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Opinions of Friday, 19 October 2007

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

Addo-Kuffour's Curious Blind Spots

Dr. Addo-Kuffour, the younger brother of His Excellency the Slam Dunk President Kuffour, in his bid at establishing the infamous “Kuffour Dynasty” was quoted by the media as casting doubt on the vision of former President Rawlings. Among other things, he was quoted as saying that Rawlings is a “visionless” leader. He support his argument by pointing to the government efforts at the establishing the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre in Accra and the second phase of the 37 military hospital refurbishment project as their supposed vision for the country. He also contended, as do many of his NPP presidential flocks, that he had the best record as minister of state. Therefore he and no body else in their party reserve the right to lead them into next year’s presidential election.

Ironically, at the time Dr. Addo-Kuffour was spewing his venom at Mr. Rawlings, his brother, the president of the republic, was holidaying somewhere, while the Northern party of our country lay in ruins from a devastating rainfall. If Dr. Kuffour wants to address the question of visionless leaders, an excellent starting point would be his own brother. For it is his brother who run to the land of nowhere in times of national crisis when leadership is much needed in the country. I am still pondering whether Kuffour’s departure in the heart of Northern crisis is just an act of cowardice, or it is a sheer contempt for the North.

I would urge readers to think back to any of the national crisis during the Rawlings era, and one can Pinpoint exactly were Ex President Rawlings is located at the time. During the northern conflict in the 1990s, he was at the heart of crisis, so is the broiler ulcer crisis that hurt part of the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern regions of Ghana in the 1980s. When the country was eradicating the guinea worm disease, Rawlings was at the heart of that campaign. He was personally applauded by World renounced leaders such President Jimmy Carter, and Dr. Nuguchi for his efforts. Even when he is not in office, Rawlings had to cut visits short to return home and share his country’s emotions. He demonstrated this in the aftermath of the stadium disaster. The bane of good leadership is not to escape when we are confronted with challenges, but to face those challenges head on and resolve them. President Kuffour have demonstrated over and over again that he could not master this courage even when it involves question regarding his own iniquities. As he always did in national crisis, he escaped to London during the ‘Hotel Kuffour’ saga; he escaped to Morocco during Miss Yizji saga leaving his boys to do the dirty job for him. Is it not a curious blind to spot to excuse his brother?

His brother’s government did not start the 37 military hospital rehabilitation projects for which Addo-Kuffour hinged his so-called vision on. The first phase of the 37 military hospital rehabilitation project was started in somewhere in 1998, at which time Dr. Addo-Kuffour and his brother were then opposition members. By the time they assume office in 2001, the phase one of the project was under way, and certain facilities such as the 37 military hospital mortuary had been completed and in use. The then NDC government initiated the funding for second phase of the project. It is therefore fair to ask Dr. Addo-Kuffour where lie his brother’s vision. Is it a matter of the very proverbial NPP character to not only claim credit for what their government did not achieve, but also make others the victims of their own achievements.

President Rawlings’s achievement goes beyond the boundaries of Ghana. He is one of African’s most respected former Presidents. His views are respected across the world. Around this time in 2000, as Rawlings was preparing to leave office he had already been awarded honourary Doctorate degrees from numerous institutions the world over for his contribution to the social and economic development of Ghana. His administration restored the image of Ghana from the damage done it in the post Kwame Nkrumah years. If Addo-Kuffour and his NPP folks have already forgotten the 1980s, majority of Ghanaians have not.

It is also important to weight Addo-Kuffour’s acclaimed achievements against available evidence in the Ghanaian Military establishment. The assumption of office of the Kuffour administration is the worse nightmare that ever befell the Ghanaian Military since independence. Moral in our barracks are at it very lowest end. Never in our history had our men in uniform thought of abdicating the establishment. It is happening now because many men in our uniform feel they have been push to the wall by this government. Many NPP supporters including the Vice President recognized this fact. The evidence of which is contained in a recent speech the Vice President delivered to the GAF at Teshie. In that speech he appealed to member of GAF as echoed my points.

Like the appointment of his brother to manage the military, Mr. Kuffour is running the Ghana Armed Forces like a family business in which senior military posts are assigned not based on merit, but on party affiliations and tiers to the Kuffour family members. Under the leadership of Addo-Kuffour and his brother, members of Army who are posted abroad for peacekeeping have their UN pay snatched from them and asked to shut up. To day there are two groups in the army, party affiliates such the ones involved in the execution of the CPP chairman in the North, and the professional ones, many of who were told by the government to proceed on leave when Kuffour’s assumed office. Addo-Kuffour and his bother met GAF strong and well respected both army officers across the world; they are leaving the army demoralized and dejected, that is Dr. Addo-Kuffour records as the National Minister of Defense.

Welland, Ontario Canada

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