Feature Article of Saturday, 17 November 2012
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
Part Two, By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
I have a feeling that there is going to be an announcement soon, trying to do as much damage control as possible, over these latest revelations concerning the circumstances under which young Master William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left Oxford University in the 1962/63 academic year. About a year ago, James Kwabena Bomfe, popularly known as Kabila stated categorically:
“For a fact Nana Addo never went to Oxford; he never got admission or applied to go to Oxford. It is his father who went to Oxford”. The paper also notes, “Kabila as Bomfe is popularly called, said that the NPP flag-bearer has refused to comment on the issue because he (Nana) is treating it with the contempt it deserves.”
Akufo Addo's contempt has expired because more and more Ghanaians are beginning to demand answers, with the revelation that indeed, “Mr William Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO was a member of the University (and of New College) during the 1962/63 academic year'.” [Why has Nana Akufo Addo omitted Oxford University from his Profile? - ModernGhana.com http://www.modernghana.com/news/429126/1/why-has-nana-akufo-addo-omitted-oxford-university-.html]
This is why I expect him to finally clear his throat and say something about it, or sink with it. I wouldn't bet too much on it though. The refusal to acknowledge defeat, fault, or apologize for some wrong-doing appears to be so much alien in Nana Akufo-Addo's nature to such an extent that no other person than his own cousin, Mr. Gabriel Asare Otchere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute had this to say about the reason why Nana Addo lost the 2008 Presidential elections:
"The political opponents of the Danquah-Dombo-Busiasts have always been better at saying, “Ghanaians don't need a president who is arrogant and looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them. One who feels their pain.” These words were successfully used against a man who for more than 30 years (more than any of his rivals in the 2008 contest) dedicated his time, money, energy and intellect to fighting for the cause of the masses – Nana Akufo-Addo, an Akyem aristocrat." (See: "Are Danquah-Busiasts Really Elitist?", by danquahinstitute.org, Wednesday, 18 November 2009.)
One of the first steps Nana Addo took to dispel this perception of “arrogance” was to board “tro tro” bus from Nima Lorry Park to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. But when it comes to heeding calls to withdraw ethnocentric statements, or statements inciting inter-ethnic conflict and calling for war, such as “all die be die”, he has been more than deaf! Not even when the Upper West branch of his own party felt offended by his use of “goats” in reference to them, did he bother to apologize!
As Joseph Conrad would have put it, “it will be very interesting for science” to see a humble Nana Akufo-Addo taking questions and throwing some light on this. The funny thing is that I know they are going to have to do it if they ever want to cross the bridge to the Presidency. That insurmountable bridge is to restore the confidence of Ghanaians who are asking so many questions, as to whether or not this is a man to be trusted! That is why I know they do not have a choice, but as usual, they will never respond until it is too late!
The latest appeal in town is: “Judge Not Akufo-Addo By His Past!" I can understand such appeals, if he comes clean with his past and does not lie about it in the present. All the excuses that mention names of famous politicians who either smoked and or inhaled the stuff, do not mean much, because, at least, all these politicians either confessed or lied about it publicly. They did not “treat it with the contempt that it deserves! So far the NPP strategy is to keep quiet about it and expect us not to judge him with his past! The issue is not one of his past. It is one of his present: can we trust a man who is lying about his past?
In fact, it was no other person than ex-President J. A Kufour, who actually made that observation for the first time:
"Mr Kufuor noted that it was not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did not do in the past, adding that Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past."
With all due respect, is the President suggesting this for all of us or only an exceptional treatment for Nana Akufo-Addo? If so, does he not think it would have been wiser to have also explained why we are all judged by our past actions rather than our intentions for the future but not Akufo-Addo? Would he be saying this if he were to be proud of Akufo-Addo's past? Why is it not appropriate to base our judgement on what Akufo-Addo "did or did not do in the past"? It is ridiculous to admonish us that "Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past." Are we to judge him with the things he is going to do in the future? This is a good one! This is new, fresh and original!
The reason why he is making this bizarre request for us to forget about the past is not far-fetched:
"Former President Kufuor urged the electorate to support Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid to become the next president of the country by voting massively for the NPP presidential candidate in next year’s general election." [ See: Kufuor: "Judge Not Akufo-Addo By His Past!" | http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/pages/articles/201109/73550.php]
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!"
Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro. Give me a follow on twitter: twitter.com/TheOdikro