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18.04.2007 Feature Article


As if to say that the race for the NPP flagbearership is an inheritance, many ridiclous and oftentimes childish and laughable arguments have been bandied around.

Some of the declared aspirants frivolously deceive themselves that it is their time because they are the octogenarians, with grey hairs, and bald-heads. Others also make fun of themselves by assuming that because they have fresh blood, (as if to say that amount to wisdom), it is enough to guarantee them the position.

Both parties seem to have a case. However, inasmuch as everyone craves for long life, is it fair and realistic to assume that all old people have what it takes to be leaders? Since when did old age become a substitute for proven track record of success, vision, sense of purpose, knowledge, and expertise?

Do old age proponents mean to say that the remarkable feats of youthful leaders like Tony Blair of UK, Luis Rodriguez of Spain, and Stephen Harper of Canada, to mention but a few, should be ignored? Incredibly ridiculous!!!

On the other hand, who thinks age is nothing but a number? Do the so called youthful aspirants think that becoming a President of a country is a matter of youthful exuberance? I wish to remind them that governance is not boxing or football for us to flex muscles as a means of survival. Even boxing greats like Tyson, Hollyfield, Ike Quartey, Azumah Nelson, and football legends including Roger Miller, Zidane, Maradona, etc, have at various stages in their career, being invited from retirement to beef up their respective teams simply on grounds of their experience.

The above is not to say, however, that the competencies require for sports are coterminous or synonymous with that of politics. The two are different!!!

The long and short of my advice to these numerous aspirants is that they should conduct a decent campaign so that whoever emerges as the winner can tap the ideas of all the others, be they kids or grannies.

It is nobody's time. Delegates should also look out for someone who is competent, with the requisite expertise, marketable, possesses the capacity to appeal to and can identify with floating voters, and can draw votes even from core NDC supporters.

Let Ghanaian politicians stop this comic and bogus phrase of “it is my time”. We, as a country, have moved beyond that. Let such “my time” proponents and advocates note that the flagbearership cannot be offered as a go home package to some old and dying men, or as a seed start-up capital to ambitious youngsters yearning to carve a niche for themselves.

Ghana is not an experimental tool. The watchword to all delegates, party kingmakers, and all lovers of democracy should be competence, clear and realistic vision, level headedness, and someone who will not be a poodle, as is the case with Prof. Mills and the NDC, to be asked to “go get it by force”, but one who can be his own man.



This author has authored 22 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KOBLANUVIADENU

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