He has not officially declared his intention to run for National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), as of this writing, but it is quite clear that Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah, the former Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has the requisite administrative skills, at least in theory, and the intellectual temperament of critical detachment to effectively manage the affairs of the party (See “I Have More Than What It Takes to Be NPP National Chairman – Amoako-Baah” Ultimatefmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/13/17).
I make reference to his administrative skills “in theory,” because I have no first-hand information or knowledge vis-à-vis precisely how effective Dr. Amoako-Baah was as department chairman at Ghana’s second-most-significant tertiary academy, as it were. Nonetheless, the fact that from his own testimony, the retired KNUST historian and political scientist was able to create a graduate -degree program at his former pedagogical base and, presumably, actually produce competent graduates in his field of specialty, is a worthwhile experience to be taken into account in determining Dr. Amoako-Baah’s competency for the quite formidable job of NPP’s National Chairman. I have personally followed his public political activism and can attest that the man seems to have a remarkable appreciation for the internal factional dynamics of the party’s tradition and culture. What he needs to underscore as palpable proof of his ability to manage the affairs of the country’s largest political establishment, of course, is his appeal to both major factions of the New Patriotic Party, namely, the Adu-Boahen/Akufo-Addo Faction, and the Agyekum-Kufuor/ Kyerematen Faction. Make no mistake, the foregoing two factions exist in practice and any national chairmanship aspirant or candidate who wishes to be taken seriously had better take cognizance of this fact and studiously work towards a salutary reconciliation of the same, if the Danquah-Busia-Dombo ideological umbrella is to maintain its electoral mandate for the foreseeable future. So far, Dr. Amoako-Baah has admirably demonstrated that he is a man of principles and a straight-shooter for protocol. This is laudably exemplified by his alleged rejection of an appointment offered him by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo because the verbal communication of the alleged appointment did not meet best political practices across the democratic world. I have also once appeared on a radio talking-heads program with the man and can vouch for the fact of Dr. Amoako-Baah’s being a forthright player in the art and science of the political game. And this may, no doubt, endear him to some sections of the NPP constabulary; and it is precisely the sort of skill and temperament that the NPP needs to have a long stay in power. The preceding notwithstanding, Dr. Amoako-Baah has yet to demonstrate that he has the sort of people-oriented skills that could rake in the level of financial and other material support needed to manage the business of a preeminent, big-time premier political leaguer like the New Patriotic Party. This aspect of the job description of NPP’s National Chairman may not be nearly as simple as it may seem. And this is where the former KNUST historian and political scientist may need to concentrate most of his attention.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 14, 2017