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Feature Article of Monday, 7 January 2013

Columnist: Haruna, Mahama

Akufo-Addo's rejection of results is a strategy

to lead NPP again

I have always thought Nana Akufo-Addo's political career has come to an end. But recent events indicate he is not prepared to retire from politics. He still wants to lead the NPP again for the 2016 elections.

I was just wondering what Akufo-Addo is fighting for by refusing to concede defeat after last December's election? It is now clear that the decision by the National Executive Council of the NPP which is presently dominated by Akufo-Addo's henchmen, to contest the elections in court is a strategy to be relevant in the internal politics of NPP.

The verdict is clear. President John Mahama won in eight (8) regions out of ten (10) and further garnered 28.67 per cent of Ashanti region and 42.61 per cent of Eastern region. The difference of votes between Akufo-Addo and President Mahama is 325, 863 votes. The NDC won a decisive majority in Parliament with 151 seats with the NPP taking 120 seats.

It still baffles me that President John Mahama will campaign for 39 days and beat Akufo-Addo who has been campaigning for 8 years? Seriously the 2012 election was not an endorsement of the NDC but a clear rejection of Akufo-Addo. With the clear-cut victory by the NDC, Akufo-Addo should have gracefully accepted defeat but Alas!! He is still interested in leading the NPP!!

The game plan by Akufo-Addo and his henchmen to perpetuate his grip on the NPP is simple; deny the results declared by EC; create an impression in the minds of NPP supporters you are the real winner but was cheated; go to court and this will stop Alan Kyeramaten's people from campaigning as long as the case is in court; prepare the grounds; ensure that polling station elections are organised by January or February so as to maintain your people at grassroots and subsequently at the constituency, Region and National levels.

I have been monitoring the media and it baffles me that some NPP members still refer to Nana Akufo-Addo as "our flagbearer" instead of "our former flagbearer". When I drew the attention of someone to this anomaly, he had the guts to tell me the election is still not over and so Akufo-Addo remains the leader of the party. According to him not until the case in court is concluded Akufo-Addo remains the leader of NPP. This is in contravention of Article 9 (d) of the NPP constitution of which says: "The National Chairperson shall preside over all meetings of the National Delegates Conference, the National Congress, the National Council, the National Executive Committee and the Steering Committee of the National Executive Committee". So as things stand now Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey is the leader of the party.

Already Akufo-Addo's devotees are postulating all sorts of theories to keep him as Presidential candidate of NPP for 2016. Akufo-Addo will be 72 years old by 2016. Knowing very well the age factor will surely be his greatest stumbling block to his 2016 agenda; references are being made by his supporters to situations in other countries such as US Senator John McCain and Ronald Reagan going into the American Presidential race in their seventies.

There is also the argument that there is nothing wrong with Nana Akufo-Addo being added to Africa's club of leaders above seventy (70) years which includes Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, 87, Cameroon's Paul Biya, 78, Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 76, Namibia's Hifikeepunye Pohamba, 75, and Kenya's Mwai Kibaki, 71.

The situation in Senegal in which Abdoulaye Wade, a long-time opposition leader, ran for President four times, beginning in 1978, before he was elected in 2000 at age 74 is being used as another reason Akufo-Addo must go for 2016. They point to the fact that the late President Mills lost elections three times before he won and so there is nothing wrong with Akufo-Addo going for the third time.

The coming days are really interesting.

By Mahama Haruna.

The writer is a trained Journalist and a former NPP Secretary for Bole-Bamboi. He was a Secretary of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS).

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