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Opinions of Sunday, 24 May 2015

Columnist: Nyamekye, Kwabena

Nana Addo – A Flag Bearer But Not Yet A Leader

Kwabena Nyamekye

Tears for the Danquah-Busia tradition. You gave us Joseph Boakye Danquah the man who set the ball rolling for independence and who worked hard to merge the Gold Coast with the modern day Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions to create 70% of our country). You gave us Kofi Abrefa Busia who, with Danquah left his imprint on the constitutional development of Ghana. In a way the tradition made possible Kwame Nkrumah’s career as, being a student washing plates in London, there was no way he was going to form a political party except by joining the ranks of our giants. You gave us Adam Amandi, CK Tedam, JH Mensah, JA Kufour, George Pa Grant, Robert Blay, SD Dombo, Jato Kaleo, Victor Owusu, Edward Akuffo Addo (Mathematician, Lawyer and unique Statesman as he was head of the judiciary and head of state). You gave us Edward Obestsebi Lamptey, Ako Adjei, BJ Da Rocha, Odoi Sykes and a host of others.

For all their flaws, they were only human, they were leaders. They knew how to mobilize people, how to resolve disputes, how to reconcile opposing factions within our tradition and to present a united front. Even when Nkrumah left us he took those values with him and he kept the CPP going from 1949 all the way to its second overthrow in 1981 as his followers were inspired by his leadership. It was these leadership qualities that have sustained us and as I will always say, has made the Danqah-Busia tradition one of the 4 most durable political traditions in Africa, spanning 1947 to date. We have encountered and overcome the One-Party state of the 1960s, the coup of 1972, the division of 1979, the attacks on us after the December 31st coup and we have done so because of our giants – true leaders!

Now it has all gone wrong. We have elected a flag bearer but he is not yet a leader and that person is Nana Addo. There is nothing personal here, just the facts. Look at his record since 2007, in fact let us go back to 1998 in Sunyani after Mr Kufuor had won the nomination. As soon as the result was declared Nana Addo and his entourage left the Congress and headed to Accra, sulking in defeat. Thus while the rest of the defeated candidates and the winner were in Church on the following Sunday, (including devout Muslim Malik Alhassan), Nana Addo was telling the world at large that if he did not have his own way he will have nothing to do with the tradition he had chosen to join. Memories of 1979 and the UNC come to mind and this should have been a warning to us! However, we let it slip and we mobilized for the 2000 election and with inspiring leadership, we won a great victory.

In 2007 we handed the party to Nana Addo along with a track record and immense goodwill after years of hard work. Beat JEA Mils, probably the weakest person we have encountered in politics. But what did we see as the campaign unfolded? Reading straight from Al Gore’s textbook of how to lose and election Nana Addo made it plain he will have nothing to do with the man whose record he was using to try and win power. He went down to a miserable defeat in a sea of disorganization with the fish, mermaids and sharks that devoured us being those long convoys of big cars, beach parties and a huge entourage of persons who added no value to our struggle. Why Nana Addo boycotted the decisive Tain election at the last minute remains a mystery to everyone that he is yet to tell us but that boycott ensured our defeat. Had he been Ed Milliband of the UK Labour Party he will have resigned the following day but he is Nana Addo and as his supporters have said, it is his birth right to be our president and so 7 years after the mystery of Tain he is still holding on to power in the party.

Talking about President Mills that man was strategic enough to ensure unity in his Party so as to win the 2008 election. It was after his victory that he showed us his breath-taking incompetence as the NDC government was collapsing under his watch. Fortunately, as President Rawlings and others have said, he died and thus saved his party from defeat in 2008. On your part Nana has not shown such statecraft. He has played his lack of leadership card before getting into Jubilee House! Unbelievable but this tells me that you are not a leader!
In 1981 Jerry Rawlings captured state power from President Limann (he who was in power thanks partly to your hard work) and in the first year or two Jerry Rawlings unleashed the PDCs on us. However, as he matured and as he saw that he needed Ghanaians to be prosperous so as to build Ghana he reined them in and we saw some semblance of governance being exhibited by his administration. Fast forward to 2015 and if you, aged 72, with decades of experience behind you, having served under the excellent leadership of JA Kufuor, and coming from one of our finest political families, you cannot exhibit the leadership we saw from JAK, Rawlings, and others then you have learned nothing about leadership since you entered politics. In your name there is mayhem, confusion, pulling of knives, accusations, seizing the party headquarters and yet you won’t say a word (unless of course you are in agreement with it all as a means of intimidating those you can’t manipulate in the party).

As you leave the scene, going down in history as our worst flag bearer with 3 defeats under your belt, please try and redeem yourself. You have recently criticized your “all die be die” statement. This is a bit too late as it cost you the presidency but I must grudgingly say well done. However there is one major problem that still remains and this is that your supporters chanted “No Nana No Vote” which intimidated the delegates to vote for you in the last flag bearer election. This is dynamite that you have loaded and placed at the heart of our party. It will be used by every single candidate for every single elected post in our party from now until the end of time unless you renounce it as being a sign of a lack of leadership. Obviously this chant served your purpose yet for your information Adu-Boahen never said this to be elected flag bearer, neither did JA Kufuor. No one has said so in the NDC, PNC, CPP, or any other political party since the UGCC was formed all those decades ago. If you have any affection for your grand uncle’s tradition then denounce this divisive statement as you close the door behind you after 2016.