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Opinions of Thursday, 16 June 2011

Columnist: DayBreak

Does Nana Addo Want To Be President?

If Nana Akuffo-Addo does not win the 2012 elections, it would not be because President Mills has fulfilled his campaign promises, but because the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has repeated or perhaps doubled the suicidal mistakes it committed in 2008.

The NPP, even in opposition, is behaving like a party that has won power and thus members must do ‘eye-service’ just to catch the eyes of ‘Mr. President.’ Sycophantic ‘eye-services’ that includes flattery, back-stabbing, refusing to acknowledge genuine mistakes and flaws and above all opposing anyone who makes a genuine constructive criticism.

As we write this piece, those who matter within the top-notch of the NPP leadership know in their hearts and conscience that they are yet to cure the mischief and harm the so-called ‘Nana-Addo vs Alan-John Kufuor camps’ have created for the party.

They may pose for the cameras warmly shaking hands and flashing broad smiles alright, but fact remains that it is only a window dressing that does not go beyond media gimmicks.

If the NPP is not behaving like a political party on a suicide mission, why would the flag bearer’s generals and his chief spokesperson storm Suhum in the heat of the constituency’s parliamentary primary to campaign for one aspirant who is believed to be a Nana Addo loyalist as against the party’s Parliamentary Chief Whip who has not hidden his soft-spot for Alan?

Nana Addo may boldly tell the whole country he has no candidate and we would take his word as gospel, but when persons in his cartel make such dangerous moves that can be backed by audio tapes yet the candidate remains tight lipped, it fuels a dangerous perception it was done with his blessing.

The unrest in the Okai-Koi South Constituency between Vicky Bright and Ahmed Arthur over who was slighted at the Constituency primaries can be traced to this same ‘Nana-Addo vs Alan-John Kufuor camps’ yet the party would not accept the truth and would rather get some media houses to tell a different story.

Somebody comes from the United States of America to win the parliamentary slot of a coastal seat which happens to be a swing seat and quickly goes back forgetting that to win a seat along the coastal line is your closeness with the people.

‘Nana Addo is the man of the people’ is what you hear from his apologists yet when he became Attorney General of the Republic of Ghana, the known killers of the Kumepreko demonstrators were not prosecuted and not even a fund was set up for the families of the dead.

The 'I was born at Nima’ chorus meant to make Nana Addo look and sound like the ordinary everyday Ghanaian is nothing but a slogan that he uses to tickle himself to excitement. An otherwise good slogan which his party should have taken advantage of and used it to erase that tag of ‘arrogance’ wrongly riveted on his neck.

Rather, the party watches the candidate profess to have being born in Nima yet does not identify with them. He stays in a plush house at the edge of the Nima community yet his pretty wife has never been seen taking a stroll to the Nima market to fraternize with the women there. We are not talking of a drive through or a walk through during campaign season. That would be overly artificial and cosmetic. We are talking of the normal day to day shopping done by the everyday woman.

That link is just not there and the party would not even think of creating one. Maybe the NPP is satisfied that the candidate’s wife visits Nima only when her air-conditioned and tainted-glass vehicle drives through the market road while she is relaxed in the cozy back seat peeping down at the sweatdrenched market women who point fingers and say “that is Nana Addo’s wife’s car”.

The NPP media houses continue to paint a very rosy picture rather than tell Nana Addo the truth and that is his predicament in our candid opinion. If the NPP friendly media had told Nana Addo just twenty percent truth in 2008, his party might have avoided some fatal mistakes that cost it the election. This is 2011, a year to the next election and we still see the same media houses writing stories to that would make the flag-bearer swollen headed rather than stories that would draw his attention to the glaring symptoms of an electoral defeat.

The friendly media houses who have a soft spot for the NPP and ought to act as watch dogs have become lap dogs with some even compromising their positions, so cannot tell him the truth or perhaps do not have the guts to tell him in the face that he has to sit up, roll his sleeves, lace his boots and start the harvest rather than remain glued to his Nima residence aside the occasional weekend funerals he attends.

The owners of the media houses and their pot-bellied editors should ask their reporters to tell them whether Candidate Mills was not open and easily accessible. Even today, it is easier for a journalist to have access to the President of Ghana than the flag-bearer of the NPP yet the party wants to delude itself that it is in touch with the ordinary Ghanaian. Truth hurts, but it must be told.

Where is the issues based politics he promised in 2008, polls from bogus persons and institutions would come, but that alone cannot win you elections? If Nana himself realises that the internal wrangling in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is not a sure bet of victory then Jake and Sir John should sit up.

We ask sincerely, is the NPP ready to win the battle?

The NPP must think of how to convince indecisive voters to vote for them and for that must show unity, homogeneity and solidarity.

Simply put: From now on, does the NPP have one target which is to win elections in all polling stations and constituencies and work hard to achieve a sweeping victory?

Have they all started the work now...Hand in hand with the Stephen Ntims, the Prof. Kwabena Frimpongs, the Wereko Brobbeys, the Ohene Ntows and a host of others on the same pedestal with the Boakye Agyakos, Osafo Marfos, Kofi Osei Ameyaws or the Lord Commeys?

This is the only way Nana Addo and the NPP will achieve its objectives. The decision is theirs not ours!