Friday, December 5, 2008

Vote Nduom and the CPP for a better Ghana

The D-Day is Sunday and Ghanaians would be going to polls. We will be electing the 3rd president in this 4th Republic after Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor. I have seen both rule Ghana and they have done their parts in stabilizing and developing our beloved country. I believe Paa Kwesi Nduom should be the next president of Ghana. He is the agent of real active positive change. He is the best candidate and we deserve the best leader. Now, not in 4 years' time. He is ready. I am going to try and discuss why he should be voted for and why is the man for the job. This development is not four or eight years early. We have to change the way we do things now so that we can continue on this forward march to economic prosperity, citizenry satisfaction and national happiness.

I supported the NPP during the 2000 election. I saw John Atta Mills as more of the same of JJ Rawlings and was alos worried that he would be heavily influenced by Rawlings as well. I was in secondary school and John Agyekum Kuffour was the main alternative. I can't remember much about the NPP's campaign, I can't even tell if that was the year they used the 'Asee ho' slogan. Ghanaians were tired of the NDC and they changed the government. I called it a 'second independence'. We were free from the rungs of the brutal NDC government and the years of under-development. I was excited for Ghana.

About 2 or 3 years into the NPP's rule, I stopped supporting the NPP. I was unhappy with how the NPP was dealing with corruption and how President Kuffuor was mismanaging the nation's funds. He was traveling at every opportunity instead of handling business at home. I felt he was selling Ghana's name alright, but Ghanaians were suffering. I wasn't happy with the rate of development even though we had received so much goodwill in the aftermath of the Rawlings government. The 2004 election came around, and I compared the records of the NPP and NDC. The NPP had done better in my view, their tenure had seen a good amount of infrastructural development and the Cedi had stabilized. They won the 2004 election one-touch, in the first-round. I hoped for a better four years.

Four years have come. The Cedi has been stable, inflation has come down, the Tetteh-Quarshie interchange has been built and there are buildings springing up all over. There are many other successes that the NPP has chalked. However, like the last 8 years have gone, Ghanaians have continued to suffer and it's not getting any better. There is a backlog of salaries in most professions. Cost of living is high and the standard of living for the vast majority of people is still low. Ghana is not very safe and the drug trade has become a national nuisance. The government is not doing much to discourage it. How else could MP Amoateng peddle drugs?

The NPP has introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme. Listen to people in Ghana, listen to the radio. Many people are not getting the health benefits they have been promised. If you go to the hospital and you are not supposed to pay but they are asking you for money, what will you do? The National Youth Employment Programme was more of an exercise. Hundreds of thousands of people wrote their names down but they still don't have the jobs. They feel deceived. The Presidential Special Initiatives that were supposed to provide jobs failed. The educational reform is the worst we've seen in a while. Parents can't afford the attendant costs of education and you see it right to increase school by a year?

We can't go one like this or with this. We need a change in government and in the way we do things. Above all, we need a leader. We need a leader who will travel to the source of conflict when it is happening. We need a leader who will believe in the ability of the Ghanaian to spend Ghana's taxes on him/her. We need a leader who would be a doer, an active person in the community. We need a leader who has a track record of getting things done. We need a leader who will run Ghana with a business-like attitude. He wants to fight corruption by strengthening the institutions. He attacks problems from the root.

The leader we need is here. He is called Paa Kwesi Nduom. I like Nduom because he is a doer. When he had to build businesses, he built them all over Ghana. That is what I call believing in Ghana. He built his business in Accra, Elmina, Obuasi and Tamale. We talk about neglecting the North, this one who has not. He knows the conditions of our people everywhere. I want a leader who cares for the masses and just doesn't show it when there is an election. PKN built a grassroots campaign to win the CPP candidacy and he has seen Ghana in and out. I also support Nduom because of his background. The man is a business consultant. We need a sense of urgency in the way we do things. Nduom's experience and expertise will drive our development in a way the other candidates cannot. The man has created jobs, that's what he does for a living so we can trust him to create jobs as a president.

I support Nduom because of his message. The very first time I heard him, I knew he was the one I would throw my weight behind. Why? He wants to empower Ghanaians, and put Ghanaians at the center of opportunity. This land is our land. Kuffour's NPP has brought a lot of investment but ask yourself, who is benefiting? We need to empower our people with the opportunities, resources and tools. Arguably, the most important things Ghana needs now are "jobs". You can check the unemployment rate. How many Ghanaians have jobs that they are trained for? How many Ghanaians have jobs that pay them enough? How many people have jobs that enjoy doing? Edwumawura means 'creator/owner of jobs'. Nduom is going to lead the charge in creating jobs by establishing factories or enabling their creation. We need a concerted effort to do so and Nduom is ready to do it.

Jobs have been created in Ghana alright, but they have mostly been in the service industry. We need to produce 'stuff'. We need to eat what we grow and grow we eat. We won't move forward at an acceptable pace unless we revitalize and enable a production industry. Ghanaians are talented, we have ideas, we have entrepreneurial skills, but we still import too many things. Nduom and the CPP wants to empower Ghanaians to create value in what we mine, grow and plant.

People talk about the CPP being a small party. We don't need a big party. The NPP has a lot of people but that didn't make them much. The CPP has men too, but that is not the point, we need the best people to lead and govern Ghana. That's why Nduom is pushing for the election of district executives and an all-inclusive government. Nduom will appoint the most capable people regardless of political affiliation. We need the CPP to unify the country and put paid to the NPP-NDC wranglings. The CPP may not have a majority in parliament and so the legislature would not pass a lot of his policies if he wins the presidency. If Nduom is pushing for policies in Ghana's best interests, and parliament opposes him because he's not in their party, then parliament would see some 'Wahala' demonstrations by the people of Ghana.

The CPP wants to create jobs and a climate which would allow Ghanaians to have change in their pockets when the bills are paid. Nduom is the best candidate for Ghana. We must not vote for the candidate who is popular or the one who has been around for the longest time, we must vote for the best. We have to change the way we do things and the agent of that active change is Paa Kwesi Nduom. It's no coincidence he won the debate. He knows what he wants to do and how he will do it. Vote for a doer. Vote for a leader. Vote for a sense of urgency. Vote for the best engine. Vote Edwumawura.

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