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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Columnist: Ansah. Emmanuel Kofi

Much talk about competence among NPP aspirants

As the days draw nearer for congress to decide on whom best lead the NPP to victory 2008, aspirants are surrounding themselves with accolades and phrases like “I am the competent one.” One wonders the kind of competence they are talking about. Is it the competence of being a Minister or what?

There are different types of competence such as technical competence, academic competence and the rest. But I have observed that the much talk about competence by almost all the NPP aspirants is academic or technical competence. Is that alone enough to secure victory for NPP?

The oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines competence as a skill that you need in a particular job or for a particular task. It also defines competent as having enough skill or knowledge to do something well or to the necessary standard. So, who amongst the NPP aspirants has the skill needed in the job of a President or posses enough skill or knowledge to perform as a President to the necessary standard? Is it not the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama? Is he not the only aspirant that shares the presidency with President Kufuor and as such posses the enough skill and knowledge to lead the NPP and rule as a President?

Beyond that, what Alhaji Aliu Mahama brings on board as an additional trait is political competence which covers a wide gamut of areas. The political terrain has change over the years and people all over the world, now look for other traits than just academic and technical competence in their political leaders especially the floating voters, who in most cases decides who win elections.

There is no doubt that 2008 will be decided by floating voters and who best appeals to them will win the election. What floating voters look for; is a presidential candidate who is a listener and has the ability to re – unite the nation after the elections. A personality that cut across the political divide and brings people from different background on board. Somebody who will not discriminate in terms of religion, tribe and can ensure regional balance as enshrined in our constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy. A Presidential material who respects humanity and commands respect both on the local and the international scene. A personality with good moral record and can serve as an example for the rest of the people. These are all added qualities and the trump card of Alhaji Aliu Mahama which makes him stand tall in the midst of all the aspirants. Again, the Vice President has over the years conducted himself very well without any stains or excess baggage.

Even though Volta Region has long been declared as no go area for the NPP, but the demeanour and the current position of Aliu Mahama has won the heart of the people of Volta Region and all the other areas that are said to be waterloo for NPP. If NPP wants to win floating voters and make significant in rolls into such no – go areas, then it is incumbent on the delegates to vote for the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. Mind you, he is the only NPP aspirant that has been accorded with a chieftaincy title by the people of Volta Region.

Additionally, there are also competences that have to do with the ability of an individual to perform a particular task distinctively; that is conscious competence and unconscious competence. The Vice President has the unconscious competence which talks about an individual who has had so much practice with a skill that it becomes “second nature” and can be performed easily, often without concentrating too deeply. The other aspirants have the conscious competence which talks about an individual who understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating that skill or knowledge requires a great deal of consciousness or concentration.

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has been at the Presidency for seven (7) years now and acted as a President with distinction on several occasions. The act of a President has therefore become his “second nature” that he will perform as such with ease. But the other aspirants have only an idea of how a presidency is run.

Dear NPP delegates, why bring a new person to experiment with the presidency whiles we have Aliu Mahama who has been working at the presidency and has even acted as a President before without any problem. Alhaji Aliu Mahama posses the competence of running a presidency but the other aspirants have the competence of running at best a Ministry, since their only highest position in government is that of a Minister. Your guess therefore is as good as mine, as to who best lead NPP to victory 2008. The destiny of NPP is in our hands. Vote wisely.

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