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Opinions of Saturday, 8 October 2011

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Akufo-Addo Should Listen to Ogbamey

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I have trucked on the sidelines and from the distant safety of New York City with the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), and so I can objectively appreciate a little bit of what the managing-editor of the Gye Nyame Concord news magazine, Mr. Alfred Ogbamey, is alluding to when he calls on the Akufo-Addo campaign team to grab the proverbial bull by the horns, by frontally and honestly acknowledging the quite glaring fact that, indeed, significant crevices and fissures exist in the electioneering shield of the elephant party that ought to be promptly plugged, if Ghanaians are not to experience an apocalyptic reprise of Election 2008 (See “NPP Must Not Repeat 2008 Mistakes in 2012 – Alfred Ogbamey” Daily Guide/ 9/21/11).

The sickening tendency for key operatives of the Akufo-Addo Campaign to bury their heads in the sands of political complacency, and expediency, has been all too glaring these past several months. And I have yet to witness any of those ventriloquists presuming to constitute the NPP presidential candidate’s legal team vigorously put forth the kind of forensic defense of the personal and moral integrity of Nana Akufo-Addo that is capable of putting paid to the Wikileaks diversionary antics that clearly appear to have taken a remarkable toll on the nationwide listening campaign tour of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

And as “controversial” as this may come off to some pundits, I would also like to have anybody who is closely associated with the Akufo-Addo campaign, particularly those who are also related to the candidate by blood, to promptly desist from the infantile gimmickry of playing pollsters and self-appointed referees of the national pulse of the Ghanaian electorate. Needless to say, the latter are enlightened and forward-looking enough to require any repugnantly self-serving prodding from any quarter of our society. Besides, were such rascally tendencies not luridly at play on our national political landscape, we would not have had to be bombarded with accusations and counter-accusations of bribery as a means of stage-managing the political consciousness and intelligence of Ghanaian voters.

Curiously, I am far less interested in whether, indeed, some bribe offers were made and promptly rejected, or the fact that such narrative may very well have been deftly concocted by a “soli”-soliciting softie who, caught with his proverbial pants down, simply manufactured both a face-saving and heroic yarn in order to shore up his wobbly image and credibility. The fact of the matter is that, oftentimes, the bare-butt truth lies neither here nor there; oftentimes, the seemingly elusive truth lies somewhere between incriminations and recriminations.

Anyway, if it has not already done so, then as a matter of urgency, what the Akufo-Addo Campaign operatives ought to be doing, even as the candidate himself has been doing these past several months around the country, is to be organizing serious sit-downs and brain-storming sessions with all the key players of the New Patriotic Party and their supporters to figure out meaningful and constructive ways by which each and every constituency could effectively participate in this get-out-the-vote campaign.

And on the foregoing score must be observed the inescapable fact that there are, indeed, sub-ideological factions within the NPP, even as most Ghanaians recently witnessed the same dynamic rancorously play out in the ruling National Democratic Congress. For me, though, the real hint of the seriousness of such factionalism among the rank-and-file membership of the New Patriotic Party was the deviously modulated responses which greeted one pundit’s expression of blistering disappointment with the fact that for a party that prides itself in being home to Ghana’s best and brightest, almost no key “brain trustee” of the NPP had critically and publicly responded to Nana Akufo-Addo’s most recent policy exposition by way of analysis.

One party critic’s rather pathetic response was to fault the Danquah Institute for deciding to host the Akufo-Addo policy presentation on the same “Holy Day” marking the end of the annual Muslim Ramadan. The quixotic implication here was that, somehow, in boldly laying out his quite progressive policy intentions for the development of our country on the very same day that Ghanaian Muslims were also wishing themselves a happy new year and a prosperous future, Nana Akufo-Addo had, somehow, unpardonably desecrated the very spiritual underpinnings of Islam!

Maybe the same critic ought to have called President John Agyekum-Kufuor to order when, for eight consecutive times, every year while he was in office, the former premier routinely broadcast New Year’s felicitations to each and every Ghanaian, while briefly outlining his policy agenda for the coming fiscal season. The fact of the matter is that never once did I hear any of these cynical critics carp my Uncle Kofi Diawuo for execrably desecrating the memory of Jesus Christ and/or the Christian calendar.

Dear reader: If you think all card-carrying NPP members are “Kukrudites,” you had better check yourself into a mental facility or asylum.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (, 2008). E-mail: ####