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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Alan Can Return NPP To Power

APOSTLE’S REFLECTION with Kwabena Amankwah

ALAN CAN RETURN NPP TO POWER

The opposition New Patriotic Party is certainly sitting on a time bomb that could explode on the faces of its members and deny the party the opportunity of returning to the corridors of power in 2012 if not well deflated before it is too late.

In his reflections over the weekend, Apostle found it difficult to fathom why a party that prides itself of a plethora of intellectuals should fail to learn from history and take steps to avoid factors that had produced cataclysmic consequences for the party before.

Members of the NPP believe the party could not retain power in the 2008 elections because of disunity that resulted from the antagonistic contest for the party’s presidential slot in 2007.

Oh yes, but for the fact that the contest had created acrimony, mainly between supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen, and led to insincere relationship between the two groupings, the party would have made the enviable history of winning power on three consecutive times.

With this bitter experience, as well as the 1979 cataclysm that resulted from the split of the UP into the Victor Owusu-led ANC and the Paa Willie-led PFP, which ushered in the Liman regime, that subsequently paved the way for Jerry Rawlings’ 19-year repressive and suppressive rule, with its concomitant unprecedented atrocities of cosmic proportions, Apostle cannot understand why the NPP should be embroiled in the current confusion.

Apostle is now convinced that the problems of the NPP have always been internally motivated, all because of needless political tug-of-war in which none of the two major groupings appear ready to compromise on its turf.

The contest for the party’s presidential slot has always been keen and grueling, often threatening the very survival and unity of the party. The famous 1997 Sunyani Congress was a typical example that can be cited in view of its relevance to the contemporary developments in the party.

Here was a contest in which many people had tipped Nana Akufo-Addo, younger, but better resourced and well organized, to win over a less fancied, less-resourced and older Mr Agyekum Kufuor.

But in the wisdom of the “kingmakers” of the party, Mr Kufuor was the man who could win the 2000 elections for party. They, therefore, rejected J.H Mensah’s “theory of rejected cassava” propounded against his own brother-in-law and elected Mr Kufuor as the presidential candidate.

That worked out for the party, because Ghanaians wanted a change of government. The party won the elections in a more antagonistic political environment under a more terrorizing Jerry Rawlings, with Prof Mills as the party’s candidate.

Apostle is somewhat convinced it was Nana Akufo-Addo who helped to make that victory possible. This is because in spite of the harassment his supporters suffered, he did not resign, or attempt to resign, from the party. All of us were witnesses to the active, frontline role Nana Addo played in the electioneering campaign that led to Mr Kufuor’s ascension of the presidency.

Of course, Apostle cannot sweep under the carpet the kind of friendly and unassuming gesture Mr Kufuor extended to Nana Akufo-Addo and his teeming supporters at that time. Yes, Mr Kufuor and his supporters made them realize they were needed to enable the party win the 2000 elections for him to achieve his political ambition of becoming the President of Ghana.

The political dynamics in the NPP from 1997 to 2000, as well as the desire for a change of government among the electorate are similar to contemporary developments. I therefore expect the party to see the light, reason like mature politicians and take advantage of the opportunity to return to power in 2012.

Just as Mr Kufour was elected the presidential candidate in 1997, it is only a humanly inconceivable miracle that could see Alan Kyerematen as the presidential candidate in the August contest. Alan and his followers know this. Oh yes, the NPP “king makers” have already settled on Nana Akufo-Addo and nothing will change their mind.

The concern of Apostle, therefore, is not about who will win the August contest, but about events that will follow. This is because the contest is now dirtier than ever. Today, it is Nsuta-Kwaman chairman accusing former President Kufuor of greed and ill-faith; tomorrow it is Ashanti Regional Organizer accusing Nana Akufo-Addo of engineering the prosecution of his own party members.

What about the needless verbal attacks by Kennedy Agyepong? Oh I see! So, if one has money it means he can take everybody for granted and behave according to whims and caprices. Can the insulting legislator provide all the money the party would need to run its offices, and the campaign to win the 2012 elections, especially without the support of Mr Kufuor?

What Apostle finds very pathetic is the senseless agenda by some fans of Nana Addo to put the fear of God into anybody who insults our hero, without waiting a minute to think about the harm they are doing to the man they claim to love more than anyone else.

Are they not convinced Nana Addo will be elected the presidential candidate for the 2012 elections? Would the needlessly aggressive campaigning help unite the party for Nana to win the 2012 election? Would the unjustifiable attacks on former President Kufuor elicit genuine support from him for Nana Addo’s bid to become President? Would Alan offer Nana Addo sincere support if he believes his supports are being harassed? Yes, he may not “resign” this time around, but Apostle can predict that his supporters could behave in a way that would make it impossible for Nana Addo to win the elections.

Alan can return NPP to power in 2012, just as Nana Addo did for the party and Mr Kufuor in 2000. But as to whether he will work in all sincerity for Nana Addo will depend upon the behaviour of Nana Addo and his supporters. Apostle does not have much problem with Nana Addo’s conduct, just as he does not have much against Alan. But, I think some of the people around him, as well as some of his fans are doing more harm than good to his ambition, and need to be checked.

Apostle wants to remind Nana Addo and his supporters that Alan has a hugely influential constituency in the party that is almost indispensable if Nana wants to become the next President of Ghana after the failing President Mills.

Those who think Nana could win without Alan should pause a minute to assess the influence people like former President Kufuor, Dr Anane, Napo, Kwadwo Mpianim and others wield in the party, especially in the party’s stronghold of Ashanti Region.

Alan can indeed help return the NPP to power with Nana Addo as the President. Apostle expects him to be prepared to do that after the August congress. This is because the Holy Bible expects us as Christians to do onto others what we want others to do for us.

As for those people around Alan who think the best way for Alan to become the President of Ghana is to make sure Nana loses the 2012 elections, Apostle expects them to ponder well over that evil-motivated agenda everyday after their morning devotion and meditation.

Even though I don’t want to be tagged a prophet of doom, I can predict that any attempt by Alan’s supporters to sabotage the presidential ambition of Nana Addo will eventually produce disastrous consequences for the presidential ambition of their hero. In fact, the NPP will be the eventual loser in that regard, if there is any jargon like “You do me, I do you.”

The NPP is set to return to the corridors of power in 2012. Only disunity and insincerity can deny us that victory. The contest for the presidential slot is getting dirtier. Both Nana Addo and Alan owe the party a duty to make sure their supporters behave and speak responsibly to promote genuine unity after the contest. The onus to ensure unity rests more on Nana than Alan. This is because the one winning the game should make sure the game ends successfully. It pays to bow down to a person if you want something the person can help you secure than to say “I am that I am”.

Alan can help return NPP to power in 2012. Apostle thinks he does not have a choice than to help Nana achieve his ambition if he also wants to be helped to achieve his future ambition. But, whether Alan will do that or not depends upon Nana Addo. Nana Addo therefore does not have a choice than to help Alan to help him win the 2012 elections.

Till I return next week, stay blessed.

The author is a freelance journalist and Associate Consultant of EagleWay Communications Consult. amaskwabena@yahoo.com. 0244-217504.