Nana Akuoko Sarpong @83; Worth Knowing



Nana Akuoko Sarpong is not King Solomon in the Bible. If he were to write the Book of Ecclesiastes, his conclusion would not be that life is meaningless.


In the autumn of his life, he looks back on his life and declares that “I am fulfilled.”


Sitting on his throne as Omanhene of Agogo, he is at pains to announce that “I am not in competition with anybody. As a lawyer, I scored some remarkable landmark cases. I entered politics but it is over. I’ve been in Parliament, I have been a Minister. In 46 years as chief, I have served my people well.”



By 1972/1974, the trajectory of young Sarpong’s life projected nothing less than a roaring career at the Bar.


With an LLB (1963) and called to the Bar in 1965, he had shot to fame on the back of the famous Twinkle J case in Cape Coast. By 1974, he had put up what, even by 2021 standards, qualifies to be called a mansion within the Airport Residential Area in Accra.


Sarpong wanted badly to be an MP, having cut his political teeth working with the likes of Obed Asamoah in the Third Force Movement, a political organisation.

Chieftaincy therefore was not on his mind when he paid a visit to Agogo one weekend in September 1975, but he was ‘arrested’ by the chiefs.



Finding no way of escape, he pleaded that he would accept the position, but on one condition, that they not stand in his way when the time came for him to enter politics. They agreed, and thus, on December 23, 1975 he was enstooled Omanhene.


Elections


In the 1979 elections, he stood on the Popular Front Party ticket and became the MP for Agogo.


In Parliament, the Minority Caucus, including John Agyekum Kufuor, Kojo Mpiani and Jones Ofori-Atta, appointed him its Spokesman for the Interior and Defence.


In the Rawlings regime, he held three successive portfolios: PNDC Secretary (Minister) for Health, the Interior and Chieftaincy & Culture.


To the Agogo State and to Asante Akyem, Nana Akuoko Sarpong has been what every chief should be, a facilitator lobbying to bring about development.