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Opinions of Friday, 11 February 2011

Columnist: Ali, Salifu

Nana Akufo-Addo Is Becoming A Disaster

By Salifu Ali

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) held its presidential primary last year to elect
the party’s flag bearer with the premise that, the elected candidate, will use
his time and resources prudently by hitting on good, sound and carefully
measured campaign themes that will resonate with the Ghanaian voter population
and help the party to victory come 2012. Another reason for holding the
elections early was for the flag bearer of the NPP to tour the country, shake
hands with the ordinary people, feel their pain and give Ghanaians credible
assurances and also offer counter but reasonable and achievable promises to help
send the party to victory come next year.
But what Ghanaians are getting from Nana Akufo-Addo since he became NPP’s flag
bearer for the 2012 Presidential elections is sending the wrong signals even to
the NPP elite. Akufo-Addo seems not to know why he is the NPP flag bearer or at
best why the party went to the polls early to elect him. I am saying this
because this man has done nothing that has caught the attention of voters ever
since he became the NPP flag bearer. Akufo-Addo seem to be adopting the same
archaic losing strategy that sent him and his party crushing into the bush in
2008.

Firstly, Akufo-Addo has surrounded himself with some women who only know how to
shout on top of their voices and heap insults upon insults on President Mills
during discussions on Radio and Television, but are woefully hollow and knows
next to nothing about politics and how to coordinate and position a candidate
strategically to win elections. As a result, Ursula Owusu, who seems to have no
work to do as the so-called Vice-President of theFederation of International
Women Lawyers (FIDA), jump at every opportunity and loads on President Mills,
and the NDC thinking that insults and abuses are the only measuring rod to bring
the NPP back to power. Throw in the insults from Ghana’s famous political
prostitute Frances Essiam, then you have a lot on your plate to contend with.

But you begin to worry deeply for the NPP when the flag bearer himself, Nana
Akufo-Addo seems to be lost in traffic or in transit. Ever since his election as
the man to lead the NPP to victory in 2012, he has not informed Ghanaians what
he will do differently from President Mills if elected to the highest office in
Ghana. It has all been criticisms, criticisms and criticisms. Criticisms galore
if that is what you will call it. Assuming President Mills is not doing anything
at all, why will Akufo-Addo not tell Ghanaians what he would have done
differently? The other day he was lampooning President Mills for not sending
troops to oust beleaguered Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo from power, but did
not tell Ghanaians what he would have done if he was president of Ghana.
Akufo-Addo seems to have forgotten what happened to him in 2008. If he needs to
be reminded, then I will offer that reminder to him for free. Out of the 10
Regions in Ghana, Akufo-Addo won only two during the last elections; Ashanti and
Eastern Regions. He lost a whopping 8 Regions. In fact if Ghana’s electoral
system is that of the United States or elsewhere, it would have been considered
a major landslide victory for President Mills. This is something that people
expect Akufo-Addo to take notice of and to put up a carefully crafted political
strategy aimed at wrestling some regions that President Mills won come 2012.
The other thing that Akufo-Addo has to contend with is how to win the same
number of votes in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions that quadrupled during the
second round of the last presidential elections come 2012. Much as the NPP
accused the NDC of having something to do with the huge numbers in favour of the
NDC in the Volta Region during the 2008 elections, even though it was the NPP
that was in power at the time, the NPP also cannot run away from the fact that
many of the numbers announced in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions in their favour
sounded very questionable. As a result, if I were Akufo-Addo I will worry much
on not having that advantage of ‘manipulating’ the numbers in the Ashanti and
Eastern Regions come 2012 and not start to beat the war drums.
If I were Akufo-Addo, I will put up a credible political strategy to penetrate
and win most of the regions that NDC won in 2008, but the NPP flag bearer who
started behaving as president from day one when he became NPP’s flag bearer
during the 2008 elections, has started crying wolf when in fact there is not
even a lizard crawling the wall.

Out of the blue moon Akufo-Addo is reported by Joyonline.com of threatening
mayhem during the 2012 elections stating that the ruling NDC would try to hold
on to power by all means even though all odds are against them. What beats my
imagination is that why would such a credible person as President Mills try to
hold on to power if he loses the election in 2012? Has Akufo-Addo forgotten the
history in this country? Was Akufo-Addo not around when then candidate Mills
came on air without his party prodding and conceded defeats during the 2000 and
2004 elections when he realized that he had lost to Kufour? Where was Akufo-Addo
then? If Akufo-Addo was around during those periods, why would he think that
President Mills will try to steal the elections from him if he were to lose in
2012 hence his beating of the war drums?
Another issue which beats my imagination and making me wanting to throw up is
when in 2008 Akufo-Addo realized that he had lost the elections; did he come out
to concede defeat? Was Akufo-Addo not the one who hid behind his supporters like
the Chief Justice, Georgina Wood and tried to steal the elections by resorting
to court action? And this is the same Akufo-Addo, a man with no credibility
rather accusing the NDC of wanting to steal the 2012 elections. What Akufo-Addo
forgot to add was that he tried but failed to steal the 2008 elections and
conceded defeat grudgingly.
Akufo-Addo and his NPP folks may be living in a fool’s paradise by thinking that
Ghanaians are rooting for the return of the NPP to power. They may be right and
they have a right to live in a fool’s paradise, but if history is any guide,
Akufo-Addo will go beyond the favourable reportage coming from NPP newspapers
stating that Ghanaians are fed up with the NDC. It is too soon for Akufo-Addo to
forget what happened to him in 2008 when based on what NPP newspapers and his
no-nothing political cronies were telling him, Akufo-Addo, kept dancing on
platforms and telling Ghanaians that he was going to win the elections “one
touch”.

For a man who strongly believes that he was born to become president of Ghana at
all cost, Akufo-Addo is now desperately whipping up his supporters to cause
chaos by stating that, "You must understand that this party was formed by
courageous people. Our leaders who formed this party that has now become the
biggest political movement in Ghana were not cowards. So in 2012 we need to be
courageous because all 'die be die'. All die be die".

Ladies and gentlemen, Ghana is not the property of one person nor shall it ever
be. Akufo-Addo should not think that his supporters or to a large extent
Ghanaians will be ready and willing to shed their blood for him and forcibly
make him the next leader of the country if he loses the next election. Elections
are either won or lost. Period! Therefore, if Akufo-Addo who is already sounding
like a defeated candidate even before the first vote is cast wants people to
fight and die for him at all cost just to make him president to satisfy his
foolish ambition then he is indeed living in a hoodwinks paradise. Akufo-Addo is
harbouring the intention of doing what he was not able to do in 2008. In the
2008 election, he could not cause mayhem because his party was in power, but he
is beating the war drums because his party is now in opposition.
If Akufo-Addo has something better to do with his time and resources and
seriously is aspiring for the highest office of our beloved Ghana, he should
rather reposition himself, sack all those nonentities parading as his
spokespersons and spewing garbage upon garbage on air and not offering any
credible alternatives as to how they will turn the country’s economy around.
That is what will help him. That is what will make him a serious candidate in
the eyes of Ghanaians.

In Ghana today it would be extremely difficult for either the NDC or NPP to win
the next elections hands down. Everything will hinge on the swing voters who
want to see the real presidential qualities in a candidate and the people
surrounding him. Therefore, insults from the NPP women will not cut it. It turns
off the swing voters. It turns off Ghanaians. Ghanaians normally hate people who
heap insults and insults on people. And if you are looking to wrestle power and
you go to the electorate with such arrogance as being portrayed by Akufo-Addo
and his ‘girls’ you turn voters away. Akufo-Addo better think twice if he is
serious of ever becoming president of Ghana.
salifuali@rocketmail.com