Who is Dr Nkrumah?s natural successor - John Kufuor or Atta Mills?

Mon, 6 Dec 2004 Source: Jeffrey, Peter Nee

Forget political ideologies, dogma and pronouncements. John A. Kufuor is gradually emerging as the true successor of late President Nkrumah. I was privileged to witness this quite man delivered his keynote address at the Homecoming summit some few years back. I was impressed by his humility and the passion he showed when he was questioned about the role of the skilled Ghanaian migrant in the development of our homeland. Although I never saw Nkrumah and was still a toddler during the time of Dr Busia, I can honestly say that the answer President Kufuor gave to this very thorny was brilliant.

Since then I have followed every utterances and actions of President Kufuor for the past 4 years. The quality of leadership shown by this humble man just shows how quite diplomacy can do wonders for a nation at the pinnacle of greatness. I am not a follower of his party or a member, but rather look at economic and social policies of governments to ascertain whether they are doing what they said they will do.

It was true that the President inherited a country that was struggling but stable. With the right team and policies, the Kufuor government did put in place all the necessary policies that who ever takes the reigns of government will find exciting. By adopting the HIPC initiative (Structural Adjustment Programmes II), a measure that released much needed funds for development as well help reduce poverty, Kufuor did not let ideological dogma colour his principles.

At the Home coming summit, the President identified Poverty, HIV/AIDS, inequality and the high level of illiteracy among our people as some of the major problems that his government would deal with. He assembled a very formidable team to help with these tasks. It could be argue that this is a task that one cannot accomplish in 4 years, but comparing his administration to the last administration, he has done quite a lot and that he should be given credit for. Yes the high level of illiteracy in our country is unacceptable, and the impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic is claiming thousands of our people, virtually affecting most households in our homeland is unacceptable, and the response from his government has not been brilliant. However, the issue of re-election is firmly in the hands of the Ghanaian people. Some might be swayed by party affiliations, which can be found in every civilised society, and thus can not make informed choice, however Ghanaian electorates are very much aware that Ghana stand on the threshold of something great and thus can figure out which of the 2 candidates could be best suited to take the nation into the next phase of our development. This brings us to the candidature of Professor John A Mills.

Having stated that President John Kufuor is fast emerging as Dr Nkrumah?s natural successor, one can not dismiss the formidable J. Atta Mills. Professor Mills?s prolific record as a Tax expert, an eminent lawyer and an ex-Vice President makes him fit to be president of our country as well. Ghanaian people are fortunate to have two brilliant candidates who both can make a genuine claim to the presidency. What separates the 2 candidates are, one is a seasoned politician/businessman and the other is a brilliant academic/tax expert. So who is pious to inherit Dr Nkrumah?s mantle and lead Ghana for the next 4 years. Both candidates have conducted themselves with utmost perfection and have not traded insults towards each other despite inciting stories in the print media.

Both President Kufuor and Professor Mills benefited from Dr Nkrumah?s educational policies. Both have put the eradication of illiteracy at the forefront of their campaigns.

It is true that due to the way the world economy is structured, the type of free education that we and our parents enjoyed can never be repeated, but the conditions can be created to ease the suffering on the poor to enable them send their children to school. The site of our children hawking on our streets instead of being at school is quite worrying and both Atta Mills and John Kufuor have acknowledge this.

The third person in this equation is Dr Edward Mahama. Dr Mahama, one of the pioneers and recipient of Dr Nkrumah?s free education policy for our Northern brothers and the first person in his family to go to University , is someone whom when given the opportunity can put his policies of equality and justice for all into good practice. However he finds himself leading the wrong faction of those who proclaim to be the successor party to Dr Nkrumah?s CPP. The rest are fragmented, disorganised and disillusioned. In this election they are not a force as they once were.

As our compatriots make the choice between Professor Atta Mills and President John Kufuor on December 7 2004, they should be made aware that they are not only voting for a party to rule for 4 years, but they will be making a very important choice regarding our very existence as a nation state. This elections hinges on which of the two parties, NPP and NDC, will be better placed to take our country forward. We as people have come a long way. We have witnessed atrocities and mayhem on grand scale in neighbouring countries, where common reason between 2 factions could not resolve their differences. We have witnessed the destruction and killings in neighbouring countries. We went through the same phase of atrocities that our neighbours went through. Whilst theirs degenerated into violence brutality, we resolve our differences through the Reconciliation Commission. We did not resort to violence nor turn our differences into ethnic/tribal butchering, but rather smoke the age old peace pipe. That is what we as people were brought up to believe in. Those tolerances have been shown during this December 7 2004 campaigns by both John Atta Mills and John A. Kufuor. That is what make us unique and special and as such distinguish us from the rest on the continent. Our conduct, wherever we are or go, mark us out as peaceful lot. Our message from a distance to our compatriots in the homeland who will vote on December 7 2004 is to maintain this peace that candidate Kufuor and candidate Atta Mills exhibited in their campaigns.

Let Peace Reign.

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

Columnist: Jeffrey, Peter Nee

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