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Opinions of Monday, 12 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

He Said More Than That, Ghanaian Observer

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Oct. 2, 2015

The caption of the Ghanaian Observer on the article read as follows: “Akufo-Addo Calls Me Every Day – Agyepong Tells Critics” ( 10/2/15). It was very sunny and quite refreshing, after all the proverbial muddy waters that have passed under the bridge over the past two election seasons. And to be certain, the article was rather brief. But the contents gave one a lot of hope and confidence in the leadership capacity and integrity of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. And all this transpired, we are told, at the spiritual font of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the traditionally acclaimed heartland of Ghana, the Asante Region. And we are also told that it took place at a hotel called Georgia.

Now that is something to think about! I am, of course, thinking about immortalized U.S. Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Congressman John Robert Lewis, who visited my school just this past Monday, October 5, and I managed to momentarily get him away from his book-signing table to give me a 20-second bear hug. And boy wasn’t that historic?! I told the legendary congressman from Georgia that I had purposely and expressly decided to attend his presentation on that historic era in which he played a seismic role as one of the Big Six Civil Rights spearheads just to hug him. At 75 years old, the man looks at least a decade younger than Ghana’s 57-year-old President John Dramani Mahama. Call it genetic hardiness or divine blessing and you would not be wide off the mark.

Anyway, the General-Secretary of the New Patriotic Party is right on target, when Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong tearily gushes about the fact of Nana Akufo-Addo’s fielding calls to him on virtually a daily basis to be updated on party happenings and activities. This is how it ought to have been all along, isn’t it? But that this long-overdue communications breakthrough gives me goose bumps, is properly speaking an epic understatement. But it is only the beginning, though. Make no mistake, dear reader, I am not that naïve. Still, I struggled to hold back tears from welling up the lower pouches of my eyes. But, of course, inasmuch as it is better late than never, we also need to be realistic in soberly acknowledging that there is still a long way to go. What is also important to think about is the imperative need for the National Executive Council (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party to revisit that portion of the party’s constitution pertaining to the official resumption of office and title of Party Leader. As well, precisely when the official leadership of a former flagbearer expires in a non-election year or season.

Needless to say, Akufo-Addo’s leadership capacity and skills have been badly tested and unduly pummeled precisely because the constitution of the largest political party, we are told, is deafeningly and scandalously silent on the critical question of the functional position/role of the party’s duly elected flagbearer. It has been a rough ride for Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Justice Minister. And we hope some worthwhile lessons have been learned here as well. I also don’t know that it is a matter of the rendition of ritualized pro-forma apologies, than the imperative need for all and sundry to seriously recognize the fact that the ideology that binds us together as fellow travelers is far more significant and meaningful than any petty personal differences.

I have said this before and herewith repeat the same: that the least bit of the worries of any key NPP operative ought to be the personality and/or perceived temperament of the party’s 2016 presidential candidate. For at the end of the day, Nana Akufo-Addo essentially and figuratively represents the sum total of the collective desires, aspirations and needs of not only party members, supporters and sympathizers but even more significantly, the dreams and aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian citizens who have been left high and dry by the corporatist and robber baron-minded Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress.

Now, the focus of party leaders and staunch NPP members must be trained on legitimately and convincingly wresting power from the grossly incompetent Mahama Cacophony. Even more significant is the need for Nana Akufo-Addo and his team of progressive statesmen and women to be focused on crafting a far-reaching development agenda for the country, one that is far less dependent on foreign generosity and/or charity than then woefully under-sourced genius of Ghanaians themselves.