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Opinions of Saturday, 18 November 2006

Columnist: Agyemang, Nana Kwabena Osei

Can Professor Mills tell us where Antwi Bosiako is?

Examining the weak decision-making skills of J.E.A Mills

In July this year when Prof Mills returned from his major life-saving medical treatment in South Africa he announced a complete change in his campaign team. At the same time that Prof Mills announced that Ayariga was going to be his spokesperson, he also announced that former eastern regional government official Antwi Bosiako had been made his new campaign manager. My sources tell me that four months since this announcement nobody has heard of Antwi Bosiako, who is currently still in the UK. The so-chosen campaign manager has not yet stepped foot in Ghana, let alone make a campaign statement or defend the professor in any of the campaign issues involving him. My question is why would Atta Mills come out to declare that Antwi Bosiako is his campaign manager when he knows the man will not be available for the job? This could not be a mere coincidence. Professor Mills has a major decision-making weakness that has plagued all his campaigns.

Sit back and follow this analysis and you will end up understanding why Professor Mills has never been able to strategise to win any elections. Professor Mills is deficient when it comes to political decision-making and I will tell you why.

During the 2000 elections Prof. Mills chose Commodore Steve Obimpeh, a former minister of state as his campaign manager. Trend watchers agree that Cdre Obimpeh never made one single campaign statement. In fact with his background as an ex-serviseman Obimpeh did an excellent job by pursuing the logistics work of the team while on the other side Jake Obetsebi Lamptey was out there whipping Mills on behalf of Kufuor. Do you blame Obimpeh for not doing what a campaign manager should do? Certainly NO. Blame Mills for making the wrong decision in selecting a manager that was not up to the task.

Hold your breath! In 2003 Prof Mills chose former Greater Accra Regional Minister Joshua Alarbi as his campaign manager. Honorable Alarbi is believed to have performed as campaign manager for not more than 50 days. On paper Alarbi was the manager but after 50 days Kwamena Ahwoi was doing the rest of the campaign work. Meanwhile on Prof. Mills’ records Alarbi remained the campaign manager until his return from South Africa in July 2006 when he announced a new team to run his campaign. Even when the 2004 elections were over the indecisive professor never terminated Alarbi’s appointment until July 2006 when he chose his new team.

In 2000 Mills made the unfortunate decision of choosing Martin Hamidu whom nobody knew, to be his running mate, when everybody was asking him to select John Mahama. Evaluating the election afterwards it was found that Hamidu did not add a single vote to what Mills won in the elections. Do you blame Hamidu for under-performing? Wait a minute. Professor Mills made a bad decision by choosing Martin above John.

An indecisive man will always show his weakness in decision-making even if he receives a million chances to correct his deeds. In 2004, when the masses were waiting on him to come out with a running mate, he was making promises to John Mahama that he (John) will be the man. John did not bang his hopes on it, knowing that Mills could make the wrong choice again. People! when Mills announced the name of his vice presidential candidate it was not Mahama, it was Mumuni.

Mahama was not surprised. Three weeks after Mumuni had been selected he was involved in a motor accident at 3:00 am after midnight. Where he went, where he was coming from, that is still a mystery. But what matters is that Mumuni’s contribution to the Mills campaign became insignificant. He was virtually absent in the Mills campaign and is believed to have contributed zero votes to the Mills lot. Analysts argue that if the professor had chosen Mahama things would have been different. But who do you blame for the mishap? That is what the Mills decision-making skill can deliver.

The question is if Mills believes that vice presidential candidates can be changed for non-performance why can’t presidential candidates be changed for whatever reasons, including non-performance.

People with weak decision skills always rely on others to make crucial but also very simple decisions. Even a baby born today in Ghana knows that Prof. Mills has said he will consult Rawlings 24 hours a day for decisions concerning Ghana. This was not an accident. Prof. Atta Mills has never been his own man. He is still consulting Kwamena Ahwoi, Ato Ahwoi, Kofi Totobi Kwakye, Victor Smith, Ayariga and Nii Lante. Can he ever be his own man?

He actually has a difficulty with decision-making, and this statement: “I will consult Rawlings 24 hours a day”, is the propaganda material that brought the NPP into power in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. I hate to say this but it would be used again if Mills becomes the NDC flagbearer.

But folks, if you have a candidate struggling to manage his own campaign team, making one wrong decision after the other, which has caused him two or three important opportunities to become the president of Ghana, would you bang your hopes on him to decide your future? Professor Mills has always decided wrongly to the detriment of the NDC and he will do it again. If Prof. Mills will decide wrongly for the NDC as a flagbearer, he will make worse decisions if he ever becomes the president of Ghana.

Somebody tell John Atta Mills that he has changed his campaign advisers three times, changed his campaign team three times, changed his vice presidential candidates twice, and still things have not worked for him. It is time for he himself to be changed. I make this call to the NDC national executives, NDC members of parliament, NDC national delegates, members of the Mills advisory team, the office of former president Rawlings, all NDC sympathisers and fellow Ghanaians to, in the interest of the party and Ghana, discourage Professor Mills from running for the NDC primaries again. Prof. Mills must not be allowed to run for the NDC congress because he will only be blocking the party’s chances of ever winning elections in Ghana



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