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Feature Article of Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Will It Be The Turn Of A Northerner

.....To Be Elected President Of Ghana In December 2012?

By Kofi Thompson

The north of Ghana lags so far behind the southern half of our nation that extraordinary measures have to be taken to bridge that developmental gap.

For a start, electing someone from the northern half of our country, who is well-qualified for the position of President of the Republic of Ghana, will make a huge difference to the fortunes of the three northern regions.

A former president of Ghana, who never hesitated to travel to the ends of the world, whenever the opportunity to do so presented itself, once made a petulant response, when asked why he would not travel to the Upper West Region's capital, Wa, by replying that: "Wa is too far away".

Alas, it illustrates perfectly, the mindset of most of Ghana's educated urban elites, who hail from the southern half of our country, and their mostly-disdainful attitude towards the northern regions.

For the long-term stability of Ghana, the northern half of our nation must be made economically prosperous.

To ensure that, the government of Ghana ought to make all farming in the three northern regions tax-free undertakings - just as cocoa farming in the south is.

And all of that part of Ghana must be declared a special economic zone - with all the incentives available to free-zone enterprises.

President Mills' sudden death before the end of his tenure, has changed the dynamics of Ghanaian politics - and everything is up for grabs in a manner of speaking. Literally.

If President Mahama were to seize the historic opportunity Providence has given him, he could show Ghanaians - by taking swift and bold measures to rid Ghana of high-level corruption (the leading cause of most of Ghana's difficulties), whiles serving out the rest of President Mills tenure - that he can become a great Ghanaian leader if elected in December.

If elected in December, his administration could help bridge the gap between the north and southern parts of Ghana, because unlike politicians from the south, he has intimate knowledge of the north and the underlying causes of its developmental deficit.

As a student of history, no one need tell President Mahama that it is him who history will judge - not the faceless and secretive cabal of power-brokers who held President Mills hostage in the Osu Castle.

President Mahama must assert his authority by ridding his administration of their baleful influence - by reaching out to all the factions in his party in any reshuffle of the ministers in the NDC government.

Publicly publishing his assets as well as that of his wife, will give him moral authority over those powerful and cynical individuals, whose unfathomable greed lost President Mills the trust of ordinary Ghanaians, whiles he was alive.

President Mahama must become a consensus leader who taps all available talent in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) - including Martin Amidu for the position of Attorney General and Eazinator Rawlings as a deputy minister of health to oversee the provision of healthcare to the doorsteps of grassroots-level rural communities.

He has made a good start by deciding to address the people of Ghana tomorrow, Tuesday, 14th August 2012.

If he were take up all the aforementioned suggestions - in addition to asking for forgiveness for his former existence as a Cassanova - the vast majority of the ordinary people of Ghana will come to the conclusion that it is indeed the turn of a capable northerner, to be elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana in the December 2012 elections. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafon

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