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Feature Article of Friday, 23 July 2010

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Re: The “Rascal Four” Must Be Censured For Crying “Wolf!”

By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro*, Wednesday, July 21, 2010* * (A Rejoinder to: The “Rascal Four” Must Be Censured For Crying “Wolf!”, Feature Article of Wednesday, 21 July 2010 by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame)

Hi grandson, I am able to find it very funny that after your cousin has hijacked all the vital positions in the party, you can now conveniently insist on party procedure. For me, it is funny because it is like a thief asking his victims to report all stealing cases to him for investigations. I can assure you that for the victims however, this is no laughing matter. It is now coming to light the details of the tactic the Akufo Addo camp adopted to cheat in the last elections at Kumasi. What I find very curious and honourable of Stephen Ntim to have kept his cool and done what he was supposed to do: following party procedure, even if it meant writing his petition addressed to the National Chairman, who is the suspect in the case.

In my opinion, the National Chairman erred in his response to Mr. Ntim, for not involving fairly neutral hands to handle this particular highly sensitive petition. The reason is very simple: you cannot sit on your own case as an interested party and give judgement at the same time. This is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence which gives meaning to the so-called party procedure they are busy calling everybody else, except themselves, to follow. Yes, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey did not follow party procedure when he took it upon himself to respond to the complaint from Mr. Ntim, even though an interested party himself, saying "the election committee would rather consider resolving the issues concerning the electoral irregularities and not necessarily investigating the matter," And what matter was that, if one might ask? It is becoming increasingly clear that a very clever swindle took place at the Kumasi Congress which elected the current party executives.

The Alan Kyeremanteng camp which is now being maligned as not following party procedure, dutifully wrote a three page petition to the National Executive Committee through the National Chairman. They deserve to be applauded because following party procedure, meant a cheated Ntim writing a three page letter detailing his case and seeking appropriate remedies, to the cheating Jake. Despite this great sign of political goodwill and desire to keep the family strong, they received only a four-line response from the one who cheated him, saying "the election committee would rather consider resolving the issues concerning the electoral irregularities and not necessarily investigating the matter,"

It was Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who sat in judgement in his own cause, who did not follow party procedure. What does the swift response from the Council of Elders meeting with the aspirants tell you? They reacted swiftly because of the press conference which threatened a boycott of the August 7th Congress if their legitimate grievances have not been looked into, BEFORE the Congress, and not AFTER, because they are also learning from their bitter experiences. You can only step on the balls of a fool once, not twice. Are the so-called Council of Elders not aware of the way the party chairman misconducted himself in the way he handled a sensitive petition from his own party opponent? What have they been waiting for to resolve all these outstanding issues?

And now, all of a sudden, every fool remembers something called party procedure. If the electoral committee was doing its job according to party procedure, there would not have been all these qualms and the need to follow any procedure in the first place. And the reason why party procedure is not being followed is because someone who is in control of the compiling wants to keep it that way for obvious reasons. The trouble is that these reasons are also quite obvious to the opponents. Whilst you have one side doing their own thing and not respecting the rights of others, it is a bit too much to ask the other side to play it by the book, especially, as the suspicion of vote rigging is as thick as is a blanket.

Whilst no one has chided Jake for not following party procedure, every one in the Akufo Addo camp is competing with one another as to who would shrill the loudest about following party procedures. A nice example of this is what my grandson is doing here, but there are more. The General Secretary of the Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has for instance, not taken kindly to the approach adopted by representatives of the four candidates and hinted of possible sanctions against them. A member of the New Patriotic Party Council of Elders Appenten Appiah Menkah, an Akufo Addo hard-liner, has also expressed shock at the ongoing media war between four presidential candidates on one hand, and the national executives on the other. “I don't believe anything within the party should be in the public domain,” he told Joy News. A former General Secretary of the party, Dan Botwe was equally appalled with the decision of the four candidates to go to the press. He described as unacceptable the actions of the four, saying their grievances about voters register "is much ado about nothing".

If I were Akufo Addo, and I was very sure of myself of victory, I would do everything to ensure transparency as much as possible to ensure my political legitimacy. But Akufo Addo is not me, and it appears he has other campaign issues higher on his agenda than a dangerously transparent, free and fair elections that stupidly run the risk to scupper what seems to be a very elaborate and expensive scheme of rigging the elections in his favour. So far, it is not clear whether Akufo Addo really wants to win the 2012 elections or this is just a personal ego trip, irrespective of the results. If this is true, then he does not necessarily need any form of cooperation from the recalcitrant four. So why not, it is very necessary to insist on party procedure and doing nothing meaningful about the complaints until after the Congress, when, hopefully it might be too late, and as everyone knows today, Jake would be on stand-by to issue another four-liner.

Have a nice day!

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!

Cheers! -- * Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

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