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Opinions of Saturday, 14 July 2007

Columnist: Kosivi, Douglas

NPP Politics & Decision Dec. 2007 -Who wears the cap?

Over the weekend, I was in the company of a group of young men at a “joint”. I happened to know most of them. I was late to the joint but as I approached them, I could hear that they were engaged in an intense debate over who was more fit to lead the country, come January 2009.

One thing was clear from what I overheard from them before I personally got immersed in the discussions- the 2008 elections, once again, was going to be a straight contest between the NPP and the NDC. For now, they seem to have no problem with the NDC as they had already selected their candidate (the twice defeated Prof. Mills). Their only reservation was whether he commanded the requisite health competence to go the full mile, especially when viewed against the commendable new tricks the old dog was trying to learn.

What most attracted the attention of my friends was the large array of the fine gentlemen (that is if all of them could be described as such) who had lined up to aspire to lead the NPP. Even more difficult for them to understand was the audacity with which the G8 had tendered in their resignations from the coveted positions as ministers of state in their quest to prove their seriousness to the NPP’s potential delegates.

By the time I had weaned myself into the discussions, they were dissecting the various candidates, weighing their strengths against their weaknesses, and trying to come up with on a consensus as to who was the best material to face Prof. Mills.

I must express my consternation when it got to the turn of Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor. After extolling all the virtues and achievements of the man, almost everyone present could come up with any particular scandal against him. Honestly, the consensus was that if there was any one particular individual among the lot who had discharged himself creditably both as a Minister and an MP, it was Dr. Addo Kufuor. It was strange how the gathering tried desperately but to no avail, to uncover any misgivings about the man. The consensus was that if the criteria for selection were to be competence and proven track record, he was second to none.

As the gathering got ready to overwhelmingly endorse Dr. Addo Kufuor, the youngest among us threw the tsunami bombshell “brothers, let us not forget that we are enlightened and may vote for Dr. Addo Kufuor for all his good deeds, which I am the first to admit, but I wonder if the vast majority of Ghanaians will vote for him once he is the President’s brother. They will say the Presidency is not a dynasty or a monarchy”

“My goodness”, yelled almost all the gathering instantaneously, including the moderator who had all along endeavoured to refrain from taking a position. The moderator remarked “oh, so the man’s only blot and crime is that he is the President’s brother? Is that all you have against him? And is that enough reason why he should back off? By the way, you said we here are enlightened and so will judge him per his deeds and virtues; who says the rest of Ghanaians are fools and not as wise as you or we are? I have never been an ardent supporter of either the Prof. Mills or anyone in particular from the unending list of NPP aspirants. However, if the man’s blood relations with the sitting President is the only reason why such a person you and almost all here admit as so competent should step aside, then I beg to compromise my neutrality and to differ”

But for the young man, he received a standing ovation from all the gathering. One could here shouts of “come again, come again”.

NPP potential delegates, NDC followers, fellow Ghanaians, we have come far in our democratic dispensation. Let us weigh in a matured manner, the factors that compel us to vote in a certain direction. The days when tribal, and family origins, classmates and cronyism, etc, informed our choices should be things of the past.

If people are of the strong conviction that Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor best merit the NPP flagbearership title, and by extension being the President of Ghana, he should be given the mandate. Whereas this feature is not to say that I personally support the man’s bid, it is worth noting that his relationship with his brother should not deprive him of his constitutionally admissible rights.

After all, as someone has said, if the dynasty populist noises were to hold, then there should have been no need for elections in the NPP. Dr. Addo Kufuor should have been made to succeed his brother right away, as is the case in Cuba between Castro and his brother haven’t we have instances of even children succeeding their fathers, through elections, in other countries? Are they better and wiser than we are? Should we sacrifice proven competence on the altar of a so called bogus dynasty fallacy? Please!!!

Let these populist and cheap propaganda of dynasty cease as it is a non issue and smacks of intellectual dishonesty. Let us do away with this fallacy and judge people by what they have personally and collectively achieved, and the feasibility of what they promise to do. This is only what can move our nation forward. Long live Ghana.

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