Who Is Johnson Asiedu Nkatia
Johnson Asiedu Nketia is a Ghanaian politician and the General Secretary of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). General Mosquito as he is popularly called is the longest-serving General Secretary of the NDC and by extension, any other political party in the history of Ghana.
He is a devoted Christian and a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana where he once served as an Elder.
Date Of Birth
He was born in Seikwa, a town in the Wenchi Municipal District of the then Brong Ahafo Region (now Bono Region) of Ghana on December 24, 1956 to the late Nana Kwaku Asiedu, a farmer from the Oyoko Royal family and Madam Hagar Akosua Afrah of the Akwamu Royal family. He is the fifth child of his parent’s nine children.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah is married to Mrs Vida Adomah Nketia, and has five children namely Amma Addae Nketiah, Kwaku Asiedu Nketiah, Yaa Asantewaa Nketiah, Afia Afra Nketiah and Kwame Boateng Nketiah.
Mr Nketia had his basic education at Seikwa Presbyterian Primary School. He then proceeded to train as a teacher at St Joseph’s College of Education in Bechem from 1974 to 1978 where he graduated in 1978.
At St Joseph’s College, he had to change his Christian name, John, to Johnson, because at the time there were a number of students bearing the name John, and also because he was only 17 years and the youngest among his peers.
He began his career as a professional teacher at Seketia Presby Primary in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region. While teaching at Seketia, he studied at home to sit for the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level exams. He gained admission to the University of Ghana Business School in 1983 to read a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Banking and Finance option). He graduated with a Second Class Upper.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah was a member of the pioneer batch for a Post Graduate Training Programme in Stock Brokerage and Investment Analysis when the Ghana Stock Exchange was introduced.
Just like the saying that learning never grows old, the politician joined the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre for his Master of Science Degree in Defense & International Politics.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah graduation was held in 2019 and was attended by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. His thesis was centred on Anti-Corruption infrastructure in the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
After graduating from University of Ghana, he was posted to GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited for his national service where he was assigned to the marketing department as manager. Just after he had been offered a permanent job at GIHOC, duty called from his hometown to lead the establishment of a rural bank which he had to heed to.
Bank of Ghana then brought a regulation in the banking sector that required a banker to manage rural and commercial banks.
He was then approached by the chiefs and people of his community to be the manager for the Nkoraman Rural Bank, an offer he accepted. He was then posted to Sehwi Asawinso Rural Bank as trainee Manager by the Bank of Ghana as part of Bank of Ghana’s Professional training program for managers.
During this period, the Ghana Stock Exchange was established, and he was nominated for the pioneer Post-Graduate Training Programme, mostly for bank managers, in Stock Brokerage and Investment Analysis.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah opted to work for the National Trust Holding Company Limited (NTHC) as a stockbroker and an investment banker until he was approached by his kinsmen to represent them at the Consultative Assembly.
His debut in politics came in 1989 after he contested and won the Wenchi District Assembly elections. He was then elected to the Consultative Assembly in 1992, a position he held for 12 years.
He was part of the team that drafted the much acclaimed 1992 Constitution and his performance at the assembly earned him the accolade “Heavy Weight”. After the election to the National Assembly, he resigned from his position as a Bank Manager.
When the 31st December Revolution was launched, he organised the youth to form the first Peoples’ Defense Committee in the Seikwa zone of the Brong Ahafo Region to continue the agenda of selfless service to the community.
On one occasion, he was nearly shot when he mobilized the youth to confront cocoa smugglers who were colluding with the security agencies.
He used his position as an assemblyman to mobilize his people to undertake some ambitious development programmes ever seen in the Seikwa area,the Nkoranman Secondary School project, Seikwa Health Center, Seikwa and Dagadu Maize Markets projects, and the Extension of Seikwa Palace, among others.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah contested the Wenchi West seat and won as a Member of Parliament (MP). He spent 12 years in Parliament, served on several committees of Parliament including Appointments Committee, Finance Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Chairman – Mines and Energy Committee, ranking Member for Food and Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, Deputy Majority Chief Whip among others.
While in Parliament, he also served as deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of crops under the Jerry John Rawlings administration from 1997 to 2001. It was during this period he piloted cashew, sun flower and cotton, and successfully commercialised sunflower and cashew cultivation in Ghana.
He was also a member of the Economic Management Team (EMT) from 1992 – 2001 that introduced the valued added tax in the country.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah was nominated by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana to be a member of the International Parliamentary Union from 1997 – 2005.
After a successful three-term in Parliament, he stepped down in 2005 to retire from active politics and join his family in Canada.
At the party’s delegate congress in December 2005, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah won with over 80% of the votes, beating then-acting General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, Mr Sylvester Mensah and Mr Antwi Boasiako to become the 3rd General Secretary of the NDC.
At a re-election contest held in Tamale in January 2010, he was delivered a 93% vote of confidence and repeated same feat in 2014 in Kumasi to retain his position as the General Secretary.
When the opposition leader, Nana Akufo Addo, and two others decided to contest the results of the 2012 elections at the Supreme Court, Nketiah represented both the NDC and former President John Mahama as principal witness to affirm the latter’s victory.
His last contest was between himself and his Deputy, Koku Anyidoho, which he won with over 80 percent.
He managed to repair the cracks in the party after it was sharply divided in 2006 due to the factionalism preceding the 2014 delegates Congress that led to the breakaway from the party of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) by the National Chairman, Gen. Secretary, Women Organiser, some members of Parliament and other party stalwarts.
In 2017, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah was elected Vice President of Socialist International in absentia at Cartagena to succeed the former Prime Minister of Portugal and current UN General Secretary, Antonio Gutarre.
As General Secretary, he led the NDC from opposition as Campaign Manager to beat Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2008 election.[ This was a period where he had to bring together the founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings and Flag bearer of the party, the late Prof John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills and running mate, John Dramani Mahama, to form a three-front campaign which ended up at his backyard in Tain. He chaired the NDC’s campaign for the 2012 and 2016 election.
Johnson Asiedu Nkatiah has had a lucrative political career throughout his life. He has held influential positions that have seen him rubbing shoulders with the mighty. He is one of the wealthiest politicians in the country.