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Opinions of Friday, 11 September 2015

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina

Ben Ephson is wrong on Nana Addo

Opinion Opinion

Respected Pollster, Political strategist and Editor, Ben Ephson has come to the defense of the NPP Flag bearer, Nana Akufo Addo.

Speaking to Kasapa FM this morning, Uncle Ben said, “Nana Addo may have his faults but I think that he has always been a victim of circumstances. He has been voted for and if the NPP does not win, it does not affect Kwabena Agyapong and Afoko but rather Nana Addo because he has his name on the ballot”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr. Ephson states “even if Nana Addo does not like Kwabena Agyapong, he will never let everybody see it”. Really, Uncle Ben?

Mr. Ephson is generally very astute in his observations but he wrong on this one--- big time.

Before addressing the substance, it is interesting that Mr. Ephson, who has been repeatedly accused by Nana Addo’s fanatics of being on the pay-roll of the NDC, is defending Nana Addo. Let the fanatics tell us whether Mr. Ephson is now on the pay-roll of Nana Addo or the NPP. I await their spin with bated breath.

Before addressing the substance of Mr. Ephson’s defense that Nana is a victim of circumstances, let me address his claim that Nana’s defeat will only affect him. It will not.

It will bring to waste the lifetime effort of Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and hundreds of dedicated party members who have worked for years to elect an NPP President AND Parliamentary majority! But even more important that the NPP members, it will frustrate the desire of the millions of Ghanaians who believe that an NPP government will make their lives and Ghana’s circumstances better.

The narrow and perverse view that a Presidential candidate owns his candidacy in a democracy based on parties is profoundly wrong. It is this mis-reading of history and tradition that makes candidates think that once they are nominated, they can do as they please. A candidate, nominated by a party is not his own candidate--- he is a candidate of his party.

As for Mr. Ephson’s claim that Nana is a victim of circumstances, it does not bear scrutiny.

He inherited a party in government, WITH the Presidency and a PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY and proceeded to lose both--- twice!!

He inherited a united party and has divided it almost beyond repair with needless confrontations and exclusions.

He inherited a party that was perceived to be in the good books of the Judiciary, the Electoral Commission, the media and very important traditional rulers and he has recklessly squandered the goodwill.
He inherited a party that was respected for its abhorrence of violence and its fidelity to the rule of law and he has squandered that by seeking to remove his party leaders from office for crimes they have not been charged or convicted for.

While he did not do these things alone, he made major contributions:
He refused to plan for a second round in 2008 despite repeated urgings from me and others.

He chose to go to court, instead of fighting in Tain--- without consulting the elder of his party and the sitting President.
He chose not to accept and work with those he did not like--- like Agyapong and Afoko.

He has permitted his allies to brand respected party leaders like the former President and his Chief of Staff murderers and criminals.

He uttered “ all-die-be-die” and kept repeating it while it cost him and the NPP millions of votes.

He has refused to condemn allies who have demeaned people of other ethnicities--- thus inadvertently fuelling the image of his party as an ethnic party.

There is more but you get the point.
Of course, others have contributed to where Nana Addo and the NPP find us now. Amongst these are his sycophantic family members and friends, the thieves who have stolen party and campaign resources, the “ see-no-evil, hear-no-evil” elders who have marched in lockstep with his mistakes, and the sycophantic bought media who have repeated every mis-statement he has uttered as if it was the gospel truth. All these parties are guilty but none has done more than Nana to create the circumstances that are victimizing him and the NPP today. That is the sad truth.

Ghana needs the NPP to return to the party that used to be first in the hearts of the masses and party that used to symbolize “New men and women, New IDEAS and New ways of moving Ghana forward”.

The first step in this journey is to admit to ourselves that the man who bears the most responsibility for how far we have fallen is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo.

As Harry Truman used to say, “The BUCK STOPS HERE”. The buck and the responsibility for our plight, in truth stops, in large part, with Nana Addo.

May God bless the NPP!
May God bless Ghana!

Arthur Kobina Kennedy