Ghanaian Politics:Kufuor Affirms Akufo-Addo’s Sterling Leadership Credentials – Part 1 By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
At the 2nd Liberty Lecture, sponsored by the Danquah Institute, former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, the guest lecturer, bitterly lamented the fact that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the lead-up to Election 2012, appears to have absolutely nothing worthwhile to commend its return to power by Ghanaian voters, besides its offensively loud touting of a 14-percent economic growth registered during the 2011 fiscal year.

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Calling the preceding statistic “a damp squib,” or one that was only impressive on paper, rather than in the wallets and purses of the proverbial average Ghanaian worker, Mr. Kufuor reminded his countrymen and women that statistics are not an edible product, and that the Mills-Mahama-Arthur government had measly little to show for the great trust and confidence that the Ghanaian electorate reposed in the NDC in 2008. The two-term leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and two-term premier of Fourth-Republican Ghana poignantly observed that the National Democratic Congress government acutely lacked the requisite leadership skills to comfortably move the country to the auspicious level of a middle-income economy.

“The cause [of Ghana’s raging socioeconomic, political and cultural crisis] can squarely be [attributed to] poor leadership, a woeful lack of acumen, discipline and dexterity to husband the natural and human resources [of the country] for the needed success. We need a transformational leadership that can deliver,” Ghana’s proverbial Gentle Giant declared.

And to objectively and eloquently differentiate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, from the insufferably pedestrian leadership of the Mahama-Arthur government, President Kufuor reminded Ghanaian voters of the fact that Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was the unique driving force behind the introduction of mobile, or cellular, phones into the country during the early 1990s, an initiative that Mr. Kufuor emphatically noted has been “responsible for the biggest socio-economic transformation of our country over the last two decades.”

Clearly sensing the fact that only a minuscule few percentage of Ghanaians were aware of this remarkable achievement, President Kufuor further observed: “As a corporate lawyer in the early 90s, [Nana Akufo-Addo] managed to convince a group of foreign investors that Africa, specifically Ghana, was ready to embrace the mobile phone. That was how Millicom, the giant operators of Mobitel, ended up in Ghana. Now, this is what I term as ‘transformational leadership’ – that is, the vision to see where things need to go and the ability to get us there.”

Needless to say, the foregoing immediately reminded me of the recent mad rush of Chinese gravediggers, apparently imported into the country by the Mills-Mahama-Arthur government. Just the other day, for example, my dear friend and fellow journalist, Mr. Sydney Casely-Hayford wondered in one of his analytical pieces whether the now-Mahama-Arthur government of the National Democratic Congress had any systematic agenda of putting Ghanaian gravediggers, artisans, architects and masons out of work. It goes without saying that this quite well-founded, if also unsavorily disturbing, observation was squarely based on the fact of Chinese gravediggers having been evidently specially contracted by the Mahama-Arthur government to dig graves at both the Flagstaff House and the so-called Geese Park (or Asomdwoe Park) which now holds the mortal remains of the recently deceased President John Evans Atta-Mills.

For the authoritative Liberty Lecturer, the main challenge facing the Ghanaian voter going into Election 2012 regards “which of the [two major] contending leaders, together with their respective parties, offers the most potentially efficient and effective government to tackle and overcome the [quite formidable] socio-economic problems afflicting the people.”

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (, 2008). E-mail:

The opinions expressed are the author’s and do necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Bopard of and