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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Columnist: Kwabena Nyamekye

Let the porcupine open fire in 2024

Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng

With the NPP victory now finally settled already the talk about its 2024 flag bearer has started and it seems to the experts that without Vice President Bawumia leading the NPP ticket, then defeat is guaranteed. Men of learning and wealth such as Franklin Cudjoe, Chairman Wontumi and Paul Adom-Otchere are among the ones with all the wisdom and thus they have already worked out that the best person for NPP in 2024 is the Vice. If NPP doesn’t choose Bawumia, then the Danquah-Busia tradition is going down to a miserable defeat. NPP faithful, your victory is riding on the man from Walewale. The entire Danquah-Busia tradition now rests on one man – the CPP did the same with Kwame Nkrumah and the NDC did the same with Jerry Rawlings; now it is the NPP’s turn to have a Messiah

Look at NPP performance in the just-ended 2020 election, they claim. The NPP has done so well up North and it is all down to Bawumia. Take for instance the great victory across the entire North East region. NPP got 122,742 votes and NDC had 112,306 votes. NPP won by a stunning 10 thousand votes. Given the jubilation by the NPP it seems as if that the last time there was this kind of unbelievable event was when Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead.

However, let us look at the facts: the NPP was saved by the Ashanti region stronghold. Also, the reality is that the entire Northern Ghana is NDC. The vote in that part of Ghana is in the bosom of the NDC and nothing will change things. Since 1951 the Northern voter has been voting against the Danquah-Busia tradition. Granted NPP will win some parliamentary seats there but then this is like NDC winning parliamentary seats in Eastern region. No one will claim that this signals the capture of the Eastern Region by the NDC.

Thus, the NPP party needs to ask itself what it wants in 2024? If it wants to bow to the views of the experts and prove it is not a party with Akan strongholds, then it should choose Dr. Bawumia. In fact, perhaps it should even skip him and find someone from Volta where the Danquah-Busia performance has been miserable since 1969. Go and get my old mate Prosper Amega as flagbearer and the voters will dance Kpalogo, Adowa and Agbadza to the polling stations in 2024 with Prosper for president on their foreheads. Perhaps NPP can even be more adventurous and add a female running mate from Volta! Prosper Amega and Rejoice Demega all the way. This will ensure the NPP wipes out NDC in Volta as Ghanaian voters will be happy that now the Danquah-Busia tradition has redeemed itself from its Akan chains.

At this point I must draw the attention of all to that beast in the jungle called the Porcupine. It is the symbol of the Ashanti region and there is a reason for this. It is the animal that all other animals fear to take on. With its 12-inch quills that are sharper than swords the Porcupine doesn’t look for trouble but take it on and the likely outcome is death for the animal that thinks the Porcupine is an easy prey. In Ghana’s politics the Porcupine is the NPP’s Praetorian Guard, defending it from the NDC at the polls.

Strange then is the sudden conviction among the NPP elite, that after squandering a huge parliamentary majority, and after shrinking its presidential vote percentage, the wisdom is that there is a new stronghold prepared to vote NPP if Dr. Bawumia is presented as the candidate.

Why rely on the Asokwa constituency with its 56,000 votes for NPP when you can rely on Jirapa with its gold mine of 6,699 votes for NPP? Who needs Atwima Kwanwoma that gave NPP 77,000 when there is Lambussi-Karni with its majestic total of 4,607 votes that the NPP got just last week from there? Why should NPP bother with Kwabre East that gave it 86,000 votes (the home of that giant Victor Owusu) when you have Yunyoo constituency and its 9,855 votes as the NPP’s new Jerusalem? Why concern yourself with the 43,000 votes of Subin, where the supporters of what is now the Danquah-Busia tradition made their glorious stand against Kwesi Broni in his hunt for Sika Dwa in 1900 when now, the new NPP Treasure Island is Yagaba-Kubori with its grand total of 9,881 votes.

It gets more complex. As my cousin Yaw of Mampong just said do not reject Alan Kyerematen because he is from Ejisu (his mother and its 68,724 votes for NPP) in Asante and then come back there for Asante votes. You will be smashed into a million pieces and scattered to the wind!

The NDC will never choose a candidate from Obuasi because it will not make an iota of difference to its fortunes. They will go for a Northerner (very likely Mahama again) or a Voltarian or a Fanti (if there is no suitable Northerner or Voltarian) but never an Ashanti or Akyem or even a Kwahu.

If there had been a swing in this 2020 presidential election from NPP to NDC in Ashanti of just another 1.5 percent we will be in a runoff and to save its miserable self, the NPP would have sent its campaign across Asanteman crawling on its knees for a massive turnout. No one will have gone to Saboba constituency in the hope that it will save the Elephant from drowning. Nobody in the NPP is talking about this inconvenient truth.

The NDC is waiting patiently for the NPP and its big move to choose the Walewale redeemer based on the baseless claim that he is from the North and that Ghanaian voters will reject an Asante flag bearer. In 2008 one trick they pulled off to suppress the Asante vote was the threat of Manhyia being disrespected at the expense of Akyem Abuakwa. This was the message they took round Asante and it worked for them and forced a runoff. No one knows if this was really true but the NDC is a master of dark arts, lies and deceit. They are waiting and licking their lips for 2024. They know that their road to victory in 2024 is through the Ashanti region and not through Salaga North constituency.

Skip Alan Kyerematen for the sake of an imaginary politically correct objective and the quills of the porcupine will be fired in 2024. In 2007 he was told to wait his turn, we said the same in 2011 and 2015. His turn is now.

There is no place for him anywhere on the ticket except as the flag bearer of one of Africa’s greatest and most durable political traditions that started as small stream at Saltpond in 1947 when George Grant and others met to demand self-determination. It gathered pace at Subin in 1954 when Osei Assibey and co vowed to resist the dictatorship they saw on the horizon. It has weathered many a storm all the way until the turn of this century when JA Kufuor was elected president. It is now a tidal wave and the force behind this wave is the voter in Atonsu, Ahinsan and Ahodwo. Right now it straddles Ghana’s politics like a true giant, bathed in the principles of Joseph Boakye Danquah and Kofi Abrefa Busia who stressed that open markets bring prosperity, that political rights defend your hard-won property, and that respect for chieftaincy and culture enrich our lives and bring about peace and stability amongst us. It showed its power by being the main force behind the demolition of a sitting president in 2016 in one blow and it is poised to dominate Ghana politics for the decades to come. But in plotting this path the NPP should make sure it never betrays the Porcupine lest its voters stay indoors in 2024 just like they did in 2008.

Alan Kyeremateng All the Way!