Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Columnist: Gyebi, Daniel
Dan Botwe, the Next President of Ghana
A Friend's Testimony about Dan Botwe, the Next President of Ghana
This article is primarily about a friend's personal account of certain influences that may have shaped the life of Dan Botwe and that may influence his conduct in office as the next President of Ghana.
Daniel Kwaku Botwe and I have been friends for about 35 years. We were students at Kumasi Academy ("Kumaca"), sat in the same classrooms, stayed in the same dormitory (Boakye Dankwah House), and belonged to the Scripture Union.
Botwe and I were active Christians in the early 1970s when being a Christian at secondary school was not fashionable. Students had derogatory names for people like us who belonged to the Scripture Union or who attended Christian Fellowship at school. We were firm and courageous. Botwe and I knew, as we still do today, that if you fear and obey God, you have nothing else to fear. Scripture Union taught us discipline, proper Christian relationships, knowledge of the Bible, and the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. I highly recommend the Scripture Union to all students.
We cherish those days. By the grace of God, we are still serving our Lord. I believe that the decision to serve our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at an early age, will remain the best decision either one of us would ever make, Botwe's quest for the presidency notwithstanding.
We were very serious students and mindful of our humble family backgrounds. We surrounded ourselves with good friends, many of whom are in responsible positions at home and abroad. We took nearly the same subjects and studied together a lot. We obtained very good G.C.E. 'O' Level results, two of the best results in our graduating class. We applied to Achimota School for Sixth Form to study mathematics, physics and chemistry. He was accepted, but I was not. I guess that settled the issue of which one of us was smarter. After Sixth Form, he went on to UST to study computer science, and I left for the U.S. to study business, economics and law.
Botwe is the most outspoken friend I have. He has been that way since our school days. He does not allow diplomatic niceties to stand in the way of the truth. You know where you stand with him. Such honesty and candour, openly expressed by him, may not be appreciated by all, but they are a welcome trait for a politician. We need people like him at the highest levels of our government.
While many of his friends and contemporaries left the country to seek greener pastures, Botwe stayed in Ghana and helped shape the politics of the country by challenging the status quo and giving voice to the grassroots and ordinary people. By all accounts, this homegrown politician with international connections and exposure has succeeded. He is the quintessential party insider who will work hard to ensure NPP victory no matter the outcome of the upcoming NPP delegates? congress. Because of his hard work, party loyalty, and effective campaign tactics and strategies, the NPP faithful affectionately refer to him as the "General". To me, he is Mr. NPP. However, out of respect for the NPP faithful, I will use the "General." The General knows that no General engages in a fight without first assessing his strengths and weaknesses and his opponents? strengths and weaknesses. While the General admits the contest ahead would not be easy, he has completed his assessment and has concluded that he has a reasonable chance of achieving victory. I believe him because he has won many elections that were conducted by the NPP delegates.
If you think I am campaigning for the General, you are correct. I support the General to the hilt. I admire his rise from humble beginnings to positions of prominence. I admire his courage to stand up for his beliefs and to speak boldly about them. I admire his energy and enthusiasm as he travels around the country articulating his policies and interacting with the youths, the grassroots and ordinary members of his party. I admire his discipline, dynamism, vision and winning mentality. Lastly, I admire his aspiration to become the next president of Ghana.
Botwe has what it takes to be an effective and progressive president. His experience is timely, performance-oriented, and people-focused, the kind that would benefit Ghana and Ghanaians. He is a unifier who would not drag the country to wallow in bitterness of the past, but who would, as a beacon of hope, organise and inspire all Ghanaians to work for the betterment of the country.
We need to turn over a new page, adapt to a new paradigm shift, and embrace a new brand of leadership. Consider this example. Earlier this year, at my Sunday morning Church Service, a Sunday school teacher was talking to the kids about the need to prepare when one is travelling. She asked the kids what they would take along if they were travelling by car to an unknown destination. She had hidden a map in her bag and expected the kids to say that they would take a map. Instead, a little boy raised his hand and, with childish exuberance, shouted, ?GPS.? The adults could not control their surprise and laughter. The little boy was ahead of the Sunday school teacher and the other adults. While the little boy was thinking about a hi-tech Global Positioning System to navigate his way, the adults were thinking about paper map. In other words, the adults have ?map experience? and the little boy has ?GPS experience.? The world is moving in a fast-paced, ever-changing technological milieu. Ghanaians are determined to move along with it and cannot afford to be left behind by leaders with a lot of outdated, ?map experience,? but little or no ?GPS experience.? Botwe is the man with a contemporary, forward-looking, ?GPS experience.?
When Daniel Kwaku Botwe becomes the next President of Ghana, the country will be in the hands of a God-fearing person, a champion and defender of the ordinary people, and a disciplined, dynamic and visionary leader whose love for Ghana is beyond question. I pray for that day. Will you join me? Thank you very much.
Dr. Daniel Gyebi
Attorney-at-Law, Texas, USA Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.