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Opinions of Thursday, 1 December 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Hassan Ayariga’s tribal APC political machine implodes

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Ever since he literally got booted out of the Limann-founded People’s National Convention (PNC), one of the several Nkrumaist splinter political parties that have been shamelessly feeding off the kleptocratic hands of the Mahama-led and Woyome-underwritten government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Hassan Ayariga has become a man without a home, a political vagabond of sorts.

Actually, the man has a home; he has always belonged to the Rawlings-fabricated National Democratic Congress, where his younger brother, Mr. Mahama Ayariga, has served as the right-hand man of President John Dramani Mahama, and currently serves as Minister for the Environment, Science and Technology.

Theirs is clearly a “Northern Brotherhood” which is suavely and strategically overlaid with the institutional façade of the National Democratic Congress. This kind of political primitivism has been aptly described as “Identity Politics.” Its overriding framework is one of geo-ethnic identification.

Which is why the decision by the General-Secretary of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr. Razak Kojo Opoku, to endorse the Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, must have come as a bombshell to Mr. Ayariga, who doubles as both the founder-proprietor and presidential candidate of the APC.

Mr. Ayariga, it may be recalled, was one of the 13 presidential candidates earlier on disqualified by the Electoral Commission for filing their candidacy-endorsement application forms with the signatures of double registrants, or registered voters whose names appeared in more than one constituency and almost invariably in two different regions of the country.

Double registration, it is significant to observe, is a criminally culpable offense which is punishable by imprisonment. The Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, says that the Commission intends to rigorously prosecute all the culprits involved. So far, however, nothing more, for several weeks now, has been heard from the EC’s chair; and it is also not even clear whether these criminal suspects will be allowed to vote in the December 7 general election.

Well, Mr. Ayariga who miserably failed to have his name put back on the ballot per a Supreme Court order, because he had still failed to either garner the required number of legitimate endorsement signatures, or he had simply been too illiterate to accurately fill out his presidential candidacy registration form, had intended to predictably throw his bovine’s weight behind the candidacy of President Mahama this very Monday (November 28, 2016), has announced that he is sacking not only Mr. Opoku, the General-Secretary of the APC, but also his veritable drawing-board running-mate or vice-presidential candidate, Mr. Carl Bartels.

In the past, Mr. Ayariga had vehemently denied that he was in the pay of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress, the very man and the party that had strategically used this barely coherent circus act of a politico to muff the presentations of Nana Akufo-Addo at the Institute of Economic Affairs-sponsored 2012 presidential debates. It is not clear what the endorsement of a political paper-weight like Mr. Ayariga means for both President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress.

What is clear about the rift that well appears to have ground the APC to a screeching halt, at least for the nonce, is the fact that in boldly going out of their way to endorse Nana Akufo-Addo, Messrs. Opoku and Bartels have also signaled their steely determination not to be cheaply used to further the geo-ethnic agenda or identity politics of Mr. Ayariga. Which was why in announcing their decision to endorse the 2016 New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate, Messrs. Bartels and Opoku also reportedly hinted at the all-too-predictable decision of the APC founding-proprietor to endorse his fellow “Northern Brother.”

In the best of worlds, the sort of identity politics being peddled by President Mahama and the NDC Abongo Boys could be counted upon to bring these politically divisive rascals well short of an electoral victory come December 7, 2016.