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Haruna’s Rise To Fame And Why He Can Be President of Ghana

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 Source: Ziem, Joseph

The steady rise to fame of one of Ghana’s finest and most assertive parliamentarians Haruna Iddrisu has never gone unnoticed ever since he launched his political career more than a decade ago. Thus, his popularity in recent times appears to make a lot of people perceive that Haruna might be eyeing the presidency in future soon after leaving parliament.

Well, it’s not a bad thing at all if Haruna decides to contest for president in future. It will be a huge success considering the fact that, he has gone through the mill as President of National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), National Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Member of Parliament and Minister of State.

Haruna as he is affectionately called undoubtedly has a charismatic personality, and like some leading political figures of his party, he is increasingly becoming a household name, if not nationwide, in the entire north of the country.

Though relatively young, he cuts across as someone who mixes very well with the elderly, his compatriots and even those many of the nation’s “executive politicians” will avoid going close to, have a place in his heart.

Born some forty-three years ago in Tamale, Haruna attended Tamale Senior High School (one of the best in northern Ghana) and proceeded to the University of Ghana between 1993 and 1997 where he obtained B.A. (Hons) in Sociology. He is a barrister at law and has been a member of the Ghana Bar Association since 2002. Haruna is happily married with children.

Political Achievements

Many believe that Haruna’s popularity actually began to grow when he got involved in student’s politics and was elected the President of NUGS and subsequently National Youth Organiser of the NDC.

After successfully serving his tenure as National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Haruna was elected legislator for the newly created Tamale South Constituency in 2004. He retained his seat in the 2008 and 2012 elections. He served in the Mills Administration as Minister for Communications (2009-2012) and currently in the Mahama Administration as Trade and Industry Minister (2013 till date).

Before his ascension to ministerial portfolios, Haruna had been the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, and also Minority Spokesperson on Communications in the previous parliament when his party was in opposition. It is believed that he made a huge mark in these positions and that in addition to his law background, earned him the appointment as Communications Minister.

At the international stage, he had been leader of Ghana’s delegation to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and ECOWAS meetings. He was Chairman of the 2009 Session of Council of ITU that is often remembered for the consensus he achieved in the adoption of critical ITU Resolutions and Recommendations on global telecommunication issues.

He was also involved in the preparations towards the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and participated in the Tunis Summit in 2005. In 2011, Haruna was Commissioner of ITU/WHO Commission on Information and Accountability on Women’s and Children’s Health.

Currently, he is a Member of the Parliamentary Select Committees on Mines and Energy, Judiciary and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. He is also a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Appointments. In these committees, he brings to bear his legal expertise by scrutinizing policies and programmes of government in order to make sure that only what is good for the country is eventually implemented.

Haruna Can Be President of Ghana

Actions they say speaks louder than words and although Haruna has not made any formal announcement of his intention to run for the presidency in future, it is not out of place for one to think that he might be warming up covertly for the big seat at the flagstaff house.

Haruna’s disposition as legislator and minister makes some of his constituents to conclude that he is a presidential hopeful. He is very supportive of his constituents and even persons who don’t come from his constituency. Like late President Mills, Haruna is one of the few MPs in the NDC who is approachable and that is a mark of a good politician especially if you’re aiming to climb higher the political ladder in future.

Haruna understands politics very well. If one compares him to the likes of Alban Bagbin, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor and others who went to parliament years before him, that person may think that they went into that House at the same time. And so anytime there is a parliamentary debate and these “heavyweights” are not present, an NDC member can be rest assured that Haruna and the rest can match their colleagues in the opposing side of the House in a healthy and good debate.

Aside that, currently in Ghana, anyone who wants to contest for president must be popular including the party s/he belongs to. That notwithstanding, s/he must carve out a campaign message that is devoid of insults. Undoubtedly, Haruna has these qualities and so it wouldn’t be out of place for anyone to presume that he has a presidential ambition or he can be president of Ghana.

Also, looking around, it is hard to come across any northern politician as young as Haruna who has achieved so much as legislator, minister of state and private businessman within such a short period. Thus, Haruna’s rise to fame is good for him and the NDC as a political party at this juncture and in the unforeseen future. He’s very articulate and marketable, and his systematic rise from one leadership position to another is because he’s smart. And Ghana will be blessed to have a smart president who can address the backlog of development problems that our country has been saddled with since 1957 till date.

Moreover, Haruna’s ability to build consensus on the floor of parliament; his down to earth demeanour coupled with his humanitarian spirit towards the poor especially women and children in his constituency and beyond, has made even some of his co-equals to doff their hats for him.

Indeed, if ever the opportunity comes again in future for the NDC to choose a befitting presidential candidate from the north, there is no doubt that Haruna’s name will pop up, and members of his party particularly the youth will rally their support behind him if he decides to contest for president.

He is currently one of the few politicians in the NDC who has no difficulty selling his message to any kind of group of electorate whenever he has to contest an election. Right from the word go, he is a good public speaker. He knows when and how to grab the attention of his listeners whenever he is on a political platform or engaged in a discourse with his opponents.

The qualities he posses, perhaps, partly explains the reason why he worked very closely with late President Mills. Now under President Mahama, he sometimes represents him at state and private functions and he articulates the views of his boss very well at such functions. I have no doubt that he will excel in any position he’s appointed including being president of Ghana.

The writer is a journalist based in Tamale. Views or comments may be sent to him via ziemjoseph@gmail.com.

Columnist: Ziem, Joseph