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03.12.2007 Politics

Give us a strong president – Supreme Court judge appeals

By New Vision

Professor Emeritus Tawia Modibo Ocran, a Supreme Court judge, has appealed to political parties to elect flag bearers with leadership qualities who would be ready to confront the ills of the society, must be morally strong, a source of inspiration, courageous and decisive.

He said this at a memorial lecture on the topic, "Ideology, Leadership and Aspects of Kwame Nkrumah's Political and Social Agenda" organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra.

He said leadership mattered and that political vision was very much part of leadership qualities.

"So, as we get into our presidential and parliamentary campaign period for 2007-2008, let the various political parties do the general electorate a favour and give us flag bearers who are leaders."

Prof Modibo Ocran said it was only when political parties did Ghanaians that favour that "we can in turn have a true leader as our President in 2009.

"A leader who genuinely lacks an ideological framework for action is bound to be a clueless leader. Such leaders might think that they are pragmatist but without ideological framework, they are obliged to indulge in the basest form of "muddling-through".

He said he believed that the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah exhibited particular institutional forms, tactics and strategies that must be adapted in the light of the recent history of Ghana as well as critical contemporary development around the globe.

On issues of productivity, he said the late Dr. Nkrumah accepted the role of private enterprise in the national economic structure and that what he did not accept was the notion that the private sector was to be the engine of growth.

Nkrumah's major concern, he noted, was with the evils of unchecked private enterprise and unregulated foreign investment as he insisted on the creation of a large public sector as a check on these other forms of production and as additional source of investment capital.

Prof. Modibo Ocran however reiterated the need for what he described as "the toning down of the old consumption-oriented model" and placing more emphasis on the current production-based strategies in the direction of socioeconomic development.

"Left-wing thinkers and activists have to be constantly reminded that we cannot afford to state the relationship between production and the distribution in suicidal terms. If nothing is being done there is nothing to distribute", Prof. Modibo Ocran said.

He said the current models of privatization on the African continent would allow the private sector to hold the nation to ransom and could create the most unproductive type of private entrepreneur; the trader who often would be a mere conduit of foreign trading monopolies.

"If privatization does not eventually place the privatized industries in genuine local hands and in the hands of socially responsible business firms, we are not entitled to pose the late Professor Adu Boahene's favourite question: "Did we go, or did we come?, that is of what benefit is it to us all?"

Prof Modibo Ocran said it was important to strengthen economic and political ties between African states and peoples and to hold unto the vision of a United Africa.

He also described as unfortunate the situation where anti-Nkrumah" politicians, journalists and their intellectual partners continue to launch personal attacks on him and cast serious doubt on his achievement in Ghana.

“I believe he should be treated as someone who has acquired the status of an icon in the manner of George Washington and Mahatma Ghandi. He should be placed above the fray of daily partisan party acrimony in the politics of this country,” he said.