Feature Article of Thursday, 2 April 2009
Columnist: Atitsogbui, Paul Parker
I will first of all congratulate all Ghanaians for heeding to the cry of mother Ghana for a change, but I must emphasized that the change at hand is not the change we are seeking to make our life better, rather the opportunity to make the change we want. And will therefore call on all true Ghanaians with positive thought about Ghana not those who put their party interest first to come on board to build a better Ghana for ourselves.
In fact the behavior of the NPP over the past few months has consistently justified the good decision taken by Ghanaians on the 28th December and until they realized that Ghanaians cannot be taken for granted, they will spend the rest of the next decade in the political wilderness.
The test question for this article is: WHO CAUSED NPP’S DEFEAT IN THE LAST ELECTION?
It is barely under four months since Ghanaians chased out the elephant into the bush, but the reasons for this bitter pill remain a mystery to the NPP fraternity. Over the time, several individuals and institutions have been blamed for this defeat to the neglect of the exact cause which I will make known to them before I drop my pen. I do agree that defeat is like a bitter pill to take, more especially when victory seems cock-sure and that everyone in such a mood could behave in the same manner, yet I least expect a party like NPP to behave so irresponsible like the way they did. A party which claims to understand democracy could hold the whole country to ransom, to the verge of chaos and disruption of the enviable peace mother Ghana is enjoying in the sub-region, all in the name of losing an election. Ghana nearly visited Kenya on that faithful day; business stood still, people could not come out of their homes and those who could afford to leave the country did so, panic griped the whole nation, but thanks to the almighty God we survived it and forever Ghana will remain peaceful.
It is recalled that prior to the declaration of the 2008 election, the NPP sought a court injunction to refrain the EC from declaring the NDC the winner until the election is re-run in the Volta region on the grounds of perceived electoral malpractices in the region which I see as an insult to the law-abiding people of the Volta region. Several unfounded and irresponsible accusations were made against the region, inciting other tribes against the people of the region which put the life of the later at risk. The claims of 4 NPP polling agent being killed with several injured by Voltarians turned out to be lies. Claims that some polling agents were chased out of their respective centers which were the basis for their court action has proven to be false. And the funniest aspect of this is that those whom they claimed were chased out of the centers finally signed and certified the final results from the said centers and when asked how that could be possible, they claimed the people where forced to sign. What a childish scenario, even my 3 month old baby will not believe this, but ironically these claims were made by renowned lawyers, people with high credential and once again justifying the decision made by Ghanaians.
To make matters worst, these NPP spin-doctors who have demonstrated with impunity how bad losers they are, went on different radio stations to echo these manufactured allegations. On one of the phone-in-programs on Asempa FM on the 4th Jan. Mr. Ken Kranchie had the guts to refer to the people of Volta region as uncivilized people and when the host Kwadwo Preko asked him to redraw the statement he refused and confirmed it: that “its only uncivilized people who could attack others for doing their constitutionally mandated work” which I find unfortunate. Unfortunate, against the back-drop of the fact that a perceived similar comments were passed by Victor Owusu which to some extent has contributed to the tensioned between Ewes and the Ashantes. I am not running away from the fact that there were personal attacks in the region neither am I supporting such attacks, but we must know that such untoward act cuts across the entire country and therefore it’s unfair to single out the Volta region. Mr. Ohene was attacked in the Volta region; Hon. E.T Mensah and Dr. Nuamah Donkor were attacked in Gt. Accra, likewise Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. Some NDC polling agents ended up at the hospital in Kumasi, and similar incidents at the rest of the other regions, this act must be condemned unequivocally.
One thing the NPP is losing sight of is that they also made a significant gain in the Volta region in the second round. In the first round NPP had 99,584 as against 551,046 while the second round gave the NPP 102,173 as against 630,899 respectively showing an increase in votes for both parties. Besides, the voter turn-out of the region increased by only 1.2 % while that of Ashante region increased by 7%. If Nana Addo and his selfish cronies care to know the region where voting results were manipulated, then they should take a second look at the results from the Ashanti region. All the media houses including Peace FM, Adom FM, Joy FM, Asempa, TV 3, Metro TV, GTV and others as well as the external observers who were at the collation centre had the same figure but strangely the figure faxed from the Ashante region EC office to the Accra office had different figure, well, may be all those media houses were bribed by the NDC.
Not long ago, after the allegations against the good people of Volta region, the confused and dazed NPP spin-doctors shifted the defeat to the door steps of the former president Mr. Kuffour, claiming that his last minute policies poisoned the political environment against Nana Akuffo Addo, suggesting that its no longer the doing of the people of the Volta region. Thereafter, the blame was shifted to certain elements within the party for not releasing the needed funds for smooth running of the campaign. Again at another breath, the defeat was blamed on the arrogance of certain members and just a few days ago it has been strangely shifted to the MTN, a non political business entity, minding its own business of providing Ghanaians a good telecommunication service and job opportunities to the working force of Ghana. In fact, in my candid opinion the MTN rather help the NPP during the campaign. Nana Addo’s voice and text message were sent to the entire network user which subjected the MTN to public condemnation, again Nana Addo’s picture was embossed on some products of the company, so how on earth will the NPP turn round to criticize the former. In fact I will not be surprised if the blame is shifted to Jesus Christ for not causing rain to fall to interrupt the electoral process on the voting day. Another question that Ghanaians want to know is that, if the NPP is blaming the MTN for allowing the NDC to tap their conversation through their network, are they therefore conceding that all the voices played by the radio Gold about their diabolic intension where true? Their plans to carry dead bodies to the Volta region to implicate the region and plans to organize people to cause mayhem and chaos in the country were true? Then my salute once again goes to Ghanaians for voting out these wicked people.
Now, my free consultation to the NPP about what exactly caused their defeat is their candidate. The candidature of Nana Addo who is perceived to be arrogant facilitated their defeat and I explain: There are three important factors that win an election which include; the political atmosphere, the candidate and the party machinery. On the issue of political environment, if the environment is poised for a change or a continuation, the other factors become irrelevant. A typical example is the political environment in Ashante and the Volta region. Whoever context on the ticket of the NPP and NDC at the respective regions will surely win. This means that the political environment is good for the aspirant and the party as a whole, but in the case of the last election it seems to be 50-50 unlike the 2000 election where the political environment was ripe for a change.
The second factor became the crucial point since the first factor failed to favor any party in the last election. H.E Prof. JAM personality supersede that of Nana Addo personality on the grounds of the perceive arrogance of the later. In a country like Ghana where, hospitality and humility is seen as a trait of a typical Ghanaian, no one will like to have anything to do with someone perceived to be arrogant. And typical example was, in the first round where the campaign was centered on the achievement of the two parties, and Ghanaians voted for the achievement of the NPP which accounted for Nana leading by 100,000 votes, but when the campaign was reduced to the personality in the second round, Nana became no match for the humble professor. I had consistently stated prior to the NPP congress that if Alan K. should get the nod he will make a greater impact for NPP, because Prof. could have had a more difficult challenge due to the personality of the former, and given the balance of scale of the political environment at the time. On the other hand, it will be easy for Nana if Dr. Spio-gabrah had gotten the nod since the former also have the same tag of arrogance on his head. Another good example is Nana Addo’s election for the Abuakwa South seat where the political environment highly favors him, he gets 70% and above all the time but when it went beyond those boundry like the NPP congress and the national election he could not go past 49% in any of the above.
Lastly, the party machinery to carry out the party’s message, which I consider to be insignificant among the other factors, yet, both parties showed an even strength during the last election, even though the NPP was slightly ahead of the NDC. The second factor however affected the NPP. Based on these facts, the NDC will win the next election unless they performed so badly that the political environment turns against them. Besides, any person who thinks personality does not matter in politics should revisit his notes.
I am using this medium to call on the NPP leaders to render unqualified apology to the people of Volta region since they will be seeking their mandate come 2012. They should not underrate the votes they get from the region since the previous election has shown that every vote count. Besides, Nana Addo Dankwa should know that no man can ordain himself to become a president. It is only God the almighty who ordains a king. Forcing himself on Ghanaians as president can never make him a president, he should wait upon the Lord for his turn. Again those NPP supporters who have been chanting repeatedly that Nana Addo is their president and will not regard H.E Prof. JAM should respect the will of Ghanaians and desist from doing that. Ironically, the same people are today calling on the president Prof.JAM to intervene in the impasse between the former president JAK and the Ga youth, why are they calling on the president of Ghana and not the president of NPP?
I will also like to use this opportunity to plead with all Ghanaians to do their bit for the development of mother Ghana, the only country of ours. Our actions and inaction can make or break the government. If a driver drives irresponsibly and result in lost of life, If a husband beats the wife, businessmen smuggles unwholesome goods into the country or a police officer collect bribe from a criminal, in effect the president will be blamed for all these consequence , so we should be careful of our actions. But to the cynics: just as Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, so do I also invite the same curses from the Lord Jesus Christ upon the life and the entire family of anyone under the sun who wishes nothing good or ill-thought about Ghana.
On the other hand, I will urge all Ghanaians to respect one another and not to allow politicians to divide us for their selfish interests. Ghana cannot be built without Ashantes (17%) and Ewes (15.2%) which fortunately and unfortunately forms the two biggest ethnic groups in Ghana and any other tribe.
It is Ghana and Ghanaians not Ewes and Ashantes. Long live H.E JAM, long live NDC and long live Ghana.
Paul Parker Atitsogbui