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06.06.2007 Feature Article

OF MESSIAHS AND THE NPP LEADERSHIP

The Constituency Chairman for South Dayi in the Volta Region, Mr.Nyaho Dalti, recently described Hon. Alan Kyeremanten as the 'messiah' and concluded that based on the Minister's performance he should be given the nod for the NPP Presidential race. Well said Mr.Chairman and frankly there is absolutely nothing wrong for supporters of contesting candidates to praise their people.

Not long ago supporters of Messrs Hackman Owusu, Nana Akuffo Addo, among others, have also made loud noises about the immense contributions made by their men towards the survival and growth of the Party. Hon Jake Obitsebi-Lamptey is also claiming that God had prepared him for the highest office of President, by inference claiming to be a messiah. It is not a new thing when politicians claimed to be messiahs or their supporters give them that noble title. The former Italian Prime Minister, Silva Bersoculani also one time described himself as a messiah.

Time and space will not permit me to enumerate on the boastful statements made by some of the aspirants. To those people, because of their financial clout and their claim that they had sacrificed a lot to salvage the Danqua/Busia tradition, they should be given the mandate to lead the NPP from December this year. Strategically, it is a normal thing for these aspirants to make known their contributions to the Party but that alone does not guarantee their suitability for the highest office of the land. What is important is a demonstration of the individual's ability and vision to effectively address the current and future challenges of the country. It is a fact that all the aspirants have contributed massively, in one way or the other to the growth and development of the NPP, but so are many foot soldiers whose contributions have not been publicised in the media - hence there are many 'messiahs' in the NPP.

The Messiah whom the followers of the Christian religion admire and respect was not selfish. Thus, He shared whatever he had with others. So as the NPP delegates throng to the December Congress Hall to elect a leader to replace President Kufour, they must look through all the candidates to see the one who will not be selfish by enriching himself and his close associates; but the one who will put the Nation first. The National cake will be shared accordingly without any discrimination. Having banished the selfish idea, the biblical Messiah was able to reward those who shared His philosophy and hence He instructed His disciples to break a loaf of bread to share among the entire gathering. Who among the various aspirants can put together a convincing agenda of unselfishness to salvage our great nation?

The Messiah had zero tolerance for lawlessness hence when he realised that there were wrongdoers in the temple, He uncompromisingly drove them out. There has been an upsurge of lawlessness in some parts of the country; you have some few Journalists threatening to demonstrate on the streets without having the correct Police permit; some Ghanaians are taking the law into their own hands by lynching alleged criminals to death; armed robbers are having a field day; workers and students embark on strikes and demonstrations without exhausting all avenues to address their grievances. The NPP undoubtedly need a strong leader who together with his Ministers will unrelentlessly flush out criminals from our society. I strongly believe that one step the next leader of the NPP can take to solve some of the problems in the country is to have Ministers of Education, Agric and Health not being members of Parliament. These Ministries, to me, are the crucial areas that need Ministers to focus their entire energies on, hence doubling as MPs seriously affect their performances.

The Messiah was a great team player who allocated and delegated responsibilities to His disciples to perform according to their ability. Such should be the hallmark of the next NPP Leader so as to inculcate the spirit of togetherness and team ethos among his team of Ministers. This, hopefully, will guide them towards team aims and objectives instead of pursuing individual goals, for a house divided against it will never stand.

The Messiah as recorded in the Holy book was humble. Humility is the bedrock of every successful person. The Messiah was so humble that He was prepared to wash the feet of the apostles to demonstrate His desire to serve the people. The former Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, was frequently reported to have shown great humility and respect for every Japanese without regard to race, ethic, age or political affiliation. Today some politicians have forgotten their roots by constantly ignoring the people who voted them into office. But for their money and the party they are affiliated to, they wouldn't have gotten the second chance to be in Parliament. But for sure, there will come a time when the electorate will become politically matured and the arrogant politicians will be booted out of Parliament. Some politicians have totally distanced themselves from the electorate, their mobile phones are always off; no email address and even those who have, email them and it will take decade for them to reply.

Any politician, who thinks that money is what it takes to reach out to the electorate, is surely in kindergarten of the political education. Many people believed that, Mr. Dan Botwe, the former Information Minister, is one of the aspirants who has no money but is very well liked across all the 230 constituencies. . It does not in any way suggest that they endorse Mr. Bowte as someone who would be good president for that research has not been done. Frankly, many members have expressed discomfort on how some politicians have been out of 'coverage area'.

The Messiah was sympathetic, for when people were in trouble, the Messiah was quick to assist. Such is the Leader we need in the Castle. A President who will have compassion for the Ghanaian and be able to imbue such an attitude into his Ministers. We need a true messiah who can present himself as redeemer and who has the ability to deliver the masses from their deplorable condition and is never vindictive but treats his political opponents fairly and within the law. . At times I wonder at the guts of Mrs Agyeman Rawlings when she speaks the way she does. . Her husband – Mr. Rawlings- sent his commandos to mercilessly beat my father up and sold all his properties without any cause, never again should we allow such ruthless individuals to rule the country. A father of the Nation is what we need-he allows the laws of the land to take it's own process and allows divergent views to flourish

The Messiah was a visionary. He was proactive and had the foresight to put measures in place today that will be able to counteract future difficulties. Ghana has abundant human and natural resources, and needs a visionary leader who can manage these well and build upon the achievements of the Kufour administration. The world is now experiencing a huge unpredictable developments and it will take a visionary and pragmatic leader with his team of Ministers to put the necessary structures in place that will deal with future difficulties. It is certainly not the 'Takashi' style that will solve the country's problems but a humane and ambitious approach.

The Messiah was at peace with every one even His enemy. In the Holy Book He directs His followers to even play with their enemies. It beats human understanding that so many MPs are not in good terms with DCEs and vice versa; Constituencies Chairmen are at loggerheads with their Secretaries; these conflicts have gone on many months/years unresolved. President Kufour desirous of having peace with his opponents, despite so many slurs cast on his personality during the NPP primaries in 1995, put those differences aside and even appointed so many of them into his cabinet. Today, according to the Agona East NPP Chairman, some aspirants are said to be planning to expose other aspirants' secrets to the media. These aspirants should not take it for granted that because during Mr. Kufour time he ignored the innuendos made on his person and even went ahead to give appointment to some of his detractors, it is ok to cast slurs. What Kufour did may not happen in 2008. For today the NPP in government has so many human resources at its disposal so if you insult an aspirant who eventually becomes President, you may never even be given a DCE post. If the aspirants are true lovers of the Party, they should disengage in the innuendos on other aspirants and rather focus on what they will do differently to meet the challenges ahead.

The Messiah was fair and did not discriminate among His followers. When Peter, one of disciples, uttered a word, which was contrary to His aspirations, He severely rebuked Peter. Today there is the perception that some criminals or wrongdoers are roaming about freely because of their connection with top politicians and thus go unpunished. The next NPP Leader should send an unequivocal message to all Ghanaians-irrespective of political affiliation- that no one will be spared if the law catches up with him or her. The NPP from 2008 should never give the opportunity to its opponents to frequently find fault with them. Criminals and wrongdoers should be punished accordingly.

The Messiah was anxious for all His people to be educated hence He sent all His disciples to the world to spread the Gospel. The NPP Leader should place much premium on education. Our country's survival hinges on the majority being educated and therefore should any one of these people - Aliu Mahama, Nana Akuffo Addo, Hackman Owusu Agyman, Osafo Marfo, Alan Kyerematen, Dan Botwe etc - get the nod, he should take a holistic approach towards education. All policies that will make our educational system stand the test of time should be explored, that is why it is worrying that Mr. Larry Bimi–Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is complaining his proposal which he thinks can have a positive effect on our educational system is being ignored. The educational authorities should consider his proposals and reasons for rejection explained to this finest public servant.

So who among the aspirants can be described as having messianic attitude?

This writer though will end by making a passionate appeal to some of the names making rounds as prospective candidates to withdraw from the race, for your action is making a mockery of the party. It is unwise to think that entering the race is a strategy to persuade the eventual winner to reward you with a Ministerial appointment. Your performance at the Ministries or your efforts in highlighting the laudable achievements of the Kufour government in the Newspapers, radio stations and the media at large will be more than enough for the eventual winner to reward you according to your ability. Competency you may have, but the political environment may not be conducive for your candidature. Professor Mike Oquaye and Hon. Felix Owusu Agyepong were all once aspiring to enter into the presidential race, but realising that that may be too much for the party activists to accommodate, have stayed put. To the other personalities going round the countryside for the presidential race, please do not try to destroy the party you have helped to build.

LONG LIVE GHANA

MARTIN KWANING
MITCHAM, SURREY
LONDON.UK

MARTIN KWANING
MARTIN KWANING, © 2007

This author has authored 35 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: MARTINKWANING

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