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Opinions of Thursday, 15 December 2011

Columnist: Sidibe, Abdul Musah

Nana Akufo Addo’s All Die Be Die Problem

If Nana Akufo-Addo loses the 2012 election, as it is now more likely than not,
historians will look back at the day he made the “all die be die” statement as the
turning point of his electoral fortune and political career. The “all die be die”
rant reduced Nana Akufo-Addo from a viable alternative to the Mills led government
to a desperate loser seeking to appeal to the worse instinct of Ghanaians. The
statement further affirm the belief among many Ghanaians of NPP’s penchants for
violence and vile rhetoric. The party under him is willing to do all that it takes
to make Nana president even if it means crippling the country in violence just as in
Ivory Coast, Rwanda, and Kenya.

The statement should not be taken likely by all well-meaning Ghanaians and even by
foreigners who wish mother Ghana well. It constitutes a smallest window in the mind
set of an Ethnic Entrepreneur and how he intends to conduct himself during and after
the 2012 elections. The “all die be die” rants were a dog whispers to supporters of
the NPP in the Ashanti Region that they could resort violence in the evident the NPP
loses the 2012 elections. It was also meant to provide NPP a political cover to
reject or dispute the result and declare violence and discontent in the country.
This is not a new trick the NPP is seeking to employ. The same play book was used
after the 1992 elections in order discredit the Rawlings led NDC government.

The “all die be die” statement is also a subtle admission that NPP will lose the
election. It is constitutes a window in to the mind set of a democratic tyrant’s
strategy for forcing his opponents in to fights by throwing the first punch. It is
therefore not surprising the current politics of attacks and insults on the person
of the President and his family. Nana Akufo Addo knows that he is no match to
President Mills’ unimpeachable moral standing and economic records. Absent any hitch
on the government’s moral and economic records, the Nana campaign have no option but
to resorted to the campaign of insults, personal attacks, and outright lies and
misinformation hoping that one of those falsehoods will stick. These kinds of
campaign tactics is known in the United States as throwing the kitchen sink at your
opponents. It is desperate ploy by a candidate who knows he would retire from
politics without having the benefit of the office he had for so long yarned for and
entitle himself.
If you doubt that the “all die be die” statement is a dog whistle for violence ask
NPP’s Ashanti Regional organizer, Mr. Kennedy Kamkam. He was on report to issued a
stern warning to the nation’s Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Afri Gyan, for what he
term “siding with the ruling government” simply because he introduced a biometric
registration process and thought there is no need for a verification process. It is
worth mentioning that Dr. Gyan has been election commissioner in Ghana since 1992
and have supervised elections under both the NDC and NPP administrations. In fact he
declared NPP’s President Kufour winner in two election. He is recognized in Africa
and the world as one of the most trusted election commissioners on the continent.
Yet the NPP wants to drag the reputation of his man in the drain. Mr. Kamkam was on
record to have also said that should Nana Akufo Addo lose the 2012 election, they
and their allies will form a parallel government in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest

The NPP wants to repeat the same strategy as it did in the 2008 election, rig
election in their stronghold by creating confusion. In 2008, many polling stations
in the Ashanti Eastern Regions the NPP obtained more votes than the number of
registered voters in some polling stations. Also, whiles the voter turnout for
Ashanti in the runoff election was 83.31%, the average for the rest of the country
was about 72%. Ashanti Region’s turn out was over 10% the national average. Anyone
who followed radio reporting during the 2008 run off election know this for a fact.

Prof. Adu Boahene, the NPP candidate for president in the 1992 presidential
election, employed similar strategy and the NPP lost. After that electoral defeat,
they alleged all kinds of violence, rejected the results, and proceeded to write a
book titled Stolen Verdict. The party then made a concerted effort to delegitimize
the NDC government by boycotting parliamentary elections. When all the dust settled
it became apparent to them that boycotting the parliamentary election was their own
waterloo. As it provided the NDC government a one party domination and left NPP
voiceless in our body politique for four years. It did not take much for the NPP to
rejected the Adu Boahene mantra and charted a new course; a course that saw them
through two successive elections victories under President Kufour.

It took over two decades before Prof. Afari Gyan laid the truth of the 1992 results
to rest in an interview with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah of Joy FM. The pillar of Ghanaian
democracy did not miss words. He said to the amazement of many, including his
interviewer, that the NPP lost the 1992 election clear, pure and simply. Yet the NPP
and its allies will not stop circulating the same snake oil about the 1992 election
that they continually sold Ghanaians for more than two decades. Neither will they
back off from the dead-old tactics of tribalism and appeal to violence.
As the experience of Mr. Kufour and Prof. Mills showed, elections are not won by
appealing to people's worse instincts. Candidates win elections by promosing hope
for the future, light at the end tunnel, and bread at the end of a day’s hard work.
People will be reluctant to support candidates who seek to divide the country along
ethnic and tribal lines for their own political interest. We are all witnesses to
the carnage that ensued in Yendi when politicians unnecessarily inflamed ethnic
passions to garner support leading to the gruesome murder of Ya Naa (the Regent of
Dagbom) and tens of his kinsmen. The interests of Ghanaians far outweigh the
interest of any political group. Therefore ethnic entrepreneurship and the politics
of appealing to tribalism any time one fine himself in a political corner is not a
winning strategy. It is a loser and we thought the NPP learnt that lesson from their
previous campaigns.

Government of Ghana should be candid in informing Nana Akufo Addo and or any
candidate who want to inflame ethnic passion and violence that they will be
personally responsible for any lost of life in Ghana. And if Nana doubts this, he
should check the lives of the like of Gbagbo and Charles Taylor among several
others. The international community has a legal framework for dealing with
recalcitrant violent leaders, it is called the ICC.

Abdul Musah sidibe

Abdul Musah Sidibe is a human rights activist and an African political observer. He
is currently resident Calgary, Alberta, Canada.