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Opinions of Thursday, 5 November 2015

Columnist: Blay-Miezah, Acka-Nyanzu

Gird Your Loins NPP, Your Adversary is on the Prowl...

Alas, some sense of relief is beginning to break on the New Patriotic Party as the dark clouds that had gathered over the skies at the party headquarters begin to pave way for a more favorable cloud. Paul Afoko, the man who has been at the center and the most instrumental tool in the hands of the forces that declared war on NPP has been suspended as the party's national chairman. Sadly but true, the news of his suspension stands to be the most progressive news from the party ever since Paul took over administration of the NPP.

The last year and half has been about the longest and most uncertain ever in the affairs of this party of great and illustrious Ghanaian Nationalist'. At a time it seemed as if the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel was never going to break on this party. It was a chain of one bad news to the other. You just couldn't solve the puzzle because there was none tangibly at hand. The plots only existed in the minds of a few who had sworn not to relent until destruction was attained by their timely executions. Though the effects of this mental and elusive conundrum within the top echelons of the party could be felt all through its membership and supporters in the depth of inertia that gripped it, it continued to beat all genuine attempts made by the lot who were clearly expected to be on the ones to loose most at the persistence of the dilemma.

I am not writing this because I for a moment want to deceive myself that the problems of the party has evaporated into thin air by the suspension of former chairman Paul Afoko. Indeed, if there is ever a time I think a man can be most yielding to thoughts of evil and destruction, it is when his ego is badly bruised. Paul Afoko's ego and that of his team is badly bruised. He did not work alone on this abortive project of his. He had internal as well as external collaborators. The statements and interviews emanating from the quarters of John Kufuor through his former and current spokespersons, Andrew Awuni and Frank Agyekum compared to their comments made on the intransigence of this same Afoko and Kwabena which culminated in the death of no less a person than the Upper East Regional chairman of the party.

Let it also not be lost on us, the threat made by Kwadwo Mpiani to the hearing of all gathered for a national council meeting hosted at Alisa Hotel in the early days of the new party leadership. That if they did not have their way, they will make sure their minority voices would be heard and count most in a way that would hurt the supposed majority. Those threats are part of what the party has been living and experiencing to date. The worst of all is that they have absolutely nothing to loose by sinking everyone in the party simply because they detest Akufo-Addo. On the contrary, they have a lot more to gain from the ultimate beneficiaries of a sunk NPP. Make no mistakes about it, this is politics and there are all sorts of interest at play here and they would have been handsomely rewarded for a job well executed. Several times, I have asked myself, what can be the motivation for a man to avail himself to destroy the political ambitions of a brother and the entire family.

There had been gossips here and there some of which were very petty supposed to explain the dislike for Akufo-Addo. That Akufo-Addo does not kneel or bow when he greets Kufuor. That's arrant nonsense. I won't even give weight to such thoughts to dignify the shallow minds that conceived them. That Akufo-Addo presents himself as confident of himself. And so what? Would we rather that he lacked confidence and was timid? And that Kufuor fears his legacy won't be well secured under an Akufo-Addo government. I ask myself, what is that legacy? The NHIS, sweeping reforms in the banking and insurance sector plus pensions, repeal of the criminal libel law, restoration of confidence in the Ghanaian economy where inflation and interest rates were brought down? The expansion of the economy? Which of these legacies of Kufuor and his team have remained intact under NDC's Mills/Mahama? In whose interest would it have been to maintain or better those legacies? What would an Akufo-Addo government which ministers would have had a sizeable number coming from Kufuors cabinet gain by destroying the record they had labored to build? It simply doesn't make sense. May be the supposed legacy is more to do with whom the former President prefers and considers to hail from his political lineage or?

Right from the moment the ballots were counted and results declared at Tamale, the signs were made clear to all that cared to observe in the days after, that there was a project to cut through and whittle down the growing influence of one man, Nana Akufo-Addo. To what end remains a mystery to some and speculative to others but that drive has run through the administration and leadership of Paul Afoko to date even in suspension. And he will not stop.And so instead of building bridges and strategizing on a common goal of unseating the NDC, the two newly elected leaders (Paul & Kwabena) preoccupied themselves with schemes on how to whittle down Akufo-Addo's influence in the party and control him.

A closer look at all the steps Paul has taken moments before and after his suspension is enough evidence he is not prepared to alter his intentions. He brazenly continues to hold himself out there as party chairman. He signs court documents as such. He issues counter statements and signs as party chairman. Even more catastrophic, is that a serving General Secretary of the party fully endorses that unlawful defiance and is not queried or sanctioned. Not to say that I expected anything different from Kwabena Agyapong whom I always held as very promising but by his recent acts of commission and omission has virtually killed his political ambitions in this party and lost my support.

Is it not curious that Afoko and Kwabena enjoy their most support from the NDC? How can we have confidence in the duo going into a crucial 2016 election? Afoko set up several newspapers through which he kept attacking the flagbearer and embarrassing the party. That to me is where they lost the plot. Reminded me so much of the endorsements Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was receiving from NPP supporters as well as media friends when she sought to unseat the popular John Mills as the party's presidential candidate. That support from the NPP wasn't genuine but only meant to destabilize the NDC. It's a similar type of support Afoko and Kwabena are enjoying from the NDC and its media friends. And that is because what the two men are doing ultimately benefits them.

If Paul Afoko truly means well, it would have been seen in his conduct in the aftermath but his interest in stirring up more controversy and bad press for the party only attest to his real intentions. I feel sad for my party because all these were so avoidable and needless. I can anticipate that our media is going to be agog with Afoko news all for the bad press for NPP in the coming weeks. He's going to organize

As far as am concerned, the party should expect the worst from these two whether in or out and their faceless sponsors. These two kept preaching about restructuring of the party and blah blah blah blah...leading to their election. It is exactly a year to the next general election and one cannot point to even one thing their leadership has done towards the supposed restructuring of the party. Obviously, we misunderstood what they really meant by that jargon. To the duo, it meant stifling the party, unilaterally taking decisions reserved for the NEC & NC simply because they felt they wouldn't get the numbers to push their wishes, leaking confidential party records to the media and public, engaging in recording of party members during meetings, delaying in convening NEC and NC meetings etc. They kept lying to us that the problem was Akufo-Addo because he couldn't work with particular persons when indeed the ones who couldn't work with the rest of the team were they themselves. It's all thanks to this same Akufo-Addo that Afoko and kwabena have lasted this long because he kept reassuring people that he is prepared to make compromises which he believed would compel the two to cooperate. Akufo-Addo doesn't need anyone to tell him now that the only compromise they would have accepted was for him to step aside as the candidate or drop Mahamudu Bawumia as his running mate. Afoko couldn't work with his first deputy Freddie Blay, likewise Kwabena Agyapong couldn't work with his deputy, Nana Obiri Boahen. And they both couldn't work with their former pal, the national treasurer, steering committee, national executive committee as well as the national council. Is it ironic or mere coincidence that several if not all of the persons who campaigned to support Kwabena or Paul like myself have all regretted? Nana Akomea, Musah Superior, Kennedy Agyapong, Mac manu, Kwaku Baku and a lot more are now revising their notes on their support for the two? Just look at the embarrassment caused the party during the two days forum with the EC. That the director of finance and administration received a letter of such importance from the EC, read it and days after, he was yet to communicate the letter or its content to appropriate quarters. How can anyone convince us that it was not deliberate?

It won't be long and we will be inundated with articles from Arthur Kennedy and interviews from Nyaho Tamakloe spewing what they know best, hatred for Akufo-Addo. Two very opinionated men who always fail to have a view on national discourse or on the poverty that Ghanaians have to constantly grapple with but eager to volunteer a view in a manner that always seeks to denigrate Akufo-Addo. I particularly like these two medical doctors because they don't hide their hatred for Akufo-Addo. Arthur Kennedy once said in a forum that, the so called majority in NPP can keep deceiving themselves but should watch out for the hatred that will be expressed against Akufo-Addo if he dared contest and wins the flagbearership. There he even vowed to ensure Akufo-Addo never went unopposed. I was particularly shocked that he was filled with such hatred for a fellow man and wondered why especially with his public image out there as a practicing Christian. Anyway, who am I to judge?

With all of the current happenings including what some of us know albeit a few people are doing behind the scenes to ensure they rock the boat, that is why I write to plead with the party not to hesitate to take any necessary action it deems fit to stay in control and steer this party through the storms to safety and victory MUST be done. I am encouraged by the fact that this party has never been more united like it is today except for a few at the top for whatever reasons. You have taken one bold step but there is more to do. He who is not with us is against us. There are no middle grounds. I will also admonish the boat rockers to desist and have a change of mind. Destruction is the easiest of task but none has a monopoly over it. Ye reap what ye sow. Unless you and your descendants will never be interested in political power then I say, you are safe. But if otherwise, then remember what the great black American rapper, Tupac said in his song, 'Hail Mary', "Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting ......."

And to you, Freddie Blay and the NPP, I urge us to put on our whole armor and to watch and pray because we have two adversaries (internal & external) both roaming like a wounded lion seeking whom to devour. May we not be their victims. Freddie, be fair and firm. The storm is certainly not over but be courageous. You know we are more than them. They can never stand against. We will always beat them. Truth shall always stand. You are a man from the land of all courageous men. An Nzema man fears neither human nor spirit. We only fear our maker. Bring us success and nothing but more success. Amen!

Acka-Nyanzu Blay-Miezah

Axim, Evalue-Gwira