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Sunyani (B/A) Oct. 02, GNA - A cross-section of people in Sunyani have expressed varied opinions on an alleged plan by city authorities to remove the bust of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, the late Prime Minister, from the Jubilee park formerly called the Nkrumah park.
In survey conducted by the Ghana News Agency in the Brong Ahafo Regional Capital, they also spoke dispassionately about a recent pronouncement by Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, regional minister, that the park would be re-named after Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Miss Faustina Dabonaa, a student of St. Don Bosco Senior high School, said though she could not fathom why the authorities want Dr Busia's bust removed "I still think it will be a right thing to do to honour Dr. Nkrumah by erecting his bust at the park rather than that of Dr Busia".
She explained that Dr. Nkrumah was and would forever remain a national and global icon and urged politicians to refrain from giving the issue a political slant, considering that Busia's bust could be erected at another place.
Mr. Daniel Yeboah, a retired public servant, supported the idea to remove the bust.
He explained that the decision to revert the name to Nkrumah Park was not misplaced adding, Dr. Nkrumah after constructing the Centre for National Culture (CNC), set aside that portion of land to be used for hosting other cultural events including durbars of chiefs and people. In his opinion, Mr. Andrews Kyeremeh, security assistant at COCOBOD, said the bust was intended to serve as a memorial to the Dr Busia and what he stood for thus its removal would be "unjustifiable". "Apart from Wenchi and Sunyani, there is no other place in Ghana where one can find something in honour of Busia", he said and expressed his support for the idea to eulogize him.
Mr. Anthony Kofi Kusi, NPP Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary, described the planned removal of the bust as "out of place". He stated that Dr Busia was one time a leader of the nation and a personality of the region, so erecting a bust to immortalize him was not a bad idea at all.
Mr. Kusi further said Nkrumah was instrumental in Ghana's independence struggle and nation-building "and we don't object to re-naming the park after Kwame Nkrumah".
Mr., Kusi, however, suggested that a statue of Dr. Nkrumah be erected alongside that of Busia, if they so wish, in memory of the two personalities.
Mr. B. K. Ameyaw, Brong-Ahafo Regional Chairman of the Convention Peoples Party, said there was the need to find out what motivated the previous government to change the former name of the park, Kwame Nkrumah Park, to Jubilee Park.
He said that action was unfair to Nkrumah and a distortion of the history of the region.
"Danquah and Nkrumah have all been honoured in Accra. Why is Busia honoured in a small corner in Sunyani and I have a difficulty with that. The statue of Nkrumah must be there and maintained as well. Busia sacrificed his life at the expense of his family and it would have been fair to honour him there", he stated.
He called for a national campaign to properly honour him as he was not properly praised and recognized.
A civil servant, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, described the intention to demolish the structure as "wickedness, because they are failing to recognize and appreciate what Busia did for Ghana".
He called on the authorities to rescind their decision and avoid politicizing the issue, which was largely of great concern in the region.
"Busia was born and bred in Ghana and was a true son of the Bono state. The jubilee park was used by Nkrumah to make public speeches whenever he came to the former Western Ashanti, which is now Brong-Ahafo Region. The park has never been officially named after Kwame Nkrumah so they can't change the name jubilee park", he stated.
The civil servant urged the chiefs in the region to boldly come out and voice out their opinions on the issue, otherwise they would be considered to have taken sides.
Nana Kwaku Fosu, Area One Mbrantehene, called for a dispassionate debate on whether or not to demolish the structure since state money had been pumped into its construction, adding: "it would be economically unwise and unwarranted to destroy it".
Mr. Adomako Francis, a driver, criticized the NPP for erecting the bust at the park saying leaders of successive governments did not set something in place to immortalize their heroes and asked why President Kufour alone allowed this to be done during the Ghana @ 50 celebrations. He however called for the construction of Nkrumah's bust alongside Busia's and the name reverted to Kwame Nkrumah Park.
Reverend Stephen Baffour-Awuah of the Wesley Methodist Cathedral, appealed to authorities to rather channel the resources that would be expended on the removal of the bust into profitable ventures to create employment for the unemployed or use it to organise clean-up exercises to keep the environment clean.