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Opinions of Friday, 14 December 2007

Columnist: Koramoah, Kwame Adofo

Addo Kufuor - An Embodiment Of National Orientation

Many Ghanaians had high hopes of a change in our cultural values and ways of thinking when President Kufuor introduced the concept of National Orientation into our governance system. It was the considered opinion of lots of people that we were going to have an introspection of our journey as a nation, and go back for the things that made us unique as Ghanaians.

Apprehension began to set in when some time after, there looked to be no signs of a blueprint for the implementation of such a commendable initiative. At last, the chicken came home to roost, and the concept was officially launched some months back.

Among the pillars of National Orientation are “ Proud to be Ghanaian”, “Patriotism and a Spirit of Ghana First”, “Dedication and Discipline”, “Productivity and Accountability”, and “A Positive and Can-Do-It Attitude”. These pillars are geared at awakening a new sense of our Ghanaian identity, and to instill in us a commitment to reward hard work and discipline.

A sense of oneness as a people calls for us to shed the unproductive mentality of ethnocentrism and tribal politics that is threatening to engulf our political terrain. It is indeed pathetic to hear well meaning people make comments like “he would have been good for the Presidency except that he is an Ashanti, except that he is a Northerner, except that he is the President’s brother.

Some of the above comments, among others, are what have tended to derail our progress as a people. I wondered when one’s relationship with at successful person becomes disqualification grounds for such a person’s advancement. President Kufuor is undisputedly the most successful leader of the tradition of the NPP.

In the olden days, a man who marries a woman from a family and is productive is rewarded by being given another woman from that family, as a top-up. If our Ghanaian values of reward for hard work are anything to go by, then the President’s performance places Dr. Addo Kufuor shoulder high above his co-competitors for the NPP Flagbearership slot. From where then does the dynasty issue being bandied around come in?

The reality is that these arguments rather border o fanning of tribal and ethnic politics. However, learning form other dispensations and the untold hardships that this canker has brought on some countries like Rwanda and Burundi, this is not something that should be tolerated and encouraged. They are unproductive and deviate from the National Orientation pillar of Productivity and Accountability.

It is unfortunate that Dr. Addo Kufuor should be made a sacrificial lamb and a victim of circumstance, simply because his brother is the sitting President, and hence cannot lead the NPP into the next elections. So far, I have not heard a single critique of his raise eyebrows with regards to his competence and performance as a Minister in whatever capacity he has found himself. Is it then just a matter of giving a dog a bad name, simply to hang it? This is regrettable.

You motion to people that rewarding dedication, discipline and commitment to a cause does not amount to dynasty, even if the actors are from the same family is nothing strange; and you are told “but this is Ghana”!! since when did Ghana become an island on its own in this global village?

It is the view of this writer that if National Orientation is really to succeed, the party of the government that introduced it must live it. Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor is undeniably one of the most corrupt-free, transparent, disciplined, and most successful Ministers this country has ever had. Does it not hold anymore that he who has been able to take good custody of little should be entrusted with much? Dr. has laid bare his books and tenure of stewardship and so far no can of worms have been opened. Is this not somebody whose marketability can be very easy? After all, if the dynasty argument is anything to go by, the name Kufuor is already a household name.

If the NPP is bent on making its own baby of National Orientation succeed, they should start from their own home. Charity they say begins at home. Let the NPP demonstrate its commitment to its initiative by purging itself of negative thoughts that we are not ready for some ideals and rather develop a positive and a can-do-it attitude. Let the NPP, come December 22- 2007, show that politics should be about ideas, track record and vision; and not the trivialities of who is a brother of whom. Let the NPP set the tone for meaningful political discourse in this country by demonstrating that oratory, money or ethnicity are not what matter, but competence and discipline.

This is what National Orientation is about. Let the NPP live this in the run-up to the choice of its flag bearer by electing Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor to lead them to the 2008 general elections.

I trust the maturity and wisdom of the NPP delegates to place competence above pettiness.



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