As the race for the next Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) hots up, several names have emerged from the wood works.
Some are well known both inside and outside the party. Others are still trying to make their mark, even if they have been in the party for a long time.
The role of a party chairman is a powerful one everywhere. But more so in Ghana where patronage rules the day. The NPP is yet to resolve its problems with the last elected chairman, Mr. Paul Afoko, but that does not stop some incumbents from displaying their goods as if in a bazaar. Let me declare my interest before I proceed. I have known the affable, young committed David Kankam Boadu since the 1980s.
Even though a Ghanaian, it was his Tanzanian father in-law who introduced me to him as “one of the merging youth leaders in exile.” His in-law is the late Tanzanian revolutionary and former leader of the Zanzibar revolution, Professor Abdul-Rahman Babu, In our exile years Abdul-Rahman was our mentor. Babu as he was well known was also a prolific writer and commentator till his untimely death in a London hospital. Kankam Boadu is also a close friend of the US politician, Rev. Jesse Jackson.
KB is still young, and has fire burning in his bosom, has very strong international connections and his mission is to make the NPP, one of the most powerful centre right political party in Ghana. At the moment, it has no challenger in this direction.
On the role of the youth in his party, Kankam Boadu responds almost without hesistation. “I believe the youth need a character like me. Down to earth, grassroots activist like me”.
Why does a powerful party like the NPP need a young man who is yet to make his mark outside the party I asked him. “I will be a unifier of the party, I bring to the party a leadership style that has the grassroots as its focus”. His style is passionate and convincing. His politics spans pan Africanism, African unity and global leadership. He is versatile in the sense that he understands Ghana and Africa from his years in exile. His family background is equally impressive, if the Busia-Danquah tradition needs a youth Ambassador Kankam Boadu promises to offer himself for the role.
He was a spokesman for the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, former vice President under the President Agyekum Kufuor administration. Mr. Kankam Boadu was a spokesman in the late Aliu Mahama’s campaign. Started his campaign in the period leading to the 2007 NPP primaries. Before that he served as the NPP representative for Milton Keynes in the UK, where most NPP leaders gained their experience. Mr. Boadu returned to Ghana on March 21, 2006 and has never looked back.
“I want to see the party grow from strength to strength, I want to tell our party grassroots that they will not be neglected when I become party chairman. Working In unity for development, hand in hand with the grassroots. That my vision, that is my aim.” To achieve this he needs the party leadership. “I am calling on the party leadership to support me knowing what I have done for the party”.
With a voice that sounded as if he was on a campaign podium, he bemoaned the “bring your certificate complex” in Ghanaian politics. He may be right. A certificate does not necessarily demonstrate acute political interest and ability. And Mr. Kankam Boadu has a lot to offer.
Kankam Boadu comes with a lot on his side. He declares that he has been a party “supporter since childhood”. His family has always supported the Busia-Danquah tradition, and he will support the NPP “till the end”. All that he needs is an opportunity to demonstrate his commit-ment and love for the party he has worshipped all his life., and he hopes that the NPP grassroots will see him in that light.
The campaign for the NPP party chairmanship is several months away, but Mr. Kankam Boadu already has started his campaign.
He is working hard day and night, galvanising the NPP grassroots for a gruelling campaign battle. “I am ready to lead the NPP to victory in 2020. I can see no challenger.”
With a vision like his, and with youth, political experience and a vast knowledge of Africa on his side, that is what the NPP needs in the days and months leading to 2020.