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Opinions of Thursday, 12 September 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Is there a natural Ga leader in Ghana? Part 3

Can a Ga person ever become president of Ghana? Let us continue by examining the chances of prominent Ga people in the N.D.C rising through the party to become flag bearers and to extent future presidents of Ghana.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuije (N.D.C): A typical traditional Ga man, highly loved and cherished by his people. A true Ga Mashie man from Odododiodio constituency in the heart of Accra. Nii Lantey has endeared himself to his people so much that you will be amazed the goodwill he enjoys in a place like Ga Mashie.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuije rose to prominence as a football commentator with the then Ghana Radio (GAR). His impeccable expression of the English Language and his ecstatic outflows whenever a team scores a goal was a delight to the ears of Ghanaians. That is who Nii Lantey Vanderpuije was, a true peoples man.
His foray into politics was a bit of the disaster from the beginning. He contested for and won the primaries on the ticket of the N.D.C in 2004. Unfortunately, he has to step down in the national contest because he engaged in electoral malpractice when he induced some voters to register twice contrary to our country’s laws. Am sure as a plea bargain he had to be replaced in the last minute by the N.D.C to avoid any embarrassment in case the state decides to prosecute him.
Then the N.D.C came to power in 2008 and Nii Lantey was appointed a director of operation at the castle. A position he held till the demise of President Mills. If anybody thought the exuberance of Nii Lantey Vanderpuije has vanished because of the near incarceration he suffered in 2004, that person was sadly mistaken. Nii Lantey came back with a vengeance in 2012 to contest for the primaries in the Odododiodio constituency in 2012 which he won by a landslide. Then the voters’ registration exercise started and the true spirit of Nii Lantey came to the fore!
Brimming with fire and thunder, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije led Ga thugs to beat up and prevent Non Gas from registering in his constituency. He swore with his blood to prevent nonnatives from registering in his constituency and put paid to that action when his thugs assaulted and beat up Ursula Owusu, the then Parliamentary Candidate for the Ablekuma South Constituency, an adjacent locality. This act led to so much tension in Ga land to an extent the National peace council and other civil society groupings had to step in. That is Nii Lantey for you!
So the question is: Can Nii Lantey Vanderpuije rise through the N.D.C and become a flagbearer in the near future? The answer is yes, if he only cleans up his act and takes a shot in 2020 when President Mahama will not be contesting. Why am I saying this? It is undoubtedly clear that Nii Lantey is the most popular Ga politician in the current N.D.C set up now. Nii Lantey is the only Ga politician in N.D.C whose influence extends beyond Accra. His bellicose behavior, akin to Nana Addo to some extent is well admired by some people in the N.D.C. Nii Lantey can only take a shot at the presidency if he cleans up his acts and works for the forgiveness of Ghanaians. If Akuffo Addo, after ‘all die be die’, ‘yen akanfour’, ‘win at all cost’ can be admired and respected in the N.P.P, then Nii Lantey Vanderpuije wouldn’t be such a bad idea for the N.D.C.

Nii Nortey Dua (N.D.C): An affable gentleman who also rose to prominence through sports. He together with Nii Lantey Vanderpuije where the real dons when it comes to giving sports commentary in those days. He stood as an MP in Teshie in 2004 but lost to Dr Norley Ashittey of the N.P.P by a little of 500 votes. He came back in 2008 to win the seat by a wide margin of a difference of 11,000 votes! He then became the Deputy Minister of sports under President Mills.
Surprisingly and quite shockingly, he lost the N.D.C primaries in 2012 to little known Ewe lady Benita Sena Okity Dua ( Nee Golomeke), a former Miss Ghana. His defeat was extremely shocking to political watchers in Ghana who believed Nii Nortey Dua was given a raw deal by his party members and the people of Teshie. Since then, he has gone into hibernation after being ignored by President Mahama and the N.D.C during th ministerial appointments.
Nii Nortey Dua will never get the chance in the N.D.C unless he comes back from his bibernation and resume his political activities. 2020 is quite far away and if he starts now, he can catch up.

Hon Nii Amarh Ashittey ( N.D.C.): A long time politician under N.D.C through the time of Jerry Rawlings and now. He was the former mayor of Tema and arguably the best Mayor Tema has ever had. Hon Nii Amarh Ashittey is a two time MP for the Osu Korley Clottey constituency, a former Regional Minister and the current Minister for Works and housing. He is an accomplished politician without any much controversy in his life.
Hon Nii Amarh Ashittey remains the brightest spot for Gas if they want to ascend to the presidency. He is the man without any excess baggage and will be suitable for the position of president if the N.D.C market’s him. One biggest drawback though is his lack of popularity even among his own people. He is simply too reserved and does not command any admiration among his people. The average N.D.C foot soldier may not even have heard of him of you mention his name. There is also talk of him being stingy and hardly welcomes people when he is approached. If he can work on these drawbacks, am sure he will be a force to reckon with if the N.D.C decides to give the slot of the flagbearer to a Ga person maybe in 2020.

There are other Ga people in the N.D.C but they cannot measure up to this three I have mentioned above. We can talk of Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Nii Amasa Namoaley, Nii Ashie More and similar once unknown. We can clearly see from my analysis that the chances of a Ga person rising to become President of Ghana through the N.D.C Is quite better than the N.P.P.
Will the N.D.C promote a Ga person as flagbearer of their party? I seriously have my doubts! After the Ewes (Rawlings), Fantes (Atta Mills) and Northerners (Mahama) have ascended to the presidency, it should be natural that a Ga-Adangbe should be given the shot after Mahama. After all, the Ga Adangbes constituents one of the largest voting blocks of the N.D.C after the Ewes and Northerners. So what will be the problem? Why wouldn’t either the N.D.C or the N.P.P party promote a Ga person to the presidency? Are there other extraneous circumstances that prevent the Ga person from becoming President of Ghana? What is the problem and how Do we Gas surmount it? This will be for my concluding article.
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