PRESS STATEMENT BY THE KUFUOR INSTITUTE OF LEADERSHIP TRAINING ON THE PLANNED DEMONIZATION OF PRESIDENT KUFUOR ON 23RD MARCH 2009
Since the time the former president His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor handed over power to the NDC government on the 7Th of January, 2009; there have been numerous issues and comments in the public domain trying to tarnish his image and the good reputation he gained both locally and internationally. It all started with the issue of his end of service benefits and entitlements. This became an issue of discussion in various circles in the country. Some group of persons stood on this issue and branded him as greedy and selfish. Immediately after, the issue of his cars which the current government ordered him to return for replacement also became a matter of public discussions and deliberations. Just when this issue was yet to be exhausted, there was a controversy over his private office. Some people who in their selfish interest think they have something against him have tried to use these issues to demonize him.
Inspite of all the comments people have been making, we have never heard him make any public statement on any of them. This tells the humility of the man we are talking about, no wonder many call him the 'Gentle Giant'. But it's very unfortunate that some people are trying to take the undue advantage of his quietness to trample on his feet.
We the executive of the Kufuor Institute of Leadership Training decided not to make any comment on these issues. We thought they are national issues and should be handled by the current government since ex-president Kufuor is a national asset.
Until recently a group of young men calling themselves the Ga-Dangbe Youth Association arose from no where to demand the office complex of the former president just because it is situated on their land. We believe it is a deliberate attempt by some individuals or group of persons in the country to embarrass Mr. Kufuor. By looking at the sequence of issues that are unraveling, only heaven knows what will happen next. We see the behaviour of the Ga-Dangbe Youth Association as one of the unfortunate incidents that has taken place in this twenty first century in this country. It was in the traditional days that lands were vested in the hands of families and tribes. In these modern times, huge tracts of land have passed on into private hands. Social changes and continued contact with the western countries and increasingly now with the east have encouraged private ownership of land.
This has made it possible to find enclaves of communities that resemble simple society in some part of the country occupied by some particular group of people who are not the original occupants
A typical example in the Ashanti region are Aboabo, Moshie Zongo, Allah Bar, Fante New Town, Anloga and many others where people of either ethnic group predominantly live. Some of these ethnic groups have made properties and even some of them have the power to sell lands. Their chiefs' are accorded the due respect and their culture and festivals are celebrated in where they are living.
We have never heard any Ashanti Youth Association or any group of persons in the region taking the law into their own hands to evacuate these ethnic groups. We do not think such an act will be tolerated by anybody in the country.
We hereby strongly condemn the behaviour of the Ga Dangbe Youth Association and say it is uncalled for. On the other part, we commend the swiftness of the Ga-Dangbe Forward Movement for coming out to condemn their brothers' behaviour. We therefore call on all the youth of this country irrespective of their tribe, religion, political party to condemn any act of such nature. The institute is also sending a word of caution to any one who is hiding behind these groups of persons to put a stop to it. We do not want to point accusing fingers on any political party but if any party thinks this is pay back time, then we believe the money will not be available to pay back.
If any politician thinks his intentions is to demonize Mr. Kufuor, its better he or she put a stop to it since it will rather draw us back as developing nation. Any one who thinks president kufuor has done something against him or the country should go to court rather than trying to use all sorts of medium to tarnish the good reputations he has won for himself and the nation locally and internationally. You may disagree with president Kufuor in person or some of his decisions as a president. But the fact of the matter is that he is the only president in the country who entered the presidency through the ballot and left through the ballot. Not to talk of his achievements such as the National Health Insurance Scheme, National Youth Employment Programme, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme, National Identification Card, the Discovery of the oil, Building of two Stadia and leading Ghana to the World Cup for the first time, the Bui Dam Project, just to mention a few. There is no doubt that he came to the presidency with relevant and unmatched credentials. Among some of his many attributes are caring, sensitivity, honesty, and due respect for his fellow human beings. He is a good listener, very diplomatic in his dealings with friends and as well as foes. No wonder he has been given the due recognition and attention by the international communities.
We believe this is the time we begin to learn something from our leaders especially from our former heads of states while they are alive instead of waiting for them to die before we honour them. We therefore call on everybody in the country irrespective of our religious or political affiliations to give the due respect and honour to our leaders. We hope there are more challenges ahead of us as a nation, only unity and peace can solve them.
Nana Kwasi Prempeh (Secretary)