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Feature Article of Friday, 8 June 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Mrs Rawlings Will Serve Ghana better

Under Martin Amidu's Honest Leadership

By Kofi Thompson

It strikes me as odd that so many Ghanaians never seem to take into account the fact that there are still individuals in Ghana who are altruistic.

For example, when one calls for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to replace President Mills with Martin Amidu and Vice President Mahama with Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, one does so not out of malice - but simply because one loves one's country: and wants what's best for it, in one's humble view.

Given the circumstances created by the negative image that most Ghanaians now have of the Mills administration, Martin Amidu's candidacy will give the NDC the best possible campaign narrative, for the December presidential election.

Paradoxically, the reality on the ground, countrywide, is that the Mills administration has achieved a great deal in the short period of the three and a half years it has been in power for.

Unfortunately, however, those solid achievements appear to be taken for granted by many Ghanaians - and will almost certainly be discounted when they cast their votes on polling day.

To prevent that happening on a scale large enough to make it lose power, the NDC must do something radical about the fact that it currently does not have a positive image in the minds of many Ghanaians.

Its image has been dented and badly tainted, largely because of the way President Mills has dealt with high-level corruption, by powerful and greedy individuals, in the midst of his regime.

To compound the situation, the NDC's abysmal PR effort, has unfortunately resulted in the party's inability to neutralise the New Patriotic Party's relentless negative propaganda.

That negative NPP propaganda is responsible for the lack of awareness of the NDC's many achievements, amongst a majority of ordinary people in Ghana.

The tragedy, is that that widespread lack of awareness of the NDC's many achievements, is made harder to focus on and address effectively, because of the distraction represented by high-level corruption in the Mills regime.

To successfully counter that, the NDC must have a new narrative. And it is lucky that even at this late hour, replacing President Mills with Martin Amidu as its presidential candidate for the December election, will give it the best narrative, amongst all the political parties vying for power in the December presidential election.

A new metaphorical broom, with proven ability, and the will, to fight corruption in determined fashion, trumps all narratives in the campaign for the December polls.

Today, virtually all of the ordinary people in Ghana, are aware that corruption is the root of all the ills in our country - and the cause of the hardship that most of them are forced to endure daily.

I have nothing against President Mills and Vice President Mahama, personally. In the same vein, there are no personal reasons for advocating that Martin Amidu and Mrs Rawlings, should replace the president and vice president respectively.

l have never met or spoken to either Mr Amidu or Mrs Rawlings before: and have no desire to do so either.

I genuinely happen to believe that replacing President Mills with Martin Amidu as the NDC's presidential candidate, will give the NDC the best possible chance of retaining power in December 2012.

It is for that reason that I was so disappointed to hear President Rawlings recommending his wife as the best candidate for president, in the speech he delivered on the anniversary of the June 4th, 1979 military uprising.

How could he possibly say that in good conscience, in view of Martin Amidu's recent acts of heroism - in demanding accountability in public life, and fighting to end the impunity of the crooks amongst our ruling elites, I ask?

It is a real pity that President Rawlings and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings continue to erroneously believe that the former first lady can ever become president of Ghana.

Qualified though she is to be president, alas, for many reasons - which I won't go into here - there is no question of her ever being elected by a majority of Ghanaian voters, as president, in today's Ghana. It just won't happen.

Alas, December will soon be upon us. As a Progressive, who wants to see a fairer society evolve in our country - as well as a multi-ethnic Ghana that is united, and whose leaders genuinely believe that no tribe is superior or inferior to another, in our nation of diverse ethnicity - I believe that ordinary people in our country will be far better off, in a Ghana under an NDC regime led by a President Martin Amidu.

Time is not on the NDC's side - which is why President Rawlings and his wife ought to give their total support to Martin Amidu - and push for him to replace President Mills as the NDC's candidate for the December presidential election.

Mrs Rawlings will no doubt make a dynamic and excellent vice president, serving Mother Ghana, under Martin Amidu's firm and honest leadership. A word to the wise...

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