Preventive Detention Act: a painful necessity- KB Asante


Former diplomat and statesman KB Asante believes that “the preventive detention act passed during the Nkrumah era was a painful necessity'” for Ghana.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews, on MultiTV, the statesman said even though he did not and still does not like the act, he thinks it helped to keep some individuals quite which eventually helped to FastTrack the development and the industrialization of the country.

Nkrumah’s adoption of the detention act according to KB Asante set the late Osagyefo out as ‘a realist’ and that ‘most politicians would not like a very powerful figure at their back preaching doctrines that would appeal to people’.

On the eve of the one hundred and fifth birthday celebration of Osagyefo instituted by the late professor Mills, KB Asante who was secretary to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believes that the detention of detractors in the Dombo tradition was strategic and that it helped Nkrumah to push through his ideals without any sabotage from people who were considered ‘potential threats’.  

Even in today’s world the former Principal Secretary at African Affairs Secretariat believes similar acts are implemented in Malaysia and that ‘it did some good’ for Ghana by helping to curb the killings at the time and eventually ushered Ghana into self-governance.

According to the retired diplomat, contrary to popular opinion that Nkrumah decreed the preventive detention act, it was passed by parliament. “Nkrumah did not out of the blue have preventive detention act; he went through the constitutional process”, he said.

Critics say Nkrumah in his days arrogated all powers to himself and that contributed to his overthrow but KB Asante said Nkrumah had the spirit of “all-inclusiveness” and manifested it by appointing Dr. Busia from the Dombo tradition into his administration.

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