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Opinions of Saturday, 12 October 2013

Columnist: Amankwah, Stephen Kwabena

Nana Addo should be grateful to npp and bow out

Listening to commentaries about the next leadership for NPP going forward, I get the sense that people are being swayed towards the direction of the wind without them carefully analysing the situation at hand. Party Executives will always demonstrate their selfish personal interest as it said that in politics loyalty is key. So these executives will quickly indicate where they belong and often times they to the probable winning card, in this case for Nana Addo because his popularity has swelled within the Party over the period. they want to do that so they can keep their positions and enjoy the goodies that come with it without considering the larger picture and being sensitive to the poor party people who are committing suicide because NPP keeps losing elections.
The argument being made now about Nana Addo and why he should come again is that he is a very popular politician today, which is true, but unfortunately, that is not enough to win national elections for both him and the NPP as demonstrated in three different elections(2008 7/12, 28/12 and 2012 7/12). This is because many people and hard working party youth are scared to say the truth for fear of they falling out of his good books as he controls the party today.
Nana Addo may be popular today, no qualms about that. The question is who made him this popular? Of course he may have been living on the shadows of his late father who became a ceremonial president at a point in time in our history and being part of the ‘kum me preko’ struggle in 1995. but these were known to the elite few in Ghana. Probably to Historians, senior editors and very key political actors and not the larger population compared to today when his name has become a household name largely due to the massive support from the party. The NPP is so attractive that whenever someone runs on its ticket the person’s popularity swells at an amazing proportion. It happened to Prof. Adu Boahen when he was only known within high academic circles but became so popular when he had the opportunity to lead this great Party. Same as president Kuffuor who conducted himself so well and with the same support given to him by this great party became the president of our land. Once you become the flagbearer of the NPP, no doubt, you will surely become popular that is why some long serving Party faithful and kingmakers like Dr. Richard Anane have said that it is a real Honour to lead the NPP. Because surely, you will receive all there is to win power. The support in terms of Financial Resources, Human backing support, Intellectual luminaries to correct your goofs and public mistakes, millions of the youth hailing you and wishing to die for you etc etc.
The point is that, this Party has done so much for Nana Addo in terms of image building and popularity both locally and internationally. It is this party that made him foreign minister where he met a lot of world leaders. He could have built upon his reputation and popularity when he got the opportunity to serve as minister but sorry what I remember him for during these two important ministerial positions are one, The President versus Tsatsu Tsikata (Min. Of Justice) and 44 Ghanaians Killed in the Gambia but the Foreign Affairs Minister not doing anything about the situation (Min. Of Foreign Affairs). He couldn’t take advantage of these very rare opportunities given him to create some niche around himself. It is this party whose ticket he travelled severally during his reign as a flagbearer not only that though also all the financial resources that he has received over the last six years for his travels, meetings, receptions, self propagation etc are as result of he being the leader of the party. It should be emphasised that Nana as a Flagbearer has received more financial support than any flagbearer in the history of NPP but the question is of the tall list of achievements that NPP used in campaigning in both 2008 and 2012, which of them was spearheaded by Nana Addo?
We had NHIS created by Dr. Richard Anane. Road infrastructure that stood at 34,000 kilometres by the year 2000 right from the Gold Coast era that rose to 67,000 kilometres by the year 2008 also through the handiwork of Dr. Richard Anane as Road and Transport Minister, the School Feeding programme, Mr. K Adjei Darko, Mr Amoako Tuffour and Stephen Asamoah Boateng for National Youth Employment Programme. Which of the NPP’s achievements is Nana Addo tagged with?
Nana Addo has become popular because since he became the leader of the Party, all party members rallied behind him and projected him. Every party member speaks about him anytime they get the opportunity. Nana Addo has become popular because people love NPP and they transfer that love to the party’s leader. Nana Addo has become popular because NPP’s money was used to make him popular. He is the only NPP man who became flagbearer when the party was in power. He has received monies in the name of the Party than any party member. In 2008, Billboards of Nana Addo was novelty in Ghanaian Politics, Documentaries of Nana Addo and his visits to places were mindboggling, Radio and TV stations all talked about Nana Addo, Newspappers had his photos at their front pages. All these were done with what? Money! From where? Some individuals organised functions for him to appear there so people will know him. Others tried hard to influence organisers of religious, social, academic and other events so his name shall appear on the bill. Who will not be popular with these? But as my naija pals will say ‘Na Popularity we go chop’? Members of the Party want Power, Power and Power!
Sincerity and statesmanship requires that Nana Addo hands over the party that was handed to him in peace back to the people. That Party has done more than enough for him in terms of financial resourcing, popularity, networking, image building among others. Now everybody says he is a statesman. Losing three national elections in row with all these resources means he can never get it and party people cannot wait until 2020 to come to power. The country needs NPP, everything has fallen apart. The court case has given him some goodwill coupled with huge popularity that he enjoys now should be enough grounds for him to say thank you to NPP and bow out to keep this national respect. Going into another election and losing again will bring him a lot of frustration and probably take him to his early grave.
With all due respect to Nana Addo, there are times when one needs to say no to keep his or her head up, thus making hey whilst the sun shines and this is the time. At 70, it is not advisable to be criss-crossing the country canvassing for votes, it may lead to a premature breakdown.
Simply put, Nana Addo should realise that he took over a Party that was more united and that was in power but took it into opposition and millions are suffering for that. That he is popular today because the party made him so but he rather has made the party unpopular in some sort due to his all die be die statement. That the time to say i am grateful to you Npp for allowing me lead is and bow out quietly is now.

I believe this is an opportune time to say no to all those who call upon you, many of which want to maintain their positions in the party and continue enjoying. I rest my case.

Many thanks.

Stephen Kwabena Amankwah
Head of Dept,
Translation and Interpretation dept
Water and Sanitation for Africa.
Headquarters, Ouagadougou-BF