary lecture organised by the Busia Foundation on Thursday July 11, 2013 in Accra, Mr. Kufuor said he learnt a great deal at the feet of Prof. Busia and therefore feels he was, in a way, prepared by the late Leader to be a torchbearer of the UP tradition, in similar fashion as the biblical Elijah prepared his disciple Elisha for leadership.
He described Prof. Busia as a “selfless” little man who spoke “gently” but was sturdy and almost uncompromising with his position and opinion on matters.
“Busia’s strength was inn[ate]; he looked small, talked soft[ly], but I tell you, you couldn’t shift him if he didn’t agree; nor did he throw his weight about ever. He spoke softly and this how I sometimes, in all modesty, when I read the biblical story of Elijah and Elisha, I say ahh!!! This Prophet Elijah [in reference to Prof. Busia]; perhaps his cloak fell on his poor disciple. That’s how I come to stand here before you”, Mr. Kufuor joked to the audience.
Mr. Kufuor who won two presidential elections and served as President from 2001 to 2001 said Prof. Busia was "a Servant-Leader, not a showy flamboyant tunic-wearing politician that rattle slogans and phrases”.
He said the late Busia was not a "tribalist".
Prof. Busia was Ghana’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1972. Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, at the time served as a Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in the Busia Administration.
Others who served in the Busia administration together with Mr. Kufuor include J. H. Mensah and Akenten Appiah-Menka who were Finance Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice and Trade respectively.
Prof. Busia was born July 11, 1913 and died on August 28, 1978.
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