Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Majority leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame constituency in the Ashanti Region has stated that, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei (Former MP for Old Tafo Constituency) had every right to exist in his true recognition of a man of profound intellectual prowess, the kind you want to root for until you can no longer do so, as he rests today.
He said, No hero worship intended, but he was a master performer when he purposed to perform, either in committee or plenary, the picture of a superior, incisive, thoughtful debater several octaves higher than the pedestrianism which, unfortunately, is creeping into the corridors of the legislature, notably in the spectacles mounted by the baptised and confirmed but unrecognised cheerleaders and yesmen and women.
The “Messianic Leader’s” regime was a mess. Pretentiousness laminated it but Ghanaian citizens were supposed to think that he was a great, noble, misunderstood servant of God, and that was why he was “borne on the wings of angels to heaven in his spectacles” when he suddenly transitioned. Dr Akoto Osei straddled that period, and when he spoke he was perceived simultaneously as a villain by old faithfuls of the regime, but by professionals as the voice of the downtrodden.
“I first encountered Akoto Osei properly in the lead-up to the 2004 elections.
At that time I was straddling Old-Tafo-Suame, which had been splited into Suame, which I appropriated, and Old Tafo, the otherwise whether-beaten turf that had suddenly become virgin, beckoning suitors. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (aka “Sir John”) and Dr Akoto Osei, until then an advisor to the Minister of Finance, responded.
Dr Musah was the contact person who arranged the first face-to-face meeting with the potential MP. A difficult choice had to be made: Sir John was a childhood friend who had been persuaded by his classmate Papa Owusu Ankomah and I to abandon his sojourn in London. Akoto Osei was a quintessential marksman.
I elected to lean towards Dr Osei in order to strengthen the Caucus’s economics and finance department. This was to the chagrin of Sir John who, quite expectedly, thought it was a most unkind cut from a brother. My ultimate consideration was who would better serve the cause of the party.
The third parliament of the Fourth Republic began on 7 January 2005. That was when Dr Osei was sworn in as a legislator, soon to be made Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance under Honourable Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.
When the party lost power in the 2008 general election, Dr Osei was the obvious choice for the position of ranking member on Parliament’s finance committee. That was where he blossomed: a very fine analytical brain who sieved through every financial agreement, critiquing when thorny issues surfaced and sifting the wheat from the chaff. He was quick to recommend what, in his considered opinion, would serve the national interest – very much unlike the “pummel-to-destroy-anything-that-comes-from-the-executive” attitude applauded lately. Ghanaians contrasting the eventful days and debating skills of Dr Osei in Parliament with the half-baked analysis of recent days are not persuaded. That was why in his latter days he was angry with the world. He felt increasing animosity to the rising populism, rabble-rousing and doublespeak which parted ways with substance.
About three months ago, Dr Osei indicated he wished to see me. When I made attempts to reach out to him I was told he was not available. Another invitation was extended to me through his “sister” Doris but I could not respond immediately, and when I did, he was not at his residence. Upon my reaching him on his cellphone, he told me he was in Kumasi and would be in Accra in four days’ time. That was the last time we spoke. A couple of days after his return to Accra, death disengaged him from the world of mortals.
Over the past few years, and especially since the demise of his wife, it became evident that Doc, as I used to call him, was quickening his stride to depart. It reflected in his physique, and yet he bore his burden quietly, with fortitude, brave warrior that he was.
Dr Osei, you have played your part as one of the very best MPs, the quality of whose contributions will continue to illuminate the Hansard and, indeed, the Parliament of Ghana.
Fare thee well, soul that welcomed death with an embrace.