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Opinions of Sunday, 7 October 2007

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Kufuor is Not a Realist Politician

John Agyekum Kufuor has kept the entire NPP Party in darkness for not being able to take a bold initiative to come and support a candidate who he actually believes from his heart can lead the nation to achieve its economic stability and social unity.

The essence of Kufuor’s refusal to take such a strong decision as the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo reflects his weakness as a leader who cannot take strong initiative on his own. As a leader of a nation for seven years, with just one year of his term in office remaining Kufuor cannot acquaint with Ghanaians the best candidate among the 17 NPP presidential aspirants to succeed him. Kufuor’s political neutrality is not the right thing for him and the nation. Kufuor is paranoid to announce who the best candidate is to succeed him. His refusal is infuriating the whole process. As a chief executive and leader of a party you need to speak up regardless what the media will say. For instance, if a person who is not capable of assuming the leadership position but nevertheless is able to influence these delegates with his money and win the nomination and later become the president, then what is going to happen? Nigeria has more ethnic diversity than Ghana, but Obasanjo a realist politician was able to tell his fellow contryman what he wants and the type of leader he deems best to service the Nigerians after the end of his presidency. This is what a leader is supposed to prove to his citizens the hegemonic authority he or she has.

Based on survey I conducted while I was in Ghana Kufuor’s approval ratings are over 70% but he can’t use this political capital to proclaim his successor. Kufuor should stop playing ethnic politics and come out and support the candidate of his choice who will be his Joseph to lead the nation after his term. He is the only person who has employed a majority of them for the past seven years of his administration and has studied their work performance. Kufuor needs to use his common sense judgment to declare his choice as he has done in his own family by choosing her daughter Nana Ama as his darling girl among his children. Upon conducting my interviews in Saltpong and Mankessim on these issues a majority of the NPP supporters and even some NDC members are surprised that Kufuor has not come out to endorse his choice of candidate. They even use the NDC founder Jerry John Rawlings as an example for taking bold initiative to support John Evens Attah Mills as his choice. This is what the majority of NPP supporters I talked with anticipate exactly from Kufuor i,e, to pick a good candidate for the next 2008 election. Kufuor should deplore for his refusal to endorse of the candidate he prefers. I asked some NPP elites most of whom will have the opportunity to become one of the national delegates to elect the presidential nominee from among the entire pool of candidates which one they all prefer that Kufuor endorse as his replacement. These individuals said to me they preferred Alan Kyerematen. I asked because of his ethnic background. They said no, their vote is not based on ethnicity they have voted for Kufuor twice even though he is not from the area. They have full confidence that Alan Kyerematen is their next Joseph; as Joseph was chosen by God to lead the Israelis from the hands of their adversaries. A majority of the women I talked with in Ghana are dying to cast their votes for Alan” K,” as the new name they call him, during the next general elections. They said his PSI initiatives have helped many of them now to become entrepreneurs. I asked about Yaw Osafo Maafo. They said he is too corrupt to become the next president, because he has used his position to enrich himself overnight. Kufuor is a human being who has emotions like everybody else. He needs to come out and let the world know who he wants to lead the county. This is imperative for his party and the nation. Keeping it salient on these issues is a critical premise of freedom of speech.

From; Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)

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