General News of Saturday, 26 January 2013
Pro-NPP media plan exit strategy
By A A Yayra
There is an adage that “the dead man does not know the value of his coffin.” However, contrary to this wise saying, it seems the defeated Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has a mental value of how his political coffin will look should he lose the court case currently pending at the Supreme Court, especially when all odds are against him.
In what could go down in the political history of Ghana as a dramatic somersault, The Al-Hajj has picked up strong signals from the Nima residence of Nana Akufo-Addo that, he is hatching some political tactics that will prepare the grounds for him to withdraw the NPP’s petition at the highest court of the land.
Among the strategies been adopted, a deep throat source close to the defeated presidential candidate revealed, is to create a gory scene using ‘respectable’ media houses sympathetic to the opposition NPP that, Nana Akufo-Addo’s life has come under serious threat.
The reason(s) ostensibly, is for daring to challenge the results of the Presidential election, which result saw the National Democratic Congress candidate, John Mahama declared winner, but the reality, according to our dependable source, is to prepare peoples’ mind for termination of the Supreme Court petition.
According to the source “it is becoming increasingly clear by the day that some members of the Ashanti power blocs in the NPP led by former President Kufuor and Alan Kyerematen are not in favour of the court case, though, they won’t admit to that publicly.
“What do you do when all odds are against you; you definitely give in; isn’t it? That is exactly what Nana Addo wants to do now, but as to how he will do it, that is the problem. He has to device some clever political means to blame it on. You and I know the political capital the NDC will achieve if Nana Addo just comes out to announce he is no more interested in the case…we need some nice way to make such a public declaration” our source averred.
Manifesting this well rehearsed plan, some media houses have staged an elaborate plan to prepare the minds of Ghanaians, particularly supporters of the NPP that should in case Nana Akufo-Addo pulls out of the current legal tussle, it might be because, he did that to guard his cherished life.
In line with this move, The New Crusading Guide in its Tuesday, January 22, 2012 edition carried a story, which among other things claimed some elements within the national security apparatus stormed the Nima residence of Nana Akufo-Addo to threaten him to discontinue the Supreme Court petition or risk losing his life.
The NPP disputed results of the 2012 presidential election and joins the Electoral Commissioner and President John Mahama in a petition at the Supreme Court seeking the annulment of the results. This prompted the National Democratic Congress to also file an application requesting to be joined to the NPP’s petition as respondents, a request, the Supreme Court has since granted last Tuesday despite the NPP’s strenuous objection.
The NPP had earlier raced back to court raising eye brows about the chair of the panel of Supreme Court justices, Justice William Atuguba, citing reasons that he is a relative of Dr. Raymond Atuguba who has been appointed Executive Secretary at the presidency by defendant, President Mahama.
Dramatically, the NPP out of the blue withdrew its verbal motion for reconstitution of the Supreme Court panel “in order to facilitate an expeditious determination of the petition.”
Again, presidential candidate of the NPP in the December 2012 election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is opposing the request by the Electoral Commission (EC) for further documents in their petition contesting the results of the presidential polls.
In an affidavit in opposition dated January 21, 2013, Akufo Addo prayed the court to dismiss the EC's request. He said the EC "ought not to be permitted to employ an application for further and better particulars to compel the petitioners to disclose the nature of evidence petitioners intend to lead during the trial".
Hearing of the EC's motion for further particulars has been set for January 29, 2013.
Following this back and forth legal gymnastics, political analysts have argued that considering how long the case is likely to travel, especially when the President has indicated he will bring 4, 800 witnesses to testify in the case and also the Supreme Court granting the NDC the opportunity to be joined in the case, which automatically hands the umbrella party some psychological advantage, the defeated NPP candidate will be finding ways to withdraw his application.
“Now that the NDC has been joined, it makes the works of the NPP legal team very difficult because they will now be fighting against three opponents instead of two…that certainly could drag the case beyond four years…even then, there are also serious dissenting views from the NPP party, who are mounting pressure on the petitioners to with draw it”. One analyst told this paper
Earlier this week, a founding member of the NPP and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana at 50 Secretariat, Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey questioned the party's decision to boycott the by- election in Akatsi and Buem constituency on the basis that the party is in court, saying "there is a lack of logic in the reasons ascribed."
In an open letter, he noted that "if you (NPP) say that the EC's conduct is unbecoming and you are contesting the EC's conduct at the Supreme Court, you either have to wait for the outcome of that case; but if you decide and you pick and choose which actions of the EC you want to be part of, then am saying that it is a complete lack of logic."
He called on the party to direct its energies towards winning the 2016 elections and dared the party to completely boycott all activities in Parliament if they want to be taken serious, adding that the decision by the petitioners to challenge results of the election is a “knee jerk self-promotional gimmicks”.