You are here: HomeNews2010 07 15Article 186140

Opinions of Thursday, 15 July 2010

Columnist: Fordjour, Konongo

Electioneering, Power Struggle, and the Fate of NPP

“If you do not stand on something valuable; you will always fall for anything, regardless of how useless it may be” (by Konongo Fordjour, London - UK, 1998)

One major predicament besieging most under-developed economies is their lack of a well crafted plan of action to develop. Impressive performance in economic resuscitation of the BRIC states - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - advancing from the vagaries of poverty, misery, and desperation is because they have detailed plans to develop their nations. Their strategies are fundamental requirements of their successive governments regardless of their political differences. The basic stipulations of these plans point to their innovative strategies crafted into technologies.

Technologies are nothing other than new ideas to redesign existing products or ideas. For instance if we are able to redesign or repackage Etor (mashed potato or yam) - from the earthenware into properly labeled product for export to earn foreign currency for the nation, then that is a perfect technology from Ghana. [A classical example is the commercialization of the Italian food, pizza]. Also, if we can dismantle refrigerators (existing products) and redesign their shapes to catch instant global attention; that can also be a perfect technology. I’m afraid Ghana has nothing of the nature in existence.

Our politics seems bedeviled by insults against opposing views. I agree that is an old political electioneering strategy! It may have worked to some extent. However, modern way of campaigning is absolutely different. The Youth must pay attention to my analysis here because the power is yours right now. Any slight mistake will cost you dearly and you will have only yourselves to blame. I have embarked on a campaign of change in our political system in the last couple of years. To some extent, part of my campaign has borne fruit but not fully developed; and I want you to pay attention here.

I strongly believe in one-member-one-vote (OMOV). OMOV will bring decency, respect, and hard work in our presumed leaders. OMOV demands qualities in leaders. Anyone proposing to lead the nation must come out with his or her plan of action, campaign vigorously to convince the nation before handing the nation to that person. Seemingly, people of Ghana today align with popularity and who can offer them favours. Please this faulty perception has been the prime evil under-developing our nation. The solution lies in the hands of our Youth today. Please be extremely careful of who must rule Ghana today. With OMOV, aspiring leaders must come to you in your comfortable bedrooms, on your television screens, to convince you and ask for your precious vote; rather than you running to listen to them.

Our local electioneering campaigns leading to general elections seem to have been bedeviled by insults because some people are bent on trampling on the basic electoral freedoms of the electorate. The politics of yester-year is dead and gone forever; and the Youth must takeover. Now pay attention here please!

In the beginning, when we were lactating babies, people in their early to late seventies today were in the high schools. They had the colonial motivation to learn and reach the sky limits. President Nkrumah, I believe, rewarded them with job incentives, accommodation, transport, etc. due to the thin population then. I understand that they were even begged to go overseas to further education. Those of Gun-man Jerry Rawlings’ age (in their late sixties), on the other hand, were the destroyers of the nation. They cried of “yen-ndi” in their high school dining halls, burnt all their wooden beds in bon-fire style, smashed school louver-blade windows, burnt school wooden buses (bone-shakers), and so forth. By the time we got to high schools, the rage in the classrooms had scared the hard working teacher so much that the exodus of the entire teaching faculties had began. The pupil insurrectionism in the Ghanaian classrooms affected their own performance that left a huge gap in the professional trend. Unfortunately, these large sludge found their way into the national security services that precipitated with coup d’tat and unheeding economic hardships.

The destiny of the nation was left with the individuals to seek their own success. The education system broke down, discipline and law and order broke down, the nation was in tatters. The effects hard hit those in their forties and fifties today. Those in their fifties today used travels to release stress targeting African countries such as Nigeria as their starting point that extended to Libya and elsewhere. The next decade younger generation was more ambitious and penetrated Europe and the Americas.

There is something interesting here! The traveling Ghanaians targeted trading, overseas education in their usual work-and-study that has brought flavor in our nation building. The Ghanaian resident abroad made the difference with other nationalities abroad by continuously remitting home to hold the peace that has been the forborne of our nationalism. The first ever recordings started in the 1980s and grew up steadily reaching in their billions of dollars today in a single year. The Ghanaian resident abroad today has different development strategies for our beloved nation from our state-resident politicians.

There are differences between the politicians resident-abroad and the state-resident. The politician resident home has a huge advantage in direct communications with the voter over the one resident abroad. They have wrongfully perceived the resident-abroad as very uncompromising with any efforts made by the state-resident to develop the country. The fact of the matter is that these same state-resident politicians lived out here with us before; and for one sole reason - in most cases - opted finally to sojourn back home. And that is, most of them were chronically unemployed. Lack of experience and clear area of expertise forced most of them into aligning with the popular person in the local politics to win them places in government to ransack and loot the national coffers. The Youth of Ghana today must pay attention to what they are saying in their campaign messages. Please pay attention! They have no plans to develop the nation; but they do have plans to loot the nation. So pay attention to the contents of their campaign messages.

The Ghanaian resident abroad on the other hand points direct to specifics. We do not need stash of dollars before developing ourselves. The state-resident politicians in their upper-sixties onwards believe in the failed Western-designed Third World fit micro-macro politico-economic dichotomy. Our country today is never different from any comparable period in our history because those we assign responsibilities to have no smart vision for the nation. And where there is no vision, my people shall perish! However, where there is no smart vision nationalism is completely obliterated. We are suffering because of the wrong choices we made; and the future wrong choices we are poised to make will exacerbate the sufferings. The Youth must pay attention because failure is the not, and has never been the option.

There should be a new beginning; and where do we go from here? I am interested in the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Our present Government is a failure because the basic things that it promised to accomplish within the timeframe set by itself cannot be seen. Our Beleaguered-President-with-Memory-loss is still finding a hard time squinting to position for a proper view within a poor-lightening economic milieu. More than eighteen months down the road, the nation is still in the difficult path. I am not here today to discuss the failures of our Government’s policies; rather let us pay attention to the opposition party and its basic failures that will not make any difference from the ruling party’s. I will spend two months detailing the failures of Atta-Mills Government starting from October 10, 2010 (10-10-10). Therefore, in going to the polls to elect a flag bearer for the general contest, the Youth, who make the deciding factor, must please pay special attention.

Let us look critically at the NPP flag bearer contestants. They are: Mr. Kwame Kodua, Mr. Isaac Osei, Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Mr. Akuffo-Addo, and Professor Frimpong-Boateng. I am interested in the last three because Mr. Kodua’s message that failed him in his last three contests has not changed and I do not see any possible impact he could make this time round. Mr. Osei’s campaign crossovers with Mr. Kyerematen and the two can do better by joining forces. Mr. Kyerematen and Prof. Frimpong-Boateng share common brilliant ideas but their policy implementation strategies differ. Mr. Kyerematen looks at the bigger picture, while Prof. Boateng believes in local development.

We should note that NPP is the most democratic political party in the whole of Africa with brilliant human rights record, most peaceful and best policy stipulations to develop a nation. In searching for a flag bearer, we therefore should choose the leader who can and is ready to deliver. Now let us begin our unbiased critical analysis on these three men. Please permit me to code-name these three gentlemen. Their names are too long so let me shorten them for the sake of space. The Honourable Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo can be abbreviated in our discussion here as NAADAA; Honourable John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen as JAKK; and Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng as PRO-KFB. Now let’s begin:

Foremost, NAADAA has no convincing policy to implement. Agreed, NAADAA has a pool of policies that look good on paper but most of them cannot be implemented in our lifetime considering our current practice. One major leadership quality among great leaders/politicians is their ability to delegate duties to quality personnel to deliver to benefit the nation. However the worrying issue with NAADAA is his inability to select the right caliber of Ghanaians to perform. This is one most deciding factor that made him lose the elections to President Mills. His political cronies are corrupt, insensitive, abusive, and extremely undisciplined. Most of his cronies following his campaign trail also live too largesse. For instance a funeral DJ turned instant millionaire (thanks be to NPP executive position) can boast of several mansions, cars, and a trip for wife to deliver children in the USA or Canada. Money talks! Who says politics is not good business in Ghana? Are you illiterate with no form of education and no means of survival? Just follow the popular one; and trust me, you will live good!

On the NAADAA policy issues, too many exaggerations are used to blindfold the listener. That is disrespecting the “unchallenging” Ghanaian – perhaps [ the gullible] who will have to accept anything - regardless of how faulty it may appear? For instance, in his 2008 campaign for president of Ghana, NAADAA claimed that he will bring electric trains to Ghana - a country that could hardly maintain 24-hour lighting in the presidential palace itself - bring double-decker buses like as it was in London, etc. I warned, I was sidelined, and today people are seeing my analyses as worth the consideration. It exhibits some beautiful pictures here as well! Either NAADAA has no commanding control of effective leadership, and hence has to rely on other people’s advise to help him achieve his ambitions; or he simply cannot view far enough to make a smart difference.

In his Chasing the Elephant into the Bush, Dr. Kobina Arthur-Kennedy made some brilliant revelations that should have initiated What-went-wrong-what-went-right report alongside with the Hayman-Agyarko report for our party but some big shots down there decided to sit on it. Dr. Kennedy pointed to stubbornness, complacency, inefficiency to lead, etc. on the part of the flag bearer. There were also rumors of the abuse and molestation of Keta school girls in the campaign engine rooms that leaked everything else. Two things for NAADAA: one, overhaul his strategies; sit down in closed doors alone and ask himself what he can do for Ghana, and rather not what Ghana can do for him. Believing in Ghana when he is a president is different from what Ghana can be when he is outside Government. And two, sack all those violent men in his fold hurting his campaign.

Choosing NAADAA is not the best option because he is not presenting the best alternative agenda; and NPP must pay attention. That will force Ghanaians to allow President Mills more time to pursue his faulty Change-For-Better-Ghana agenda in the Devil-You-know-is-Better-Than-The-Angel-You-Have-Never-Heard-About fashion. If President Mills secures a second term with this dysfunctional pseudo-governance, then Vice-President Mahama could easily trim the faulty fringes and demand continuity. By then, perhaps Ghana would have jumped the cash trapped zone. I predict here again that, a win for NAADAA will keep NPP in opposition for the next twenty years; or may possibly extinct the party and bring in a new party all together. The politics of Aduru-Me-So that NAADAA is using to wield power is hurting the democratic credentials that our party, NPP, has been known of. Aduru-me-so philosophy which I call a traditional categorical imperative is slowly chipping off our trust and respect.

Second, JAKK would have been undisputable option. JAKK comes with clearly stated policies with practicable implementation strategies; but his past behaviour regarding his implied walk away is hurting his presidential ambition. The problem has been fueled by NAADAA’s campaign team, who has tagged him as Kufuor’s man, a similar campaign strategy hurting Mr. Osei as well, to win sympathy for NAADAA. I am particularly impressed with JAKK’s big look of the economy; and he also shows smart policy implementation plan. However, a win for JAKK will generate intra-party warfare that can also easily break the party. NAADAA’s campaign is also sending wrong messages labeling Kufuor’s men as too Asante, hijacking the party to Asante to deny other tribes the chance to rule without looking at his own shortfalls. We should be careful of our tribal political utterances hence JAKK will also be a wrong choice. NAADAA must be particularly careful with messages coming from his campaign because playing the tribal card might help (I’m not sure!) to win leadership at the party level but will definitely hurt him and our party in the general elections.

Let’s look at President Kufuor for a second. Why is it a strong weapon for NAADAA to use the Kufuor-tagged anti-Asante strategy to win sympathy for votes even though the Asantes forms the largest in number during the voting? Honestly President Kufuor did extremely well; better than any leader - military and civilian alike - in the political history of Ghana within the timeframe given. He was brilliant in rejuvenating the economy. He energized the economy and physical business activities were visible. However, I agree, he could have done better, considering the huge goodwill that Ghanaians offered him. The Cindy Thompson Awurade-Kasa era that appealed to Ghanaian voters was squandered and no apology offered may possibly have infuriated future voters because of Kufuor experience.

The starting point is that NAADAA believes that Kufuor took unpopular decisions and did not pay attention to party set strategies to govern. Kufuor relied too much on his own family members and arrogant cronies to destroy his brilliantly laid empire. But the question is that: Is NAADAA coming up with anything different from Kufuor’s governing strategies? I want to see NAADAA make a difference with policy implementation. Does he have anything in stock for Ghana? I doubt it very much! Look, the politics of yester-year is dead and gone; and the Youth must pay attention. Please, Akufo-Addo is not the option. NAADAA is a politician of the old stock, traditionally common in the exhibition of their sentiments; and that is when he fails to achieve anything, someone must be blamed. On NAADAA’s radar, Kufuor did not want him to be president of Ghana; that is why he thinks that he lost the elections. Today, Kufuor has been painfully quiet about all the primaries; and yet NAADAA’s campaign message out there is that the Asantes do not want him to rule.

PRO-KFB is the best alternative. A leader is the one who can unite forces, convince opponents to relinquish their ambitions for his own sake; and PRO-KFB is the answer. Why do I consider PRO-KFB as the only choice? Temperament is the answer. Leaders are the most isolated personalities in the human race. Most of the time, a leader is faced with difficult decisions in his lonely bedroom. A lot of calculations, references, researches from presidential library, and personal experiences and intuitions have to be made. And the leader must remain sober (not drunk with cocaine, marijuana, liquor or molesting young school girls in hotel rooms), stay alert, remain unbiased, and universally excellent in his decisions. PRO-KFB is the right man in this ticket because of his professional experience in having the patience of dissecting human hearts to safe lives. The man has a fine temperament to pin-point faulty plugs in the economy that must be dissected to heal the nation much in the same way as he has healed Korle-Bu Hospital, Ghana, and the entire Africa of the killer heart infections. On top of that, he is extremely unadulterated. I am honestly confident that PRO-KFB will surely deliver. I have had numerous discussions with PRO-KFB - some very private and in closed doors; and some very open and straightforward - and in all instances, I honestly trust that PRO-KFB is our best option.

A bit of Biblical infusion here: Temperament is the key! JAKK is losing grounds because of his temper tantrums. NAADAA is losing grounds because of his temper tantrums. Moses, just like JAKK, lost God’s favor because of his temper tantrums. He could not have patience with his people, did not seek God’s wisdom when faced with difficult situations like God’s faith and idolism, got upset and destroyed the Ten Commandments because of his fury against his people worshipping gods. NAADAA is a lot worse. In one of the party’s meetings in the USA here, the economist, Elder Kwame Pianim advised NAADAA to apologize to the party on certain issues that he had faulted with. But NAADAA, responded: “I ain’t gonna apologize to nobody”. Temperament is the key! A leader must be soft-hearted, apologetic, seek God’s wisdom, and respect opposing views; and NAADAA is absolutely impenitent. Akufo-Addo is not the option!

We are in opposition today simply because Akufo-Addo will not accept the simple, smart, and party direct appeal to pick Alan Kyerematen as his vice presidential running mate. A leader must listen, pay attention, and be receptive to critical advice. In time of serious and critical decision making that requires patience that will bring the winning goal home, Akufo-Addo will not listen. Nations are handed to caretakers who will make a difference; and honestly, Akufo-Addo is not the option.

What impresses me most about PRO-KFB is the implementation of his policy strategies. He is very practical and reduces his strategies to basic local performance, similar to those strategies I have long been campaigning. Akufo-Addo has nothing in existence and Alan Kyerematen has a bigger picture, though measurable, may be too cumbersome over the years. It is quite easy for someone demanding leadership to photocopy strategies of best performing economies to frame his campaign messages without the slightest clue as to how those stages could be used. For instance during the P/NDC eras we were bombarded with the 2020 middle income period which was all good on paper but as to how to reach that level has been the worst nightmare haunting Ghanaians. The fact of the matter is that we do not have statutory agreed plan of action that must be followed by successive governments as it is in the BRIC states. Gun-man John Rawlings, John Kufuor, John Mills, and Akufo-Addo are all men of the same stock and they are all not meant to make any difference.

PRO-KFB is our best possible option. He will jettison the dysfunctional Western-designed failed Third World policies completely and focus on locally resuscitative economic recovery. What are these? One, PRO-KFB will set the standards that will be followed by leaders following him in the future. The mid-forties to mid-fifties pointed to the current direction of Ghana and our numerous Youth must entrust leadership with this group. Two, PRO-KFB will invest in the Youth (and it is a must) not only in the two opponents’ faulty plan in education; but primarily, in agribusiness investments that will galvanize a broad-based national Youth educational recovery. The Youth must work, earn money to motivate them, and study pretty much in the same way that we know best. Educational programs such as school feeding, capitation grant, school uniforms subsidy, school transportation, etc. can remain permanently when there are fundamental laid down policies to generate funds to support them. PRO-KFB will use taxes from the Youth investments to support the programs. It is therefore critical that the Youth must go to work immediately; but where, and how?

A classical example is Brazil! Why? Because we all live in thick forests; we are both black; and we are both traditionally destined in opulence and love for humanity. We also are soccer nations and peaceful people. Brazil’s economic recovery initiated from their national quest to develop; and the Ghanaian Youth must demand same from their leaders. Brazil selected only two areas - soccer, from services sector; and sugar production in agriculture from manufacturing sector - focused on the two, and all the rest fell in places. Today, Brazil belongs to the comity of nations of high respect. In the Ghanaian context, however, corn production must form part of our economic decisions with soccer and kayak or canoeing. Please the Youth must go to work in a commercialized farming system. The Youth must vote for PRO-KFB to make their dreams come true. Gone were the bad old days that farmers needed to work hard; today, farmers must work smart instead. Give farmers pick-up trucks, money and other incentives within competitive package to work for Ghana. Ghana needs a plan not lies! And Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng is your best possible option.

The Politics of Conditionality: Wo-kookoo-nie-a-wo-sika-nie

In closure, the Ghanaian Youth must set the agenda; else you will continuously be deceived. Look, Ghana, as you see it today, has not changed since I have been alive. The question is that: is it our destiny that we cannot make simple basic changes in our lives? Absolutely not! But it is because we make terrible mistakes in the choices we make. Please select the leader who will make a difference. If you continue to hand over the nation to chronic failures, then your national economic plan will continuously fail. Please vote for Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng. He has the best disciplined team; he has the most youthful team with smart innovative visionary ideas. [Please, remember time and time again that: Where there is no vision, my people shall perish!].

The POLITICS OF CONDITIONALITY AGENDAmust demand certain things from the proposing leaders before giving them the job. One, ACCOUNTABILITY, who among the contestants can declare assets and force his followers to do same? PRO-KFB is the only one who can do that; and that is his best weapon in these last couple of weeks to the Election Day. President Mills deceived Ghanaians with his CHANGE AGENDA that he will be the first to declare his assets and force his henchmen to do same within one hundred (100) days in office. Nearly one thousand (1,000) days in office, the Beleaguered-President-with-Memory-Loss, President Kwaata-Mills, is not the least worried to tell his own people about his own crafted lies. The Ghanaian Youth must pay attention in the opposition party campaigns as well. Please go to the polls and vote wisely and vote for PRO-KFB. Please do not regret your decisions today that will have impact on tomorrow.

And finally, the NPP forthcoming flag bearer election shows signs of possible vote rigging; and the Youth must not allow this to happen. The Youth must be alert in the voting process and the counting stage. Please do not give anything to chance; demand to see everything; and demand fair voting standards. The future is the decision you make today; and please, design your own destiny (nkrabea!) today. Destiny can be created! You can be who you want to be - you can be a failure if you want to be; and you can be successful if you choose to be - it’s never “bayie” or what you requested from the unknown world prior to your visit to this world, which belongs to you and I. Please let’s plan strategically and the success will be our collective efforts; and not because someone has to be president by hook or crook at all cost simply because “aduru-me-so” (or it’s my turn).

A nation with such absolutes is doomed to fail; and the Youth must crack this sickening mentality. The few noisy people campaigning for certain people have serious cases to answer and their best possible option is to campaign vigorously for someone who will cover their own crimes against the state. I fought vehemently to change the NPP delegate voting and made some success but not completely. Today I cannot vote because my own party does not want me to do so; but I am of course glad that the Youth today are also included and importantly, the Youth have dominated the decision-making machinery. Please pay attention and vote wisely!

Our party’s constitution stipulates fifty plus one winner strategy; and that must be fully adhered to no compromises whatsoever this time round. However, the first round winner possibility does not exist on my radar. Nevertheless, we can create one; and that is last minute surprise! Alan must join forces with Frimpong-Boateng and Isaac. Gentlemen, please you have similar brilliant ideas, and your combined efforts will save a beautiful day. Alan must support Frimpong-Boateng; and Frimpong-Boateng must choose Alan as his authentic vice-presidential candidate to transfer leadership later and Isaac as the impeccable foreign secretary or prime minister. Alan’s big picture alongside with Kwabena’s local investments will be a global hit. Folks, if you seriously love your country and good and honest governance, please team up and support Frimpong-Boateng for a clear win. Ooh yes, you can! Please stand on something valuable to safe NPP for the future generations! I expect Professor Adu-Boahen-President Kufuor surprise vote here. Good luck!

Konongo Fordjour, Boston-USA