A founding father of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr. Appiah Akenten Menka is dead at age 84.
The private legal practitioner and businessman is known for producing the infamous Appino soap and also served as a Minister of State in the Second Republic. He played a key role in the NPP’s 2016 campaign.
The man whose soap, became a subject of adverse political campaigning by ex-President Rawlings, stowed away to the UK where he worked for some time in an infirmary’s mortuary before he chanced upon the late Krobo Edusei, who wondered why a second-year law student would be working in a mortuary.
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) man organized a Cocoa Marketing Board scholarship for him, he said, which saw him leaving the mortuary assignment.
On why he left the CPP, even after playing important roles in the party earlier, he said he could not stand what for him were human rights abuses during the tenure of the country’s first president.
“How could JB Danquah die in prison after only a year when Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in a white man’s prison,” he said.
The Akosua Tuntum case, in which a queen mother was arrested during the Nkrumah regime, he said, was the last straw to break the camel’s back and he quit the party.
He was the queen-mother’s counsel in the case, he recalled, adding the case came up because the queen mother defied an order to have a certain chief who died in prison buried within five hours.
She had the remains of the deceased laid out but was quickly arrested by the police, he noted.
Appiah-Menkah has authored a book which is both a biography and a compendium of local politics – The River In The Sea.
News about his death went viral on Tuesday night with family members tight-lipped about the actual cause of death.
Mr Appiah Menka was an industrialist whose company, Appiah Menka Complex Limited, produced the Apino soap.
A lawyer by profession, he was a Minister of State in the Second Republic and a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He was a member of the Constitution Review Commission which was established by the Mills administration.
Mr Appiah Menka was also the Chairman of the Ashanti Oil Mills, Appiah Menka Complex Limited and Appiah Menka Plantations.
He was also the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NPP in the Ashanti Region.
He was a proud product of Abuakwa State College in Eastern Region.