Ghana: Former President Connects With People On Facebook

Ghanaian ex-president John Kufuor / Image courtesy: Kufuor;s Facebook page

It has been almost a year and half since John Kufuor respectfully handed over power to President Atta Mills in what was touted by political analysts as the most peaceful and remarkable election in African politics. His post-presidential months were not the most pleasant – from accusations of ludicrous ex gratia demands to those of corruption, the former president was hammered from all corners.

Despite leaving office, Kufuor still sees the need to communicate with the public. Thanks to social networking, Kufuor communicates using his Facebook account, which has 15,066 followers (at the time of writing this post).

It appears that President Kufuor is the only Ghanaian past president thus far who connects with Ghanaian citizens through social media platforms. And perhaps the first to take his socio-political agenda, in this case poverty and hunger, onto an international platform.

The former Ghanaian president announced his appointment as Ambassador Against Hunger for the World Food Programme on his Facebook page:

His Ever Excellency John Agyekum kufuor has been appointed an Ambassador Against Hunger for the World Food Programme. He will work for The Hunger Project and will be an Ambassador Against Hunger and Disaster.<

This announcement received 95 thumbs up and 50 comments from his followers.

Erasmus ‘Pobosky’ Oware commented:

Congratulations K4. The world will always recognize your good works and will reward you accordingly. You are the best that ever happened to us. Congrats once again Daddy.

Arthur Chester said:

U hav done a lot for Ghanaian children when u were president and some of us still believe dat u will put dat experience into play once again. We say congrats for the elevating to dat level. Stay there and bring good name to yourself and mother Ghana.

On October 9, 2009, it was announced on his Facebook page that he had finally assumed office as Chairman of the Governing Council of Interpeace, a non-governmental organization dedicated to international peace building in societies that have experienced division and conflict. Today, his face is one of the few that grace the organization's homepage.

Though John Kufuor was not appointed to lead any relief efforts following 2010 Haiti earthquake, he urged his followers on Facebook to pray for Haitians and “help for they are all our brothers and sisters”:

My heart goes out to the people of Haiti. I pray the good Lord will calm the situation. Let us all do anything we can to help for they are all our brothers and sisters.

His followers discuss various topics on his discussion board. “The Best President” is one of the topics on the board. The topic was introduced by Francis saying:

I submit that Former Ghanaian President Kufuor is one of the most successful African president, if not the most successful in contemporal Africa

Kweku agreed:

thats the truth all the way no gimmicks no lie

But not Frimpong:

Though, as a president he did great,that does not make him the best of all the presidents Ghana has ever had.

Steve noted that Kufuor did not satisfy everyone:

Prez KuFFour, His Time Of Governing Ghana many things went wrong, He did his best but not to SATISFACTION Of all. I Learnt Prez KuFFour Never VISITE Upper West Region ,WA , in his 8years Rule. Ghana is more than 50years and all the Presidents who Rule the Nation Ghana did thier best.

Kofi sees Kufuor as humble and tolerant:

he is 2nd to none,i think he is the best president we have ever had in ghana,so humble , tolerant and GOD fearing.

When the head of the Ghanaian National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) stormed his residence claiming that the house was in water way, his followers reacted through his Facebook page.

Juliet said:

Very sad and unfortunate how cheap politics can give some butterflies wings.

“Leave the old man alone,” said Hillary:

why wasn't this done during his administration. what about SHOPRITE,VILLAGIO and all other residences around. give us a break. LEAVE THE “OLDMAN” ALONE……..

Another political figure in Africa using social networking sites to communicate with citizens is Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan. In July 2010 we published two posts about his Facebook page.

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