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Opinions of Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Akufo Addo is a 'white elephant' without President Kufour

Political succession was always going to generate keen debate. Reasons for these debates are varied form one political jurisdiction to another. Whatever led to the succession of Bill Clinton by Al Gore and Tony Bair by Gordon Brown can only be explained by both internal and external issues relevant in each case. It is no surprise President Kufour did not want Akufo Addo to succeed him, he knows better. Whatever it was, we know Akuffo Addo is now the leader of the NPP. His campaign team, largely made up of a group popularly known as ‘ a bunch of seventeen or eighteen losers’, an alleged visa fraudster and all sorts of people have been trying to portray their man as a man in control of his campaign. This article is just a little bit of reminder of the real Akufo Addo persona. In any case I don’t think this bunch of losers can make a winner out of Akufo Addo.

Why do I say Akufo Addo is “a white elephant” without President Kufour? These are few of the reasons:

At the recent NPP congress to elect their leader, it became apparent the entire membership of the NPP did not have any faith whatsoever in any of the eighteen or so candidates contesting to lead the NPP. In fact you can grade them according to size of the noise they make, some people believe empty barrels make lots of noise. The result was stunning; the loudest on parade got the list votes. What was more shocking was the fact that, the man widely projected by the NPP press to win by landslide was rejected. Not even a Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) poll could help Nana Addo to win. Simply put, he was rejected overwhelmingly by a large majority of the NPP; I mean fifty four per cent rejected him. Nana had to go on his knees to beg President Kufour to change the rule embedded in the NPP constitution which says majority must decide who leads the party. Well, he was eventually crowned as the leader; let’s forget about what their constitution says. Again a sign Akuffo Addo cannot stand without the support of President Kufour. Compare that with the NDC congress where Professor Atta Mills won more than eighty per cent of the votes and you can clearly see the Professor is firmly on the ground, of course with the entire NDC including President Rawlings firmly behind him but definitely without putting the constitution in the bin. This is why Akufo Addo is ‘a white elephant’ without President Kufour. After the congress, Akuffo Addo went on a display of pomposity and arrogance saying he was a man of himself. His supporters started harassing and intimidating the fifty-four pre cent who rejected him. This escalated to the point where Alan Kyeremanteng had to openly write to the party complaining about the ills Nana Akuffo Addo was visiting on him and his supporters. Kyeremanteng later resigned from the party. Nana Addo had to go on his knees again to beg President Kufour to force Alan to rescind his decision. To me this shows NPP would have been completely decimated by Akuffo Addo without the intervention of President Kufour. If Akuffo Addo cannot run NPP without President Kufour, then surely he cannot run Ghana without President Kufour. This is why Akufo Addo is ‘a white elephant’ without President Kufour. Some of Akuffo Addo thugs extended their activities to constituency levels of the party attacking any contestant who is not ‘eating’ the boot of Akuffo Addo. Their actions created lots of division and confusion in lots of the parliamentary primaries across the country. Once again Akuffo Addo could not deal with it. He stood helpless looking at the mess he created. This lead to the President openly saying “ I am not happy about what is going on in my party” Well, as usual it was President Kufour who stepped in the resolve some of the confusion, there are some remaining to be dealt with since they have been taken to the Law Courts. This is Akufo Addo is ‘a white elephant’ without President Kufour.

I have lost count on the number of occasion where President Kufour outdoor Akuffo Addo as their flag bearer. Recently, we also saw the replay of the same ‘old movie’ at Kasoa, only this time, and the crowd were induced heavily by “goodies” such as cash “T”-shirts “apio” and climaxed by the tune ‘Go High’.

I hope whatever song, substance etc sent them high was orthodox. The daily guide reported on the 17/07/08 “President J. A. Kufuor told Ghanaians to vote for Nana Akufo Addo, flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the next President of Ghana, a move which many people consider a technical-dress-rehearsal of the President’s handing-over ceremony on January 7, 2009.” The reason for the gathering was simply because Akuffo Addo could not progress with his campaign without President Kufour. He waited until President Kufour returned from his trip to Japan, took him to Kasoa, held his hand, and pronounced him as ‘the anointed one’ of the NPP. This is why Akufo Addo is “a white elephant” without President Kufour .

There is a section of the Ghanaian media who are in the ‘hate Rawlings’ business, always wanting people to believe that, NDC could only win the December elections if President Rawlings is not part of the NDC campaign. Well, this is a complete ‘no brainer’; President Rawlings is a towering political figure both in Ghana and abroad. This is major treat to the NPP especially.

That is why they came up with this philosophy of ‘hate Rawlings’ remotely controlled by the NPP. For that matter, there is nothing that can change their mind towards President Rawlings. That is why they make all sorts of innuendos whenever he comments on any issue. After all they earn their living by being vile. They are rewarded with appointments to boards of state owned enterprises, appointed as ambassadors, get government contracts, get scholarships to study and even be travelling on the over 150 trips with the president, never mind the fact that some of them follow the president to Japan on an economic summit when the cannot even complete a course at GIMPA to get any certificate, blimey…’certificateless economist ‘… innit? This is why the ‘a white elephant’ is a coward.

To the NDC, I believe there is no excuse for not including President Rawlings into the overall campaign strategy. His inclusion should not only be on the basis of vague statements such as ‘he will be part of the campaign’ but there must be clear understanding of his role in the campaign. The NDC must be savvy; Ghana is yearning for a change, not only a change of government but also a change of direction that ensures safety of Ghanaians and economic prosperity for all. I can imagine how fearful the ‘NPPiests’ are to see President Rawlings talk to Ghanaians about the NDC’s past achievements and challenges, whiles Professor Mills and John Mahama propagate the ‘I Care For You’ message to Ghanaians by telling them what the NDC will be doing to curb the hardship on the people of Ghana. This is why the ‘white elephant’ is afraid

We have people who have been accused of using the office of President Kufour to engage in visa fraud, people who have spent $millions of dollars chasing loans from non existent financial institutions, people who have allegedly masterminded the killing of Yaa Naa and dozens of his kinsmen, people who were given multi-million dollars to cultivate cassava and have failed, people whose who have allegedly been accused of peddling in narcotic drugs and people who are simply thieves leading a party to continue to perpetuate themselves in government, all free enough to be seen together campaigning, the NDC must be bold than they have been so far. Ghana needs a leader that can defend her from hardship, drug dealers, thieves, and liars, NPP hasn’t got that leader. This is because Akufo Addo is ‘a white elephant’ without President Kufour.

God Bless Us All.

Kwame Agbodza

Foly27@yahoo.com