This article is a rejoinder to the article entitled, “You cannot lead NPP as a Muslim and a Northerner”, which appeared on Ghanaweb online edition on January 03, 2021.
The NPP is built on democratic foundations, pillars and structures for effective governance, and with a very strong believe in free market enterprise economy, and an effective constitutional rule of law. The travail and triumph of the party have been forged within the crucible of adversity, challenges and the furnace of fire in the pursuit of individual freedoms, social justice, liberties, equity and equality before the Law. The noble ideals of NPP have always transcended regions, religion, gender, social and economic status. These noble ideals must continue as a shining light to guide the party through the days and nights in Ghana’s political cloud.
The party selected the elephant as a symbol to emphasize its character, philosophy, relationships and governance. From One Tribe Apparel, the symbolism of the Elephant represents sensitivity, loyalty, wisdom, stability, intelligence, peace, reliability and determination. Elephants are gentle giants, which show great care towards their herd, offspring and elders. The elephant is very slow to anger, and thus, it is a calming, stable and patient symbol.
By its huge physical form, the elephant can destroy and dominate other animals, but it chooses to live in harmony with all. These leadership traits characterized Ex-President H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor (often referred to as a Gentle Giant) and now characterize the current President H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo. It is therefore critically important that the NPP’s 2024 flag bearer mimics these character traits of the elephant to represent the party and lead the nation.
In an article entitled, “You cannot lead NPP as a Muslim and a Northerner”, attributed to one Mr. E.G. Buckman, in which he addressed the issue of the choice of NPP flag bearer using a Southern/Northern strategy, he argued that it would be a mistake to field Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia as the party’s flag bearer for the 2024 elections because he is a Muslim and a Northerner. This proposition is dangerous, backward and it cannot and must not guide our party in the choice of her flag bearer now or anytime in the future.
This comment must be relegated into the political abyss of ignobility and forgetfulness. I urge aspiring flag bearers to reject any propositions from their support base that are abhorrent, appalling, divisive and detrimental to the life, unity, strength and governing capabilities of the party. I also urge the party to be on guard against any propaganda machine that may be deployed to cause divisions in the party. While I believe that the focus of the party must now be on H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo’s second term as President of Ghana, this issue ought to be addressed forcefully and with immediate urgency.
As a member of NPP, I categorically and vehemently reject this proposition being attributed to Mr. Buckman. The choice of the flag bearer of NPP cannot and must not be limited to regional or sectoral preferences. It must not be based on regional affiliation, religion, gender, economic and/or social status. It cannot be cooked behind the veil of secrecy and imposed on the rank and file members of the party. The flag bearer must be chosen based on visionary leadership traits, experience, exposure, knowledge, wisdom, trustworthiness, dependability, and good judgment.
The flag bearer must be an individual with a track record of outstanding performance and excellence, who has fought in the trenches and on the dangerous terrains of rigorous campaigns and governance to serve the party and the nation. He/she must be an individual with deep convictions and steel-like faith in the party’s philosophy and standards for leading the country in its march towards socio-economic prosperity. The flag bearer must have the character, the discipline and the fortitude to fight for Ghana and continue to uproot the root of corruption that seeks to destroy Ghana’s economic emancipation with a genuine investment for the salvation of posterity.
The next flag bearer must be a cheerleader and a champion of the great leadership and the outstanding performance of H.E. President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo in the areas of the Free SHS Policy, the Digital Revolution, The Planting for Food Program, 1D1F Initiative and the promise of the African Continental Free Trade Area in Accra, Ghana towards unleashing great prosperity in the nation. In view of the above characteristics, the position of flag bearer must be competed and won on the battlefield of visionary leadership trait, experience, exposure, knowledge, wisdom, trustworthiness, dependability, good judgment and a track record of outstanding performance and excellence.
In the pursuit of such a noble ideal, NPP must deploy its framework of big tent, big ideas, big policies and big strategies for governance and choose a flag bearer that will not only win for the party but for the country. Therefore, I urge NPP to reject the Southern/Northern strategy for selecting her flag bearer and the religious litmus test attributed to Mr. Buckman. The party must continue to choose her leaders based on their understanding of the call of duty and responsibility within the boundaries of the nation.
As members of NPP, we must continue to live the spirit and letter of the National Pledge. “I promise on my honor to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland. I pledge myself to the service of Ghana with all my strength and with all my heart. I promise to hold in high esteem our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers. And I pledge myself in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana. So help me God.” The emphasis must always be on Ghana not regions!! May God continue to guide the party to choose outstanding and capable leaders. May God continue to bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong!!
Samuel Frimpong, PhD, Peng.
Professor and Robert H. Quenon Endowed Chair
University of Missouri, Rolla, MISSOURI, USA