I didn’t really follow the last two contests for the New Patriotic Party’s presidential ticket. In 2007, the candidates were just too many to track all messages. In 2010, it was obvious who was going to win so I didn’t bother. But I have always being interested in Alan Kyerematen who together with Nana Addo appear to be the best the NPP has to offer. While everyone tries once for that ticket, both men have done it twice. But Mr. Kyerematen disappears after each battle and shows up for the next.
He is contesting for the 2016 ticket. It is evident from the calibre of people contesting in 2014 that it will be a two-horse race again. However because of his disappearance acts and the drama his last two campaigns generated, I missed out on his opinions on issues and policies for transformation.
Hence I have been keenly following his campaign for 2016. I have watched every television interview, read every newspaper and online story, and listened to radio interviews over and over but all I have found so far are opinions and nothing else.
He is always listing problems or telling NPP supporters they need power. Where he has offered solutions, they have been laughable – the kind that makes the idea of a President Kyeremanten scary. Take, for example, his proposal to halt the decline of the cedi by organising a national forum on the state of the economy. As if we haven’t held enough forums already.
Mr. Kyeremanten did a lot of speaking last week. He was at the Graphic-Fidelity Breakfast meeting on the theme “Maximizing the value of exports to improve Ghana’s trade balance.”
As a former Trade Minister, this is an area I expected him to show how we could maximize exports.
“We need to identify new strategic pillars of growth which will diversify the export base of our country,” he said. “It is an indictment on all of us that for over 100 years, we’ve not been able to think beyond cocoa in terms of pushing our export agenda.”
Kyeremanten also said that “an export-led growth strategy [should] be placed at the centre of Ghana’s national development agenda.” I don’t know where Mr. Kyerematen expects me to find that “export-led growth strategy” bowl. But I want to tell him that a man seeking to govern a country shouldn’t be hawking “we need to identify” policies.
Just because the NPP won’t be holding debates to educate their supporters on the policies of prospective candidates doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t care. We want to know exactly HOW he plans to reverse economic decline, reduce maternal and child mortality, stem corruption, improve our roads and boost the quality of education.
The next time Mr. Kyeremanten speaks I want to hear about those plans instead of those hollow speeches filled with things like that “NATO nation – No Action Talk Only.” I want to hear and read about his vision for Ghana. He must give us the tangible things he hopes to achieve within a 4-year term.
If the possibility of someone stealing his ideas and policies is the reason for those empty speeches, he should know Ghanaians can tell the difference in the implementation process. As the Agbogloshie traders will tell you every tomato seller has a clientele. It is all in the packaging.