In spite of claims by President Atta Mills and his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration that former President John Kufuor and his erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) government did little to salvage Ghana from poverty, Dr. Obed Asamoah, a former NDC kingpin in the Rawlings administration, says the NPP did a lot.
This, according to Dr Asamoah who, until the formation of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), was the National Chairman of the NDC, was evident in the fact that President Kufuor ran the country as a businessman managing a business entity, largely contributing to his government’s successes unlike the ruling NDC which believed in propagating ideology.
This was when he was asked by the ‘Africawatch’ magazine to assess the way in which the erstwhile NPP administration managed the economy.
Whilst he admitted that every President and government would have its own challenges, he noted, “I think he (Kufuor) achieved quite a lot.” He said Kufuor was so open-minded that he was able to get the Chinese to help build the Bui Dam.
“You would have thought that the NPP perhaps wouldn’t co-operate with socialist countries, but he was practical enough to know that that’s where the money was. And he went and got it, so he actually blazed the way for Mills.”
The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice said Mills and his Ministers were not the first to discover the way to China.
Dr. Asamoah said the Kufuor administration succeeded in creating the kind of confidence that enabled investors to come and put so much money into the discovery of the country’s oil since “it was because of the confidence he created in the business community that it was worth making the sacrifice and that is a great achievement! Kufuor and his government did their best.”
He said, “If really he had solved all the problems, the Mills administration would be sleeping.”
The veteran politician said Kufuor was more of a businessman. “I think the NDC men tend to be more ideological and the NPP are practical business people.”
On the question of whether or not Mills should be allowed to stand on the ticket of the NDC unopposed and whether Mrs Rawlings would be a good choice for the NDC in 2012, Dr. Asamoah guessed that the President might after all not seek re-election as rumours have it.
“If you believe in those rumours and you are interested, then you will start lacing your boots. You’ve got to look at the Nana Konadu move in that context,” he said, adding that “anybody in any political party should be able to vie for any office.”
He therefore does not subscribe to the belief that “the thing is for somebody”, thereby condemning the way and manner in which then President Rawlings made the infamous ‘Swedru declaration, in which he acclaimed Mills as the party’s presidential candidate on a political platform in 1998, without any voting process or consultation.
“I believe that Nana Konadu has the right to contest if she decides to contest. I really don’t think that because President Mills is there nobody should contest. And I have said that in terms of the history of the NDC, Konadu has made more contributions than President Mills, so in that context, it’s difficult to deny her the right to contest.”
Source: Daily Guide