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Opinions of Monday, 3 September 2007

Columnist: Asante, Francis Opoku

Atta Mills Would Be Panic Stricken

In recapitulating our political ontogeny vis-à-vis our current political dispensation coupled with our call for economic renaissance, various schools of thoughts have emerged with the ultimate purpose of exerting impact on the national debate regarding who deserves to take over the mandate from President Kufour, come 2009.The stakes are very high due to the current economic and political dispensation in which Ghana finds itself and the various calls for acceleration in all developmental policy implementations. As both the NPP and the NDC have already embarked upon deploying all their arsenals for political bravado, it becomes highly important that we recapitulate most of the schools of thoughts regarding who should take the mandate from President Kufour, in 2009.The various, accusations and counter accusations are all features of maturing democracies and hence are all significant only if the former is exerted more constructively without any cynical preludes.

I have always stated that the existence of the other political parties is highly significant to the socio-political development of Ghana as they are there to project some checks and balances in the system. Even though, it is unfortunate to note that the NDCs have failed abruptly in this role as they resort to unnecessary aggressiveness and frowning on the law in contributing to national debates. The NDCs criticize unconstructively without even the least compunction, probably because they don’t have the compunction or is it a mere skirmish political indulgence emanated from cynical ideology as it has always been the case of the NDC? The other time, I cracked up and I couldn’t really stop laughing, when President Kufour stated in one of his recent speeches that NDC is “a slap party” and I add; They slap their Vice President (Arkaah) and their own MPs.

In the end, Ghana is for us all so we need to build it with exemplary decency. Some views expressed across political circles sound synonymous to one another; however, a detailed analysis of them establishes clear distinction. The various views stem from the fact that the presidency is the highest office of the land and in this regard, a person vying for the presidency should be someone who has been tested and met the test of time. A candidate who has proven beyond all doubts with the least opportunity that availed itself that he can lead Ghana through difficult times and good times with the sole purpose of moving Ghana to a middle income status with all the technological advancement to meet the demands of the 21st century in a more rapid fashion. Other schools of thoughts argue that it should be someone who has effected permanent positive transformation on Ghana to the extent that the foot prints are still recapitulating in a more ontological fashion. In a sense, they are talking about solid track records.

A sampled view of some NPP members including some of the prospective delegates present the view that there is the need to give the NPP’s nod to a visionary leader who has solid track records not just in his personal life but in his service to the Nation as a public servant. I asked as to why this should be the standard and the answers were that Ghana’s current urge for a more accelerated economic growth and development in addition to our quest for economic renaissance, calls for visionary leaders and no experimentation. That explains their current settling on Hon. Osafo-Maafo for the flagbearership of the NPP. This is a man who reaches across the aisle in getting major legislations pass in parliament. He is more appealing to both independent and swing voters.


It was not just a mere coincidence as Hon. Osafo-Maafo indicated in one of his presentations in Brong Ahafo, that Atta Mills would be panic stricken if he hears that the Honourable has been elected as the flag bearer of the NPP on Dec 22nd 2008 at the national congress. Osafo-Maafo stressed and I quote “I am the only person who can look Mills in the eyes and tell him, look Fiifi; you were the chairman of the Economic Council during your time as a Vice-President. You brought inflation to 41 percent whilst leaving office but as I took over from you as Finance Minister, I brought inflation down to 11.8 percent.” The Honourable added that Mills cannot deny the fact that while he (Osafo-Maafo) left $1,425.6 billion at the time he was leaving the Finance Ministry, the NDC government under which Mills served as Vice-President (Chairman of the Economic Management Team), left a meager foreign exchange reserve of only $233 million.

The question that arises from such a brilliantly relayed statement is very pervasive of the fact that Ghana’s current economic stature in the area of stability of the economy, wealth creation, expansion of our foreign reserves, cancellation and payments of our debt, the deployment of policy implementation blocks that led to prudent fiscal responsibilities and monetary policies etc reaffirms Ghana’s bright future if such a visionary leader is given the mandate.

Readers, it is very remarkable to realize that Osafo-Maafo is the brain behind Ghana’s current economic resilience. Will Atta Mills even be able to gather confidence to debate Osafo-Maafo as he finally becomes the flag bearer of the NPP? If he has compunction, then it would be extremely difficult for him. Undoubtedly, we are not indulging in personal attacks over here as opposed to the NDC’s who attacked President Kufour’s person by relating issues to his brick factory. However, these are legitimate questions that would have to be answered by Atta Mills regarding the reasons for his inability to steer the economy, handle VAT as a professor of tax law and even his failure to effectively supervise the Aveyime Quality grain Project which led to a quantum loss of $20 million dollars to the state. Readers on the other side of the aisle (the NDCs) need to recognize that if one failed so miserably in his performance as a vice president as in the case of Atta Mills’ poor handling of the economy, then there is no second chance for him. Trust me; Atta Mills is a fine gentleman just as Hon. Osafo-Maafo (a visionary leader). However, the presidency goes beyond just being a fine Man. All Ghanaians are looking for a visionary leader who will consolidate the remarkable performance of the current government and move quickly to facilitating high level of capital investment with competition which will subsequently lead to a positive trickle down effect and the multiplier effect which Ghana needs so urgently.


It is a fact that in resuscitating an economy that is at the verge of collapsing, the first remedial block in the series of policy implementations is the stabilization of all the macro-economic indicators which arouses investment thereby leading to trickle down effect. The Honourable Osafo-Maafo did just that. He stabilized the economy and made it more resilient. Now he asking all the NPP delegates to give him the nod for him to trigger the long expected next stage in the economic system by creating trickle down effect so that the ordinary Ghanaian will feel the economic prosperity of the country in their pockets. This among others will make tertiary education the right of every Ghanaian and not a privilege conspicuously reserved for only the rich in our society. There will be accelerated economic growth and development with high level of capital investments. The multiplier effect will be enormous. It takes a visionary leader such as Osafo-Maafo to accomplish such a positive record change in the economy within a timely fashion.


The NPP and Ghana as a whole need a leader who has a visionary acumen, gentle but resolute. A leader who has strong solid records that is monumental not only in his field of specialty but at the peripheries of his specialty. Hon.Osafo-Maafo is the man whose nomination will send shockwaves through Atta Mills and the NDC headquarters’. With Oyeadeeyie, NPP and Ghana’s future is Bright! KUKRUDU! ESHIE! RADO! RADO!

Written by: Francis Opoku Asante (Nana Poku)
Former SRC President of the University of Cape Coast

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