Ghana’s former president John Kufuor yesterday recalled a time when he was unwanted in Kenya by some politicians.
Addressing the Second Annual G Governors’ Conference in Naivasha, Mr Kufuor recalled that during the 2008 post-election violence “when brother rose against brother, and sister rose against sister,” some politicians said he had only come to Kenya for a cup of tea.
As President of Ghana as well time when he was unwanted Ex-Ghana president John Kufuor as the substantive chairman of the African Union, Mr Kufuor said he had “the singular privilege to set up the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities to seek ways to bring peace to a country on the brink of self-destruction”.
“I cannot help but be proud of the progress made so far from the turbulent times of seven years ago when everything seemed so bleak that one could not see light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Mr Kufuor was speaking on the eve of the anniversary of the National Accord that was signed on February 28, 2008 by President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga, creating a power-sharing government.
He said Kenyans and their governors had the new Constitution to thank which allows them to meet freely.
“That we are able to meet today under such salubrious conditions and give vent to our differing views free of intimidation, tells volumes of how far we have travelled on the path of democratic governance in Kenya. Today, I am personally gratified and proud to see a new country – a country that is truly rising,” he added.
“Your collective resolve should be that never again should man’s inhumanity to man be allowed to take place on such an ignominious scale, ever,” he urged the governors.
Touching on the politics of exclusion which he said had cost Africa four decades of opportunity, he said: “Kenyans’ quest for dignity, peace, prosperity, justice, sustainability, and an end to poverty, which has reached a crescendo since that political crisis, can only be attained through governance which is inclusive.” Inclusive governance, he added, was the prescription for Africa’s transformation and equitable development.
“Africa’s history was replete with strong men since independence half a century ago, all of whom only managed to stagnate and stunt the growth of our countries,” he said adding, “they tried in vain to usurp sovereign power.” According to the statesman, in a modern democracy such as Kenya, the people willingly hand over their sovereign power to their elected representatives under a contract called the constitution.
Kenyans, he said, expected of the Government “to aim at real improvement in people’s lives and in the choices and opportunities open to them.”