General News of Mon, 18 Jun 2007167
Kwesi Nduom resigns
Sufficient hints had been dropped by him, but when he submitted his letter last Tuesday, there was no sign that the President had seen the letter, or so it seemed.
The day the seven Ministers were given their marching orders by the President, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom took the opportunity of the pandemonium unleashed that day, to slip in his letter of resignation.
Nduom had been hinting about leaving for the last few weeks and his quitting to pursue his ambition had been on the cards for some time. It seemed there was no way that he was going to abandon the ship at this crucial moment when wage agitations had left the Public sector establishment reeling and thus calling for his enormous expertise.
First, he was the only Minister who told the President that he would like to consult his family when he was first offered the job of Minister at the onset of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) administration.
For his political career to come to full fruition, Nduom started as an Assemblyman for the Akotobinsin Electoral Area with his late father as his campaign manager.
He entered the next phase of his career, toying with the twin idea of going with his own political party which he has all but perfected, and retracing his steps to the Convention People’s Party (CPP) which showed no sign of uniting, but now seems to be headed for unity of some sort.
The CPP has roundly rejected him for campaigning for the NPP in Cape Coast when he joined Nana Kwesi Agyeman in pushing for the candidature of Ms. Christine Churcher against Araba Bentsi Enchill of the CPP in 2001. The party has not forgiven him for that and he has been unapologetic about it.
One thing is certain though; no election would be fought in 2008 without Dr. Nduom staking a claim for the presidency, and he has built enough political stature to do so. The vehicle he is going to use would be crucial in determining whether he would be making some substantial inroads into the electoral base of NPP or the NDC.
In the first week of this month, the man who generates enough excitement on the soapbox to rouse passions either way, gave a broad hint as to where his ammunition would be directed. Professor Agyeman Badu Akosah, the former Director General of the Ghana Health Service who resigned earlier last month, lobbed a few bombs in the direction of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), leaving a majority of NPP supporters swooning with alarm.
Akosah has not formally declared, but Nduom is clearly on a different wave length having suffered collateral damage with the generality of the CPP but still enjoying some support from some of the executives of the party.
But with him openly saying that he does not belong to the Patriots- the young professionals within the CPP- the group has adopted Prof. Akosah as the man they intend to support when the CPP goes into congress late this year.
With Dr. Kwabena Dufour, Mr. George Aggudey, and Dr. Kwaku Osafo vying for the flagbearer position of a rejuvenated CPP, the party hopes to launch a spirited challenge to the dominance of the NPP.
With the resignation of Nduom now not subject to any presidential caveat, the question is whether he would turn the NPP into a punching bag – which is the fashionable thing to do, or run his campaign on air - it would be difficult not to tackle the Government of the day anyway.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that could be used against him – there is nothing in his record to use against him, as he was not found to be corrupt at both Ministries he headed, Ministries of Energy and Public sector Reform. And he is famously known to be a one-woman man.
What he has been complaining about is being carped at the heels by NPP majors, as he had made a few enemies in the NPP while he was at the energy Ministry, arch of which is Dr. Wereko Brobbey, the man he sacked from Volta River Authority, and who heads the United Ghana Movement.
Nduom leaves the Ministry of Public Sector Reforms with a solid track record that cannot be assailed. His work pace and his passion have been unmatched.
He still however holds his position as head of the Millennium Challenge Authority, a position he held not because of his Ministerial position, and will continue to hold as an astute consultant.
If as has been publicly known, Nduom carries out with his threat to form a new party, then the political field will be crowded. Kofi Wayo got his registration through, last week Tuesday, and he went straight to launch an attack on the NPP. ‘Beware of December 2008’ should be the signal to all politicians in the country.