Opinions Sat, 7 Aug 2010

Paradigm Shift: Rewarding Promised and Dynamism in lieu of Seniority

I am not sure of the average age of the delegates tasked with electing the NPP’s next flag bearer but I would be presumptuous to assume that they are not all “titi” (old).

While I am frightened at the prospect of electing yet another “go slow” to lead one of the viable opposition party in the country, I am even more terrified at the level of reasoning of some electorate.

Nana comes into this race with a lot of fire power – money, parliamentary endorsements, and aggrieved ex-ministers whose sympathy lie with him. Ever asked yourself why 90% of the old guards support Nana’s candidacy? Job security and Job security. To them, Nana understands the ideals and business of antiquity. Their jobs are guaranteed if Nana were to win. It is simply a concept of keeping the “old faces” one is accustomed to, and going back to the old (titi) days. The most pressing question then is: “when did “titi”; a word so reviled and abhorred by majority of the Ghanaians citizenry (even the old) become a “sweet nothing” and more shockingly, a criteria for selecting a presidential candidate? Have we no sense of urgency? Do we not see and feel the entire world passing us by? Ghana is in dire need of a fresh and innovative approach to leadership. Why would you even entertain the idea of “y3 nim wo fre titi”? “Oba nyansafo, wobu no be, na wonka no asem” (We speak to the wise man in proverbs and not in plain language).

Unless the NPP delegates are out of touch with the plight of the average Ghanaian, I see no reason why any forward thinking delegate would even consider casting a ballot for Nana Akufo Addo. We as a county are in a jam. My Dad would mutter, “If you’re in a hole, stop digging” anytime he heard me complain about something incessantly. His way of thinking was simply that life was a matter of common sense – if things weren’t turning out as hoped or expected, then it was time to consider a new course. Politicians are like diapers; they need changing regularly and for that same reason. Nana didn’t work the last time, and its time to change course. After all, it is the fool's sheep that breaks loose twice.

At this time in our history and political dispensation, we do not need a lawyer and a civil rights activist. We did several decades ago, and let’s be fair, Nana showed up and we thank him for that. Today and going forward, the country hankers for a technocrat, a business executive, a hands-on leader. In the words of our very own Hon. Dan Botwe, a one time presidential aspirant “*The job (presidency) is for four and possible eight continuous strenuous labor, which demands dynamism, vigor, resilience and the tenacity to endure. This is not the place for the aged. Their place is the Council of State. It is not an end of service package for successful service to the nation. Ghana deserves the services of an energetic and hard working personality.” *


My submission is in no way an attempt to denigrate Nana in the least bit, for history will not forgive me if I did. He has contributed immensely to the legal profession and the advancement of civil rights in Ghana and to those selfless and extraordinary acts, we should say “ayekoo” and “mo ni adwuma pa”. As grateful citizens, we should put in a petition to name a law school after him, a court house after him; better yet, add his name and picture to the big six making them 7 - and deservingly so. However, let us not reward a man nearing or at the end of his career with the task of leading a country rife with the same old “titi” attitude that has kept us torpid for so long. Nana’s place is in the history books and not the seat of government.

It is my belief that the majority of progressive-thinking-Ghanaians, who share my sentiments, hope that the NPP delegates will see beyond “titi”. A vote for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a vote for the Atta Mills led NDC come 2012. If in doubt, consider the old wise Ghanaian saying, “se won nim owuo a hwe nna”, literally meaning, “if you have never seen a dead person before, just take a look at a man sleeping”. Similarly, “se won nim Nana hwe Atta” – cut from the same old cloth. Birds of the same feather flock together but even worse, they (Nana & Uncle Atta) will confuse you. Don’t sell your country shot. *Do right by your county and vote for Alan K. Kyerematen.*

Ato Enos


Columnist: Enos, Ato