And Voters’ Neglect
As Quintessential Kufuor Warns Akufo-Addo Against Power Drunkenness
A Policy Advisor in the ruling Conservative Party of United Kingdom (UK) last Saturday, shocked the New Patriotic Party (NPP), questioning the flamboyance and vulgar abuse of money at its National Delegates Conference at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, saying the resources should have been channeled to the wellbeing of voters.
Dr. John Hayward, who represented Conservative Party at the event last Saturday, criticized the ruling party for the money, aspirants spent on expensive posters and huge banners to project themselves, ahead of the Delegate Conference, saying he saw more party posters than delegates who took part in the programme.
John Hayward, a very learned physically challenged person, in a solidarity message from his party at the conference on the campus of the Koforidua Technical University in the Eastern Region, expressed shock over the many expensive posters he had seen, as well as other means of campaigns adopted by the various contestants.
The social campaigner with a background in international development, questioned whether that is a prudent use of resources, emphasizing that per his experience, voters prefer political parties which focus on the needs of the people.
“I came through the streets today, and I saw so many posters, posters of the wonderful candidates here in this conference. But I had to reflect. I think I saw more posters than the delegates here at this conference and I wondered, ‘is this really the best use of our resources?’” the UK politician bemoaned without looking over his shoulders.
Huge billboards and posters greet anyone who enters Koforidua, indeed, some reporters in the region, say posters were splashed on every single wall, floor, kiosk, trees, street lights and even on abandoned vehicles parked on the shoulders of roads.
The opulence was questioned by John Hayward, who insisted it does not show a judicial use of the country’s resources, and admonished the NPP to channel their resources into improving the lives of Ghanaians and not on posters.
“I have a lesson from the Conservative party, that voters like parties which focus on the voters. Voters are less keen on parties that focus on their internal processes. And hope you can benefit from my experience ,as I encourage you to go forth from here today and focus your time, efforts and resources in reaching out to the voters of Ghana,” he added.
He suggested that, the NPP was treading on slippery grounds with respect to the use of resources and advised that it rather invests in the lives of the citizenry.
“Voters are less keen on parties, but focus more on the internal issues on the parties. We hope that the NPP can reach out more on the people,” he noted.
The NPP, has always boasted of its ties with the Conservative Party,= currently led by Theresa May the UK Prime Minister, and John Hayward, who was the Conservative candidate in Cambridge for the 2017 UK general election, was frank with its sister party; the NPP.
Hayward grew up in Emsworth, Hampshire. Despite being born with just one arm and no legs, he earned the Queen’s Scout Award after learning to ski and climb mountains. He was also awarded the Cornwell Scout Badge (“the Scout V.C.”) in honour of his “pre-eminently high character and devotion to duty”.
Hayward was an undergraduate at Christ’s College, Cambridge, matriculating in 1989 and reading Natural Sciences; he went on to obtain a Ph.D. in genetics.
He has had a career in international development, founding the “Society in Tajikistan for Assistance and Research,” an adult education institute, which he directed for seven years, and helping to empower disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe.
He also gained a Master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in California and worked as the Executive Director of a Cambridge-based social reform think tank, the Jubilee Centre campaigning on issues such as workers’ rights, national wellbeing and human rights.
In May 2017, Hayward was selected as the Conservative Party’s candidate in Cambridge. At that time he was working as the professional manager of the Conservative Party’s Policy Forum, the national body that enables members of the party to help shape government policy.
Described during the campaign as an “impressive interlocutor,” Hayward took 9,133 votes, a slight increase on 2015, with his party taking 16.3percent of the vote.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, also warned the leadership of the party he once led into office, as well as the Akufo-Addo government not to be power drunk.
Taking his turn to address the party’s Delegates in Koforidua, he said power of any form, has a way of tricking people even when they have good intention.
Quoting Lord Acton’s famous lines, he said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so at every turn even as we make progress in governance and we are making serious progress in all sectors.”
“Power can trick you, if you are not careful, you become complacent, conceited discriminatory and you will think that you do not need to critically look at the grassroots,” he advised the yet to be elected leaders as the party looks to hold on to power.
The former president, talked about the disunity within the ruling party stating emphatically that, “as an old uncle, I have come to remind our leadership and all of us within the party that only one and half years into power, it is the unity that will let us achieve more.”
Mr Kufuor, who had advocated longer tenure for governments in the country, argued that although the four years is short to change the world or transform the country, the NPP, aims to do so and it will need a solid united party.
He urged the leadership of the party and all those in government, not to forget the grassroots so the party, could solidify its gains to win the 2020 election to continue developing the country.
According to him, the party needs to draw from its philosophy and the benefit of hindsight to nudge itself of ego and selfishness from time to time.
“Our party tradition enjoins us from the very beginning to be the vanguard for delivering good governance and prosperity for our nation,” Mr Kufuor said.
Kufuor said, if every member swallows their pride, egos, and rally behind the vision of President Akufo-Addo, Ghana would be transformed at a faster rate to give the NPP more electoral fortunes.
“I have come to remind you that we are only one and half years into power. Unfortunately for us, the tenure of office of our government is too short, it is only four years. You don’t change the world within four years but we want to change the world, we want to transform Ghana. And to be able to do this we need a very solid and united party as the undercarriage for the great vision and great policies the government is launching to be given the change of the day, to win election over and over again at the national level so that these visions could be realized for the people of Ghana as a whole. And to do this I’ve just come to you to please swallow your pride.”
He said, the party can only succeed when it is united, purposely and single-minded in the discharge of that responsibility bequeathed to them by the visionary leader J.B Danquah, adding “for this, we must swallow our individual egos and with all due respect vanity for the greater good of our country and humanity at large.”
The former president, lauded Kofi Abrifa Busia, whom he described as a great humanist for his knowledge and drawing from the length and breadth of the country.
He lauded the team work which existed between Kofi Abrifa Busia and Simon Diedong Dumbo, during the First Republic, and asked that the NPP leadership draw lessons from that partnership.
Mr Kufour reminded the party members of Kofi Busia trusted leadership, which always reminded his followers never to forget that, the wealth of the nation was generated from the rural areas of the country.
He said that was why Kofi Busia ,developed the rural areas and supported farmers.
He described Simon Diedong Dumbo, as a selfless person throughout his leadership.