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Opinions of Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Columnist: Asante, Francis Opoku

NPP's Collective Responsibility in Selecting ...

NPP's Collective Responsibility in Selecting the Presidential Candidate; Recapitulated

As recapitulating ontogeny has been embraced as a pivotal concept in psychology, it is equally significant to recapitulate a basic but salient concept in politics, and that is the realization of principles of collective responsibility.

According to Feinberg’s explanation to collective responsibility by limiting it to group liability without fault, it is characterized by a phenomena where by a whole group is held morally responsible for the actions of one or several of its members. Thus, there is a sense of shared responsibility amongst solid parties organizations, societies, religions and communities. Dissipation of a sense of collective responsibility creeps into organizations when individualism temporarily sets in among few others due to a contest within the group. The happening of the later necessitates constant reminder and sensitizations emanating from the rank and file, the more awakened individuals and the advisory-role players within the same organizations or parties. A case in study is the NPP which was a formidable opposition party for many years and finally emerged victoriously through hard work, solidarity, self dedication and the political will to put all on the front line, as the ruling party in Government as of now. The performance within less than 7 years has been phenomenal as compared to a 20 year abysmal rule by the defunct PNDC/NDC which has been in opposition and has lost two major elections leading to their frustrations than ever. NPP’s success story became possible through our sense of collective responsibility which has been characterized by self-dedication as a party, by realizing that the actions or inactions of one or few others could affect the whole party and that development in freedom should be the hallmark of all fronts, be it the economy, religion, politics etc. It is very imperative to realize that each member of the NPP party has a role to play in inculcating the spirit and significance of collective responsibility in one another as we gear up to congress to for the selection of the flagbearership. With our solid track record as conspicuous as it is now, the future is bright for the party and Ghanaians as a whole; however, the following parameters need to be carefully looked into in a concerted fashion as our decisive victory hinges on them.


The correlation between selecting a party’s candidate and its winning chances is very high, even though numerous factors account for a party’s decisive victory in elections. In the case of the NPP, the selection should be based on who is more equipped to beat Atta Mills in terms of solid records, Presidential persona, and grasp on the economy and finally who made a monumental promise and was able to deliver when the opportunity availed itself in ones life. Osafo-Maafo stands out among the lot in all the enumerated Parameters. More so, taking into consideration, our current political dispensation and the Atta Mills factor with the promulgation of the “Asomdwee hene” message. Even though Atta Mills’ lone message of “asomdwee hene” is not resonating enough to win election, it changes the political dynamics as opposed to the Jerry Boom Rawlings’ era. This is not to say that the other candidates are not within the parameters. They are, but the current dynamics make Osafo-Maafo well suited to be the flag bearer. The Hon. Osafo-Maafo is credited among the NPPs and the NDCs as a man who reaches across the aisle whenever necessarily, in moving national policies forward and that epitomizes the spirit of all inclusiveness which is the hallmark of a nation builder as well as a visionary leader which Ghana needs so much at this stage in our political spectrum. He is more appealing to swing voter or if you will, independent voters. The selection of a polarizing candidate will be directly opposite to the “asodwee hene’s factor” and hence our doom.

God forbid! A more significant point to note over here, relates to the fact that during the Rawlings’ era the political scene was more radical and hence called for intelligently radical opponents of the likes of the late Prof.Adu Boahen.However, the present political dynamic calls for a more intelligently resolute but moderate with the peaceful and matured persona coupled with solid track record to meet Atta Mills squarely in squashing his “asomdwee hene”lone message

Secondly, the campaign or our fight to the NDC would be based on the solid track record of each of the candidates, I mean monumental records not a mere one and more so, who was able to make the most historic impact on Ghana’s economy within the shortest period and hence should be given the mandate to consolidate and accelerate economic growth, and economic development. The Honorable Osafo-Maafo stands out as his record speaks for itself and will forever be in the books of records. He turned Ghana ’s economy around within less than 4 years with numerous vibrant policy enactments and implementations within a timely fashion to the surprise of his admirers and pundits as well. Atta Mills’ 8 years as the chairman of the economic management team saw inflation high-rocketing, Ghana ’s debt soaring at a rapid rate, interest rate climaxing, depreciation of the cedi to the lowest minimum, trade deficits, ghost names pervading the national payroll system.

The abysmal performance of Atta Mills and for that matter the PNDC/NDC on the economy goes on and on. On the positive side of the coin, the most vibrant Finance Minister who was named the best Finance Minister in the whole of Africa changed the negative economic indicators created by the ‘defunct’ NDC/PNDC within less than a period of 4 years. No wonder the Honorable stated without mincing words and I quote,” it is not about telling people what one would be able to do when given the nod to lead this country but it is about telling the people what one ever promised doing and was able to do for which reason one should be given the chance to do what he says he would do." Besides the Ministry of Finance, the honourable’s track record at the NIB, BHC, UNDP, AU, National Trust Holding Company, Nestle Ghana Limited, Redco Limited, PSCP (Gh) Limited, Plant Pool Limited, Chairman of CME Board of Directors, National Development Planning Commission etc reaffirms his versatility and the trend of his dedication to the course of his conviction. This man is highly equipped with what it takes to beat Atta Mills hands down. The NPP and for that matter Ghana needs such a genius with rich experience and visionary skills to lead this country. Resoundingly, the Honourable’s leadership skills was not limited to just his area of specialty but was also extended to the Ministry of Education, Youth&Sports by historically leading Ghana (the black stars)to the world Cup Tournament for the first time.


In going back to the principle of collective responsibility, it could be comprehensible that even though, the selection of the flag bearer lies in the hands of the delegate, it is each members responsibility to sensitize the delegates on the need to put the party first by vehemently avoiding all undue influences against their national and moral conscience thereby selecting a candidate who can easily beat Atta Mills without a run-off.


Collective responsibility has been propelling factor of all vibrant organizations. This sense has led the party to two consecutive decisive victories in two successive elections. The eminent party fathers have been echoing the same sound I am vibrating over here because of its importance to the way forward for our party and the country as a whole. A wrong selection will send the party and Ghana so many years back. My ultimate wish is that a visionary leader with solid track record and all the leadership skills is given the nod. With Osafo-Maafo (oseadeeye, oyeadeeyie), the victory for the party and Ghana as a whole is assured!

Francis Opoku Asante (Nana Poku) Former SRC President of University of Cape Coast

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