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Opinions of Saturday, 17 December 2016

Columnist: Agbenu, Charles

Welcome, Ghana's most spectacular change in government

By Charles Agbenu

Nana Ado Dankwa Akufo Ado is the son of H.E Edward Akufo Ado one of the 1950's famous Big Six, a former Chief Justice and a former ceremonial President of Ghana at the time Dr K. A. Busia was the executive Prime Minister in the late 1960's.

The rise of Nana Akufo Ado presently to the Executive President–elect position is no surprise to observers in Ghana's politics. A human rights advocate, a lawyer and politician, he has been in the forefront of Ghana's politics since 1974.

Throughout these years, he has acted tough as a critic and survived the threats, intimidations and antics of 3 military dictators, namely General Kutu Acheampong, Gen F. William Akufo and Flight Lt Jerry Rawlings who led brutal military juntas in Ghana prior to the advent of the 4th Republic in 1992. He was a front liner in the opposition and rejection of Acheampong's nebulous Union government (UNIGOV) in 1978 opposing the idea vigorously as General Secretary of the Peoples Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ).

Eventually, UNIGOV was jettisoned in a national referendum to the surprise of the military Generals.

Enter democratic rule in 1992 and Akufo Ado identified himself with the NPP to fight for Ghana's political leadership. But he made his first move for the Presidency in 1998 when he challenged for his party's flagbearership, which was won by John Agyekum Kufuor who went on to win the Presidency in 2000.

By 2006, the NPP flagbearership was up for grabs and Akufo Ado won the famous bitter 17- man challenge and vied for the Presidency first time in 2008 and again in 2012. In the midst of political intrigues, he respectfully lost the races to Prof. Ata Mills and John Mahama both of NDC. As the NPP flag bearer for the third time in 2016, he has won the race against the incumbent John Mahama in a terrific campaign even with meagre resources.

Significantly, he maintained his running mate Alhaji Mamadu Bawumiah an accomplished economist, in all the three Presidential races.

Now, confident Akufo Ado had eyed the Presidency since 1998. It is obvious that he has prepared himself mentally and psychologically for the high office over the years as a parliamentarian and as a Minister of State. He was disciplined, meticulous and incorruptible, such that he refused normal trappings of office as a minister under Kufuor government--- he never lived in a government bungalow, never bought giveaway government cars, bungalows or lands and even never fuelled his car from government sources.

Again, he has been the most vilified Presidential candidate of all time with his detractors falsely and maliciously tagging him as a wee smoker, violent, arrogant and intolerant. The truth eventually prevailed and the imagined stigma did not stick and Akufo Ado romped home triumphant to wrap the 2016 Presidential race with one of the greatest and sweetest parliamentary majority wins.

In the Presidential popular votes too he pulled more than 1 million votes than the incumbent President John Mahama to make his victory complete and unstoppable.

Ghana has witnessed two democratic changes of governments in the 4th Republic already but on January 2017 Ghana is surely set for the most spectacular democratic change of government when Akufo Ado is sworn in as President having swept the polls first round and with an ordered transition.

Akufo Ado is determined, focused, fearless and visionary. I have supported him throughout. I trust that his administration will succeed and Ghana will definitely see changes and better foundations for industrial and economic take off. I expect that the reckless use of public funds will be a thing of the past and he will institute value-for-money investment options which will grow the economy. I expect Akufo Ado will form a national government to embrace all regions and Ghana will be happy.

I am fascinated by his visionary balanced development principle whereby every constituency will be allocated $1m per year, for the locals to plan its developmental use instead of relying on the agelong discriminatory-prone central planning ----apart from other central government projects.

Akufo Ado style and model could be heading to be the greatest in Africa. Again, I say Ghana is set to experience the most spectacular change in government of all time come 7th January 2017.