opinionBy Mahama Haruna
Once again, the need has arisen for the people of Salaga to choose a Member of Parliament (MP) for the next four years. This historical town is at the proverbial crossroads and its future will be determined by the decision the people make on December 7, 2012.
The kind of MP that will be chosen by the people of Salaga will be a reflection of their sense of judgment on how they want the development of the constituency to be charted.
The Salaga constituency is my ancestral constituency and with my interaction with some people from the constituency, I have come to one realization, it is a realization that their choice of MP for the 2008 elections was a big mistake, a mistake they do not want to carry into the future.
It has dawned on the people of Salaga that their MP does not carry with him the voice capable of resonating in the walls of Parliament and as well championing their cause for development.
Leadership is about people. It is about how to lead people to achieve the desired outcomes for a course. The Quran tells us that God and his Prophets have guided humanity in every sphere of life. They have also guided us in matters of the selection of our leaders.
Different people may have different perceptions related to choice of leadership. But one quality for leadership in Islam is the ability to apply knowledge to a particular situation to bring about the most desirable outcome.
According to the Book of Proverbs, the qualities of good leadership are hard work, good listening skills, wise planning and common sense, ability to stand adversity and pressure and openness to new ideas.
I am convinced Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Saddique has these leadership traits espoused by the two major religions. He is a humble, honest and a sincere gentleman who had exhibited enormous leadership qualities. He is articulate and has excellent media relations.
Irrespective of the political affiliations of the people of Salaga, I urge them to choose Alhaji Boniface as MP for the constituency. The Salaga constituency needs someone who can adequately represent them in Parliament and lobby for development.
The people need someone who is accessible and always available. The people of Salaga need a more capable and dynamic MP who can champion the progress and development of the area and also be an asset to the country.
Alhaji Boniface is a lobbyist and could bring in many resources to develop the constituency. He is an experienced politician. He is a professional in Finance, having spent many years at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as a civil servant.
He was the Deputy Minister of Tourism and later Trade and Industry. He was a Northern Regional Minister and later occupied the position of Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, as well as Minister for Housing and Water Resources, before his party lost power.
With this impressive record, one can only appreciate the depth of his experience. As Northern Regional Minister, he helped immensely to restore peace during the Dagbon chieftaincy crisis. He is widely respected by even members of NDC. He is understanding and makes his decisions from a base of mature reflection.
From his days as a civil servant at the Ministry of Finance to today, Alhaji Boniface has proven that he is cut out for the job of an MP. He has what it takes to be an efficient, effective and a progressive legislator. His natural appeal to floating voters and non NPP voters is well known. He is accessible and ever ready to help.
Alhaji Boniface, a self-sacrificing, charismatic and eloquent politician is the ray of hope for Salaga, because he is very passionate about the development of the area. With my little interaction with him, one thing I have noted is that, his love for Salaga knows no bounds.
He has maintained a positive relationship with the Youth, Opinion leaders, Religious leaders and the Chiefs of the area, though some people mistakenly voted against him in the last election.
The campaign of Alhaji Boniface is based on the issues of jobs for the youth, improving the general well being of the people, improving infrastructural development in the constituency and involving his constituents in the governance of the constituency.
In voting for Alhaji Boniface, the people of Salaga have chosen a suitable MP, someone with exceptional dynamism, someone who has a towering political pedigree and an unmatched exposure.
In deed, Alhaji Boniface is one of those who undoubtedly represent the future of his party. He is a colossus primed for the pantheon of our greats.
As for the current MP for Salaga, Hon. Alhaji Braimah Dey, the least said about him the better. Ever since he crossed from the NPP to NDC, after losing the 2004 NPP parliamentary primaries, he has never been well accepted by the rank and file of his own party.
Many in Salaga are now confessing that the greatest mistake they made in the history of Salaga politics is voting for the current MP. In fact, he has become a political albatross for the constituency.
Hon. Alhaji Dey, by all standards and intent is a non-performing MP. With the standards set by Boniface as MP for Salaga from 2000 to 2008, many Ghanaians felt whoever took over from Boniface should have been visible and on top of issues.
The Salaga MP lacks the skills needed to consult, collaborate, and even the intellectual ability to stay on top of issues. He has never played any active part in parliamentary proceedings, much to the chagrin of his constituents. His performance at the Public Accounts Committee is simply abysmal.
It is pretty obvious the MP has nothing new to offer the people of Salaga. He has no plans for the constituency. He has never influenced any developmental project in the constituency, apart from the initiatives by some individuals whom he does not even know.
It will be in his interest to throw in the towel because the grassroots' agitation against him is at its peak. The people of Salaga cannot afford to maintain a mediocre MP who has nothing to offer the constituency.
I wish to conclude by saying that the people of Salaga have an anchor, a true advocate and a dedicated, committed and honest son, Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Saddique. He is somebody they can truly rely upon.
He will never fail nor abandon the people, and will serve rather than to be served. I can promise the people of Salaga that Boniface is a team player, a very resourceful person and a deep thinker who makes decisions after matured reflection.