Letter from the president: The CPP races

Mon, 29 Oct 2007 Source: Daily Dispatch

Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents exactly ten weeks ago, I wrote about the ‘renaissance’ in the Confused People’s Party (CPP). If you recall, I expressed delight at the high profile, intelligent people who are now showing their faces as members of the CPP and wishing to take up leadership roles in the party one way or another.

Well, just a few days ago, the CPP closed nominations for those who want to take up positions in the party’s national executive as well as those who want to lead the party into next year’s general elections. Countrymen and women, let me confess that I have been a political voyeur and I have been following events within the CPP as much as I have been following those within my own party. I am very keen to see the CPP ‘put on its best cloth’ and I’m delighted with what I’ve seen so far. Sikaman, indeed, needs a strong and vibrant ‘third party’ – what I’d describe as the second alternative since there is very little to choose between the NDC and the NPP. What I’ve seen so far gives me hope that there is a good chance for the CPP to fill a certain void and I pray that they do not bungle it up.

Right now in this country, there are two major presidential races going on: that of the NPP and that of the CPP. The NPP contest is a confusing mess of 20 candidates most of whom know as well as we all do that their power hungry ambitions are totally misplaced. So even though there are 20 candidates, just about three or four of them are actually in the running. The others are just adding to the numbers and trying their luck.

On the other hand, the contest within the CPP seems cleaner and much keener. As at the close of nominations, there were just six candidates. Quite a manageable number, don’t you think? Most of them, I feel, are honest men whose ambitions are not fuelled by avarice and ill-informed ambition but by a genuine desire to help in the growth of the country they love so much.

First, there is Paa Kwesi. What a smart guy he is. I wish he were a member of my party. People say he’s not an honest man and that he might have gotten his doctorate degree by doctoring some documents somewhere. So far, no evidence has been produced to back this allegation and since no one has produced any tangible evidence, I think people within the CPP should look beyond his academic credentials (or lack thereof) and judge Paa Kwesi on what he has to offer. I think Paa Kwesi is a true patriot. That’s why despite much criticism from his party he decided to join my “all-inclusive government”, which turned out to be not-so inclusive after all. And he served me well until he started showing signs that he wanted to be president. That’s when I decided to sack him. Paa Kwesi has had political ambitions all his life. But he never rushed to bid for the highest position in the land. He’s one of the very few politicians in this country who have truly gone through the mill. He’s been an assembly member, not as a government appointee but by contesting and winning in a lowly electoral area in his constituency. Then he became MP and Minister of State and now presidential candidate.

Also contesting for the CPP presidential slot is Prof. Asoka – another smart guy. He’s one of those whose intelligence baffles me so much that sometimes I ask myself: “how the heck did I get to be president?” When I hear Asoka speak, my self esteem plummets so low that I just feel like staying indoors for the rest of the day. I know in my heart that Asoka will be a much better president than I’ve been. He’s got all the common sense solutions to our problems. So far I don’t think he owes any allegiances to any interest groups and I get the impression that he wouldn’t mind taking some of the tough, unpopular decisions a president has to take to ensure that the interests of the largest section of the population are served. He’s said, for example, that he wouldn’t build a presidential mansion when our hospitals are in such bad shape and I believe him. I also believe that an Asoka presidency will not waste 20 million dollars on needless festivities.

I know it’s not for me to say. But I think the CPP presidential contest should be a straight race between Paa Kwesi and Prof. Asoka. The other candidates (Dr. Ofaso, Dr Affuko, ‘Comfort’ Addugey and Onukpa Bright) are just simply adding to the numbers. But I’m delighted that they are all onboard – except, of course, ‘Comfort’ Addugey. The CPP made a big mistake by making that self-conceited chauvinistic guy (“I don’t want to use the word on you”) their presidential candidate in the last election. He is a disgrace and I plead with CPP members in all earnestness that if they love their party and their country they should not vote for him again. I sincerely believe that any man who goes about with the notion that women are just around for “comfort” has no role whatsoever to play in our current political dispensation. Last time around, the CPP needed a stop-gap and that, I believe, is why he got the nod to lead the party. And what an embarrassing stop-gap he was. Now, smart and visionary men have come to the scene and Addugey should give way. Did you hear him the other time insulting journalists who dared to ask about his chances of winning. “What chance do you have in life?”, he asked. “I am better placed in life than you are… you annoy me so much.” That was his response. Such petulant behaviour is so unbecoming of a presidential aspirant and I think he should be written off.

I look forward to a very clean CPP presidential contest in the next couple of weeks. I pray it marks yet another important step towards giving the good citizens of Sikaman what they so badly need – an alternative. I also know for sure that either Asoka or Paa Kwesi will give our candidate (as well as Tata Mills) a good run for their money. I don’t expect the CPP to produce the next president but whatever happens with either Paa Kwesi or Asoka in the race, our nation will be the ultimate winner.

Excellently yours,
J. A. Fukuor

NOTE: After the publication of this letter in the 'Daily Dispatch', Mrs. Yvonne Nduom, wife of Paa Kwesi, issued the following reply:

Your Excellency,

I have been reading your letters since the day you came to power and decided that as part of good governance you will endeavor to communicate regularly with your humble subjects. I have found your letters very interesting and insightful.

Your Excellency your letter as published in today's Dispatch regarding "The CPP Races" was as usual quite interesting an entertaining, however I must confess that I was a bit disappointed that you repeated a mischievous rumour about my dear husband's hard earned doctoral degree.

My husband Paa Kwesi is a very hard working and honest man. He earned his Doctoral degree while holding a full time job as a Senior Manager at the prestigious Public Accounting Firm, Deloite and Touche in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I thought being the wise old leader of a our great country and having access to a slew of undercover agents, you would have commanded them to undertake a thorough check on the academic credentials of any one of your subjects who is so presumptuous as to dare try to succeed your black stool. I know that you are technologically unchallenged and that you could have gone on line to verify this mischievous allegation. His credentials can easily be verified from the Academic Records Department of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. It is an allegation that Your Excellency should not have repeated.

When your Excellency has a bit of time please stop by to verify his certificate and I hope you will stay long enough to look at a whole bunch of pictures taken at his graduation. And your Excellency the pictures were taken by a professional photographer contracted by his mentor Mr. Don Wood the Managing Partner of the Firm. The pictures were Don's graduation gift to his star employee, who also happened to have been your star employee until your mutual separation.

I trust that after verifying Paa Kwesi's academic credentials you will write another letter to put at ease the minds of his numerous admirers.

Columnist: Daily Dispatch