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Opinions of Saturday, 30 May 2015

Columnist: Appiah, Papa

Nana Addo Disappoints.....Again!!

It was with a hint of embarrassment that I received news that Nana Akuffo Addo was going to speak to the press at last. For while one could argue he had left it a bit late in the day, there was still the feeling, that he had perhaps been very busy building bridges out of the limelight and was now ready to come out to show the world the fruits of his clandestine leadership manoevres. Maybe, I thought, some of us had spoken too soon. Maybe, people like me were better of minding our own business and leaving the experienced statesman to handle issues his way.

I looked forward eagerly to the speech. In my dream I saw Nana, flanked on either side by his chairman and general secretary. I heard the rattle of the Oxbridge lexicon for which he is famous, while all around, enthusiastic nods of approval greeted every word he uttered. I captured in my minds eye, the three men holding each other's hands high into the skies to deafening cheers from all and sundry, and all around, not a single dry eye to be seen. I saw the smile on his face as he charmed over-enthusiastic journalists with witty but genuine heartfelt answers to their questions.

On my way home along a dusty laterite road, I saw an old man. He wore a white cloth, held a long walking stick and walked with a limp. His beard meandered all the way to his waist. I overheard his soliloquy. I heard him lambast himself for having had the temerity to judge his fellow man, and getting it all so wrong. So perhaps, I heard him say, we should not judge Afoko either. His brother has been accused of a crime but has not yet been convicted. And even if he is eventually found guilty, there would have to be proof, that the crime was at the instigation of Afoko.

As I passed by him I tried to hide my face lest he should recognize me as the gentleman who wrote all the rubbish about his new-found hero, and ran away believing, that Nana had in one deft political move, swayed the country to his side and that the 2016 election was his for the taking. A good man had snatched untold triumph from the jaws of adversity.

I was shaken from my slumber when I accidentally put a sleepy hand on the volume control of my television's remote and inadvertently raised the volume so high, I thought the war had started. When I finally came to my senses, I heard on the Ghanaian radio station I was listening to on my phone, that the "press conference " was actually over. There had been no question and answer session and more importantly, Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong had been nowhere to be seen. One after the other, NPP men came on air to express how touched they had been by the speech and how heroic Nana had been. Of course, that was to be expected.

There was then a mumbling, rather desperate attempt by Nana Akomea to defend the indefensible absence of the two beleaguered men. They had been away in Kumasi, he struggled to say. I took my world map to see if there was a Kumasi hidden away somewhere in the icy crevices of the North Pole. There was none. He meant that Kumasi, the same old Oseikrom or Fufuokrom, with apologies to Kwabena Agyapong.

Not long after though , an aide to Kwabena Agyapong came on air to confirm, that actually, the two men had been in Accra after all. That Mr Agyapong had received a call from Madam Busia to say, that Nana was going to give a "press conference" and that they should listen. No, you got that right. It was not an invitation to attend, but simply to listen to the wisdom about to be espoused from the lips of the great man. This was soon to be confirmed by a text from Mr Afoko. I bowed my head in shame. My worse fears had come true. I had been right all along.

Malcolm X once said, that the relationship between black America and the white population was akin to a visit to the dentist. You are given novocaine to numb your jaw, so you can "suffer peacefully". It struck me straight away, that the message from Nana to the NPP had been but a simple one; Please kick out the "bastards" by all means, but make sure you let them suffer.... peacefully.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

Papa Appiah