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Opinions of Sunday, 6 June 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NPP Conspiracy, Alana Deserving Victim?



By: Kwabena Amankwah

Apostle begins this article by patting the shoulders of the “kingmakers” of our party for always rising up to the occasion, and taking the most appropriate decisions with regards to the election of our presidential candidates since 1992.

It is also my zealous anticipation that they will take the most apposite decision in August, by giving the party and the good people of Ghana the presidential candidate the majority are hankering to see as the president of the nation, after the Mills-led inept National Democratic Congress government has been swept into the dustbin of forgotten things in December 2012.

Perhaps it is the desire of the party’s delegates to always do the right thing when it comes to the election of presidential candidates that has led to the what may be described as “institutionalization of political conspiracy” meant to impede an agenda by any person or group to have their way against the collective will of the party when it comes to the selection of a presidential candidate.

Apostle believes it was on the basis of this that some strategists and key stakeholders of the party in 1998 came together to mastermind a shrewd political conspiracy against Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when the party met at Sunyani to elect its presidential candidate for the 2000 general elections.

In that fierce contest, many people had tipped Nana Akufo-Addo, younger, but better resourced and better organized, to win over a less fancied, less-resourced and older Mr Agyekum Kufuor.

But in the wisdom of the “kingmakers” of the party, Mr Kufuor, who had lost the previous election with 37 per cent of the popular votes, was the man who could lead the party to win the 2000 election. They, therefore, rejected J.H Mensah’s “theory of rejected cassava” propounded against his own brother-in-law and re-elected Mr Kufuor as the presidential candidate.

As the aspirants at the time, including my lawyer/evangelist friend John Kwame Kodua, moved across the country to solicit votes, many readily predicted victory for Nana Akufo-Addo.

In fact, the then relatively young, smart and radical politician, and renowned champion of human rights in the country had almost managed to convince the delegates that he was the best candidate to lead the party to the crucial 2000 general elections.

Apostle wants to remind those who care to know that delegates from some Regions, including the northern regions and Volta Region, were said to be coming to the Sunyani Congress to vote en bloc for Nana Akufo-Addo. They were “cajoled” to change their decision eventually.

It is also instructive to bring to the fore that the arguably most popular politician of the NPP stock at the time had contributed the chunk of money to finance the Congress, which many were convinced would crown him with the glory of being the party’s presidential candidate for the historic 2000 election.

That was, however, not the case eventually; that did not happen in the long run. Ask me why and I will provide you with a simple answer: the party felt the election of Nana Addo as the presidential candidate would not be in the best interest of the party.

What then happened? Some key strategists of the party engineered “a political conspiracy” to deny Nana Addo the obvious glory that was in the offing for him. And could the architects of the conspiracy be wrong? Certainly no! After all, the immediate beneficiary of the conspiracy, Mr Kufuor, proved to all he was the right choice after he led the party to dislodge the Rawlings’ NDC from power.

Archetypal of the game of politics, fans and supporters of Nana Addo suffered some kind of harassment. The experience was indeed poignant, with the conspiracy against Nana having been executed at the eleventh hour in Sunyani.

Oh yes, that was why Nana Addo, obviously seen later as a deserving victim of the Sunyani conspiracy, had no option than to write a letter of concern to the party leadership about how he felt in terms of the treatment meted out to him and his fans. Remember, what Nana wrote was not a letter of resignation.

The beneficiary of the famous conspiracy led our political tradition, represented by the NPP, to make history through a successful return to the corridors of power after the sojourn in the political wilderness for almost thirty years.

Once again what appears to be another conspiracy with respect to the impending August 7 presidential candidate election is in motion. Oh yes, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and his followers feel the massive endorsement Nana Addo enjoys from key stakeholders and strategists of the party constitute a conspiracy.

What is interesting is that many of the architects of the 1998 conspiracy are also behind the current one which obviously is against Alan. That definitely makes the conspiracy a good one, in the interest of the party.

But, Apostle thinks Alan’s experience is even less harrowing than what Nana Addo went through. The conspiracy against Nana took place at the eleventh hour in Sunyani after he had been “assured” he was the man going to be crowed with the awaiting glory; that of Alan started even before nomination opened. He, therefore, knew, or at least envisaged, what would be in store for him in the contest.

Again, Nana Addo was a major financier of the Congress which ended leaving him a victim of the conspiracy; Alan is not a major financier of the August 7 presidential election.

Nana Akufo-Addo is now the paragon of all eyes – or let me rather say he is the paragone of many eyes – in the NPP now because he did not allow the pain he suffered to negatively affect the party’s chances of winning the 2000 elections.

He complained – that was true – but he did so with a letter of concern, and not a letter of resignation. That is the difference!

The NPP’s usual conspiracy is at work once again, with key stakeholders including over 80 Members of Parliament coming out boldly and publicly to declare their support for Nana Addo and asking the delegates to crown him once again with the glory he was denied through a similar conspiracy in 1998.

Could all the MPs be wrong? Never! Never! That is why the conspiracy and its eventual outcome will be in the interest of the party. That certainly makes Alan a deserving victim of the conspiracy whose obvious beneficiary is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a one-time a victim.

Apostle’s free advice to Alan is simple: after the August 7 election, he should be prepared to accept the outcome in good faith and campaign in all sincerity to help Nana Addo lead the party back to power in 2012. He can complain – for that is part of the game – but he should not do it a manner that will be detrimental to the 2012 victory agenda of the party.

He should remember that his resignation, or threat of resignation, did a great harm to the party in the 2008 elections.

Today, you are a victim – of course, deservingly so – of our party’s conspiracy; tomorrow, you could be a proud beneficiary of a similar conspiracy, depending upon the way you conduct yourself after the August election. Cheer up!

Kwabena Amankwah is a freelance journalist, a former TESCON-UCC Secretary and former campaign correspondent, “Akufo-Addo for President ‘08”. 0244-217504.