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Opinions of Monday, 20 October 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Is Former President Kufour Haunted?

Oops! Former President Kufuor is shying from active participation in the upcoming NPP internal Delegates Congress to choose their flagbearer for Election 2016. His excuse, as flimsy as discerning Ghanaians find it, is that he does not have to vote for any of the contesting candidates (Nana Akufo Addo, Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremateng and Francis Addai Nimoh) because he loves the three candidates equally.

I personally disagree with the view as expressed by former President Kufuor. While I was in primary school many decades ago, at Civic Education lessons, we were taught about the categorizations of citizens in a country into some principal characters.

These are:

• Good citizen: A good citizen is one who properly fulfils his or her role as a citizen e.g. paying taxes, exercising the right to vote, not having baseless animosity towards his or her neighbour, not stealing, etc.

• Bad citizen: A bad citizen is anyone who does not play by the stipulated statutory rules but probably does criminal things e.g. stealing, abusing their neighbour’s right, etc.

• Active citizen: An active citizen is one who fulfils both their rights and responsibilities in a balanced way.

• Passive citizen: A citizen who is not active or not participating perceptibly in an activity, organization, etc.

With the above brief definitions and categorizations, the failure of former President Kufuor to cast his vote on Saturday 18 October 2014 does not only raise a question mark over the quality of his Statesmanship, but also, makes him appear a bad and a passive citizen. He, choosing to play the role of neutrality above participation raises an eyebrow. A credible Statesman always lives by example which becomes emulative to the ordinary citizen. By staying away from participating in elections with such an insubstantial excuse is not worthy of a former President of the Republic of Ghana who claims to be an outstanding Statesman.

In primary school as said, we were taught and encouraged to be good and active citizens. Living in passivity is even discouraged by the bible. It says at Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”.

Therefore, former President Kufuor’s desire to remain nonchalant in a neutral position, staying completely away from the NPP Congressional election to choose a flagbearer in such a critical situation makes him a damned passive citizen. For a person fiercely protective of his claim to a qualitatively unrivalled statesmanship in the annals of Ghana’s presidency and governance to stay away from his party’s internal elections is unfortunate at best. To base his reason on not knowing who to vote for because he loves all three candidates equally is irresponsibleness at its highest.

If many Ghanaians had thought and behaved as he is doing, then he would never have been voted for to become the President of Ghana. It is his civic duty to vote at elections, leading by example if he really feels proud as Ghana’s best Statesman so far. He should not be childish in his presumptions; underestimating the intelligence of Ghanaians.

Does he think Ghanaians are too stupid to not know, and to not have noticed, his unhindered divisive role he is playing in support of Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremateng? With all the dirty politicking, purposeful character assassinations with the potential to cost NPP election 2016, what has former President Kufuor said about it? He has absolutely said nothing about it. Is his silence in such a critical situation a quality of a credible statesman?

Although it is said, “Silence is virtue”, it should not be at the expense of the success of your party. A Chinese proverb says, “During an election if the wise people refuse to vote, the fools will go to the polls to elect a fool to rule both the wise and the fools”. A word to the wise is enough. President Kufuor can only fool himself but nobody else. He should go to the polls to vote for his most preferable candidate, Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremateng.

Written on Saturday, 18 October 2014.