In a few months time, the noble delegates of the NPP party made up of astute men and women will gather at the University of Ghana with the sole purpose of electing a presidential flagbearer to lead the NPP party in the 2008 general elections.
It is my fervent prayer that, the respected delegates will elect a presidential flagbearer based on experience, competence, intellect, vision, good leadership qualities, excellent managerial skills, national appeal and a history of service to Ghana.
In the next decade, our nation Ghana needs to achieve the MDGs, achieve middle-income-status by 2015, modernization of agriculture, rural development, human capital development, poverty alleviation and employment creation especially for the youth. The above vision is a Herculean task but yet, achievable.
For this noble vision to be realised, the NPP needs to elect a presidential flagbearer with the requisite leadership skills, creativity and innovative solutions to lead Ghana. In my candid opinion, the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama is the only candidate with the requisite experience, proven leadership skills and competence to lead the NPP party in the 2008 general elections.
In search of a Vice Presidential candidate, President Kufour stated categorically that, he wanted a candidate who was presidential material, with vast experience spanning the private and public sectors, intellect, strong leadership qualities and above all, a person who will serve the people of Ghana with humility.
It was therefore not a surprise when the affable Alhaji Aliu Mahama was chosen as the running mate of President Kufour.
Today, the Vice President offers himself to lead the NPP party with the aim of becoming the President of Ghana and I humbly submit that, he is the best candidate among all the NPP presidential aspirants. I am hopeful that, based on his track record of achievement as Vice President and his unflinching support for the NPP party, the good and matured delegates will resoundingly elect him to lead the party in the 2008 general elections because, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is our electoral asset.
For me, he is the natural successor to President Kufour and by far, the best personality to lead the NPP party. He is the strongest candidate who has the capacity and ability to retain power for the NPP in the 2008 general elections.
The Vice President being strategic minded, talks less but importantly, gets the work done efficiently and effectively to the admiration of many Ghanaians. He brings to the table tried and tested leadership and experience. It was stated by Julio Caesar that “experience is the teacher of all things.” In leadership, experience speaks volumes about a person's capacity and ability to lead. The Vice President in the past seven years has undertaken his training, apprenticeship and pupillage of the Presidency and without a shadow of doubt, he is ready to lead the NPP party and this nation of ours when giving the opportunity.
His wealth of experience as Vice President has equipped him with the requisite tools, knowledge and insight of what it takes to be President, lead 22 million people and the challenges of the Presidency.
He has been closer to the centre of decision making than all the other aspirants and such experience in my opinion, gives him the urge over all the other presidential aspirants. Over the past seven years, the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has performed excellently well and this has won him a lot of admiration nationally, regionally and internationally due to his competence, decisiveness, hard work, sense of patriotism and vision.
His sterling performance as Vice President shows clearly that, he has the requisite skills, qualities and attributes to lead the good people of Ghana to the Promise Land. After all, experience is what prepares presidents to stand by their convictions and enables them to recognise when to compromise.
By virtue of his position as Vice President, he has been responsible in providing direction to government in areas such as strategic planning of the economy and security of our country. He has indeed contributed enormously to the current peaceful, economic stability and success presently being enjoyed by Ghanaians.
He has over the past years matured into an excellent and credible politician and it will make political sense for him to be elected to lead the NPP party.
In an interview with the New African Magazine in 2003, President Kufuor made mention that “ideally the presidential term should be five years instead of four years”, because, when voted into office it takes about a year to find your bearings in office in order to make the necessary appointments and to understand the inner workings of government which may delay the work of government.
With the knowledge, experience and insight gathered thus far of the presidency by Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on assumption of office in January 2009, he can immediately set the machinery of government rolling because of his prior knowledge of the presidency. This is absolutely crucial. Probably, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is by far the best ever Vice President Ghana has ever produced. He has successfully and diligently served mother Ghana for nearly two terms as Vice President and his tenure has been tinged with achievements.
He has acted on several occasions as president and has performed very well to the admiration of fellow Ghanaians, Ministers, DCEs, party officials, traditional rulers and the business fraternity. Such has been his superb managerial skills that, President Kufuor appreciates and acknowledges that, under Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Ghana is in safe hands.
He comes across as dependable and trusted due to his capacity to manage, lead and his astuteness about attention to detail. He has established himself as an enviable and excellent politician, tinged with maturity, tolerance, firmness, good temperament and a sense of social justice. It is pleasing to note that, Alhaji Aliu Mahama offers himself as a servant leader who is a good listener, a doer, a man of his word who will serve the people of Ghana with humility.
According to President Kufuor, the NPP needs a leader who will be humble enough to hold himself accountable to the nation and to the party. A person who is a servant leader is a servant first and the Vice President has demonstrated this fact by serving the Presidency with distinction.
He is a leader who has served the interests of Ghanaians very well as Vice President and will continue on the same lines when giving the opportunity to lead Ghana as President. His Excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama has always set a worthy example and throughout his working life he has always stood by his believes and convictions by walking the walk and not just talking the talk. He has a very large following because; he leads by example, he is compassionate and delivers on his promises.
Unfortunately, Ghanaians equate a servant leader with humility as a sign of weakness. The Vice President has shown over the years to have the mental toughness, firmness and a history of decision making with a can-do-it attitude in executing his duties.
Behind the friendly, warm and welcoming persona, is a dogged determination of delivery and results oriented performance through hard work, creativity and discipline. One unique characteristic of Alhaji Aliu Mahama is his willingness to listen to what others have to say and offer.
He has travelled the length and breadth of Ghana listening to the problems of Ghanaians and solving them to bring relief and respite to the people of Ghana. In other words, the Vice President offers a problem solving and solutions driven leadership which is crucially needed in present day Ghana.
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama believes in team work, leadership through partnership and consensus building because, Ghana can only develop under a sense of collective leadership where an opinion or advice is not too little or too big. He is by far the only candidate whose support cut across the length and breadth of Ghana. This is very important because, he has the capacity to attract floating voters and voters from other political parties.
Ability to reach out and attract other voters other than the core NPP supporters will be crucial in the 2008 general elections. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a well known, celebrated and unique brand who is marketable, carries a strong national appeal and importantly, he is a huge electoral asset for the NPP. For me, electoral asset translates into electability and acceptability by the people of Ghana. Who better to consolidate, advance and improve upon the gains chalked by President Kufour other than the affable and versatile Alhaji Aliu Mahama. After all, he has contributed significantly towards the current economic, political and peaceful stability currently being enjoyed in Ghana.
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama stands for unity and he is a symbol or beacon of hope and a dawn of a new beginning for the NPP party and Ghana. He is definitely a unifying force and has the capacity to unite all members within the NPP party after the delegates' conference in December and Ghanaians after the 2008 general elections. This is achievable because, Alhaji Aliu Mahama carries 'peer respect' within the NPP party and this shows the character and personality of His Excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
In him, we have a good and dynamic leader because, the characteristics of a good leader(Alhaji Aliu Mahama) is integrity, vision, human touch, intellect, passion, persistence, determination, innovation, creativity, solutions and performance oriented and mutual respect. People will be willing to make tremendous commitments to leaders who exhibit these qualities. The NPP delegates should be mindful not to choose a leader who lacks integrity because, a leader without integrity results in the team being paralyzed.
For the records, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has served the NPP party with distinction. He is a founding member of the NPP party and worked with key NPP executive members to formulate the 1992, 2000 and 2004 general elections campaign strategy of the NPP party.
He has committed his time, energies and crucially his resources to build the NPP party. Lest we forget too soon the enormous resources he made available to the NPP party in the 2000 and 2004 general elections.
Without sounding boastful, he has quietly contributed his quota to the NPP party because, he believes in the values, ethos and tradition of the Busia/Danquah group. Suffice to say that, if energy drives industrialisation, capital drives investments and business and financial resources is the mothers' breast milk which drives politics, then with all humility, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has indeed contributed his fair share for the advancement of the Busia/Danquah group.
His loyalty and commitment to the NPP party remains solid and unquestionable because, on numerous occasions he has provided the much needed logistics to the NPP party without been prompted. Many at times, you put your resources where your mouth is because, you believe wholeheartedly in the agenda of a particular fraternity (Busia/Danquah group).
He has worked tirelessly to increase the popularity of the NPP in various regions of the country. In my estimation, he has served both party and country with distinction and with all humility, the Vice President, His Excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama deserves to be giving the opportunity to lead the NPP party in the 2008 general elections
A vote for Alhaji Aliu Mahama equals PROSPERITY AND PROGRESS.