You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2010 05 14Article 181879

Opinions of Friday, 14 May 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Kufuor, A Hero in NPP

By Kwabena Amankwah

Former President Kufuor is certainly a great person in the history of the New Patriotic Party and the nation, and therefore will always occupy a place of prominence in the history of the party/nation.

In spite of the flaws he may have as a natural human being, like the biblical Moses, he availed himself to be used by God to rescue Ghanaians from the tight grips of the suppressive (P) NDC regime under Mr Jerry John Rawlings.

Mr Kufuor must certainly be seen as a hero in the NPP. In fact, his fans may not even be wrong to see him as the most successful leader of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition.

Yes, the fact that he succeeded in returning our political tradition to the corridors of power in 2000, and managed to protect the power till the end of his mandate should automatically make him a real hero in the NPP.

Again, it is the enviable legacy of his government that has become the basis for marking out the NPP as a progressive, forward-looking party, and the NDC as a retrogressive, backward-looking party.

Remember, our party had been in the political wilderness for over 30 years, and the longest the people of Ghana had tasted our government was the eighteen months under the presidency of Edward Akufo-Addo, with Prof Kofi Abrefa Busia as the Prime Minister.

To the nation as whole, Mr Kufuor’s ascension of the presidency in 2000 represented a second independence because the nation had suffered for far too long under the dictatorial Rawlings’ (P)NDC regime which had not only cowed them into silence, but also consigned them to abject poverty and hopelessness.

I wish to capture excerpts of an article I wrote in the Friday, 27 , 2001 edition of The Statesman for a better appreciation of what Mr Kufuor had done for the NPP and the nation at that time. The caption was The Second Independence.

“The good people of Ghana truly suffered for far too long under the brutal, repressive and murderous regime of the political non-starter and his bunch of sadists who used the power of the state to manipulate, cheat, fool, exploit and abuse innocent citizens for their personal aggrandizement.

Thanks be to God-Almighty for helping us to get rid of the strangulating yoke that had for long been an albatross hanging around the necks of the good people of Ghana.

People can now go about their businesses without any fear. All and sundry are free to express their views on all issues of national concern. Petitions that hitherto could not be sent to the government are now being freely sent. This is true liberation – Independence, indeed!

All Ghanaians should know that the second independence that has ushered in the government of NPP under the able leadership of President Kufuor marks the advent of total reforms in the socio-economic-political structures of the country.

It is a real God-sent opportunity which has come to liberate all from the tight grips of the wicked, sadistic and despotic rule of the (P) NDC government.”

This was a mission Mr Kufuor accomplished for the NPP and Ghana. Even though he did not achieve it all by himself alone, the fact that he allowed himself to be used as the vessel means he deserves a place of prominence in the scheme of affairs of the party.

The achievement of his government now represents the success story of our party. That was used in the 2008 elections. It even becomes more persuasive in the next electioneering campaign in view of the mess of cosmic proportion being created by the inept Mills-led NDC government.

The question Apostle has been trying hard to answer is whether or not Mr Kufuor is seen as a real hero by majority of NPP members. What could, for instance, motivate Kwasi Owusu of Nsuta-Kwaman and others of his ilk to treat him as nobody in the NPP? Why is it that the majority of NPP activists seem to be always at the other side of where he stands with regards to taking important decisions concerning the party?

Apostle is somewhat inclined to believe that the question of whether Mr Kufuor is a hero or not would not have been relevant to the NPP is he had handed over the administration of the country to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2009. But, can he blamed for that?

Apostle does not believe it was Mr Kufuor who made it impossible for Nana Akufo-Addo to succeed him, as his detractors claim. In fact, those who believe Mr Kufuor failed in that regard should also take this: that Nana also failed as the presidential candidate; Alan failed as Nana’s closest challenger for the presidential slot; Mac Manu and his team failed; indeed, all of us failed, including Apostle who worked as the campaign correspondent.

So you see, the unwarranted assaults on Mr Kufuor are just untenable in view of the fact that the defeat suffered by Nana Akufo-Addo cannot be attributed to one person. The attacks even become more dangerous and unhelpful for the party when one considers where they have been coming from and the fact that those firing the missiles want their hero to become the next President of Ghana.

Mr Kufuor has indeed done a lot for the NPP and should be seen as a real hero by the majority. Unfortunately, that is not the reality at the moment.

But has the opportunity to enjoy that overwhelming recognition. This will to some extent depend upon what his attitude towards the 2012 electioneering campaign will be.

As a seasoned politician, he must have now seen who the next presidential candidate of the party will be – oh yes, Mr Kufuor’s eyes are always on the grounds, and he certainly knows what his party kingmakers want and will do in August.

My advice to Mr Kufuor is simple: always be on the side of the majority if you want to be seen as a real hero. Remember that it is the masses that create a hero and not the elites who often engage in hero-worship conceived by parochialism and born by political association and patronage.

Mr Kufuor, you laid a solid foundation for the socio-economic development of the nation. You indeed allowed yourself to be used to redeem the nation from a political bondage. Like the biblical Moses, you should have handed over the baton to Nana Akufo-Addo to continue the journey, as Moses did to Joshua. That was the beginning of the problems some people in the party have had with you, unjustifiable though they seem.

I know you are at pains observing from the sidelines the way and manner your legacy is being denigrated by the Mills-led NDC government. You need to rise and take steps that will ensure restoration and further development of that enviable legacy. This is what will ensure the full fulfillment of the mission God wants to use our party to fulfill for the nation.

Some people think you are vindictive; others think you have problem with the character of Nana Akufo-Addo, and so you would not like him to be the President of Ghana; others claim if Alan had been elected the presidential candidate in 2008, you would have moved heaven and earth to make sure that he succeeded you.

Apostle does not share in this belief – my belief is that our party’s defeat was meant to teach all of us as party members some lessons. I think we are all bitterly taking those lessons. I was so much touched when you called on all of us to “repent” when you addressed the Thanksgiving Service at the Wesley Cathedral in Kumasi that followed our recent Delegates Conference.

The 2012 election presents an opportunity for you to either prove your detractors wrong or confirm the negative views they hold against you. Forget about whatever they have been saying and doing against you; remember that blood is thicker than water; and help the man you described at the 2007 Legon Congress as the chip of the old block to take over the reigns of government, to restore and build upon your legacy. In this regard, you will enjoy the real hero status in the party you have toiled for throughout your political career.

Finally, I seek the pardon of my numerous readers for the unintentional error I committed in the last week article under the caption, ALAN CAN RETURN NPP TO POWER. Victor Owusu was rather associated with PFP while Paa Willie was for UNC (and not ANC). Thanks and God bless you all for both the approbation and insults.

The author is freelance journalist and Associate Consultant of EagleWay Communications Consult. amaskwabena@yahoo.com 0244-217504.