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Opinions of Friday, 24 July 2015

Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper

2nd Lady Exposes NPP’s Double Standards

For a political party that is notorious for defending loose-talk by its top guns to jump at the throat of others at the least opportunity for making comments that are far less grievous, only shows how low the Ghanaian political engagement has sunk in recent times.
Second Lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah Arthur’s apology to Ghanaians over comments she made in response to a nagging request by the headmistress of a School at Kukurantumi in the Eastern region at a function recently, has exposed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a party of double standards.
Mrs Amissah Arthur’s exemplary conduct exposes the NPP as a dishonest party because not only has she done what a host of NPP gurus including their flagbearer, Mr William Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, refused to do after comments made by them were found to be distasteful but also that it is the NPP that has led the charge against her for confronting the headmistress in the manner she did.
The Akufo-Addo-led opposition party issued a statement demanding an apology from the otherwise well-mannered 2nd Lady after expressing her displeasure openly in telling the headmistress without mincing words that it wasn’t her responsibility to provide the school with chalk for teaching.
Many were the critics who least expected the 2nd Lady to honourably apologize but she showed maturity by publicly doing so to the surprise and shame of the NPP.
What makes the NPP’s demand for apology hypocritical and smacking of double-standard is their constant support for their leaders and members who openly make incendiary statements that have, in some instances, brought the entire nation to the brinks of anarchy.
No other person than Mr. William Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the party’s flag bearer, called on his supporters to use violent means to win power for the party, with the explanation that all die be die (all forms of death were the same).
In spite of numerous calls on him to withdraw that statement for its tendency to incite people to resort to violence, he refused until he was recently forced to denounce it reluctantly.
Another loose-talker in the NPP, Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, also called on Akans to kill Ewes and Gas, in defence of the party to the surprise of all Ghanaians. This never caught the attention of the NPP to call him to order or to apologize. The party supported him and till now, he has not yet rendered an apology for that irresponsible statement.
Typical of the party’s arrogant attitude towards other tribes and persons perceived to be their enemies, embattled Secretary General of the NPP, Kwabena Agyapong, questioned the existence of human beings in the Volta region, to warrant the number of votes the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) hauled from the region. He never apologized for such a statement and was never called upon to do so by the now loud-mouthed NPP
Former Minister for Finance in the Kufuor administration, Osafo Marfo, was caught on tape condemning the ‘minority’ tribes’ hold on power against Akan-speaking regions who, to him, own the natural resources of the country and deserve to be leaders.
He refused to apologize despite condemnation from various groups. Interestingly, the NPP defended him at all times.
The list of irresponsible loose-talk by the NPP and its goons cannot end without mention of one Nana Darkwah, an NPP member who claimed on radio that ex-President Rawlings had set fire to his own house and was lying by saying it was an accident.
When Nana Darkwah was arrested for the loose-talk, leading members of the NPP hailed him as a hero and powdered him for chalking victory for the party. That gave him the effrontery to appear on radio again to remorselessly repeat such falsehood. All of these went on at the blind side of the NPP.
So, for a party like the NPP to lead the call for the 2nd Lady to apologize for speaking her mind, one can just conclude that the hypocrisy and double-standard are in their DNA and they would stop at nothing in their pursuit of power at all costs.
In sharp contrast to the NPP’s usual refusal to accept their faults, the Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Matilda Amissah Arthur, who the NPP is asking to apologize, has indeed apologized to Ghanaians for the comment that she thought was intended to encourage the community participation in the Kukurantumi basic school.
Speaking at the fortieth anniversary of the Jack and Jill School in Cantonments, 2nd Lady Mrs. Matilda Amissah Arthur explained she went to Kukurantumi to make a presentation of five computers and about 500 books to the Presbyterian Basic School upon a request she received from some friends.
So she was taken aback when the headmistress asked for chalk for which reason she sought to use the opportunity to encourage community participation in schools but the way she presented it didn’t go down well with Ghanaians.
She, therefore, expressed her sincere apology for what happened on that day and she has been hailed for showing maturity and level-headedness.
The Humanitarian actions of Mrs Amissah Arthur are the visible demonstration of her deep commitment to improving human conditions, advocacy and philanthropic works in education, particularly for children across the entire nation. She has so far championed the construction of schools, libraries and ICT centres to virtually all the regions in Ghana.
So far some of the schools that she has made donations to are Agona Duakwa Islamic Basic School, Agona Kwanyarko Anglican Basic School all in the Agona East district; she has also donated educational materials to the Afranse D A Basic School and the Pomadze D A Basic School in Gomoa Central District, Oguaa Football for Hope Centre in Cape Coast donation of reading materials to the Shama Library in the Shama District, Inauguration of an Information and Communication Technology and Teachers Resource Centre for the people of Lower Bobikuma; inauguration of a 30-million dollar computer laboratory for PLAY Soccer Ghana, a FIFA project based in Cape Coast that uses football and ICT to prepare children under nine years for football and leadership purposes.