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Opinions of Thursday, 15 February 2007

Columnist: Dagadu, Yao

AU Chairmanship - Ghana's Honour

At its eighth ordinary summit of AU leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President John Agyekum Kufour of Ghana was unanimously elected by his peers to chair the Union for the next one year. This is the first such continental role for a Ghanaian leader since President Kwame Nkrumah was elected chairman of OAU in 1965.

The reposition of this confidence in President Kufour by his peers really deserves the commendation of all well-meaning Ghanaians. We should be proud for contributing to make Ghana a model state for other African countries, an indicator which was definitely not over-looked when President Kufour was being considered for this August position.

But no, some Ghanaians surprisingly are down-playing this honour bestowed on Ghana. Is this, I wonder because they are oblivious to the diplomatic history of Ghana and the (O) AU or are they simply being mischievous, probably to some cheap political points?

It was be recalled that in February 2003, President John Agyekum Kufour was elected ECOWAS chairman. During this period President Kufour led ECOWAS to douse the flames in Liberia and Cote d’viore. He provided leadership for the restoration of civilian rule in Guinea Bissau after a coup de tat ousted President Kumba Yala in September 2003. This one sterling achievements which President Kufour and for that matter Ghana can pride itself for.

Indeed it is believed that member-states elected President Kufour as chairman of AU so as to access his immense diplomatic skills negotiating abilities and political pedigree to tackle the myriad problems facing Africa. Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Lam Akol is quoted as saying: “Sudan has voluntarily accepted to decline in favour of Ghana. We chose Ghana to maintain the unity of the continent”. It is obvious from these statements that President Al-Bashir will praise his stars for having been side-stepped in favour of an unquestionably competent and an achievement- oriented leader to facilitate a speedy solution to the Dafur crises.

President Kufour’s election as AU Chairman is well deserved. He has in the past six years provided exemplary leadership for Ghana. Democracy is thriving; freedom of speech is at its apex whilst social infrastructural development and economic development grows at an impressive rate.

Ghanaians should be proud for we have contributed immensely in making the period of NPP government a success, leading to this honour being bestowed upon us.

To the few mischievous and unpatriotic Ghanaians who are trying their best to down-play the essence of this honour bestowed on Ghana, and will go any length to discredit the NPP government, I say, bow your heads in shame.

This is not an honour for President Kufuor or the NPP government alone. It is an honour for all Ghanaians; AN ICING ON OUR 5OTH ANNIVERSARY CAKE!

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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