The democratic political game of Ghana seems to be always tilted towards two paths; either on the path of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or that of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
However, during the late 90s and early 2000, something different occured in the country’s political arena.
Follow me carefully, and let’s together unravel this mystery that had long existed but hidden in the sight of many.
The man at the heart of this very discussion was born on July 14, 1927 at Senya Breku, Central Region, Golf Coast (now Ghana).
He had his secondary education at Achimota School in Accra and Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast.
He further obtained his first degree from the Tufts College in the United States of America.
Kow Arkaah Nkensen then proceeded to Harvard University, where he graduated with an MBA in 1954.
Before he returned to Ghana, he worked for a while at the Second Oil Corporation in New York, USA as an Assistant Sales Manger.
In Ghana, Kow intially worked as a Marketing Executive Officer for Mobil Oil Ghana Limited for three years (from 1964 to 1957).
Kow additionally served as a Business Consultant in The Gambia, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone, and as well served as the Chief Commercial Officer for Foreign Trade.
Nkensen was also the Executive Director of Ghana Airlways Airline, Ghana National Trading Corporation and Ghana Procurement Agency.
Between 1966 and 1968, he was promoted to the position of Principal Secretary at the country’s Civil Service Industry.
Kow was initially well-known as an iconic leading member of the National Convention Party (NCP), and having known the kind of influence and support he had from Ghanaians at that time, the then leader and Founder of the National Democratic Congress strategically built a strong relationship with him.
He then took a bold step to establish an alliance with the NCP and another popular party, Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE). In that sense, they came together as one strong force to face their remaining political parties during the 2000 constitutional established general elections.
This decision by late Jerry John Rawlings led to their victory, and in 1993, he was sworn-in as the first president of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, and Kow Arkaah Nkensen as his Vice.
Kow served as Ghana’s Vice-President from 1993 to 1997.
During a cabinet meeting on 28th December, 1995, Nkensen strongly alleged that President Jerry John Rawlings had beaten him due to certain misunderstanding that ensued between them.
This case started trending on the national media space, after he particularly addressed the media at the Presidency, and further reported it at the Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, specifically the IGP.
When Rawlings saw how serious the issue was, as it was taking grounds in almost every part of the country, he gave an order to the then Ghana’s Attorney-General, Dr. Obed Asamoah, to change the section of the law that allowed the Vice-President to chair the Fire, Police, Prisons Councils, and other Service Councils.
Kow was strongly mocked and criticized by many government officials, especially the members of the NDC.
As such, he was tagged as ‘The Stubborn Cat’.
Due to that, Nkensen had a shift of interest and attention in his political career. He realized that there was no way he relationship with Rawlings was going to be revived and renewed anytime soon, so he decided to toe his dream towards a different political path.
Prior to the 1996 presidential election, Kow changed his party’s name from NCP to PCP, and further formed a very strong relationship and alliance with one of the most popular and influential parties in Ghana, the NPP.
When this was established, negotiation and agreement was supposed to be reached between the two parties through a voting process to elect a leader.
On two voting rounds, a tie was attained between John Agyekum Kufuor and Kow Arkaah Nkensen. However, on the third round, Al-Hajj Asoma Banda of the PCP voted against his own party member, Kow for Kufuor to become victorious.
The negotiation process however delayed the campaign programmes of the NDC, which eventually led to their loss in the 1996 presidential election.
Election 2000 was a race NPP was never going let it slip them so they really worked hard until they emerged victorious.
Probably many thought that Kufuor’s 2000 Political Victory was mainly championed and pioneered by the NPP gurus you possibly know already, but in reality, Kow was the man who worked tirelessly and rigorously to realise that great success.
Ghana’s underground political icon, Kow Arkaah Nkensen died in Atlanta, United States on April 25, 2001 after he suffered severe injuries regarding a deadly road traffic accident he experienced at Cantonments, Accra, Ghana.
He was married to Marian Arkaah.