Recursion Enters into Agreements to Acquire Cyclica and Valence to Bolster Chemistry and Generative AI Capabilities

SALT LAKE CITY and TORONTO and MONTRÉAL, May 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recursion (NASDAQ: RXRX), a leading clinical stage TechBio company decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery, today announced it has signed agreements to acquire two companies in the AI-enabled drug discovery space: Cyclica and Valence.

“Recursion has pioneered the massive, parallel generation of -omics data with machine learning in order to map and navigate biology to discover new medicines faster. The strategic acquisitions of Cyclica and Valence add industry-leading capabilities in digital chemistry, as well as machine-learning and artificial intelligence, which combined with our large-scale automated wet-laboratories and supercomputing capabilities, enables us to deploy what I believe is the most complete, technology-enabled drug discovery solution in the biopharma industry. We look forward to showing the world proof of the compounding benefit of this full-stack approach through the rapid acceleration of our pipeline and partnerships. Amidst a rapidly accelerating global race for technology talent, these acquisitions cement Recursion as the center of gravity for the best and brightest in ML and AI who want to reimagine how drugs are discovered,” said Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Recursion. “I am so excited to welcome the Cyclica and Valence teams to Recursion, especially at such a dynamic moment in history when machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating so much rapid change across every industry.”

Cyclica, headquartered in Toronto, has built two highly differentiated products in the digital chemistry space which will be integrated into the RecursionOS. MatchMaker™ is an AI-enabled deep learning engine that predicts the polypharmacology of small molecules as the foundation for small molecule drug discovery. It is able to generalize across the proteome and uses both AlphaFold2 structures and homology models. POEM™ (Pareto Optimal Embedding Model) is a unique similarity-based property prediction model. In contrast to other AI prediction models, POEM uses multiple types of molecular fingerprints to describe molecules, providing a much richer measure of similarity that leads to greater accuracy.

“Cyclica and Recursion both believe in the value of industrializing drug discovery,” said Naheed Kurji, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyclica. “Combining our proteome-wide prediction of small molecule-target interactions into Recursion’s data universe will create one of the largest fit-for-purpose biological and chemical datasets in the drug discovery space. Together, I believe Recursion will have an immense impact on human health in the years to come.”

Valence, headquartered in Montréal at Mila, the world’s largest deep learning research institute, is committed to unlocking the full potential of deep learning in the drug discovery process. The company has pioneered the application of low-data learning in drug design, unlocking the ability to design differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function from datasets too small, sparse, or noisy for traditional deep learning methods. Valence has an unparalleled track record of innovation in molecular machine learning, including best-in-class methods for AI-enabled structural biology, generative chemistry, and multi-parametric optimization, ultimately enabling the design of best-in-class or first-in-class chemistry against challenging biology.

“The integration of Valence’s powerful AI-based chemistry engine into Recursion’s diverse and data-rich operating system will help unlock the true power of AI-first digital chemistry and drug discovery,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO and Co-founder at Valence Discovery. “Recursion is a leader in technology-enabled drug discovery with a proven track record of leveraging data to uncover novel biology, and I’m thrilled for our teams to join forces and combine our respective strengths to rapidly advance new medicines to patients who need them.”

Joining forces with Recursion’s Montréal deep learning research office, Valence will become an artificial intelligence and machine learning research center to be led by Daniel Cohen with continued advisory from Yoshua Bengio.

“The acquisition of Valence gives Recursion the opportunity to create a true center of excellence for some of the most compelling AI/ML research in the world,” said Yoshua Bengio, deep learning pioneer and scientific advisor to both Recursion and Valence. “With this newly integrated group housed in the Mila ecosystem, Recursion’s team of researchers in AI and ML for drug discovery reaches a critical mass at a crucial time in the development of new AI algorithms for scientific discovery.”

Terms of the Acquisitions

Recursion has entered into agreements to acquire Cyclica for a purchase price of $40 million and Valence for a purchase price of $47.5 million, in each case subject to customary closing and post-closing purchase price adjustments. The purchase price in the acquisitions will be payable in the form of shares of Recursion Class A common stock, shares of a subsidiary of Recursion exchangeable for shares of Recursion’s Class A common stock and the assumption of certain outstanding Valence and Cyclica options. In certain limited circumstances, Recursion may pay nominal cash consideration to Valence and Cyclica shareholders in lieu of such exchangeable shares or Recursion Class A common stock. Recursion expects no material change to its cash runway as a result of these acquisitions. Recursion expects both acquisitions to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, subject to applicable closing conditions.

About Recursion
Recursion is a clinical stage TechBio company leading the space by decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery. Enabling its mission is the Recursion OS, a platform built across diverse technologies that continuously expands one of the world’s largest proprietary biological and chemical datasets. Recursion leverages sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to distill from its dataset a collection of trillions of searchable relationships across biology and chemistry unconstrained by human bias. By commanding massive experimental scale — up to millions of wet lab experiments weekly — and massive computational scale — owning and operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Recursion is uniting technology, biology and chemistry to advance the future of medicine.

Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City, where it is a founding member of BioHive, the Utah life sciences industry collective. Recursion also has offices in Toronto, Montréal and the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at www.Recursion.com, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Cyclica
As a neo-biotech, Cyclica is efficiently advancing an industry-leading, robust and sustainable drug discovery portfolio focused on CNS, oncology, and auto-immune diseases. Cyclica has built the only generalizable platform across the entire proteome, expanding the target space for low-data targets, including AlphaFold2 structures, PPIs, and mutant oncogenic targets. Cyclica has brought together a diverse and experienced team of biologists, chemists, computer scientists, and business professionals who are collectively passionate about changing the drug discovery paradigm. By exploring the unexplored, and drugging the undrugged, Cyclica strives to impact patient health like never before. For more information, please visit: www.cyclicarx.com.

About Valence Discovery
Valence is harnessing a revolution in computation to improve human health. The company is a leader in developing and deploying AI and physics-based technologies to enable the design of differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function. Following successful partnerships with leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and an unparalleled track record of innovation featured in top AI journals and conferences, Valence has built a team of interdisciplinary industry veterans and computational experts focused on rapidly advancing a portfolio of internal drug discovery programs. Valence launched publicly in 2021, is supported by leading biotech and deeptech investors, and is headquartered in Montréal. To learn more, please visit www.valencediscovery.com.

Media Contact

Media@Recursion.com

Investor Contact
Investor@Recursion.com

Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains information that includes or is based upon “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, those regarding the timing and completion of the Cyclica and Valence acquisitions and the outcomes and benefits expected from such acquisitions; Recursion OS and other technologies; business and financial plans and performance, including cash runway; and all other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements may or may not include identifying words such as “plan,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” and similar terms. These statements are subject to known or unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements, including but not limited to: challenges inherent in pharmaceutical research and development, including the timing and results of preclinical and clinical programs, where the risk of failure is high and failure can occur at any stage prior to or after regulatory approval due to lack of sufficient efficacy, safety considerations, or other factors; our ability to leverage and enhance our drug discovery platform; our ability to obtain financing for development activities and other corporate purposes; the success of our collaboration activities; our ability to obtain regulatory approval of, and ultimately commercialize, drug candidates; our ability to obtain, maintain, and enforce intellectual property protections; cyberattacks or other disruptions to our technology systems; our ability to attract, motivate, and retain key employees and manage our growth; inflation and other macroeconomic issues; and other risks and uncertainties such as those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s current estimates, projections, and assumptions, and Recursion undertakes no obligation to correct or update any such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

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Why movies can never be shot in my house – Veteran actress explains

Veteran Nollywood actress, Joke Silva has given reasons she would not allow a movie to be shot in her home.

Speaking during “The Roundtable Lekki,” a conference for youth development, she noted that making movies involves a lot of people, many of whom she wouldn’t want in her personal space.

In her submission, she spoke about the importance of Nollywood having its own studios and sound stages.

In her words;

“We shoot in apartments these days. But, I won’t allow movies to be shot in my home; it won’t happen.

I know the number of people that are brought into a shoot. There may be two people in a scene, but to shoot it, there will probably be about 20 people there. That means 20 people will put their hands on my wall, block the loo, and do other things.

We need to build our studios and sound stages, just like American filmmaker, Tyler Perry, has done. He built one of the biggest sound stages in the world.

The thing with sound stages is that there are usually facades. I once shot a movie in France, but all the interior shots were taken in London, United Kingdom.

All we did in France were the exteriors shots to give the ambience of that country. Sound stages give one control. It allows one to make movies at one’s desired pace.”

She added;

“Streaming platforms have made it easier for producers to be able to exhibit their works. Technology has done that for us. There is a wide range of opportunities right now when it comes to movie distributions. Streaming platforms help us connect to a global audience.”

Source: Ghana Web

This 1996 picture is the world’s most viewed image and here’s why

At a first glance at the photo, it is easy to conclude that this must be come sort of a joke, or an expensive prank, but a second look will give you that ‘oh yeah’ reaction.

And truly, when one realises that the image in question is without a doubt a very popular one, then it settles any doubts, particularly for people who have lived through the 1990s till date.

The image, a plain green field married against a blue sky and fluffy clouds, was featured as a default Windows XP background for many years.

The image, according to Historical Pictures, is called ‘Bliss,’ and was shot by Charles O’Rear, an American photographer, in 1996.

In an April 8, 2014, report by mid-day.com, it said that Charles O’Rear told said, “There was absolutely no Photoshop or any editing involved. I live 60 miles north of San Francisco in a wine region of Napa Valley. I took the photograph in an area called Carneros.”

The report added that O’Rear spent his career with National Geographic magazine as a photographer till 1995.

From then on, he has devoted his time to capturing wine regions of the world for wine magazines, and for photo archive website Corbis, which is owned by Microsoft owner, Bill Gates.

Source: Ghana Web

What is the purpose of story-telling?

I was very pleased to receive, on a recent occasion [that accidentally happened to be my birthday!] a document sent to me by email, that told me (in so many words) that someone had been so inspired, or impressed, with my use of such devices as folk tales, in my columns that he had subjected the columns to serious study, in an M.Phil. thesis, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He conveyed to me, the happy news that he “had passed with a mark of 75%!”

To imagine that someone had become an M-Phil as a result of studying my writing when I never went to university myself! If I don’t admit that it made me feel very good, I shall be a liar!

The M.Phil. scholar is called Nate Glover-Meki, and his thesis is entitled: “JOURNALISM, LITERATURE and CURRENTS OF THOUGHT IN MODERN GHANA – A CRITICAL STUDY OF CAMERON DUODU’S COLUMNS”.

I am, (I say again) quite chuffed by this. If any publisher — or institution (such as the Ghana School of Communications at the University of Ghana, Legon) — is interested in publishing it so that it can be made available to a wider student audience, they can contact me. I shall be glad to put them in touch with the author.”

I use story-telling (mostly about Gold Coast days) in my columns, not always consciously, but often vaguely, in order that the young people of today will be inspired to help make Ghana regain its affection

in the hearts of its people.

Now, I have been labouring under the belief that, as the Twi proverb says, “It’s the good thing that sells itself” (Ade pa n‘eton neho.) In other words, one does not dissect something that is inherently self-elucidating; it does not need to be explained any further.

However, I got a letter the other day that clearly demonstrates that the letter writer has not understood the purpose of why I do this.

This is sad for a writer to admit, but I have been at this writing game for so long that I have come to realise that it isn’t always the writer’s fault if he’s misunderstood.

Some people are just — ahem! — thick!

For instance, one letter writer complained that I “bore” him with the stories I tell about my school days.

Now, I don’t mind the fact that he doesn’t like my stories, for there is no way that one can please everyone who reads what one writes.

But I do need to explain the idea behind the story-telling so that in case others entertain the same idea, they might be put right.

You see, whenever I tell a story dealing with the past, I intend to use it to take my readers back, in their own minds, to their own school days. What my teachers did or did not do are meant to trigger stories of the “Me too!” type.

I can’t help it because, in effect, that practice comes out of my natural culture: in a Ghanaian village, you cannot sit under, say, a neem tree and tell stories without inspiring — or even provoking — others to tell their own stories. That is the whole purpose of people gathering under the tree in the first place, or if the story-telling occurs at home, gathering around the open hearth in the family yard at night.

As soon as one storyteller finishes his/her narration, someone else comes in with a story that might be as interesting, or (so the new story-teller hopes) more interesting, than the one just told. It is a competition for bragging rights, no less. “Ei, as for so-and-so, his stories are awesome!” is not a reputation that everyone can build for himself/herself. Yes, in all reality, such story-telling sessions constitute an undeclared contest.

“Interruptions-by-song” are particularly welcomed. These songs known as mmoguo, make story-telling more interesting than would otherwise be the case, and also help the story-teller to obtain whispered corrections from members of the audience, in case a faulty memory is making him tell parts of the story wrong.

A Nigerian contemporary, Reuben Abati, has developed this idea of story-telling beautifully in an article in the Nigerian Guardian:

“One of the most basic rules of writing and journalism [Abati wrote] is that human beings like to read about other human beings — their lives, successes, failures, pains and pleasures, doubts and anxieties, affairs, and occasions as they read about others, people see their reflections in a hall of mirrors; they relive their own anxieties, and hopefully, they are entertained, or shocked beyond belief, or taught a lesson or two about life, society, being and nothingness.”

My friend, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, also once used this “mirror-to-society” metaphor to explain why he often used satire to communicate his ideas.

My school mates are fond of saying to me: “But how come you still remember these things? I swear, if I hadn’t read what you wrote, I would never have remembered that funny incident, ever!” Others take great delight in contradicting my recollections.

School days are simply incomparable in terms of stimulation and enjoyment: you enjoy leaving home and going out to meet loads of strangers, some of whom become ‘enemies’, but others among whom become new and, occasionally, life-long friends.

(Incidentally, talking of school days, what happened to the story our media once carried, telling of the little girl who sadly died, after being caned by her teacher? It is so typical of the Ghanaian media that I can’t remember reading what happened after the teacher was arrested and taken to court.

This lack of interest in following up their own stories really demeans our media, I think.)

The report of the girl’s death conducted me into the “hall of mirrors” inside my head, where some bitter encounters with the cane were waiting to be ‘screened’.

One of the sources of the culture of caning in the Gold Coast of my early years, I regret to say, was the Presbyterian Teacher’s Training College at Akropong, Akwapim.

Although it was a very good institution (the teachers there included the famous composer and musicologist, Ephraim Amu, who refused to wear European clothes to preach in church and was censured as a result — a very daring as well as a talented man– as well as that wonderful teller of stories, C A Akrofi,

http://www.dacb.org/stories/ghana/akrofi_clement2.html

Akropong was nevertheless notorious for inculcating the idea of caning and harsh punishment into the teachers it trained. The teachers who created its traditions were Swiss/German Calvinists, most of whose “hair-shirt” aspirations bore no relationship whatsoever to the Ghanaian’s freewheeling ethos.

(By the way, if you follow the link I have given above, you will find that the biography of Akrofi does not mention his most enjoyable book, a collection of delightful stories entitled Mmodenbo Bu Mmusu Abasa So.)

Most of the pupils who were at the receiving end of the policy of caning now hold the view that caning can be stupid and sometimes, quite sadistic.

I personally knew a girl who was clearly dyslexic but was continually caned by my grossly ignorant Class Three teacher (who, of course, was trained at Akropong!)

Caning her was an exercise in futility.

Indeed, if any teacher caned a pupil in England today for being unable to produce good work because she suffered from dyslexia — an illness that can be easily diagnosed and cured with skill — not only would that teacher be considered woefully “uneducated”, but he would probably be sent to jail.

Sir Jackie Stewart, three-times World Motor Racing Champion, is dyslexic. But see what he achieved.

I realise, of course, that dyslexia may not have been discovered in those days, but what about the common sense of the teacher? He whipped her, but her work never improved, yet he whipped her the more.

Bloody stupid, if you ask me. And a shame on Akropong as an institution, for not teaching child psychology to the teachers it was training.

One other device I like to use in my writing is the Akan proverb, which I try to explain to enable anyone reading to understand it. Such proverbs strike a special chord with readers who do understand the original language because it gives them extra insight into my meaning.

Source: Ghana Web

We’re not interested in the conversion of our principals into Treasury Bills – PBF

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum (PBF) have given the strongest indication that they are not interested in the conversion of their principal payments into Treasury Bills.

This comes after the Individual Bondholders Forum had earlier suggested to government to take the route in the wake of delayed payment of coupons and principals following the completion of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.

Lead Convener of PBF, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, speaking with journalists at the forecourt of the Ministry of Finance on May 8 said the Forum is rather going strictly by the arrangement contained in their original bond conditions.

“We are going strictly by our bond condition and we want government to pay us our coupons and principals when due. Government has also not given us any proposal pleading that it will pay us through T-Bills”.

Touching on how the PBF believes government can borrow funds to pay the coupons and principals of bondholders in the financial markets, Dr. Adu Antwi said government can borrow from the Treasury Bills market to pay the outstanding debt.

He explained that, “…If you borrow from the T-Bills it will raise the debt level a bit but government is currently faced with a condition where it has to take this route especially for persons who need their money for medication, rent and other critical needs”.

“Government must borrow from the treasury bill market to pay pensioner bondholders so that we can make something out of the remaining time we have on this earth,” he lamented.

On Monday May 8, the Pensioner Bondholders Forum resumed picketing at the Finance Ministry and vowed that they are not ready to back down until the Ministry of Finance pays all outstanding coupons and principals of bond investments.

Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, claims that his group is willing to announce its presence at the finance ministry’s premises until their complaints are addressed, regardless of how long that may take.

Dr. Adu Antwi, who was a former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also noted that several attempts to get the finance ministry’s attention have proved futile.

Source: Ghana Web

The lingering effects of linguistic imperialism: The struggle for recognition of African English

Governments in Africa have failed the youth by perpetuating a system that favors the privileged few and discriminates against the majority. The legacy of colonialism continues to haunt Africa, as many former colonizers still wield significant economic and political influence over the continent.

One of the ways in which this influence manifests is through the imposition of language requirements for admission into universities in Europe, America, Canada, and Australia. The fact that anglophone African students are expected to prove their proficiency in English through standardized tests like the IELTS or TOEFL is just another form of colonialism.

Despite the fact that African students are taught in English from primary school to university, they still need to pass another English test to prove their proficiency. This perpetuates the idea that the English language in the West is superior to English spoken in Africa which was forced upon us by the colonizers unfortunately.

The use of standardized English tests like the IELTS or TOEFL as a measure of English proficiency can also be seen as a form of linguistic imperialism. These tests are often developed and administered by Western countries and institutions, which reinforces the notion that the only valid form of English is that spoken by native English speakers.

It is important to recognize that there are many valid forms of English spoken around the world and that African English is just as valid and important as any other form. African English has its own unique characteristics and reflects the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of the continent.

By dismissing African English as inferior, the colonialists are perpetuating a system that favors their own culture and language over those of the colonized people. This reinforces existing power imbalances and perpetuates systems of oppression and inequality.

In addition, the dismissive attitude towards African English has real-world consequences for African students and graduates. Despite having been taught in English from a young age, they are often required to prove their proficiency in English through standardized tests like the IELTS or TOEFL, as mentioned earlier.

This puts African students at a disadvantage, as they are required to conform to a standardized version of English that may not reflect their own unique dialects and nuances of the language. As a result, many African students may struggle to meet the high standards of these tests, which can limit their opportunities for higher education and career advancement.

Moreover, the insistence on standardized English proficiency perpetuates the idea that African students and graduates are not as competent or skilled as their Western counterparts. This, in turn, reinforces stereotypes of African inferiority and undermines the potential of African youth to achieve their full potential.

In order for Africa to truly thrive and succeed, it is necessary to challenge these entrenched power imbalances and recognize the value and validity of African languages and cultures. By doing so, African youth can be empowered to achieve their full potential and contribute to a more equitable and just world.

Furthermore, many politicians in Africa are more concerned with their own interests than with the welfare of their citizens, especially the youth. Instead of investing in education and creating opportunities for young people to thrive, they are content to sit in parliament and accumulate wealth and power. My take.

It is important to remember that Africa has produced many great leaders and thinkers who have achieved success without having to conform to Western standards. People like Kofi Annan, who studied up to degree level in Ghana, are a testament to the fact that African English language and cultures are just as valid as any other.

It is time for Africa to wake up from the legacy of colonialism and demand reparation for the injustices that have been inflicted upon it. This includes challenging the notion that proving English proficiency, especially from a graduate from anglophone Africa is just another disguised form of racism.

Source: Ghana Web

The fallacy of ‘it is my turn’ in NPP presidential primaries: Why Dr. Bawumia is the rightful candidate

As the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gears up for its upcoming presidential primaries, the race to become the party’s flagbearer is heating up. Among the main contenders are Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, and Dr. Bawumia, all highly qualified and respected members of the party.

However, one of them is campaigning with the mantra, “Aduru me so!” which translates to “It is my turn!” implying that he deserves to be the next candidate simply because of his long-standing history with the party. In other words, he is next in line. But is this the best criterion to determine who should lead the party in the next elections?

In this article, I will argue that the idea of “it is my turn” as touted by Chief Alan is a fallacy and that Dr. Bawumia is the rightful candidate to lead the NPP to victory in the upcoming elections based on the sacred history of our party dating back to the pre-independence era till the formation of the New Patriotic Party in 1992.

The idea of “it is my turn” in politics is not a new phenomenon. It has been a recurring theme throughout history, as leaders and political parties have often relied on the concept of seniority to choose their candidates. However, as the historian and political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, argued in his seminal work, “The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century,” the success of democratic transitions depends on the ability of political parties to select candidates based on their qualifications and vision for the future, rather than their seniority or length of service.

In the context of the NPP, this means that the party should focus on selecting a candidate who can inspire and unite the party, articulate a clear vision for the future, and connect with the aspirations of the Ghanaian people. In this regard, Dr. Bawumia stands out as the most qualified candidate, with his impressive track record of public service and his vision for a prosperous and inclusive Ghana.

While Dr. Bawumia’s vision for the NPP’s future is undoubtedly impressive, his claim to the party’s flagbearer position is not solely based on his own merits. Rather, it is also rooted as fate will have it in the historical traditions of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political ideology.

The recognition of the trio Danquah-Dombo-Busia as our founding fathers have been established, taught, and imbibed within the NPP. Each of these stalwarts paid their dues.

Danquah was instrumental in the creation of our first political party, the UGCC, and served as Nkrumah’s Opposition Leader in 1951 after the UGCC suffered a crushing defeat to the CPP in the Gold Coast legislative election. It is important to remember that Prof. Busia, who also served as a Legislative Assembly member, was one of the 37 candidates chosen by the territorial councils, having received his nomination from the Asanteman Council.

We are appropriately introduced to Dr. Busia and Chief S. D. Dombo’s rise through the intriguing events of the Gold Coast Legislative Elections of 1954 and 1956. With stalwarts like Dr. Danquah, Paa Willie, Obetsebi Lamptey, and Akufo-Addo losing their seats in the Akim Abuakwa Central, Akim Abuakwa West, Accra Central, and Akuapim South constituencies, respectively, the Ghana Congress Party, an offshoot of the UGCC, only had Dr. Busia elected as a member.

We shamefully won just one of the 104 seats up for election in 1954, in Wenchi East, represented by Dr. Busia. However, another man had been successful in uniting the North into a single political party, the Northern Peoples Party, which went on to win 12 seats up north. That great man was Chief S. D. Dombo, the leader of the then NPP.

The CPP, led by Nkrumah, had won 71 seats in 1954. It logically followed that Chief S. D. Dombo would serve as the opposition leader. He freely handed that position over to Dr. Busia.

The selfless act by Chief S.D. Dombo in ceding the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, despite his Northern Peoples Party having more seats in Parliament during the 1954 and 1956 legislative elections, can be described as a display of humility, magnanimity, and statesmanship.

By placing the interests of the country above his ambitions, Chief Dombo demonstrated a rare commitment to the democratic ideals of fairness, justice, and inclusivity. He recognized that a strong opposition was crucial for holding the ruling party accountable and ensuring that the government remained responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Chief Dombo’s actions set a positive precedent for other political leaders to emulate and contributed to the strengthening of the democratic foundations of our party in Ghana. His selflessness and willingness to work with others towards a common goal remain an inspiration to this day.

Where am I headed with all of this history, you might be asking yourself at this point. Hold on just a second, the main point of my message is about to break.

The magnanimous act of Chief S.D. Dombo in ceding the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia during the 1954 and 1956 legislative assemblies paved the way for Busia to establish himself as a respected and influential political leader. As a result of Dombo’s selflessness, Busia was able to emerge as a natural leader in the 1969 Ghanaian parliamentary election, leading the Progress Party, which had been formed by the amalgamation of the NPP and the NLM through the efforts of the industrious Baffour Osei Akoto.

The Progress Party won 105 out of the 140 seats, and Busia became the Prime Minister of Ghana. This outcome would not have been possible without the foundational role played by Dombo.

It should be noted that while Chief S.D. Dombo’s selfless act of ceding the opposition leader’s role to Dr. Busia was instrumental in establishing Busia as a respected political leader, Busia was also a highly capable and qualified individual in his own right. Busia was widely recognized for his intellectual prowess, his commitment to democratic ideals, and his deep knowledge of Ghanaian history and culture.

He was a respected academic, having taught at universities in Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and was known for his work in promoting African cultural identity and national unity. Busia’s visionary leadership and commitment to democratic ideals were instrumental in his rise to power and the success of the Progress Party.

Regarding Baffour Osei Akoto, I think it is because of the crucial role he played that his son, the former agriculture minister Hon. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, feels motivated to run for president. But I’ll talk about that in a later section of this essay.

It is worth noting that the ‘NPP’ (New Patriotic Party) did not come into power again until after 32 years or so, in 2001, after a convincing victory in the runoff elections. It is also interesting to observe that the man who led the NPP to that victory, President Kufuor, had served in Dr. Busia’s government in 1969 when he was just about 29 years old as deputy foreign affairs minister. It is possible that had Chief Dombo not ceded the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, President Kufuor may not have had the opportunity to serve under Busia nor the would-be Progress Party leader in 1969.

Dr. Busia was not only a respected political leader but also a mentor to many, including Kufuor. As Kufuor’s political godfather, Dr. Busia helped him gain admission to Oxford in his earlier years and guided his political career. This mentorship and guidance may have played a significant role in Kufuor’s rise to power and the NPP’s victory in the 2000 elections having beaten Prof. Adu Boahene (a Danquaist) in the 1996 Presidential primary and Nana Akufo-Addo another Danquaist in the 1998 Presidential primaries.

Indeed, it is fascinating to see how one act of magnanimity by Chief Dombo over 70 years ago has had a ripple effect on the Ghanaian political landscape, culminating in the rise of figures like President Kufuor and Mr. Alan Kyerematen. It is worth noting that President Kufuor, who was mentored by Dr. Busia, played a crucial role in bringing Alan Kyerematen to the forefront of Ghanaian politics even though Chief Alan’s involvement with the party can be traced to the formative years of the NPP party in 1992. Kufuor’s alleged support for Kyerematen, even against the more experienced party members like Nana Akufo-Addo, demonstrates the former convictions and length he was ready to go into maintaining another Busiaist in the line of succession.

Therefore, we can conclude that had Chief Dombo not ceded the opposition leader role to Dr. Busia, the political landscape in Ghana may have been different today, and figures like President Kufuor and Alan Kyerematen may not have risen to their current positions of prominence. It is a testament to the power of selflessness and leadership that one act – just one act, can have far-reaching consequences.

In the interest of party unity and historical continuity, and in my respectful opinion, I hold the view strongly that it would be wise for Alan Kyerematen to consider stepping aside and supporting Dr. Bawumia’s candidacy, an act that will be a strong imprint on our sacred history and forever honor the spirits of Chief Dombo. This would not only honor the legacy of Chief Dombo’s selflessness, but it would also demonstrate a commitment to the democratic ideals of fairness and inclusivity, and reciprocity.

Furthermore, this gesture would cement Alan Kyerematen’s place in the history of the NPP forever as a revered figure and statesman who put the interests of the party above personal ambition. By taking this step, he would elevate himself to the level of a pillar within the party, rather than being viewed as a by-product of the great Kufuor administration.

This decision, however difficult it may seem is the bitter pill that could also position Chief Alan almost automatically as a running mate, strengthening the party’s chances of convincingly winning the upcoming elections in about 18 months time. It is important for him to carefully consider the long-term benefits of this decision and act in the best interest of the party and the country as a whole.

It is quite obvious that it is in Alan’s interest to repay Dombo’s kindness and it is, indeed, Bawumia’s time to take up the mantle like Busia.

Last weekend, during the ‘aduro me so’ walk through the principal streets of Accra, which I must confess was very well organized, I saw Chief Alan and his beautiful wife, Patricia, dressed so elegantly in black and white, and I could only speculate that he did so to honor the colors of the two outstanding secondary schools he attended – Adisadel College and Achimota School. My small piece of advice to Chief Alan, from an Akora myself, is for him to carefully ponder the words of the famous school song that exhorts us to “subjugate so we may rule.”

I will be pained to see Chief Alan ending up his political career like the brilliant Ekow Spio Garbrah of the NDC, but if he chooses to continue on the path he has started, I am afraid but confident that it will not be in his best interests based on the statistics and data I have seen.

The pro-NAPO and pro-Adutwum groups are already cursing me as they read this because they hope Alan becomes heart hardened and does not see this obvious reasonable escape that will forever make him a pillar in his own right as far as the history of the party is concerned. I don’t need a soothsayer to tell me this.

I do not believe, either, that the thinking of many is that party stalwarts like Hon. Atta Akyea, Nana Akomea, the veteran Hackman Owusu Agyemang, and Parliament’s majority leader Hon. Kyei Mensah Bonsu (in the order of their respective media engagements I heard) did not have the best interest of the party at heart when they mooted such a brilliant idea.

However, I must also admit that for a party that touts itself as having the men, it is more than capable of selecting a befitting running mate should the proposal of these aforementioned men not see light.

Why am I so certain that Bawumia will win? Is that the question you have on your mind? Despite the fact that I have a number of reasons, for the purpose of this argument I’ll limit myself to just two, and they’ll be focused on two important individuals and the roles I observe they each play. One is Mr. Sammy Awuku of the NLA as a sign of what we should expect from the “party,” and the other is Hon. Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, as a representation of what we should anticipate from Parliament.

The latter, the majority chief whip, Hon. Annoh-Dompreh, has openly declared his support for Dr. Bawumia in the upcoming NPP primaries and has even displayed the Vice President’s image on billboards in his home constituency. Parliamentary whips all over the world are skilled researchers by the nature of their work and very excellent negotiators, and his open declaration of support is to be interpreted as a majority decision of sorts. In the current hung Parliament, he has achieved success in getting some important bills passed, indicating that he is well-informed and one who knows exactly what he’s about.

His support of Dr. Bawumia, in my candid opinion, bodes well for the Vice President since it indicates where Parliament’s loyalty lies. The very reason I was not surprised when it was widely reported by the media that Dr. Bawumia had informed Parliament first about his decision to contest in the upcoming primaries.

Another key factor contributing to my confidence that Dr. Bawumia will win the upcoming NPP primaries is the support of Sammy Awuku, a highly respected member of the party who has served as the former National Youth Organiser and National Organiser. Awuku, even though very young has over the years built some influence and have been instrumental in mentoring rising stars in the party, including the likes of Henry Nana Boakye and Justin Frimpong Kodua, who now hold prominent positions within the party.

With Awuku’s reach spanning every constituency in Ghana, his support for Dr. Bawumia is a clear indication that the Vice President is the preferred choice of many delegates. With such strong backing, it is clear that Dr. Bawumia is poised for victory in the upcoming primaries.

I am aware that some people will purposefully find it difficult to understand the connections I have made in my argument, but let’s look at it this way. Do you think Mr. Godfred Dame, Hon. Abu Jinapor, or Hon. Asenso Boakye would have been playing the roles they have under President Akufo-Addo if Chief Alan had won the internal competition after President Kufuor?

Ayikoi Otoo and the rest of the group may have served as Speaker of Parliament, among other positions which had the potential of leading to a whole different arrangement irrespective of the fact that it is the same NPP party. My position is that Hon. Abu Jinapor’s political future cannot be separated from the current platform provided by President Akufo-Addo, and even though he excels in his field, there is no guarantee that he would have achieved this level of success under a different NPP administration.

So, in essence, we have to agree that a Dombo-led prime minister would have led to different political outcomes to that of Busia. That is an undeniable fact!

To fulfill my promise to address the Akoto issue before I end, I humbly implore all readers to find Mr. Steven Ntim, Chairman of the NPP’s statement at the book launch of the book titled “BAFFOUR OSEI AKOTO: A ROYAL PATRIOT AND THE MAKING OF GHANA” held on August 31, 2022, at the auditorium of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

After reading the speech, which was rich with wisdom, you’ll understand the main point of my argument. However, is it not satisfactory to see that the wise Chairman made those statements at no other place than at the book launch marking the 20th anniversary in memory of the illustrious Baffour Akoto?

Maybe Baffour Akoto’s spirit was directing his son to assume that paternal responsibility and make sure that a member of the Busia lineage placates the Dombos. The former Agric Minister, I reckon should be interested in leading that dialogue as it will bode well for his career and also for the descendants of Akoto.

In conclusion, I believe we all know whose turn it is. Is it Alan’s turn as he’s touting? Obviously not! Dombo’s turn has come. The late Sir John was right to have made that audacious claim on the Asempa FM studio in one of the many exciting Ekosii Sen interviews that it was Dombo’s turn. I couldn’t agree more with him. Our God being so good, we have a Dombo with some class in Dr. Bawumia. Among his many talents, Dr. Bawumia is renowned for his ability to explain difficult economic concepts in a way that is understandable to the average population, which I think will be useful as the general elections in 2024 draws near.

To the great Chief Alan, I will humbly end by quoting Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military strategist, that says “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” This quote suggests that victory can be achieved through strategic planning and tactics that minimize the need for confrontation.

While this quote is not directly related to elections or abstaining from them, in my view, it can be interpreted as a reminder that there are often multiple paths to victory and that sometimes the most effective approach may involve avoiding direct competition altogether.

Source: Ghana Web

The contest between a groom and his best man: John Dumelo vs Fred Nuamah’s race for NDC seat

Tug of war is the best phrase that can best describe the contest of two best friends in the Ayawaso West Wougon constituency parliamentary primaries.

John Dumelo who has a very close relation with his contender, Fred Nuamah is contesting to become the parliamentary candidate for the seat.

John Dumelo in 2020, lost the parliamentary elections to Lydia Alhassan of the New Patriotic Party during the general elections.

John Dumelo has said his one-time best friend will lose the primaries.

According to Dumelo, his confidence stems from the clamour by people in the constituency for him to come back to continue his good work after he lost to the incumbent MP,; Lydia Alhassan in 2020.

But his contender, relatively new in the game, Fred Nuamah is also optimistic over a win over John.

We take a look at the profiles of these two contenders below:

Profile of John Dumelo

John Dumelo is a Ghanaian actor, farmer, and politician, born on the 3rd of February 1984 to Mrs. Antoinette and Mr. John Dumelo.

He had his basic school education at Christ the King School in Accra and his secondary school education at Achimota Senior High School.

He further studied Civil Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

John Dumelo is married to Gifty Mawunya Nkornu. The couple had their first child on 16 October 2018, he is named John Dumelo Jnr. after his father.

During the National Democratic Congress’ Campaign In 2016, Dumelo was one of the most influential and outstanding celebrities who were seen campaigning for the NDC government.

As appreciation for his engagement and patriotism to the party, he was appointed by the former president of Ghana H.E John Dramani Mahama, to serve his as a Director of Operations for a pro-NDC youth group for the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

On July 19, 2019, John Dumelo, picked up a nomination form to contest in the NDC primaries as a parliamentary candidate. On August 24th, 2019, he won the NDC parliamentary primaries to represent the NDC in Ayawaso West Wougon Constituency in the 2020 general elections.

Fred Nuamah

Fred Nuamah is a film director and the CEO of the Ghana Movie Award.

He is also a producer best known for his roles in the movies ‘The Game’, ‘The Prince Bride’, ‘Amakye and Dede’, ‘Heart of Men’, ‘4Play’, among others.

He was born on the 5th of November, 1975 in Accra Ghana.

In an interview recently, he revealed that he was the brain behind the actors who endorsed John Mahama in 2012 but decided to stay off camera.

Adding that he has always been an active politician long before he officially announced his intention to contest as a member of parliament this year.

Source: Ghana Web