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Opinions of Saturday, 6 September 2014

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina

Nana Akufo-Addo

Irmo, SC
4TH September, 2014

I have reflected with sadness on the assertion by Mr. Mustapha Hamid, the spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo that I am on a mission to destroy him.
I do not hate Nana Addo—in fact I love him and have felt each of his defeats as painfully as he did. When there have been unfair references to his age and health, I have defended him with passion.
It is my carefully considered view that it is this misguided tendency to mistake honest disagreement for hatred that led to the attempted lynching of Tarzan, to my hounding, the ludicrous accusations that Mpiani and others wish to poison Nana and to the recent violence at our Headquarters.
I believe that regardless of one’s view of Afoko and Agyapong, we have an obligation to support them as our leaders—Nana disagrees.
I believe that we should not settle our differences with violence and that the only things we should take to our HQ are the NPP Constitution and the Bible—Nana and his associates disagree.
I believe that we should follow our constitutionally mandated process for choosing a flag-bearer and his supporters disagreed until they were forced to retreat by principled party members like me.
On each of these issues, I am certain that if J.B. Danquah, Busia, Da Rocha and Adu Boahen were alive, they would be on my side.
Ironically, while Hamid was making the case for Nana’s inclusiveness, he was casting doubt on my standing as a member of the NPP. My service, my suffering and the treasure that I have poured into this cause speaks for itself.
I have never heard Hamid or by inference Nana cast doubt on the standing of those who invaded the HQ of our party with guns and cutlasses as members of our party. Are they good members while I am bad? How can we persuade Ghanaians that we love them when we seem to hate our own so much? How can a member of the NPP threaten to burn Kwabena Agyapong “like they burnt his father” and not suffer the condemnation and opprobrium of us all? How will Nana as President tolerate critics when he cannot tolerate them as a leader of his party? As my late mother loved to sing, “Etan wonua na edo Christ a na otoro yen wo” (If you hate your sibling and love Christ, you are a liar.)
As to inclusiveness, while he started well in 2008, Nana has some work to do there. It was the gaps in inclusiveness that led to Alan’s attempted resignation, the failure to consult President Kufuor on going to court instead of to Tain in 2009, and the sidelining of Bamba and Otiko in 2012.
Finally, while I genuinely regret whatever actions of mine have contributed to this perception, my motives are pure. I joined the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition because of its tolerance, inclusiveness and adherence to timeless principles. I will continue to be guided by the party’s ideals as long as God gives me strength. Professor Busia once said that the true test of a democracy is not even the right of a minority to disagree—it is the right of a lone dissenter to disagree with the group and yet to feel safe and welcome.
I am motivated—not by hatred for anyone but by passionate love for the NPP. Despite sending me to exile twice, I have no hatred for former President Rawlings.
Let there be peace and tolerance in our party and let us heed the words of Isaiah 1:18, “Come, let us reason together”
Let us move forward—together—in love and respect.
May God bless Ghana
May God bless NPP
May God bless you all.
Arthur Kennedy