New novelist and member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Sekou Nkrumah says although he will vote for President J.E.A. Mills in the 2012 presidential election, he will not campaign for the president.
Campaigning for president Mills, Dr Nkrumah believes will be a stark contradiction to the position he has held for some time now that the president is not a leader and that the administration had remained largely visionless.
“I can’t campaign for Prof. Mills because then there will be a contradiction of all the things that I’ve been saying and all the things that I still believe in. But the thing is that I have to accept that he was chosen by the delegates representing the voice of the party.”
He told host of Joy FM the president must “make changes if he can… I think meeting publicly with Rawlings…will be a good thing. …I mean if he is not going to change his leadership style, if he is not going to probably change some of the people around him, if he is not going to do things differently, then he shouldn’t expect people to campaign for him.”
The sacked former Co-ordinator of the National Youth Council however maintained that he is still a committed member of the ruling party and that the NDC is a better party than the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Dr Nkrumah, who supported the ambitious bid of Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, said he would be surprised if the former first lady campaigns for the president in the 2012 elections. “I don’t see it happening, I don’t see Mr Rawlings campaigning for Prof Mills,” he said.
That notwithstanding, the NDC, he believes can still win next year’s elections without the Rawlingses campaigning for President “Mills because at the end of the day it is Ghanaians that will decide whether the NDC has been doing a good job in government”.
Despite backing Nana Konadu’s candidature, Dr Sekou Nkrumah, said he believes the former First Lady’s decision to vie for the presidential candidacy of the NDC – while demonstrating her remarkable boldness – was ill-conceived.
As a wife to Mr Rawlings who ruled Ghana for close to 20 years, it was a bit naïve for her to expect that Ghanaians would vote her to become president, he said.
He had some advice for the former First Lady: “She should forget about being president. It won’t happen.” For him it was regrettable that much energy and resources was put into winning elections than providing the people with responsible governance and changing the lives of the people after winning the elections.
Dr Sekou Nkrumah, who said he has just published his first novel, A Fatherless Child, is shocked that NDC, a party that has tremendous experience, having been in government before, should be fumbling so badly.
The haphazard governance he says is due to lack of a big vision. He rejected suggestions government’s mantra of eliminating schools under trees is a big vision, contending that “If you move a school from under a tree to a block, that is not education. We should be thinking about quality education.”
He proposed that if because of resource constraints the government cannot provide all Ghanaians with quality education, it should put up elite schools in every region where – even if only a few – Ghanaians are given the best education that can be obtained anywhere in the world. That way, the few will change the society in the future. Under this arrangement, brilliant but needy children should be given scholarship.
“You need brains to turn the country around; you need a certain kind of the crème out of this society that can really make the difference,” added.
For now he doesn’t see president Mills providing inspirational and visionary leadership which has the potential to make significant progress in the country’s development.