Opinions Sat, 23 Dec 2006

Well Done Prof. Atta Mills, Now Welcome To the Finals

81.4% is a magnificent win. This writer salutes and congratulates Dr. John Evans Atta Mills, the NDC 2008 Presidential Candidate for pulling out this victory amidst swirling high octane complaints about “poor health, old age, lack of charisma and damaged goods”- to paraphrase his loudest opponent. Well done and more kudos for the maturity displayed in reaching out to your opponents to work together as one team for the tough fight ahead in 2008 against the NPP.

While we allow the Prof to enjoy his victory especially when he has an entire year to be the only official sole Presidential Candidate in Ghana, we must peek into the significance of his lopsided victory. Are there any messages here?

The obvious temptation is to devalue Prof. Atta Mills victory with a swipe that the omnipresent founder and proprietor of NDC switched his nod from Spio to Mills and with that went the wave of NDC delegates’ votes. Let us resist this knock and commend Ghana’s former Vice President for winning fair and square. Perhaps the biggest message is that Ghanaians respect the wisdom and maturity of old age after all. It is engrained into our psyche with our training to respect elders and seek their counsel. Until our press copied the West practice of bracketing peoples’ ages after their names, Africans measured people by their record and what proceeded from their mouths and no one asked nor cared to count another’s age. As long as you could tick, you took your lick. Spio laid it on heavy on Prof. Mills’s age and ended up with 8.7% for all of his youthful (according to him) charisma and communication skills.

On this, those who would use this anti wizened old age bashing on the NPP side, should think twice. Concentrate and speak about your own accomplishments and vision for the country. For something like older age that all humanity actually pray for every night, it is simply foolish to lambaste those ahead of you in that line in a society that gives preference to the eldest in a room to speak first -the more proverbs they lace their speeches, the more they are adored.

Charisma- here is a word that no one defines but everyone wants to claim and deny others. It is an escape because it is a signal for others to stop questioning your accomplishments and people skills and settle for an unproven magic around you. Those who self proclaim charisma self destroy because they believe their own lies and unproven myths. NPP candidates, avoid the use of that word like the plague unless 8% is your goal. Others can choose to describe you as such but do not claim it yourself.

Perhaps the loudest message from the Mills outstanding victory is that proven accomplishments; grounded by a clean personal record without any skeletons in the closet; and sprinkled with acceptable public presentation skills will get you into the finals of the contest. Add a well-communicated vision for taking Ghana to the next level with measurable objectives and we have the winner of the 2008 Castle Cup. Congratulations, Prof. Atta Mills and may the best qualified and promising person win for Ghana in 2008.

And oh- may Ghana’s potential President not forget to support and work for the inclusion of Ghanaians abroad in the 2008 elections as the law of the land now allows. That would be wisest and rewarded in many ways regardless of Party.

Kofi A. Boateng, Chairman- NPP-USA

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Boateng, Kofi A.