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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Columnist: Manu, Yaw P. K.

Akufo-Addo for president - A patriotic national agenda


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ANYONE WHO SAYS THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN POLITICS IS LIKE A DROWNING MAN WHO INSISTS HE IS NOT INTERESTED IN WATER – Mahatma Gandhi

Fellow Ghanaians

At its last Super Delegates Conference to elect the first five candidates to compete for the flagbearership position of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo polled 598 votes representing 80.81%. His closest competitor, Alan John Kwodjo Kyerematen polled 59 votes representing 5.9%. This was an overwhelming endorsement by the Super Delegates. No wonder, it has amplified calls for the other contestants to step down for Nana Akufo-Addo. Already, Hon. Joe Ghartey and Hon. Osei Ameyaw have stepped down and declared their support for Nana Akufo-Addo.

But, beyond all these, it will be prudent for us, the good people of Ghana, to sit back and think, and ask ourselves, why the New Patriotic Party seems keen on presenting Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the people of Ghana as its presidential candidate, and subsequently, President of Ghana?

After all, the capability of a Political Party is reflected primarily in two things: 1. the ability to effectively manage national resources to the maximum benefit of the citizenry 2. The ability to protect the civil choice of the citizenry, when called to make a decision, on who they want to bestow their political authority to.

While the NPP has satisfied the first criterion, under President John Agyekum’ Kufuor, they seem to have fallen short on the second. Interestingly, it is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who as flagbearer has led the New Patriotic Party to its recent two electoral defeats; and though the composition of the National Executive Officers of the Party has changed twice, led by the same Presidential candidate, the Party is still in opposition!

So the same baffling question arises – why does it seem, that the majority of members, supporters, and sympathisers of the NPP, as well as a cross-section of the Ghanaian public, are still clamouring for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo? Why is he being tagged as Ghana’s best hope in these gloomy times, and by the grace of God, the next best President of the fourth Republic?

Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a man with pure patriotic passion for his motherland, Ghana. He is a man with a big vision for his motherland Ghana. He is a man determined to successfully execute his mission of realizing his vision for his motherland, which he loves with so much passion.

HIS PASSION:

Nana Akufo-Addo’s national patriotism has been a “family thing”. It transcends generations and spreads to all branches of his family. Three of the “Big Six — the founding fathers of Ghana — were his relatives: J. B. Danquah (Grand Uncle), William Ofori-Atta (Uncle) and Edward Akufo-Addo (the third Chief Justice of Ghana, and later ceremonial President of the Republic from 1969 to 1972), who was his father. Additionally, His father’s house, Betty House, at Korle Wokor in Accra, became the headquarters of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

Born and raised in the Nima area, Nana Addo grew up exhibiting traits of a true patriot and a future political leader whose only desire, is to lead a people who will be empowered to develop their full potential, in a free environment, to the overall benefit of the country.

One distinguishing feature of Nana Akufo-Addo that left no doubt about his passion for his country, was his penchant to come back to his homeland after each stage of his education or career development abroad, to offer his enriched knowledge to the service of Mother Ghana.

After completing his Ordinary level and Advanced levels of education in England, Nana Addo returned to Ghana to offer his services as a teacher at Accra Academy Secondary School. This was only five years after Ghana had attained its independence. The social and economic climate was uncertain. The black man was now fully taking over the affairs of managing his country.

There were some fears as to whether the change-over would hold. There were questions as to whether the Ghanaian would be able to manage the various institutions of state and whether we could maintain and even improve on the standards our colonial masters had bequeathed to us. It was the era of President Kwame Nkrumah, when followers of the Danquah/Busia Dombo tradition of which Nana Akufo-Addo’s father was a member, were being hounded for expressing views contrary to President Nkrumah’s ideology. It was a fine time, for the weak hearted, non-patriotic Ghanaian to cozily hibernate overseas and wait for the right time “to drop down”. But not Nana Akufo-Addo.

Again, having studied Law in England, and called to the English Bar, Nana Addo practiced his profession in France for three years, before returning to Ghana to co-found Akufo-Addo, Prempeh, and Co. in 1979; a firm which later went on to produce distinguished lawyers like Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sophia Akufo, Dan Afari-Yeboah of “What Do You Know” fame, former Attorney General Joe Ghartey, and celebrated constitutional lawyer, Yoni Kulendi. With Ghana bordered to the North, East, and West, by French-speaking countries, Nana Akufo-Addo’s legal practice in France and his fluency in French had empowered him to serve Ghana even better.

HIS VISION:

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes that the only way that Ghana can take its rightful place in this challenging global environment is if its people are offered a free and equal platform to develop their potential to the apex, within the confines of the law.

He believes in the freedom of expression. Nana Addo believes that in order for a nation to prosper and for multi-party democracy to thrive, there is the need for a free and vibrant media to offer the citizenry, ample platforms to express their views on matters affecting nation building. He also believes that a free and vibrant media serves as an important tool in fighting corruption, thereby making governments more accountable to the people.

As an entrepreneur, Nana Addo has on several occasions called for a radical industrialization of the national economy. He believes in the need for Ghana to shift to the production and exportation of finished foods, instead of depending on highly perishable goods which always puts the country at the lower end of global trade.

He believes that the continuous dependence in the export of primary products which are often at the mercy of international price fluctuations is the bane of the country’s economic woes. On several platforms, the distinguished politician has called for the training of Ghanaians to prepare them to harness the opportunities that an industrialized economy will offer. It is in this vein that the 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP offered to provide free secondary school education, as part of his campaign message.

A distinguished professional politician, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes in the sanctity of the electoral process leading to the election of a political leader. He believes that for the political leader of a country to successfully steer the affairs of a nation, there is the need for the electoral process to be executed in accordance with laws. Nana Akufo- Addo believes that it is only when the outcome of the elections is a true reflection of the choice of the people that they will have no qualms following and supporting their leader, to realize the promises he made.

At the launch of the NPP’s 2012 manifesto at the International Press Center, in Accra, Nana Akufo-Addo cautioned, “it is not in anyone’s interest that Ghanaians will be cynical about politics”. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes in the need for political leaders to fulfill promises they make to the electorate during campaigns. He believes that political party manifestos should not turnout to be booklets containing non-attainable promises, primarily meant to deceive the citizenry to vote along a certain line.

Nana Addo believes that making flowery political promises to the people with no intention of honouring them brings the political profession into disrepute and cast doubts on the capability and relevance of political leaders. For him, political promises are sacred and he is well positioned and very capable of delivering on his campaign promises … to the letter.

HIS MISSION:

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been working tirelessly to materialize his vision of a free, vibrant, industrialized, and successful Ghana which can live up to its reputation, as the Black Star of Africa. As part of efforts to ensure a platform of true freedom of expression, he used his law practice to champion the cause human right and the freedom and plurality of the media.

He is well known for giving free legal assistance to the poor and needy. He is also well known to have taken up cases against the state which sought to stifle the freedom of the media. A number of seasoned journalists, including Kwaku Baako Jnr., Kofi Coomson and Haruna Atta, have been beneficiaries of legal assistance from Nana Addo’s law practice.

As the first Attorney-General in President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government, one of his first actions in office was to have the criminal libel law repealed from our statute books. This was very significant as it eliminated the fear of imprisonment for expressing one views. It allowed for a more intrusive media which in turn kept government on its toes.

This singular action also led further liberalization of the airwaves leading to the establishment of many radio and TV stations as well as newspaper companies, all of which further deepened multi-party democracy in the country, and created many jobs.

Recognising the need for an efficient telecommunication network to serve an efficient business sector, Nana Akufo Addo in 1992introduced the first mobile telecommunication company into the country, Millicom Ghana Ltd, operators of Mobitel. This was at a time when people had to join long queues at dawn, at the post office, just to make a phone call. Personal and business communication was slow, cumbersome, and unreliable.

Mobile internet was not in our communications dictionary. Millicom Ghana Ltd was later to introduce the digital mobile phone network, which later came to be known as “Tigo”, to offer competition to MTN. The introduction of” Tigo” into the mobile telephony industry led to a drastic reduction in the cost of GSM telephony, while bringing healthy competition to the industry. Overnight, the price of a mobile phone chip reduced from ?360,000 to GH?1.00.

The introduction of “Tigo”, apart from creating the attractive platform for other mobile telephony companies to enter the market, also led to the creation of millions of jobs directly and indirectly, and also significantly enhanced business operations in the country. Personal and business communication improved significantly, in no small way, opening up Ghana to the potentials of global business. The brain power of a political visionary had been manifested.

Another area of business where Nana Addo lent his vision is the courier industry. He introduced the first express courier service, “DHL”, into the country. Prior to this, the only courier service available in the country was that offered by the state-owned Ghana Post (then Post and Telecommunications). Though their services were poor and one could not guarantee that their posted items would arrive at their destinations, we had to do with that.

There was no alternative. The introduction of “DHL” into the courier industry changed everything. Apart from offering a valuable, dependable, and efficient courier service to enhance business in Ghana, it also created a platform to attract other competitors into the courier industry. The state-owned Ghana Post was compelled to wake up to the challenge of competition. They responded with (Expedited Mail Service) “EMS”.

Today, the Courier and Telecommunication industries in Ghana have been revolutionalised because of the vision of an individual. The way business in Ghana is done, has totally changed. One only has to sit back a few minutes to appreciate the number of jobs Nana Addo’s initiatives have created. One only has to look around to appreciate the amount of revenue Nana Addo’s initiatives have brought into the country. One only has to sit back and reflect on how Nana Addo’s initiatives have made life a lot easier for us. That is the mark of visionary, competent and efficient political leadership.

ELECTORAL TURBULENCE:

A lawyer, and so a deep respecter of the laws of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s primary political desire has been that the outcome of any election will be the true reflection of the choice of the people. For Nana Addo, an attempt to rig an election is an attempt to denigrate and undermine the voice of God, which rests in the people. “The sanctity of the ballot”, is a song he’s been singing since entering active politics.

Indeed, I dare say that it is this innate desire of Nana Addo to see to it that presidential elections especially, are conducted in accordance with the law so as not to truncate the choice of the people, which has led to his electoral defeats. While Nana Addo has worked tirelessly to protect the right of the people to choose a President who will be reflective of their choice, his political opponents have had no problem violating our electoral laws to choose a President, even if that person is not the true choice of the people.

MESSAGE TO THE PARTY DELEGATES:

On October 18, 2014, the NPP will elect someone to lead the Party to the 2016 Presidential Elections. It is a fact that Ghanaians are now chewing their nails as they reflect on the political choice they made in 2012.

Unfortunately, for the NPP, there have been some few “hot” incidents which have led some patriotic Ghanaians to worry, as to whether the Party is prepared to take over the management of dear Country. As such, there could be no clearer signal to send to our fellow despondent Ghanaians, than a resounding victory for Nana Addo to lead the Party to the 2016 Presidential elections.

By that, we will be telling the good people of Ghana that we have heard their cry for Nana Addo , and by that, all sides in the NPP will be more than willing and humble, to follow Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP in unity, to victory 2016.

THE PATRIOTIC NATIONAL MISSION:

Today, our dear Ghana is faced with a myriad of problems in the areas of the economy, health, and education. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has shown that, in Politics, good intentions and flowery promises are not enough. The mark of successful political leadership is reflected in his ability to not only have a vision for Ghana, but to go the extra mile of translating that vision into reality, and further, for that vision to have an endless positive rippling effect on a nation. Nana Addo as a private citizen of Ghana has done this. As President of Ghana, he can do way more.

I am by this piece, urging all Ghanaians to each make it a personal patriotic national agenda, to ensure that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is elected as the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate at the Party’s October 18th Congress, and subsequently, Ghana’s next President in 2016.

“NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO FOR PRESIDENT 2016” THIS SHOULD BE OUR NEXT PATRIOTIC NATIONAL AGENDA!!!

I remain:

YAW P. K. MANU

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