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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mo Ibrahim award: Kufuor, others are not deserving

Ex-president J.A Kufuor
Ex-president J.A Kufuor

Executive Director of Institute for Democratic Governance, Dr. Emmanuel Akwete has waded into the surprise retention of the $5 million award for African leaders, saying the three shortlisted ex-African leaders are not deserving of the award.

Ghana’s ex-president John Agyakum Kufuor was among three ex-African leaders including, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo shortlisted for the best African leader award, under the tutelage of Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese magnate.

But the award committee in a surprise twist of the tale failed to produce a winner for the year under review.

Even though no specific reason has been given for the retention, except to say the award committee meant no disrespect to the eligible candidates, questions have been raised as to whether the shortlisted candidates met the criteria.

Mo Ibrahim in an interview with BBC said the candidates will still be eligible in the next two years.

But here in Ghana, governance expert, Emmanuel Akwete told Joy News, he was curious to find out who would have won, even though none of them was deserving anyway.

And with no winner announced his convictions have been confirmed.

He said Thabo Mbeki came close to satisfying the needed criteria, but is answerable to issues of conflict in his country.

“Given how Obasanjo messed up the Nigerian elections,” he should not have been considered he said.

For Kufuor, Emmanuel Akwete said there has to be a review of the democratic governance in Ghana since he only built on a foundation of Ghana’s democracy.

When Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoe alluded to the ex-president’s intervention in the just ended election 2008, the governance expert said that alone does not warrant an award.

But an international relations expert, Vladmir Antwi Danso has expressed surprise at the failure to announce a clear winner, saying Kufuor like any of the shortlisted candidates are deserving of the award.

Describing them as “models to emulate” he said each of the ex-presidents contributed in no small way to entrench democracy in Africa.

He said Ghana, but for the intervention of Kufuor, nearly marred her democratic credentials.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson to the ex-president, Frank Agyakum said Kufuor is indeed honoured to have been shortlisted but has no regrets at all over the turn of events.

The award was instituted three years ago and had Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana, and Joaquim Chissano, the former President of Mozambique winning the first two editions.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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