Warning: getimagesize(https://cdn.ghanaweb.com/imagelib/src/): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /data/www/africaweb/utils2/article.engine.build.php on line 93
EDITORIAL: Kufuor has made our founding fathers proud
You are here: HomeNews2007 07 27Article 127947

Editorial News of Friday, 27 July 2007

Source: Statesman

EDITORIAL: Kufuor has made our founding fathers proud

'Development in Freedom' is the motto of the New Patriotic Party, a party that celebrates its fifteenth anniversary as a duly registered entity tomorrow. Defining the party's motto in an article in The Statesman, Weekending June 21, 1992, Wayo Seini, one of the party’s intellectual stalwarts had this to say: "Making the human being the target of our development policy however, demands one crucial pre-requisite that must be fulfilled - FREEDOM. There must be absolute freedom for every individual to pursue his lawful economic activities without fear of molestation."

He continued, "There must be freedom for the individual to discover his God-given talent and to use it for his individual benefit and for the benefit of his family, his community and his nation at-large. In placing the individual at the centre of our development policy we do recognize that self-interest is the cornerstone of success and if a majority of Ghanaians are successful, then the sum of it is greater success for the nation." It is this principle which the founding fathers of the Danquah-Busia tradition, Alfred "Paa" Grant, J B Danquah, Obetsebi Lamptey, William "Paa Willie" Ofori-Atta, Edward Akufo-Addo, Solomon Odamtten, S G Antor, J A Brimah, Yakubu Tali (Tolon Na), R E G Ammatoe, K Kurankye Taylor, R S Blay, R R Amponsah, Pobee Biney and others, built and intended for Ghana.

With the introduction of ‘Development in Freedom’, Kofi Abrefa Busia and Edward Akufo-Addo, with ministerial support from the likes of J H Mensah, R R Amponsah, Jones Ofori-Atta and John Agyekum Kufuor, were on course to change the political-economic paradigm of our continent. But the nay-sayers quashed these fledgling efforts.

It took another thirty years for the Danquah-Busia family to find hope in the New Patriotic Party. With J A Kufuor at the helm the results have been phenomenal. Indeed, one of his ministers, Nana Akufo-Addo, who as a young boy saw the founding fathers at work in his father’s house, astutely observed two years ago that President Kufuor has become the tradition’s most successful leader ever. Akufo-Addo explained that ideas are just ideas - floating in the gravity-defying realm of Theorem. They may be fantastic but you need power to bring the ideas to bear. Once you have the power you must be able to hold on to it.

You must do so without stepping outside of the railings of rule of law, regardless of the level of provocation from opposing forces or the temptation of elected office to result in short-term feel-good measures of little sustainable value. It may be tempting for party members to attack the President for making nonsense of their sacrifice. They perceive the selectiveness of the few who are ‘enjoying.’ But, let us take a moment to consider the kind of pressured demands which faced the President from 2001.

After 30 years in opposition, and 8 years of constant sacrifice by tens of thousands of rank and file members to pull the NPP onto the hills of power, there were just too many CVs, mouths and outstanding debts to satisfy. The situation was worsened by the dire state of the economy in 2001. Hard decisions had to be made. As in many success stories, it was impossible to make everyone happy.

As Prof Wayo Seini observed 15 years ago, "A free atmosphere must be created for individuals to lawfully acquire wealth without fear of molestation or outright seizure at any point in time. We believe that a nation can only prosper when individuals prosper. A large proportion of prosperous Ghanaians will provide the tax base for Government to prosper and to create public welfare.

"Thus, the underlying principle of our policy is to encourage the creation of private wealth that can lead to the creation of public welfare. We believe that private wealth and public welfare can march together hand-in-hand to lead Ghana onto the path of true development."

The NPP should be forever grateful to Kufuor for one thing – providing the party with a very credible platform and the benefit of hindsight to retain power in 2009. Whoever takes over in the NPP after Kufuor, all things being equal, will be in a better position to do more to address the disillusionment within the party than was possible in the first 8 years.

Two facts make this possible: (1) the Ghanaian economy is growing, thereby expanding opportunities of economic empowerment; and (2) many more of the old NPP soldiers will feel the benefits of the government’s progressive governance than before. The founding fathers of the NPP must be smiling in their ancestral villages now, thanks to the maturity of men like B J da Rocha and Prof Adu Boahen, who managed to put behind them the fatal divisions of 1979 to form the New Patriotic Party. As current Chairman Peter Mac Manu observed Wednesday, the NPP enjoys the singular accolade of being the only political family that has "remained steadfastly united despite spirited attempts to dismember it." The founding fathers have the leadership of President Kufuor to thank. Through his leadership, NPP has won power and held onto it by showing that development in freedom is indeed possible. Ghanaians are very hopeful today of their own opportunities for betterment. We are right to be hopeful, as the economy continues to grow, social services improve, and the frontiers of freedom expand beyond the traditional boundaries of tolerance.

We may be facing energy crisis today, but if we learn from our mistakes by pursuing our programmes with vigour, we can say with confidence that the future of our children is secure. There can be no turning back for Ghana, the Elephant is on the move. We conclude this editorial with the ageless words of Prof Wayo Seini, "We, of the New Patriotic Party, have always been what we are: the true democrats of this country; the true believers in the fundamental human rights of the individual; the true believers in the market economy.

"We shall pursue vigorously the structural transformation of our country that will lead to accelerated growth. In doing so, we intend to ensure that accelerated growth does not miss its ultimate target; that is, it must translate into the development of the individual Ghanaian."

Happy birthday NPP!

Join our Newsletter