Ken Ofori Atta

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has accused Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo of running a family and friends government. There is also another notion that when you don’t belong to some particular families or a specific class of people, you cannot hold a leadership position in the ruling New Patriotic Party.

The rest of the article is going to interrogate that claim and establish the facts of the notion.


It is a fact that people whose parents or relatives are in the top of a political hierarchy have higher chances of contesting and winning elections, probably because they have some family influence and resources ahead of their peers who don’t have that privilege.

But it becomes problematic when people are selected for appointments because of their family’s proximity to people in power and not purely on merit or their hard work.

The president of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, comes from a political and traditional family. His father Mr. Edward Akufo Addo was a renowned Ghanaian politician and one of the founding fathers of Ghana. He is a founder of the United Gold Coast Convention, together with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Arko Adjei, Obetsebi Lamptey, Dr. JB Danquah, and Ofori Atta.


From 31 August 1970, until his deposition by coup d’état on 13 January 1972, Akufo-Addo was President of Ghana in the Second Republic. Real power rested with the Prime Minister, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, who is one of the pillars of the NPP’s Danquah -Dombo- Busia tradition. On 17 July 1979, Akufo-Addo died of natural causes. Nana Akufo Addo rode on the legacy of his father to gain the popularity in the now New Patriotic Party. His uncle was one of the founders of Ghana, Dr. JB Danquah.

Nana Addo has been accused of twisting history to give his uncle undue recognition. He attempted to name the University of Ghana after him in 2018, which was met with fierce criticism.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, is not new to politics. He also comes from a political family. Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia served under the Kwame Nkrumah’s government as the Minister for Agriculture. He played a leading role in the cocoa sector in the early 60s. He was also a member of Ghana’s first parliament.


Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, was the founder of the Northern Peoples Party (NPP) which later merged with the United Party (UP) to create the New Patriotic Party we have today. So don’t be surprised that Bawumia was chosen as the NPP’s running mate. He stands a chance of rising to become the flagbearer of the NPP.

The late Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party and ex-minister under the Kuffour administration also has a political family lineage. His father, Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey’s head is on the currency of Ghana, the cedi note. Obetsebi Lamptey is best remembered for his actions taken as a “Big Six” forefather for Ghana. Leading the United Gold Coast Convention, he was able to bring about the political, social, and economic change needed to declare independence from the British in 1957.

Monuments and Roundabouts designed to honour Emmanuel and the other fathers can be found throughout the streets of Ghana today. So it was not surprising that his son, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey rose to political prominence in Ghana under the New Patriotic Party.

The Finance Minister, Hon. Kenneth Kuntunkunuku Ofori Atta’s father, Akwasi Andrews Jones Amoako Ofori Atta, was an astute politician, an economist, and a lecturer at the University of Ghana. He served as a member of parliament for Begoro Constituency in 1969. Apart from lecturing at the university, Ken Ofori Atta followed his father’s economics and political footsteps. 1969, his father was appointed ministerial secretary (deputy minister) for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning by the then prime minister Kofi Abrefa Busia. He held this appointment until 1972 when the Supreme Military Council overthrew the Busia’s government.

The Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Anthony Abayifa Karbo, also comes from a politically wealthy family. Anthony served as the National Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party and the current Member of Parliament for the Lawra constituency in the Upper West Region on the ticket of the NPP. His father, Naa Abeifaa Karbo II, was a politician, Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area where his son is the MP and founding member of the Northern People’s Party (NPP).

The former Vice president of Ghana under President John Agyekum Kuffour, Alhaji Aliu Mahama’s son is the parliamentary candidate for the Yendi Constituency on the ticket of the NPP. He was given an appointment at the Ghana COCOBOD in 2017 by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo.

The parliamentary candidate for Okaikwei South constituency, Darkowaa Newman, is the daughter of Mr. Victor Newman. His father is the director of research at the presidency. He was part of the team that organized the mammoth Kumepreko Demonstration. The group included Nana Akufo Addo, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. Kweku Baako Jnr, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe and other compatriots.

These names are but just a few examples of some leaders in the NPP that are selected from specific families.


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