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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Columnist: Amoako-Attah, Alex

Akuffo-Addo - The Man of Destiny


A lot has been said and analyzed by pundits and commentators about whom among the 19 contestants, sparring for the leadership of the NPP, should lead the party to duel it out with Prof. Mills for the mandate to occupy the Black Star stool at the Castle or the Flagstaff House, come January 2009.

Among the crowded field, there is but one luminary giant, and that man is Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo, who I prefer to call the Man of Destiny. He is about the only winnable candidate with far reaching vision, immense political acumen and unmatched international exposure, particularly in the diplomatic community. Locally, Nana Akufo-Addo is a household name that is easily marketable; more than any of the aspirants in the race.

Upon his return from France where Nana excelled himself in the legal circles, the young legal eagle teamed up with stalwarts and patriots like the late Gen. Afrifa to wage a relentless war against Gen. Kutu Acheampong and his UNIGOV concept. Again, when duty called in the ‘80s and the ‘90s, the young freedom fighter, took on the much dreaded and murderous PNDC to champion the cause of civil and human rights at the peril of his own personal freedom and life. Never have there been such blatant human rights abuses in Ghana than the regime of the PNDC in our political history.

During such dangerous times, Nana was invited to join the underground Danquah/Busia Club of which he became the National Organizer. He traveled across the country to establish chapters for what is now the New Patriotic Party (NPP). To keep the underground Club floating, Nana and a few others, bank rolled it with their own resources. Matter of fact, there is nobody in the contest who has been loyal to our tradition than Nana. In 1998, when he lost to Kufour, he stood by him and campaigned with him in every constituency until victory was won.

When the situation was rough for the Party, Nana didn’t leave the country for greener pastures like others did, but stayed and helped build the party from the ground up. Among the aspirants, Nana is perhaps about the only one who has been there right from day one. The delegates must therefore take a critical look at him for his selfless dedication and unflinching loyalty to the Party over the years in addition to his incredible political pedigree. Of course I am not saying Nana has to be rewarded for long service or membership in the party. Rather the argument is being made that, when you get somebody as versatile, knowledgeable, stalwart and formidable as Nana is, it would be foolhardy to go for some fanciful untested new arrival. With Nana, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind about what we are getting. Come January 2009, the person in the Castle must hit the road running, with no room for experimentations and on the job training. Nana is ready, even today. Our international development partners and market watchers must have confidence in the new chief executive, to continue our ascendancy to middle income country by 2015. Nana provides that assurance, a rare commodity on the African continent. The market must have no apprehensions or jitters which could affect the strength of the cedi, and by extension confidence in our economy. That is very important and critical.

Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s Nana was the leader of the Kume Preko and Sie Me Preko coalition which organized demonstrations, at a time when civil liberties meant nothing to the bloodthirsty Rawlings’ PNDC. Nana was in the political trenches in the streets of Accra and in the Courts fighting for freedom and justice, and defending victims of that murderous regime pro bono. As a result of his political and legal confrontation with the PNDC, his Hotel, which was also the meeting place for the then Danquah/Busia Club, was bombed by PNDC thugs.

When the country gave the NPP the mandate to rule in 2000, Nana was appointed to head the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General Department. He quickly made his presence felt by making some much needed reforms. Amongst them were the creation of the new Commercial Court, Business Law and the Fast Track Courts.

Nana actually made his mark on the international scene when he became Ghana’s Chief Diplomat in 2003. The appointment of this Nima born, multi-lingual - he speaks Twi, English, French, Ewe, Ga, and Hausa – thoroughbred Ghanaian patriot, was President Kufour’s finest move. Ghana’s image in the international community has been greatly enhanced since Nana took over the nation’s diplomacy. His diplomatic exploits in hot spots such as the Ivory Coast and Liberia and even at the UN, is one of the reasons the Black Star flag is held in high esteem around the globe today. It was upon his ascendancy as the Chief Diplomat that Ghana became a non permanent member of the Security Council.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one man who deserves to wear the NPP crown at Legon on Dec 22, 07. It is the only name that rings terror in the hearts of the NDC. The name is Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo. He is the towering political giant in Ghana today. He is head and shoulder above everybody in the contest to succeed president Kufour. In January 09, history will be made in Ghana politics. President Kufour will hand over to his own party with Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, the man of destiny, as the President of Ghana.

Alex Amoako-Attah
New York.

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