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Opinions of Friday, 28 March 2008

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Nana Akuffo Addo's credibility challenged?

Folks Nana Akuffo Addo cannot pretend to have lost his ears or eyes to all these allegations and questions regarding his credibility and persona. Having been selected to lead the ruling the New Patriotic Party would inevitably put anybody in the limelight, after all it was the first time some of us saw how much money some members of the NPP have without any proven evidence of how they got the monies. However, the reasons Nana Akuffo Addo is mostly in the limelight cannot all be explained simply. We have been hearing lots of stuff regarding Nana Akuffo Addo of late. Some people believe this is partly because he has been selected to lead the N.P.P into these years’ elections. Some also argue that, he is naturally a controversial figure. On paper, Nana Akufo Addo served in various capacities most prominently as Attorney General and also as a Foreign Minister. His father was also previously a politician. When it comes to being ruthless, Nana is sometimes really controversial. He is alleged to have twarted the chances of the Dankwa Busia tradition eventually giving the ultimate to prize to Linman.

On the issue of competence, Nana’s stewardship to mother Ghana has been a topic of discussion to many even before he was selected to lead the NPP. Some people believe his style of leadership is characterised with lack of clear performance. As attorney general, it is alleged that, he did not do much to co-ordinate with the police to find the killers of one of the prominent Ghanaian kings, Yaa Naa and 40 of his followers. But the question a lot of well meaning Ghanaians are asking is that, could the perpetrators of this crime be apprehended if Nana was more competent in his job as Attorney General?.

Nana was also a foreign minister, a position he held until he resigned to pursue personal interest rather than serving mother Ghana.

As a foreign minister, Nana Addo possibly spent most of the time gallivanting the world with the president, most of the times doing nothing. As a matter of fact, Ghana’s image in the world sunk deep into very negative world record such as a major cocaine export port in Africa. A stigma we all as Ghanaians will have to work hard in the future to clean-up. Now everybody travelling from Ghana into the E.U and America is more or less suspected of being a potential drug carries. During his maiden address to parliament in 2001, some weeks after being sworn in as president of the Republic of Ghana President Kufour made promises to the people of Ghana, it was what you could call the social contract,he said “it is the responsibility of the state, the government and the community to take care of those who cannot stand on their own two feet. It is the mark of a civilized people to help the weak and the disadvantaged.” A very patriotic statement indeed.Nana Addo was then part of the new government, I assume he was aware of the social contract his government had signed with the people of Ghana in that statement.

Nana Addo was the Foreign Minister when NPP government’s commitment to the above statement was put to test as a result of the murder of 44 Ghanaians and other nationals in the Gambia, Nana’s score on this was abysmal. Lots of human rights groups all over the world condemend the killings and progress made so far into the investigations into the attrocity .The victims, Ghanaians and other African migrants were reported to be on their way to board a vessel from Gambia to Europe.They were reportedly butchered to death in cold blood by the Gambian gendarmerie at the behest of President Yahaya Jammeh in July 2005. This gruesome incident was narrated by a fortunate survival of one of the victims called Kyere, and subsequent pressure mounted by human rights groups to ensure that justice is served to Kyere and his departed colleagues.Kyere, now about 31, is on record to have accused the Gambian gendarmerie of cruelly killing the 44 Ghanaians as well as the others.

Kyere said “I didn’t know these people would do these things,” Kyere said. “If anything, I thought they might collect money and send us back. We never thought these people would kill us.” Now is the time for the NPP and Nana aKufo Addo to fulfill their promise to Ghanaians, but no, Nana has got better things to do with his time, he wants to be the president of Ghana, and nothing was going to stand in his way, not even the death of 44 Ghanaians. Folks, the fundermental responsibility of any civilised government is to protect her citizens,the NPP and Nana Addo failed completely on this occasion also. If he cannot protect, or even seek justice for 44 Ghanaians how can he possibly protect or seek justice for over 23 million Ghanaians?

Recently, there was an allegation in a section of the Ghanaian media of Nana allegedly impregnating a young lady in Ghana. In the process of aborting the pregnancy, the woman allegedly died, the substance of this story is not even hinged on the truth, or otherwise, it bothers on Nana’s character and credibility. It is alleged Nana reacted to the story in an interview with a prominent journalist in the Ghanaian community in the UK, during that interview, Nana is alleged to have said that, he strongly suspected the source of the story to be coming from some prominent members in the NPP.

Now, the question a lot of people are asking is simple, who are the prominent members in the N.P.P who Nana is referring to? Can Nana come out now and tell us the name or names of the prominent members? Can we trust Nana on any issue at all? Nana goes around promising affordable housing when he becomes president, but his government is still in power, where are those houses promised to Ghanaians in 2001. What about the promise to have a zero tolerance for corruption? is Nana and the NPP not tolerating corruption 100 per cent ?,Nana, it is very difficult for any well meaning Ghanaian to believe you, you need to do better.

The big issue now is the allegation of drug use and drug dealing or both levelled against Nana. Nobody wants a Noriega type of person to rule them. Recently, Kofi Wayo, a leader of one of the political parties in Ghana, also regarded as a businessman and social commentator is alleged to have offered to help Nana Akufo-Addo. In a telephone conversation with myjoyonline on February 12, 2008, Kofi Wayo said even though the talk about the NPP flag bearer’s drug addiction is a rumour, he has heard enough to make the rumour possibly true. There are rumors doing the rounds that Nana Akufo-Addo is a cocaine addict. Kofi Wayo is also allegedly commented on a morning show on Peace FM.

Kofi Wayo claimed in an interview with Kwame Sefa Kayi that he has documentary proof to show that, Akufo-Addo is a drug addict, and one of the proofs he referred to was a text message he reportedly received during the NPP delegates conference alleging that Nana Addo is a drug addict. Kofi Wayo also added that, Ken Kuranchie, editor of the Searchlight had told him that Nana Addo smokes ‘wee’ and also uses cocaine, this is a serious allegation. He said Kuranchie even told him that he knows the guys at Tudu who supply Nana Addo the drugs. To me these are serious allegations that Nana must personally respond to, if he cares to save any credibility left to his image.

With the added open secret that Ghana has become a major transit point of drug trafficking, also with some members of the NPP arrested trafficking narcotic drugs and the government’s terminal problem of competence to deal effectively with the problem; Nana has got a mountain to climb to redeem his image. Nana Addo has got all the time to travel all over the world to thank so called people who help you win less then 50% of the vote during last years NPP primaries, but cannot find the time to answer these dangerous allegations. Nana was recently in Togo, speaking to the Togolese media later, Nana Akufo-Addo said the meeting between him and the Togolese president went well and that he hoped it would serve to deepen cooperation between political players in the region. Nana is not the one to determine Ghana’s foreign policy position or that of the sub-region, he is no more a foreign minister, after all, how did he help the sub-region to combat the drug menace? What was his government’s contribution to peace on the continent?

Nana’s credibility is obviously in question; he is the only one who can tell us what the real issues are. We cannot afford a drug-addicted president; we cannot afford a drug-peddling president either. No, we need no Noriega to rule us. But above all, we don’t need perpetual allegations, Nana speak now or forever blame nobody for these allegations.



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