Feature Article of Friday, 26 December 2008

Columnist: Kwansema, Ekua

Who Is His Own Man - Mills or Akufo-Addo?

By Ekua Kwansema
We have two men Professor Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo running for the highest office in Ghana and come Monday December 29, 2008 one of them would be president-elect. Ghanaians would then entrust their hopes, aspirations, problems and visions in the hands of the winner. These two individuals are unique and therefore have different styles and approaches. Therefore, it would help if we take just a quick peek into their styles to see who is actually a man of his own and a better candidate for Ghana .
Professor Mills has been lambasted by the NPP people for being too soft. I can imagine Professor Mills being in the same mode as Barak Obama who in the midst of accusations flying around him during the presidential debates, remained calm, cool-headed and told Americans what he can offer them. In the end Obama won the day and the eventual elections.
Ghanaians may have forgotten something which Professor Mills did which I want to draw their attention to. When Professor Mills was searching for his running mate, it was no secret how many NDC party officials were scheming for certain candidates to be considered. Indeed there were several reports that former President Rawlings specifically wanted Professor Mills to go with Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu. But what happened? Professor Mills went his own way and selected Mr. John Mahama, thus not going with the wishes of Rawlings. This is a mark of somebody being his own man and able to freely select somebody he can pal with.
The other issue that I want Ghanaians and especially NPP supporters to critically analyze is what happened during the search by Nana Akufo-Addo of his running mate. There were so many names that were floated to Akufo-Addo which led to many guessing games. In the end Dr. Bawumia was imposed on him. Before the NPP yell that this is not true, just read something Akufo-Addo said about a month ago. Akufo-Addo is on record for saying that he would have gone with another candidate if party leaders have given him the free hand to choose his running mate. Free hand? Does it mean this man does not have a free hand? Is his hands already tied?
Looking at the selection of their running mates, I would like Ghanaians irrespective of their political leanings to critically judge who is a man of his own? Is it Professor Mills who brushed aside party leaders of the NDC and selected somebody who he feels comfortable to campaign and work with or Akufo-Addo who had Bawumia imposed on him? I am waiting for an answer from the NPP diehards.
Is it any wonder that Bawumia has become AWOL? (Absent Without Leave). This running mate that was touted as holding the magic wand to help Akufo-Addo to turn Ghana ’s economy around cannot even campaign among his own people in the north. He has virtually become non-existent while Akufo-Addo keeps junketing the country begging Ghanaians to vote for him.
As usual I have some few questions to throw around. Professor Mills is considered soft by NPP people yet he selected his own running mate. Akufo-Addo, the hot-headed candidate like the defeated U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, is considered savvy by the NPP people yet he could not even select his own running mate. Therefore, between these two gentlemen, who is his own man? You be the judge. If Akufo-Addo does not even have the power to select his own running mate, what do you think would happen if he wins the highest office of the land?
Even Akufo-Addo’s campaign says it all. Dr. Arthur Kennedy accused Akufo-Addo’s campaign to the whole world of being financed by drug barons. The next we knew Kennedy has become Akufo-Addo’s communications director. Maame Dokono comes out insulting NDC and the next we knew she is going round everywhere with Akufo-Addo. Frances Asiam (The only person known in the world to have joined three political parties in two years) comes out swinging and the next we knew she has been given the microphone by the Akufo-Addo’s campaign team.. Does Akufo-Addo’s campaign not have any strategy that all they wait for is a political prostitute or stomach politician to come out and denounce his or party and they make that person one of their spokespersons?
I would like to know if Akufo-Addo even before he becomes president is unable to take decisions on his own, what will happen if he ever steps to the Presidential Palace. These are the issues that Ghanaians should critically analyze. Cool headed people always trump over hot-headed people. At this point in Ghana ’s political history, it would be suicidal to thrust the reigns of the country in the hands of somebody who cannot even run his own campaign let alone take major decisions on his own. Ghana needs a cool, non-temperamental, level headed person, who thinks before he acts, not somebody who acts on impulse. The country needs somebody who would bring Ghanaians together not somebody who would divide Ghanaians among ethnic and regional lines. The country needs a mature thinking person and not somebody who just wants to be president shrouded with unimaginable promises he cannot fulfill. Ghana needs somebody who would work hard to put money in the pockets of ordinary people not somebody who would count only those closest to him. That is why I am urging Ghanaians to go with Professor Mills. He is the man. He is the guy. He is the person that Ghana currently needs.
By the way did anybody miss the interview Akufo-Addo granted yesterday in which he defended the begging spree currently sweeping Ghana by the NPP that “It is not illegitimate for public officials to seek forgiveness for acts that did not go down well with the people who elected them into office”. Don’t be fooled, do you think NPP would be begging if they had won Round One? If they had any apologies, they would have done it months back. God richly bless you all.