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Opinions of Sunday, 7 January 2007

Columnist: Adzitornu, Kofi

CALA What?

I did serve notice that I was about to do a thorough examination of all aspirants of the NPP early this year. At the time, I found it necessary to start from the obvious contestants to replace J.A Kufuor after his mandate ends in 2008. Some, including my fellow NPP member and editor of the Accra Daily Mail dashed to the castle clutching the story which he refused to publish to show to his political masters. I have also noticed the double take on my chaffinch-like self by the same paper in the month of December 2006. But that is not something to worry about. When Aliu puts you on a TOR board with NDC people disguised as sympathizers of the ruling party, what can one expect? Is it strange therefore that very sensitive decisions taken at the board level of TOR are flying all over the place to score cheap political points against our dynamic and super government?

Whatever be the case, I will go ahead and keep my promise to my readers for it is a non-starter to assert that Adzitornu belongs to one of the camps. Truth is that, there is no NPP member who does not belong to a camp. Just as Sir John and Appiagyei belong to Addo-Kufuor’s camp, or Victor Newman and Alhaji Business belong to Nana Akufo-Addo’s camp, or Amoako-Tuffuor and Haruna Atta belong to his cousin Vice President Aliu Mahama’s camp, or Eric Kwatia and Thomas Broni belong to Hackman Owusu-Agyeman’s camp, or …I could go on and on to include Coomson who is enjoying his mercenary best playing Oquaye, Osafo-Maafo, Agyarko and the yet-to-be outdoored Sam Jonah preferred candidate against each other, I also have a camp, the only difference being that my camp would not contest in the end. Thus, I must make sure that whosoever bears the title of flagbearer fits the title and adequately represents my group: those of us who have decided to let our party pay a dear price for the marginalization that we have been told is being addressed for the past six years. He that is down they say, needs fear no fall!

When I first heard the name, I thought we had some returnee refuges from across the great desert in the southern part of our beloved continent. Calamari, which sounds more like Kalahari for students of geography, as I have subsequently found out, is a recipe, something that titillates the palates of the daring, so that it would have passed as another new found word imported into our everyday jargons.

It has turned out not to be so. Calamari is the code name for the Alan Kyeremanteng campaign. It is organized to have the aspirant at the top of a pyramid, working through 100 constituency polling stations which also seeps down to what are called “Zonal Commanders” who take charge of 10 zones. Under these 10 zones can be found Polling Station Commanders (PSC) who also have 10 sub groupings under them and in which “footsoldiers” spring from the fifth PSC. These groupings are to do three main things:

Campaign Activity = Door to Door campaign

Present NPP and talk about NPP achievements E.g. Roads, Debt-forgiveness etc Present Agenda for 2008: Requirements for a Flagbearer

Now one may wonder what all this is about. Dear reader, this is the campaign strategy of one of the aspirants in the NPP, somebody who wants to continue where Kufuor would leave off. For the fanatics of Calamari, all is “cool”, what with the open support and strong castle links that they currently enjoy. You see, Calamari has not learned anything from the Stephen Ntim debacle. Calamari, is in essence the “system’s attempt to prove that what happened on December 17, 2005 at Legon was a mistake”, according to one of its adherents. It is the only logical explanation that sheds light on why there is little or no attempt by the group to dissociate itself from the label “castle choice” that is gaining ground within NPP circles. When you have a candidate that promises to finance all polling station and constituency executives to the tune of ¢300,000 per person per month till the date of congress in December 2007, you immediately ask yourself the following questions:

i. Where is the money coming from?

ii. Is this a sustainable way of promoting democracy within our great party?

iii. Are we going to have a repeat of Legon 2005?

Under normal circumstances, these issues would have been left as non-issues except for the fact that the chief proponent of Calamari and certainly its beneficiary, presides over some visibly failed entities, stretching from Cassava starch to Tomato puree production. If we take the 230 constituencies only and multiply that by 10 which is also multiplied by the 300,000 cedis promised, you get a staggering ¢ 690,000,000 per month. Multiply that by the number of months till congress in December 2007 and you start wondering if Bill Gates has suddenly found a good friend in Ghana to lavish his billions on. This is certainly not the way to go, my dear Alan. Ask Oquaye…it is not sustainable. Talking of which, do these aspirants compare notes at all? Otherwise it would easily become clear who is in reality financing the amorous escapades of unemployed party activists doubling as self-imposed footsoldiers for various aspirants. These are interesting times indeed.

As for those followers of Calamari, they are such a sorry bunch, that I would not waste my time exposing them. Truth is that half of them are plants from the camp of the true leading contestant in this race. The other half is a collection of “yes sir” ministers (who I am sure would be adequately dealt with by Boye Laryea’s Friends of the NPP) and other surrogates of government who have been instructed to ensure that the “system” is used to further the aspirations of my dear Alan. There are also two members of the national executive, who although hate each other to dizzying heights, are part of this plan: we wish them well in their dreams. But the truth is that, the pecking order that President Kufuor talked about at Maple Leaf would hold sway. Let nobody dream, like my good friend Haruna Atta erroneously thinks, that the NPP would experience a repeat of 1979. It would not happen under Mac Manu, Daavi Ama, and Lord Commey’s noses. When all is said and done, the NPP shall return from congress stronger than ever before, with those who need to learn the kindergarten lessons of looking before leaping well schooled in the art of biding one’s time.

In due course, I would be turning the spotlight on…would the editor pick an aspirant for me to analyse?

Kofi (Gbontoss) Adzitornu Dave vs. Carl: The Insignificant Championship Series. Who will win?



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