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17.12.2005 Feature Article

NPP Congress should Vote Wisely

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.... Mac Manu Should be the Choice The Congress of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) gets under way at the University of Ghana this weekend. The climax of the Congress will be the election of the National Executive Committee to replace the outgoing one whose Chairman Haruna Esseku has been battling for his political life following the fallout from his shooting some irresponsible diatribe that threw the party into panic over the last couple of weeks. All indications point to the fact that Esseku will bow out of the race before the voting day, something he could have wisely done long ago to save himself and the party further embarrassment.

Of all the executive positions that are going to be contested, all eyes will be on the position of National Chairman. With current Chairman Haruna Esseku effectively out of the race for the Chairmanship, the contest is a straight fight between Mac Manu, Chairman of the Western Regional Branch of the NPP since 1998, and Stephen Ntim, the “Bill Gates” of the NPP. Looking at the background of the two front-runners, Mac Manu seems to have the qualities, the experience and the skills to lead the Party which is now suffering from organizational-deficiency syndrome (ODS). The grassroot supporters and other admirers of the party are currently disillusioned both at home and abroad due to some avoidable missteps, elementary mistakes and self-inflicted wounds the Party has suffered over the past one year, especially after the last elections in December 2004. The once popular party that the nation embraced is now a pale shadow of its former glory. The nearly 90 per cent goodwill that the NPP and its government enjoyed right after their victory in the 2000 elections among Ghanaians resident overseas has almost dissipated as people get confused as to what direction the Party and country is heading.

It is against this background that the NPP meets this weekend (December 17, 2005) for its National Congress to elect a team to turn the fortunes of the Party around. Congress delegates have a very heavy responsibility to elect only the best: candidates who have the much-needed skills to steer the party on the right path and ready it for the Mother of all Political Battles in 2008. Of the candidates contesting for the Chairmanship, only Mac Manu possesses the needed skills, well tested over time to deliver the needed results, to bring hope and confidence to the rank and file of the party. A graduate of the University of Ghana School of Administration with an Accounting Major, the 52 year-old Mac Manu has been involved with the party right from the heady days of 1991 when Professor Adu Boahen challenged the then dreaded Jerry Rawlings to a political fight. He helped form the Young Executive Forum which organized young business persons and professionals to provide the backbone support for the party at a time when Rawlings threatened any professional or business person who showed any support for the NPP. (Remember Rawlings's outrage at Appiah Menkah when he asked Ghanaians not to buy Appiah Menkah's laundry products because he was an NPP supporter?)

Mac Manu started his political career as a polling station agent in the 1992 elections, and rose through the party ranks culminating in his election in 1998 as the Western Regional Chairman of the Party. It was through his initiatives that the Party decided to organize polling station executives in all the polling stations across the country, a tactic that was later emulated by the other political parties. There is no one in the NPP today who can match the organizational skills, political acumen and tactical experience of Mac Manu.

Yet there is the temptation that other contestants who are throwing serious money at this elections will sway some unsuspecting minds. We need to remind the Party delegates gathering at Legon this weekend that the destiny of the NPP and indeed that of the country lies in their hands. The decisions they make will make or unmake the Party and affect its fortunes for better or for worse in the 2008 elections and beyond. Money, they say is the root of all evil. It is our fervent prayer that delegates will avoid the monetary temptations this time around as they cast their ballots to elect the executives especially the Chief Executive Officer, the National Chairman. They should be guided by the old saying that all that glitters is not gold. Having money in abundance and being prepared to spray it around does not make one a good leader. Smart people who are poor can take good decisions in times of crisis and be able to make money some day, but rich people with little intelligence will one day lose the riches that they have because they lack the smartness to take decisions to protect the money and make more. Moreover with events that have happened to some Party people recently, we need to be wary of people who spray money to buy votes for political office.

Mac Manu should emerge from the Congress wearing the National Chairman hat. Delegates would have made a wise decision, an informed and prudent choice, a choice that they can live with, a choice that can stand the test of time. And when the history of the Party and the nation comes to be written, those delegates of the NPP that gathered at the 2005 Congress at Legon can hold their heads high and declare proudly that they were part of an epoch history making event. A word to the wise…….! Nana Asumadu Duah Chairman NPP Montreal-Canada Chapter Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Nana Asumadu Duah
Nana Asumadu Duah, © 2005

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