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Opinions of Friday, 24 January 2020

Columnist: Francis Atayure Abirigo

Kofi Adda's rants may score points for Tangoba Abayage

Interesting times are here. So respected Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central and Minister of Aviation, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda is moved by hearsay and bits of information that the Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Tangoba Abayage is readying to contest him?

My respected friend has already hit the road running and roaring the lion in him on the road so nobody can contest him or what is he possibly afraid of?

The Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda won a bye-election on March 25, 2003 to inherit an uncompleted term of the late MP Hon. John Setuni Achuliwor who died in a road accident in 2003. He lost the seat to former Upper East Regional, Defence and Interior Minister under ex-President John Dramani Mahama, Hon. Mark Owen Woyongo in December, 2012 and took it back from him in December, 2016.

We are friends even today and I wish he wins because he will always be a friend although he calls me his former friend hahaha.

What intrigues me is Adda’s already outburst in casting spells, tantrums and insinuations at Ms. Abayage who hitherto was known as Paulina Azupwa and labelling the constituency executives as greedy.

Yes, it is believed that the Upper East Regional Minister may contest Mr. Adda baring last minute hitches but am worried about the approach the Aviation Minister is taking because it could end up giving his opponent more ammunition to topple him in the scope of temperaments.

In our parlance a man must not be afraid of a woman so how can a man of his caliber start crying because he has heard that a woman intends to fight him in his own house? Restrain is the word I should send to Mr. Adda otherwise the delegates will switch based on his expression of fear of internal contests.

It is still fresh in the minds of people in the constituency how the late Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies Prof. Kaburise who's mother happened to be Hon. Aduum's paternal aunt suffered just to pick a form and contest Hon. Adda and failed. Even that Mr. Aduum supported you. It should not repeat itself once more because democracy doesn't permit that.

Again, yes like the lion, this Kofi Adda's outburst could put fear in the first timer Hon. Abayage but knowing who she is, Hon. Abayage is a woman with “balls” she won’t fall for this.

That morning Hon. Adda went on air at Radio A1, he was by all standards possessed because all the things he said concerning Hon. Abayage, Hon. Aduum, the constituency executives and the sitting of the airport were hash, warlike and unnecessary. As a public relations expert his interview was ill planned and has yielded damage to his reputation than a good image. His tone and choice of words exposed his fear to be contested especially that it was Ms. Abayage who Mr. Adda was sure the Constituency Executive were at her side.

He made allegations and revelations to the effect that he was fighting for an airport for Navrongo against another proposition that Anateem near Sumbrungu should host the Upper East Regional Airport and was unequivocal about where he wanted the airport perhaps the interviewer probed him but he could still answer same without sparking provocations as it stands. He said others were unconcerned yet their motive was to become MP.

This outburst has lifted a Bonaboto antenna on the Kassena-Nanakana people which I think was unnecessary. He was supposed to be talking to the NPP delegates of Navrongo Central Constituency and not the whole of Ghana or the people of the Upper East Region. This kind of discourse should not be done in the public domain because of its sensitivity and I know the minister knows that.

Questions with regard to the airport; can’t a team assess and come out with which of the two sites would be economically viable for the people of Upper East? Can we not consider apart from economics land availability, security, suitability and especially where there will be a consensus since it's now for a region and not just for Navrongo or Paga?

I would be happy if the airport is sited at the Paga Airstrip especially that it is in my constituency, Chiana/Paga and closer to my house at Mirigu. I am making this clear to those who have asked me about my position but Anateem is equally good as it is in-between the regional capital Bolgatanga and the Navrongo Municipality so if a competent team so decides which of these should be the site I am all happy for it. Well let me get back to the Adda/Abayage issues.

Mr. Adda makes it clear that the executive members of his party (NPP) out of greed dumped him in less than four years. Greed? Could it be the same reason why they were following and supporting him? and now have found a juicy source which is Ms. Abayage and jilted him? That could be an indictment on my good friend because it means he could not manage the executive well so if the other person does so why will they not leave?

One interesting thing he remarked and I was like wao was that some of the constituency executives flew as far as to Rome and they did what the Roman's do, they fell in love with Ms. Abayage’s ideas and reasons supreme to those of a recycled ideas of the sitting MP to contest him.

Or maybe the Navrongo beer drinking Ms. Abayage had buzzed them with some of the Navrongo beer she sent to Roman since it is clear by Mr. Adda Ms. Abayage loves Navrongo beer but come to think of it, is this beer drinking thing a campaign message? Oh gosh.

Well I believe as a Navrongo beer drinker myself that it is the love of the people that usually push me to go there and drink beer. My wife once said if there was no Navrongo, then I (her husband) would have no world, it is simple I love the people of Navrongo and that could be the reason why Ms. Abayage will drive all the way from Bolga to go and drink chilled beer in Navrongo and I will advise the MP to emulate her. Yes, that is not a negative at all if she is able to package her message well going into the campaign. Besides majority of the delegates drink Navrongo beer so dont criminalize it.

It is obvious the Aviation Minister gave up on the executive because of non-cooperation between him and them for the woman. After his outburst, Ms. Abayage has now described herself on social media as a lioness. Indeed, a relatively young and strong lioness certainly has the power to undo a lion because the lion likes something the lioness can provided such as breast milk and tender care which she will explore to tame the 12-year-old Navrongo lion. She also assumes herself mother for all with a posture of openness to the youth.

The MP mentioned how the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. William Amiyire Aduum was mute when he the MP tried to send the stadium to Navrongo and then Upper East Regional Minister Hon. Rockson Bukari resisted wanting to take it to Bolgatanga.

Please if I get the chance I will ask the minister what the MCE should have said or done when his two bosses were agreeing or disagreeing and whether his comment or declaration of position would have changed the stance of the Rockson Bukari I know or not?

Mr. Adda has a bigger mind to know that he cannot interject when H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and H.E Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia are agreeing or disagreeing in his presence no matter how concerned he is to the particular matter, he can’t interject until his opinion is sought and of what value will that his intersection produce? Well, if I keep this trajectory I believe many will feel I have an interest but am advising other politicians that the best mmethod of campaign in contemporary times is not an attack on your opponent’s person but ideas and messages.

But yes I do have an interest. My interest is that Hon. Kofi Adda is my long time very good friend, Abayage was my mate and friend from the Ura Radio days and at the University of Ghana Business School and even married and have adult children with my best friend Mr. Martin Azupwa.

So how can I wish any of them bad? Not at all but only one of them will win and am not even a delegate myself in this primaries. I pray for the best candidate for Navrongo as I already know one good one in Mr. Samson Tangombu Chiragia the NDC candidate. Yes, I am NDC no doubt and a long standing elder for that matter.

Lastly, the one who suffers most here is my brother Hon. William Amiyire Aduum. They say he is not even from Navrongo which is true, he is from Mirigu because that is where his father Mr. Mathias Aboona Aduum hails and in the Upper East here we practice the patrilineal system yet his mum Mrs. Sylvia Aduum on the other hand hails from Nogsenia/Navrongo where Hon. Adda's family house is.

Hon. Kofi Adda comes from Pungu a bit closer to Navrongo than Mirigu where Aduum hails but that is inconsequential since Aduum is not contesting besides Mr. Aduum qualifies to contest any election in Navrongo Central because there is no law that prevents him from doing so. The good things he has done over the years for Navrongo, the people didn’t tell him to send them to Mirigu so why now? Is it a reason for power?

Interestingly, the MCE was even born and raised from this same Nogsenia, capital of Navrongo. His dad and mum have passed 70 and 80 respectively and yet they live here in Nogsenia and not where I live in Mirigu. Even me too I now have taste I live more in Navrongo than Mirigu because that is the nearest city and where jobs can at least be found. The MCE schooled in Navasco and thought in Navasco in Janania near Nogsenia until his appointment as MCE in 2017. He is 50 and above who started his politics in Navrongo and rose through the ranks to Constituency Chairman and has been a key player to Hon. Adda’s political success story until the very last four years when disagreements set in between them.

During his bid for the assembly endorsement after the President H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo nominated him in consultation with the Council of State, the MCE did not get the support or presence of Mr. Adda to solidarized with him on that day but at least I saw a disappointed Ms. Tangoba Abayage that day at the assembly perhaps she was there to drink Navrongo beer.

I also saw some women weeping and running their mouths at the absent MP at the venue. They were clear the MP was the reason why the nominee did not get the nod as he ostensibly campaigned against the nominee. He was to get the nod another day which I wasn’t present to know if the MP and Abayage were present. I believe these are issues that normally pretains in political environments. You cannot have permanent friends or perfection in politics so they both choose their ways.

In a predominantly elitists and non-conforming Navrongo Central Constituency, I fear utterances by either of the candidates could visit upon them a negative outcome from the delegates.

It is possibly possible Mr. Adda may retain the candidacy to face with the NDC’s Mr. Samson Tangombu Chiragia or with the popularity of Ms. Abayage at the moment aided by her battalion of constituency executives and an MCE it is clear they can snatch the candidacy from Mr. Adda too.

Over the years, the Navrongo seat has never been any political party’s stronghold, the PNC, NPP and NDC have all been elected to the seat before except that mostly the NDC presidential candidate has almost always won here. Without prejudice therefore, I wish Kofi Addah good luck and I wish Tangoba Abayage good luck.

In the foregoing, my personal take is, I have no doubt that any of the duo who gets the nod to represent the NPP in the general ections in December will have a difficult task to beat the NDC candidate Samson Tangombu Chiragia because he is highly tipped to run away with the seat to the NDC again especially that a Gonjaman, H.E. John Dramani Mahama is the one leading the NDC once again. Shalom.

Writer is a Development Communications Expert

Email: aabirigo@yahoo.com

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