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Opinions of Sunday, 9 November 2008

Columnist: Yeboah, Nana Agyei

Obama’s victory, an indication of Nana Akufo Addo victory

; similarities between the two campaigns

To equate Obama's call for change in America to AttaMills call for change to the oppressive days of NDC when Ghana economy was woefully mismanaged, would be an exercise in intellectual dishonesty.

In essence, Obama's message of change translates to America movingforward to reclaim its leadership in the world among the comity of nations. In the context of Ghana political reality, Nana Akufo- Addo maxim of “we are moving forward” is more in sync with Obama call for change in America.

There are striking similarities between the Obama campaign and Nana Akufo-Addo campaign in Ghana. Like Obama, Nana Akufo-Addo has consistently stayed on a positive message. He is carrying his message of hope to every nook and cranny of Ghana. He has not made any gaffes on the stump.

Both candidates have weathered negative attacks directed at them personally. Nana Akufo-Addo avoids negative attacks and consistently stays on a transformational message of hope. The mudslinging from the opposition NDC has not stuck.

Discipline is a common element both campaigns share. Nana Akufo-Addo is running a very disciplined campaign. This writer was privileged to be part of Nana Akufo-Addo campaign tour of Ashanti region, and witnessed the impressive level of discipline with which the campaign is being run. Within the campaign things ran like clockwork. From the movement of the convoy, to the delivery of the party message by an assembly of good public speakers, each targeting a specific constituency, to Nana Akufo-Addo mastery delivery of his message and closing the deal with the electorate.

The synergy between Nana Akufo-Addo and the people is unmistakable.Perhaps, the enthusiasm and hope written in the faces of children, the youth and the old who come to meet his team in their numbers wherever he goes, keeps him going. It is amazing how he keeps up with the gruesome campaign schedule.

The NPP campaign, like Obama is a mass movement. The campaign draws mammoth crowds even in the wee hours of the morning. At Ejura and Ashanti Mampong, a sea of enthusiastic supporters poured onto open fields to welcome Nana Akufo-Addo campaign team. But this record was broken when Nana Akufo-Addo team arrived at Kumasi Tafo at 1 AM. Amidst drumming and dancing, the crowd had waited till Nana and his team arrived. The energy that suffused the crowd that night and its sheer numbers can only be found at Kumasi sports stadium during tough football matches between Kotoko and Hearts of Oaks. As if he saved the best for the last, Nana Akufo-Addo gave his best speech that day at Tafo. Another striking similarity between Nana and Obama are their Vice Presidential pick. Nana Akufo-Addo choice of Dr. Bawumia is a masterstroke, just as Obama picking Biden. Dr. Bawumia balances Nana Akufo-Addo political experience and statesmanship with youthfulness and a background of prudent financial management. Like Dr. Bawumia, Biden complements Obama with experience at the US Senate and foreign policy. The choice of Dr. Bawumia also balances the North/South as well as the Christian/Moslem axis, unlike the NDC that picks a Northern Christian, to complement a Southern Christian. Nana Akufo-Addo campaign has effectively utilized the Internet to reach Ghanaians around the world. This is another attribute of Obama campaign. Nana campaign like Obama has also captured the imagination of the youth. Through beach parties and other innovative approaches, Nana Akufo-Addo has reached out to the youth. The youth in Ghana have responded because they understand that Nana has always been a strong advocate for the voiceless, a defender of freedom, and a true patriot who has always resisted the oppressors rule. The youth have joined Nana Akufo-Addo to move Ghana forward, come December 7, 2008.

As the first black President, Senator Barack Obama has made history of monumental proportions. Nana Addo- Dankwa Akufo-Addo is also going to make history in Ghana. The first President of Ghana who is a product of Ghana premier university Legon.

This writer is particularly enthused about Nana Akufo Addo prospect not only as alumnus, but also as a fellow Gentleman. Gentleman is a term of endearment for residents of Legon hall.

Nana Akufo-Addo will also be the first President of Ghana who has worked hard to step in the shoes of his father. President Edward Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana second republic was Nana Akufo-Addo father.

The similarities between the two campaigns, the general mood in Ghana that identifies with the growth and development under the NPP government, Nana Akufo-Addo message of hope, in addition to this writer observation on the ground, are all pointers that Nana Akufo-Addo will win the election on December 7, 2008 at the first ballot with an impressive margin.

Nana Agyei Yeboah. Vice Chair, NPP-USA.

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