Feature Article of Monday, 19 November 2012
Columnist: The Catalyst
• As They Did For Mills
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is fast building a reputation for itself as a party which loves the dead more than the living. The opposition party has avidly demonstrated this sordid character trait in the death of late Vice President Aliu Mahama as it did when President John Evans Atta Mills died.
The NPP denied the late Aliu Mahama the opportunity to contest the presidential election on the ticket of the party in the 2008 elections, as he was effectively hounded out by the Akyem Mafia led by Nana Akufo-Addo and the Ashanti cabal led by no other than former President John Agyekum Kufuor himself.
Then President Kufuor ignored his vice president and supported his surrogate, Mr Alan Kyeremanteng’s bid for the Ashanti faction within the Akyem strongman, Nana Akufo-Addo, who was eventually declared winner of the contest after the party failed to get a clear winner following a 24-hour fierce battle between, what can be called, the two ‘royal families’ in the party.
Aliu’s cry that he had faithfully served his 8-year term as an apprentice to President Kufuor and it was time he was given the opportunity to succeed him on the party’s topmost job as presidential candidate leading to the possibility of him becoming the President of Ghana went unheeded. It is an open secret that he had had to pass through hell in order to have his nomination filed in the party’s 2007 flagbearership contest, which has come to be known in Ghanaian political parlance as ‘The 17-Man Beauty Contest.’
By this act, the NPP did not only deny the late Aliu Mahama the presidency but robbed the north of the country a glorious opportunity to have a citizen of that part of the country assuming the highest office of the Ghana under the 20-year old 1992 Constitutional Democracy of Ghana.
Had the NPP allowed the former Vice President to lead it into the 2008 elections, that would have made irrelevant the position of its critics that the opposition party has a deliberate policy in which only citizens from the northern part of the country can only be ‘used’ as vice presidents but will never be allowed to contest as president on the ticket of the party.
Since Alhaji Mahama died last Friday, members of the NPP have portrayed him as the best thing that had happened to Ghana, by showering on his dead body accolades that indicate he was the President Ghana never had, even though they were the very people who deliberately blocked his attempt to succeed his boss, Mr Kufuor after 8 long years under his apprenticeship.
It is not shocking the crocodile tears being shed for Alhaji Aliu Mahama by the NPP after his death. They Akufo-Addo-led party did same for late President John Evans Atta Mills.
In his lifetime, the NPP vilified the late President. He was insulted and attempts made at denigrating every step of the way. It was after his death that members of the opposition party had the courage to state their true feelings about the man known in Ghanaian politics as the ‘Asomdwehene.’
Aliu, who was laid to rest yesterday at his residence in Tamale, is said to have died of stroke after battling the sickness at the Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for nearly a week. He was 66.
May his soul rest in peace!