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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Kufuor cannot call for a legacy he did not bequeath

Former President John Agyekum-Kufuor would do himself and the entire New Patriotic Party’s constabulary a lot of good by convoking with and exhorting his faction among the greater membership of the party, than so facilely and hypocritically pretending to be above the very fray which he literally and deliberately fomented in the waning months of his two-term tenure, when it became all-too-apparent that his widely rumored favorite political steed in the 2008 Presidential Election was not apt to clinching the nomination of the party.

In other words, the former President’s call for unity among the movers-and-shakers of the NPP, delivered in an address at the close of the party’s 26th Annual Delegates’ Conference, held in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital, contrary to what Mr. Ben Ephson would have Ghanaians believe, ought to have been self-directed, rather than being supposedly targeted at the Akufo-Addo Presidency, whose key operatives have taken more abuse from the Kufuor faction of the party than any other group of bona fide stalwarts of any major political party in the country (See “Kufuor’s Unity Call at Koforidua Targeted Akufo-Addo – Ephson” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/9/18).

In essence, my contention here is that while, indeed, he has a political track-record that is deserving of our respect and emulation in many respects, nonetheless, in terms of behavioral conduct within the New Patriotic Party itself, Mr. Kufuor has absolutely no moral edge, whatsoever, on Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo, the 2008 NPP’s Presidential Candidate whom he rudely and savagely used the office of his longtime Chief-of-Staff and relative, Mr. KwadwoMpiani, to both publicly humiliate, slight, marginalize and consistently and persistently sabotage every step of the way. And on the latter score, of course, I am thinking about the maiden publication of the list of the recipients of then-President Kufuor’s National Merit Awards. It would take the bold, fierce and persistent public haranguing of the Kufuor Presidency by Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, the current Speaker of Parliament, to shame Mr. Mpiani and his boss into half-heartedly recognizing the then-Candidate Akufo-Addo among the topmost tier or category of the recipients.

I mean, isn’t it traumatically ironic that on then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor’s National Merit Awards list, Messrs. John Evans Atta-Mills, John Dramani Mahama and Kojo Tsikata would be listed while the name of the now-President Akufo-Addo was conspicuously missing? It would take the publication of at least three National Merit Awards list before Nana Akufo-Addo would be properly and fittingly recognized and listed. We must also quickly point out that but for his preemptive rejection of the National Merit Honor, former President Jerry John Rawlings’ name would have been the first and foremost to be listed. Now, talking of nepotism, I have just learned from an unimpeachable source, a conjugal relative, to be certain, that Mr. KwadwoMpiani is actually the uncle of Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby. For those who may not remember, it was Messrs. Mpiani and Wereko-Brobby who coordinated the Ghana@50 festivities whose fiscal accountability was mired in a legal tussle with the succeeding Mills-Mahama-led regime of the National Democratic Congress, and about whose defense against double-jeopardy I personally wrote and published several columns.

I choose to highlight this fact because Nana Akufo-Addo has been bombarded with accusations of having packed his cabinet chock-full with his relatives. Well, the fact of the matter is that President Agyekum-Kufuor had more of his relatives, percentage-wise, in his cabinet and government than the man whose presidential ambitions he systematically and relentlessly attempted to sabotage. We must also significantly point out the fact that a lame-duck President Kufuor did absolutely nothing to facilitate the timely reconciliation between Mr. Alan John KwadwoKyerematen when, having been roundly defeated in the party’s presidential primary in 2007, a livid and disappointed Mr. Kyerematen resigned from the New Patriotic Party, after having misled revered and distinguished party stalwarts like Messrs. Joe daRocha and Samuel Odoi-Sykes, among a host of others, for months, with the tacit complicity of President Kufuor, into believing that he, Mr. Kyerematen, was interested in smoking the proverbial peace-pipe with Nana Akufo-Addo. Also wasted was at least two months of precious electioneering campaign time.

That Mr. Kyerematen is presently Nana Akufo-Addo’s Trade and Industry Minister, ought to eloquently inform the agitprop likes of Mr. Ephson that Mr. Kufuor’s former Attorney-General and Justice Minister may be far more interested in the unification of the party than the former President who so cavalierly presumes to possess the chimerical moral capital and the nonexistent luxury of counseling the Akufo-Addo Presidency in this direction. You see, he would have stood taller and more dignified if Mr. Kufuor, who will be turning 80 in December, had apologized for his rascally ways with Nana Akufo-Addo and solemnly begged for forgiveness from both Nana Akufo-Addo, the party’s rank and file membership and, as well, the forgiveness and goodwill of progressive-thinking Ghanaian citizens at large.

As it stood, his hoarse and hoary call for unity sounded despicably jaded and hollow. At best it was scandalously annoying. Now, don’t get me wrong, Dear Reader, I pretty much, like the next staunch New Patriotic Party partisan, crave the immediate and hermetic unification of all the factional forces within the New Patriotic Party. I also want the party to stay in power for at least the next two decades and more, if only to healthily sustain the remarkable achievements notched by the Akufo-Addo Administration, thus far, having also painfully witnessed the Mills- and Mahama-led regimes of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) literally and unconscionably push back the clock of our beloved nation’s development to Old-Stone-Age culture. An honest Mr. Agyekum-Kufuor cannot deny at least partial responsibility for the Stygian mess bequeathed the Akufo-Addo Administration by the veritable nation-wrecking ball that was the rag-tag regime of the National Democratic Congress. Or could he? Should he?

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