Feature Article of Monday, 19 November 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
Part Three, By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro. “Nana Akufo Addo has promised honest, transparent and accountable government if elected. How can Ghanaians trust him if he cannot be honest, transparent and accountable about his own past?” – Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK,
There is a big difference between the claim that, “Nana Addo never went to Oxford; he never got admission or applied to go to Oxford,” on the one hand, and the discovery that “the world renowned university confirmed that Nana Akufo Addo studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics but they have no records whether Nana Akufo Addo completed the 1962/63 academic year”! Does it not create a problem of trust? I shall continue to raise this issue until I have received a satisfactory answer from the NPP flag-bearer, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo!
It is a fundamental issue of trust. Why does he make it look like he is stuck with the answer? Is he unable to admit ever going to Oxford without explaining the reason for his exit? If so why? We are getting increasingly angry with this type of silence! What is Nana Akufo-Addo waiting for? He wants us to trust that the free SHS is not just a campaign promise and yet trying to behave like a crook even before Ghanaians think of voting him into office?
How does he hope to get the vote of the undecided but conscientious voter? The ones most difficult to convince? The non-partisan one-third of Ghana's electorate, those who think before they vote? Those who belong to no party? Isn't it what this last minute campaign is all about? To reach the undecided? Nana should not listen to the loyal NPP supporters who may line up to insult me, but think about the one third of the population who are non-partisan and vote swingers!
This is not the time to preach to the choir, but to go out to seek the unconvinced! You do not go out like that carrying such a baggage of opacity whilst preaching transparency. It may work with "party faithfuls" but not an objective voter who wants answers like any normal person would do! The old man needs to clear his throat and put some more contrived Sussex affected accent on the matter.
We don't mind his fake slangs in which the Twi "R" and "L" remain unperturbed under a storm of foreign articulations and affectations that betray a sense of insufficiency and a need to adopt airs, and to affect an unnecessary accent, after a relatively short stay in England. We don't mind that at all. He must speak out! He should come out and tell Ghanaians, why he is not a "fence post turtle"? I shall explain what a “fence post turtle” is, in a moment. I wish to strongly emphasize that Nana Addo needs to know that these accusations have travelled outside the borders of Ghana, and the reputation of Ghana is at stake.
If he does not want Ghana to be internationally recognized as a country with “fence-post turtle” Presidential candidate, he must respond! The only reason why he cannot simply give the reasons and say he has stopped smoking marijuana is because he cannot specify the time he stopped! This is because, according to WikiLeaks, he would be seen smoking first thing in the morning, almost twenty years later, presumably after the Oxford incident, by Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., Dr. Kwesi Anning, and, according to Dr. Anning, the German intelligence, and several other witnesses whose words are already in the public domain.
So another question that his failure to come clean raises is, "has he even stopped smoking marijuana at all?" If he has not stopped, why is he not transparent about that, since he promises to be transparent? We have said it before, and will say it again! The whole point is that maybe we are willing to forgive, but the main obstacle in our way is that it is difficult to forgive a liar who is still telling the same lie. This is why it is important for Akufo-Addo himself to clear the air. This is probably not as easy as a “tro tro” ride, but it might help to dispel perceptions of arrogance.
Please Nana, come forward and clear the air, you have everything to win from this! Any prolonged silence will spell nothing but the end of your political career. It is entirely up to you, as your nephew, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr, puts it, "A word to the wise can never be enough; else there would be no fools, to begin with!" Nana needs to come out and clear his name so that we do not becoming a laughing stock to the world as having elected a junkie as our President! It will not help to escape the classification of Ghana as a narco-state! The consequences of this could be humiliating searches of all Ghanaian citizens carrying Ghanaian passport and simply travelling as decent, law-abiding citizens. Some of these searches include the examination of the anus, and other private parts!
In 2008, Ghana escaped the status only with a change in government. The confidence of the international community in the ability of the NPP government to fight narcotic trafficking reached the lowest ebb, when the senior brother of the President, Mr Addo Kufour, who was then the Minster of the Interior flatly refused to be interviewed by the then BBC West African correspondent, Mr. Will Ross. There were many questions he would rather not answer, such as the three women of the executives of Dzorwulu branch of the Women”s wing of the NPP, being arrested at the Kotoka airport with heroin in their luggage, bound to the USA, and secretly released.
It is already being discussed in several circles around the globe! Whilst searching on the internet for leads, I even stumbled upon this at Cannabis.com, "Wikileaks: Ghana's Opposition Leader Likes To Wake 'n' Bake" by Jeremiah Vandermeer - Tuesday, September 6 2011, Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, smoking "...I don't have a heck of a lot of sympathy for Akufo-Addo, who was the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice from 2001 to 2003 under former President John Kufuor. Marijuana is illegal in Ghana, as is homosexuality. Laws like that could drive a man to smoke first thing in the morning"!
Here is a joke a friend mailed to me. It explains the “fence post turtle” While stitching up the hand of an 80-year-old farmer, the story goes, who got cut while fencing on his property, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to the 2012 elections in Ghana, as the two of them knew each other as expatriates.
“Well, ya know,” drawled the farmer, “this Akufo-Addo fella has the problem of substance abuse, certainly marijuana, even though cocaine has not been ruled out. This makes him a fencepost turtle in the Presidential race, and he will be a fence post turtle President, if he continues to smoke marijuana.”
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a fencepost turtle was. The old farmer said, “When you’re driving along a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s called a fencepost turtle.”
The old farmer saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain, “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he definitely doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just gotta wonder what kind of fool put him up there in the first place!"
Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana! Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro. Give me a follow on twitter: twitter.com/TheOdikro