Accra, January 13, 2003: It's been reported that Togolese
long-serving President, Gnassingbe Eyadema has had his country's
constitution tinkered with so that he can run again (and of course
win) as President.
Ghanaian President, John Agyekum Kufuor is being asked by certain
civil society groups in Ghana to appeal to the Togolese leader to
desist from this clearly foolish and provocative venture.
But how much can our president influence his colleague in Lome
to cut it out if the man has already made up his mind and has the
full support of his own courtiers? Not much.
What if Eyadema thrusts a finger in some rude fashion at our respected
president and says mind your business? From then on, our president's
nights - and days too, would be nightmarish, for Ghana's eastern
borders would all of a sudden become too hot to handle.
President Kufuor has in the two years of becoming president developed
a huge stature internationally as a democrat and one of these few
African leaders who can make democracy work. No wonder much is expected
of him in the AU's and ECOWAS' peer correcting principles.
Though there are dangers involved, we wish to add our voice to
those other voices calling on our President to bring to bear whatever
moral force he can marshal to dissuade Eyadema from running again.
We do not mean Kufuor should give his colleague a public dressing
down, but to exploit the trust we believe exists between the two
of them to let the Togolese leader know that should his intention
be put into practice, it would not be in the interest of the sub-region