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Opinions of Sunday, 13 January 2008

Columnist: Abdallah, Abdul Rahman

NPP in state of denial


It has come to our notice that some appendages of the New Patriotic Party have already started their dreaming regarding the recent election of the arrogant and divisive Nana Akuffo Danquah as their candidate. Among the vile propaganda, being secular includes the nonsense that the National Democratic Congress candidate affable Professor John Mills is panic-stricken.

All these allegations came without any adequate bases or any logical principle behind them. These goofs are coming against the backdrop that Nana Addo is a candidate who did not win the mandate of his party. The New Patriotic Party constitution had to be circumvented to allow his candidacy. In spite of the gross violation of their own party constitution, and cloud surrounding the ?moneycratic? NPP congress, the NPP think they could fend this issue away by pointing to the other party as the strength of their candidate.

Why should Professor Mills panic because of Nana Akuffo Addo's half-won victory at the NPP congress? Within his party, he could not convince 50%+1 delegate to support him, largely because of his polarizing and arrogant character. As compared to a candidate who won the overwhelming support of his party and delegates. If Nana Akuffo Addo could not handily defeat Alan Kyerementeng, a novice in the Ghanaian contest, how could he defeat a formidable candidate of Professor Mill stature?

If it is a question of experience in government and elections, Professor Millis's records far out weight that of Nana Akuffo Addo. Professor Mills was Vice President for four years; head of economic management team during the NDC era; Director of Internal revenue Service; Professor of law in numerous universities around world. He had successfully run in two national campaigns and has a history of winning in four of the 10 regions of Ghana. In 2004, against an NPP incumbent president, he polled over 44% of the total votes cast at odds with the projections of many of the NPP so called pundits, shamefully including some in the media, who are willing to bury their professional ethnics in the gutters of Accra. Professor Mills and NDC had these votes against the backdrop of NPP vile campaigns and political percussions. Is it a lack of common sense among these pundits or it is a denial of the strength of the Mills candidacy?

Election 2008 is going to be a defining election in Ghana?s history. The election is going to be a fight between the forces of vindictiveness, corruption, tribalism, and nepotism that Nana Akuffo Addo represents, and the forces of progress, good quality of life for Ghanaians, peace and tranquility of Professor Mills. Ghanaians should not forget that the onus of the vindictiveness and political persecution in the Kufour government is the brainchild of Nana Akuffo Addo. He was so entrenched in the culture of vindictiveness that he was prepared battle it with the President, leaving President Kufour with no option but to remove him from the Attorney and Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where is vindictive nature could tamed.

To understand the history of Nana Akuffo Addo?s vindictive culture, I urge readers to revisit what happened to the UP tradition in the 1979. Nana Addo and the Akim wing of the UP tradition single handedly cause the divisions in the tradition giving Dr. Limann, a novice in Ghanaian politics, an upper hand. The 1979 event defined Akufo Addo in his own party, hence in all the primaries that he subsequently ran he lost miserable to President Kufour, even in the recent election he could not secure clear mandate from his own party delegates against new candidates without experience. How then could such candidate be unifying force to secure victory for the NPP?

When you argue that a party is panicking, the onus lay in you to show why the party is panicking. What is making the party panic? Failure give this explanation is not only shameful but also a display of a general lack of intellect. Why should the NDC panic over a bunch of losers whose main objective is not public service, but a campaign to siphon state resources to enrich themselves and their cronies; buy hotels in down Accra using their kids as front men; quickly introduce legislation in parliament to save the face of their cocaine rich financiers in jail; reserve state competitive bidding for their family and friends. A party whose shameless display of greed and ill-gotten wealth is beyond compares in the annals of Ghanaian political history.

A party that has turned the prestigious office of the President as a kick back receiving kiosk: An office where all contractors working in the country had to return their ?baggy taxes? like the little lotto kiosk in Accra, for the President himself to count. Oh yes, the NDC is afraid, who in today?s Ghana will not be? Whiles the entire country is wobbling in poverty, a select few have hijacked state resources for themselves and their cronies.

If any party should be wary of the 2008 election, it is the NPP. This is because the NPP is the only political party in Ghana that is running away from its own dark shadows. The NPP is only party that has mountains of allegation of corruption against its government official, including the President, and party functionaries, and it is the only party whose president had purchased a Hotel whiles in office, and it is the only party whose president had used state resources to renovate his private his residence contrary to laws of Ghana. The most amazing of it all is that they think Ghanaians suffer from dissociative amnesia, hence will forget all that happened in the cause of the seven years that NPP had ruled this country. Nana Akuffo Addo is not descending from heaven, he is a member of the very rotten Government that we have over the last seven years. He carries on his shoulders the rot of the NPP government. Therefore the idea that his election has ended the numerous allegation of corruption associated with the Kufour regime is neither logical nor believable. Those who claim that election 2008 is going be a cakewalk for the NPP should revisit the speech by Jake Obetsebi Lamtey at the just ended NPP congress. Jake made the most lucid analysis of the problems that will eventually confront the NPP in this year's election. The NDC will carry all the four regions it won in 2000 and 2004. It is most likely carry all the 44% core NDC voters. The NDC only needs to convince about 8% of Ghanaian votes to vote for it. If the party is successful in doing this, it will win election 2008 hands down. Internal polls taken for the party already suggest that it is most likely to carry Greater Accra. If the poll is correct then the make or break for the party will be Brong Ahafo, Central and Western Regions.

If the NDC is able to win even one of these regions along side Greater Accra Region, then victory is assured for the party. What will even work the more for the NDC is that an Incumbent President is not contesting the election. Even with an incumbent president the party was able secure it core support base handily. It may be recalled that several of the so-called pundit have written the obituary of the party before the 2004 election, they were proven wrong in that election and will be wrong again in 2008.

The NPP on the hand is faced with the general voter dissatisfaction and apathy, largely because of the numerous allegations of corruption, and mismanagement by it ministers and party officials, and unfulfilled promises. It is rather surprising that those famous party slogans such as the 'golden age of business', and ?zero tolerance? for corruption are all missing in the present day NPP lexicon. More importantly, the NPP is also face with the formidable CPP challenge. The CPP is going to be drinking from NPP votes. In 2000, when the PNC and CPP both supported the NPP in the second around of election, the NPP had 56% of the votes. By 2004, the total percentage share of the NPP had dropped to 52%. This is because of the PNC withdrawal from the much needed support it provided the NPP. Most of the influential elements in the CPP such as Dr. Paa Kwasi Ndom, and Fredy Blay remained supportive of the NPP. With the election of Ndom as the CPP flag bearer, much is yet to known of how many votes Dr. Ndom and his new CPP will be deducting from the total NPP votes.

This leaves the NPP with the independent voters or floating voter who went overwhelmingly NPP in the last two elections. If these voters swing to others parties, then the NPP will be reduce to its traditional 33%. If they decide to remain overwhelmingly NPP, the country is poised for a second around of voting. Information reaching us indicates that the pendulum of these independent voters is swinging in another direction. We conclude this piece by emphatically stating that it is not the NDC camp that should be panicking over 2008 election; those who should be in the panic state are within the NPP and they know it. Some of them have come to this had reality, but many of them have not and still pending the state of denial. They are waiting for the 'hurricane 2008' that will sweep their party into oblivion for a long time to come. To those pundits who are interested in writing political obituaries we urge them to sharpen their pencils and be ready to write the political obituaries of many politicians in Ghana, including that of obituary of Nana Akuffo Addo Danquah. Some of us have already started drafting ours and will available readers a day election 2008.

Abdul Rahman A resident of Welland, Ontario, Canada

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.