Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has recalled how ‘fooled’ he felt when he was invited to the official ceremony by the government of Ghana in 2010 to mark the start of the country’s production of oil.
It would be recalled that it was under the tenure of the former president that Ghana found oil but the official production of the commodity would only begin two years after he had left office as president.
Describing that moment as one of his biggest moments of disappointment, President John Agyekum Kufuor explained that although he wished that this would have happened while he was still president, it was impossible.
“We discovered oil in 2006-2007, and technically, I was advised that the pumping will not start till 2013. I was due to step down end of 2008, meaning that I found oil and I won’t be there to see it being pumped (laughs), and so I begged them to see if they could bring it forward a bit but they said the earliest they could do was 2010, and in fact, they did it that way but I had been out of office two years already and unfortunately, it was not my party that came to power… and their approach was different from ours altogether,” he said.
He added that regardless of that, when the country was ready to do so, he got the invitation alright but he would eventually get so disappointed.
He explained that it was his expectation that he would also be on the oil rig with the president at the time, the Late Prof John Evans Atta Mills, for the official turning of the valve to pump the country’s first oil but for whatever reason, he was completely left out.
He described the moment as having felt ‘fooled.’
“The sad thing is that I got invited to Takoradi when they pumped the first oil. I thought they’d take me to the rig. I got to town and it was very hot and I had put on suit and they put me… and the sun hit me directly. I waited patiently and then later, the announcement was made that President Mills had been flown direct from the residence onto the rig to turn on the whatever to bring the oil. And me that found the oil (giggles). So, I said that this is a foolish man’s game: I felt fooled,” he said.
John Agyekum Kufuor made this known during a seminar with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Reviewing Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
The event, which took place at the Peduase residence of the former president was moderated by the immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.