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Harona Esseku: Former NPP national chairman dies aged 88

Harona Esseku

Harona Esseku

Harona Esseku, a former national chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), has died, according to the former deputy general secretary of the party Nana Obiri Boahen.

Esseku died at age 88 on Wednesday (3 August 2022).

The NPP stalwart was a minister of transport and communication in the Second Republic.

Speaking to the Accra-based Okay FM on Friday (5 August), Obiri Boahen described the late Esseku as an astute politician.

About Harona Esseku

Harona Esseku (also Haruna, born 8 August 1934) was a Ghanaian politician, a minister of state in the Second Republic, and a founding member of the New Patriotic Party.

Early years and education

Esseku was born in Krobonshie, Senya Beraku, in the Central Region.

He had his primary education at Senya Beraku Oma School and proceeded to the Accra Academy, where he obtained his Cambridge School Certificate. He attended the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and continued to the University of Ghana, Legon, as a Texaco Scholar for a degree course in economics.

While at university he held the offices of president of the Commonwealth Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) in his second year and president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) in his final year.

He was also president of the International Association of Students in Science and Economics (AIESEC).

Work

He began his career teaching chemistry at his alma mater, Accra Academy, in 1957.

In 1958, he became the higher executive officer in the Office of the Government Statistician.

He went on to work with Pioneer Tobacco Company (British American Tobacco) in the marketing department as a sales promotion manager for Brong-Ahafo and the then three Northern regions.

He also started his own business, which has operated in the transport, distribution and commerce sectors. He also had interests in fishing and farming.

Political career

Harona Esseku’s political career started in 1968 when he was elected by the Awutus, Effutus, Gomoas and Agonas to represent them in the constituent assembly during the drafting of the constitution for the Second Republic.

When the Progress Party was founded in 1969, Esseku became a member.

In the elections that took place on 29 August that year, Harona Esseku was returned as the  Member of Parliament for Awutu-Effutu-Senya.

At the age of 35, Esseku became the youngest cabinet minister in the Busia government, in charge of Transport and Communications, a department which by 2008 had been split into four cabinet ministries, namely Transport, Communications, Civil Aviation, and Railways and Harbours.

At the onset of the Third Republic he became a founding member of the Popular Front Party (PFP) and later a member of the PFP’s steering committee. In 1992 he became a founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He served as the NPP chairman from 2001 to 2005.

He was married to Janet Esseku, a Ghanaian broadcaster who worked with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

Harona Esseku was a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Star of Ghana award, conferred on him by the then president, John Agyekum Kufuor, in 2007.

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