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Opinions of Saturday, 5 August 2006

Columnist: Agyemang, AllenJoe Opoku

NPP - At The Threshold Of A New Frontier

Ghana’s democratic dispensation has reached a near-consolidation point, making it an enviable feat in the sub-Saharan Africa. We are now enjoying over a decade of democracy after years of military dictatorship, which is sometimes attributable to the negative impact of colonialism. The meaningful headway and the unparallel success is so glare in the eyes of both the contributors and the critics alike. With the two main political parties having two terms of governance each, the 2008 elections is a decisive and a determinant programme to make or break the stability of governance, the progressive economic environment and liberties brewed from the cauldron, that was full of threat, animosity, vendetta, culture of silence and bloodshed.

We as a nation now stands at the threshold of a new era that needs a focus leader with zeal, tenacity and skill to bring the nation to its destined state. What is now significant is sound judgement with reference to a leader with an analytical mind, a decisive and a conclusive sense of purpose, who can discern the time? Good leadership has been a matter of importance because we have had leaders who have exaggerated their own role in getting things done and taken credits for popular and successful courses that they’ve once or twice criticize.

Discerning the time There has been a lot of focus and discussion on age in Political leadership. To some age is irrelevant and to others it is a premium, basing their argument on experience. The argument continues because the pro aged advocates believes vision and direction is best delivered by an ‘older and more seasoned politician’ whiles those with youthful ages are skewed towards renewal, re-strengthening and regeneration thus offering , younger’ and fresher leadership . If I have an opportunity to contribute, then I will start by saying age is just one issue and not the issue for the leadership race. Secondly, age is no indicator of effectiveness as well as efficiency. Political maturity does not stem from chronological age but involvement and track record. President J.F Kennedy was 44years when he became the President of United states of America and had more election experience than his contemporaries. At the age of 43 Tony Blair, became the youngest Prime Minister in Britain since 1812. How old was Dr Nkrumah, when he became president? We should concern ourselves with the ability of the leadership to get society to enjoy the benefit of steady increase in real income through sustainable development

Unto us a Leader is given

The global external acclamation of the current government’s successes in the area of the macroeconomic development, stability and the much cherished liberty has reached a point where the ordinary citizen needs to experience its tangibility.

After looking carefully at the supposed aspirants for the NPP Presidential candidature, I believe there is a certain personality that has been missing in the rumour. It is the grievous exclusion of the ‘journeying gentleman’ who is well tanned and tailored in command with such bold optimistic and persistence action. The realistic genius who does not mince words and calls dictatorship by its name, whiles showing a concerted effort at not only bungling but bundling and destroy all remnants of its kind (dictatorship) in which ever form it may exist. Thus the name Dan Botwe is akin to all elements that fight the fostering of dictatorship. The former General Secretary of the NPP and former Minister for Information is associated with leadership greatness; he has been a beacon that has lightened the path of both the downtrodden and aristocrats in society and has appealed to their best hopes not their worst fears. The strength of Dan in moving NPP and the nation forward lays the following; Highly Sociable and outgoing: The excellence of this trait is because of the role that the media play in contemporary Politics Hardworking and persistence: Dan has been successful in his career because of his administrative competence and his persistence to see a set agenda fulfilled. Open mindedness and dynamism: His great concern for the less fortunate has always caused him to question traditional values and try new ways of doing things in other to get results.

His litany of accomplishment as a student politician when he served as NUGS(National Union of Ghana Students) Secretary during the dreaded period of military insurrection and it’s attendant culture of silence , here he served as a strong voice of discernment , one whose power of speech and assemblage of words calmed many nerves. He had an essential moderating influence on Rawlings extremism thus preventing Ghana from descending into the unimaginable chaos that has engulfed our neighbours in Cote D’voire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. His reliability and loyalty to the student’s front was unquestionable as he stood firm in the midst of pouching and couching to betray the union for personal comforts and economic gains.

His role as an active member and then Secretary of the NPP are just snippets of a long list of torrents of achievements.

Political Winner

Rekindled by the passion for public service, he has shown great fortitude, as a good negotiator, and a blunt candid approach to issues. As a team player, he has marched to the music of his time and colleagues yet his mission has always remained timeless and resolute. He dared conventions and norms to change the current and challenging times, no wonder he caused a big surprise when he annexed the General Secretary position from overwhelming favourites like Agyenim Boateng and Kakra Esamoah.

Again as General Secretary he connected the party to government in such a symbiotic understanding. “General” as people normally refer to him has on record been a strong pillar behind the two (2) general elections chalked by the NPP.

Whiles others revealed fatal defects in their personalities in the harsh arena of the struggle where speed and action was required in decision making, he showed such characteristic pace, enthusiasm, energy and vigour and together with his colleagues and a co-ordinated effort with government orchestrated outright wins for 6 by-elections(2000 – 2004). Thus the presence, help and inclusion of Dan Botwe in electoral victories is synonymous to guarantee. One Shudders to think why the NPP has lost all it’s by elections ever since Dan Botwe left the Secretary General position. Of course his fighting element, tenacity and hard work have been sorely missed by the party executives.



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