As per the dictates of the 1992 Fourth Republic Constitution of Ghana, the choice of a Running Mate to a Presidential Candidate is intoto the prerogative of the Presidential candidate. In simple terms it is the Presidential Candidate who has the unconditional right to hand-pick a running mate. However, from a critical examination of issues on the ground this prerogative of the Presidential Candidate is more theoretical than practical. We cannot ignore the enormous pressure from forces within and without a political party that has always been mounted on candidates to choose one running mate or the other. Globally, in many instances, the Running Mate can either brighten or dampen the electoral successes of a Presidential Candidate. Ghana is no exception. It is only in few cases that perhaps as a result of an accident of history that brings some presidential candidates into power, have the choice of a running mate not being an issue at all. The constitution of Ghana stresses the need for regional balance in government and by convention for some time now most Presidential Candidates and their Running Mates have always come from the South and North of Ghana respectively. I am not an adherent to this sort of arrangement though. For me, northerners should not always expect only to be picked as running mates nor should southerners always expect to be the presidential candidates. Also, in this sort of arrangement other factors other than competence might dominate the selection of a running mate which might lead to ineptitude when in power. However, as it is the case now, it might be very difficult to win power with both presidential candidate and the running mate coming from one part of the country. Let’s not forget that the current convention is a very strong weapon for bridging any disunity between the north and south. It is based on this current convention that I am suggesting that Hon. Ambrose Dery is a Perfect Match for Nana Akufo Addo in the 2012 Elections. Why am I making such a suggestion? I am mindful of the fact that in 2008 a northerner partnered Nana yet he lost power. Without making pronouncement which may be seen to be belittling the personality of Nana’s former Running Mate, I wish to state categorically that Ambrose Dery is a different person altogether. Moreover, 2012 election is equally a different ball game altogether. The NDC and NPP if am right have both defeated each other twice since the return to Constitutional Rule in Ghana in 1992. This implies that 2012 is the decider as to which party is the champion of champions. This means that the team that is put up for the post of Presidential Candidate and Running Mate by these two political parties must be the team that can win this champion of champions competition. Two questions then to ask are, will Hon. Ambrose Dery make a difference? Is he a champion of champions? In the political panorama (arena), the man Ambrose Dery’s entry into Politics could be described as a triumphant entry analogous to the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. From grass he has risen to grace in politics. It was hitherto considered impossible to win the Lawra-Nandom Seat on the Ticket of any party other than that of the NDC. But he won it through hard work and the development projects that he put in place as minister in the previous government. His constituents then felt that once he was synonymous with development why not elect him as their MP. To have broken the myth surrounding the impossibility of having a party other than NDC win the lawra seat is no mere an achievement and such are the people who can win power based on their track record of performance. If we are to talk about a successful career as a determinant for public office at the level of a Vice President then Honorable Ambrose Dery ranks among the top 5% of Legal luminaries that Ghana can boast off. As a student of philosophy, I will not commit the fallacy of hasty conclusion or that of non-causa non-prosa by saying that once someone has excelled in the academic or career field automatically, that makes him/her a good leader. The evidence of Hon. Ambrose Dery’s capability is there for us all to see. How many people upon entering politics less than a decade will hold ministerial positions, tare the road network of their home town, extend electricity to many villages in his constituency, become Deputy Minority Leader and Member of the Pan-African Parliament among others? But within the short time that he was politically recruited from his legal practice into the political system he has demonstrated that he is a doer and Ghanaians now want doers as leaders. Hence the reason why Hon. Ambrose Dery becomes a perfect Match for Nana in 2012. Another point which cannot be overlooked at is the issue of youth awakening in the political activities of Ghana. Reports from the recently held District Assembly Elections show that many of those who won the elections are young people. The interconnectivity here is that Ambrose Dery has given hope to many youth from not only his constituency, but youth all over the country. In fact he has won the hearts of many youth for demonstrating that political power is for change and for this matter many of the youth will stand firmly by him to ensure that his party wins the slot so as to let him better serve them. This fact cannot be down played. Last but not the least; Hon. Ambrose Dery is a practical man. Leaders of his caliber are what Plato refers to as Philosopher-Kings in his book titled ‘the Republic’. That is to say leaders who foresee problems before they emerge. A close examination of the policies implemented by Hon. Ambrose Dery reveals that he has always implemented most of those measures to forestall problems from occurring. For lack of space I will just mention one here. Before him, the response students from the Lawra District had from the District Assembly with regards to financial assistance to needy students at the universities and polytechnics was that the students from the Lawra District were too many and as such the District Assembly could not support them. Like a philosopher-king Hon. Ambrose Dery upon becoming MP took his own initiative and instituted a financial assistance package to needy students within his District even before the various student unions made a renewed appeal to him. These are leaders who foresee problems- he knew ahead that without financial assistance the number of students from the district in tertiary institutions would have reduced drastically. How come that he was able to give financial assistance to needy students under his common fund and others could not? In conclusion, as much as Nana has the sole right to choose his Running Mate, however, among those that I think ought to be considered, Honourable Ambrose Dery tops them all. Opinions are like noses, this is mine. You may have yours but the records devoid of any parochialism are there for us all to see. Long Live Ambrose Dery in Ghana’s Politics, for his long stay in politics means continuous development to his people and the nation at large.
Source: Dome Malisuo S.I- Dondomeyir
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