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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Nana Akufo Addo’s Precipe For Political Suicide

If there were any one person, politician or otherwise, who should count himself lucky in Ghanaian politics, then that individual person was no other personality than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. Nana’s luck stems from the fact that he is the son of a former ceremonial president, the late Edward Akufo Addo during the 2nd Republic with the Progress Party government in power. Again, he is the nephew of Ghana’s celebrated William Ofori Atta, old Paa Willie of the Popular Front Party, P.F.P., who later broke away to form the UNC with other stalwarts of like minds. Furthermore, he is the grandson of Ghana’s memorable, celebrated and unforgettable politician, J.B. Danquah, the Doyen of Ghana politics. Fortunately, he is the only Ghanaian politician whose ancestry is biologically linked to three of the Big Six whose combined and collective effort struggled and fought the colonialists with their brains to win the first ever independence south of the Sahara. Nana Akufo Addo, undoubtedly, perhaps, taking inspiration from this historical antecedence, has been urged on to lead this nation to the promised ‘land’ one day.


This writer has time and time again emphasized that as long as ex-president J.J. Rawlings and his NDC exist as a human institution, mark my word, no, repeat no northerner partnership with the NPP flag-bearer shall win any competitive elections in Ghana. It is very sad that I write this piece with a heavy heart. The NPP leadership should reflect soberly to deliberate the suggestions/arguments being put forward by people who have the party at heart. The Council of Elders together with the NEC ought to sit down to digress on the suggestions and consider it well. As I have already hinted, if in the unlikely event that the party loses the 2012 elections, the masses and posterity will never ever forgive and forget them till the end of time. It is likely the graves of the adamant top notch whose deliberate alignment and consideration with the north caused us the defeat despite the majority of voices raised in support of a Brong choice, would be forcibly dug out and their skeletons placed on tables for daily strokes or caning like the way criminals are punished in the Arab world.


With the exception of election 2000 that ex-president Kufuor partnered and won with Alh. Aliu Mahama, all the previous competitions were fruitless. However, we only won just because of the Rawlings’ factor; the longevity of the PNDC and the disaffection created; the apparent consolidation of the Ewe hegemony that had been propounded and being propagated by Kofi Awoonor in his book, his inordinate perennial vindictiveness, vendetta, persecutions of businessmen/women, hatred for the Ashanti project etc. became an albatross on Ghanaians. As a result of the displeasure and general apathy, discomfort and total insecurity in the country at the time, the general populace lost confidence, became fed up and marshaled forces and resources with the combined full force of the opposition parties and voted in unison and passed a vote of no-confidence with our thumbs to oust the NDC from power during the re-run on December 28, 2000. This author should not be painted as a tribal monger and prophet of doom but the truth and nothing but the truth about this delicate matter to be placed on the table for political analysts and strategists to discuss and dissect very well. It should therefore not surprise anybody that the recent visit to the three northern regions by the chairman of the Council of State Prof. Kofi Awonoor, allegedly could have had some connotation or coloration with the Northerners to also agitate for the running mate slot to distract our attention and chances of winning. Meanwhile, this man had gone to muddy the waters there. It is very strange that the NDC has always been the proponents of this North-South partnership prescription for NPP and this diabolical plan by all intents and purposes, has been accepted in its entirety without the slightest objection but complicity. Could it be by accident or voodoo that many times the focal lens shifts towards the north it ended to our disadvantage? Sadly enough, we don’t seem to learn our lessons from time immemorial. Why can’t we take a cue from the nefarious and nebulous machinations till now? Nana Akufo Addo, please shine your eyes. Do you want to be president or not to be president? Never kowtow to the bankrollers to be pushed to the gutters for your political opponents to jubilate when their trap catches you. The signs are clearly on the wall that NPP under your presidency is the next government in waiting. Be bold and decisive. Do not exhibit any act of cowardice; be your own man and not kowtow to anybody. Never give in to the detractors. Do not allow yourself to be couched into submission for them to be privileged to say you should do this or that in the interest of the party bla, bla, bla. The time is now or never. Period! It is unfortunate that Dr. Bawumia’s own backyard, the NPP lost the presidential bid at a polling station in Walewale. One funny aspect is that the other northerners either have metamorphosed from NDC to NPP or vice versa. Though politics is played with numbers, one’s background must be thoroughly checked before this major decision is taken. I don’t want to be told one day that Kofi Appiah was the NPP’s Prophet for 2012. Their matrilineal/patrilineal ancestries have been from the opposite blocks or the other. As you read this piece, some of the contestants have either wife who is strong NDC or biological relatives as activists. The Council of Elders and the NEC should wake up from their slumber and wipe up their faces to see what is happening. They should not fail to adhere to this serious warning and trespass to the north INSTEAD OF CHOOSING SOMEONE FROM BRONG AHAFO for the second slot because for far too long, the region has been denied and starved of a high ranking political appointment since the demise of Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia. Someone from the region will also additionally conjure the magic wand to win more votes for victory 2012, because it is the only region that had the least votes as against the NDC. If the big wigs keep dragging their feet, as if they were cattle prepared for the slaughter, I bet you, I would wage a one-man countrywide demonstration to preach the usual ‘skirt-and-blouse’ voting pattern for the large masses to advise themselves. Nana Akufo Addo, should remember that all the parliamentary candidates are discreetly doing whatever it takes to win their seats and enter parliament and your wise decision would obviously tilt the scales for the Jubilee House. Should you lose, mind you, there will be no more chance for your presidential ambition. Please do not be hoodwinked by any voodooism for now is the hour, time and chance to win the presidency and this fine opportunity should never be allowed to slip by. No childish thinking. Please do all you can to ignore the pressures from the north because they want your downfall and anybody from the north would incur the wrath of their tribal opponents i.e. going in for Bawumia would definitely incur the wrath of his opponents; a Nanumba candidate would obviously attract the wrath of the Kokumbas whilst a Kusasi candidature would offend their Mamprusi brothers and discourage them from voting for us; a Gonja from the western corridor would create enmity from the eastern side whereas the choice of an Abudu will further stir and compound matters for NPP as Andanis who have decided to vote for us this time to form the next government due to the lackadaisical and untold hardships meted out to Ghanaians by the Mills-Mahama government will have a change of heart and abstain from voting completely.


Decent minded readers and discerning Ghanaians should disprove this fact and prove me wrong if it was not the advent of both the AFRC/PNDC onto Ghana’s political scene that sewed, nurtured and harvested the uncontrollable indiscipline we witness today as living testimonies. Undoubtedly, since 1981, Ghana had been under military dictatorship with Chairman J.J. Rawlings at the helm of affairs having had an earlier bloody stake in 1979. For 11 solid years, this Rawlings man drew his strength and financial resources and charisma from Col. Gadhafi who served as his role model. The importation from Libya and establishment and enforcement of the following inimical institutions in Ghana - Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), People’s Defence Committees, (PDCs), Workers’ Defence Committees, (WDCs), people’s tribunals, kangaroo courts and others brought untold and immeasurable hardships to many people as it became the political machinery for the day. The application and enforcement of all these unto the Ghanaian scene disbanded almost everything; military high command was totally non-existent; senior officers had their command structures completely and totally dismantled; respect for authority was gone; junior officers with the ranks of captain/major had much more authority than colonels and above. Even lance corporals had more powers than Generals of the day and as a result, decent minded officers had to prematurely retire. It is this crazy innovation that invented the total indiscipline we witness in Ghana today. Crazy and stupid indeed! Businessmen/ women, senior civil and public servants had no say in Ghana; their authority was usurped by the messengers; while some men tried to dress the feminine way; landlords/ladies with more than one water closet (w.c.) in their homes were subjected to severe humiliation and maltreatment from these inexperienced military junta. At certain stages, they were commandeered at gun-point to pick rubbish bins to walk distances to empty them. That was the period our sisters, wives and mothers were stripped naked and caned openly on benches by the military at the Ghana’s version of the Egyptian Tashir Square. That was Rawlings Ghana when the Awonoors, the Ahwois (Ato, Kwamena and Kwesi) and the Tsikatas (Kojo, Tsatsu and Fui) could make and unmake Ghana; the Akans generally became the major victims of this inimical and brutish military adventure – vide the Citizens’ Vetting Committee, superintended by Kwamena Ahwoi, then at the old Parliament House on the High Street – sentencing someone in absentia to say, 99 years was very criminal. That was the time all manner of Ghanaians and foreigners alike with bank accounts of more than Gh?5.00 i.e. ?50,000.00 had to seek permission from government before encashment and even then, show cause why that withdrawal was necessary. Nobody was allowed to withdraw more than Gh?0.20 i.e. ?2,000.00 which is now a coin per week. That practice could have been during the Plutonian era but Ghanaians managed to adapt themselves. Again, that was the period when genuine businessmen/women who they suspected to be against them were forced to ‘cough’ and pay colossal sums of money to unknown accounts. But one may dare ask, where did all these monies go and who directly or indirectly benefitted from same?


That was also the precise period when owners of Porsche Mercedes Benz cars and others feared to drive otherwise some military nincompoops would snatch it from you at gun-point. While the economy was directly run by Ato Ahwoi, the trio became a force to reckon with; Kwesi was the master who surveyed the affairs of the Ghana Export Promotion Council and later became the master of ceremonies for the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; while Kwamena was in charge of the tribunals with assistance from the Agyekums, Ato was the charge d’affairs for oil supplies. Concerning the national security, the mention of Kojo Tsikata’s name as the security capo sent shivers down the spines of many Ghanaians and even now that he has not been commonly seen in public of late, the name continues to be fearsome. Make no mistake. The octogenarian Obed Yao Asamoah was the Secretary for Justice and Attorney-General, a position he held for more 15 years. This is history lecture for the Ghanaian youth under 40 years and I urge you to probe your parents for more hindsight about the various degrees of atrocities unleashed by both the AFRC and PNDC regimes where to date, A/c No. 48 that millions of cedis were paid into continues to be a mystery and a riddle. We were governed directly or indirectly with remote control from the late Bro. Muamar Gadhafi of Libya. The author by inference does not want to bother readers with these historical facts but wants to run through this wicked period of military regime with the youth. The past crop of ministers and administrators still find themselves presiding over the affairs of state now. Powerful statesmen like the late Prof. Emeritus Albert Adu Boahen and others mustered courage and tried to indoctrinate the masses with political lectures organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences at the British Council premises to counter the culture of silence. Since then Nana Akufo Addo and the latter day politicians – Messrs Akoto Ampaw, Ray Kakraba Quarshie, Eben Quarcoe, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr. and Victor Newman, just to name a few took the mantle of leadership to fight tyrannical rule in Ghana.


Since 1992 that Ghanaians voted and opted for democratic rule in April through referendum, the NPP has more than enough chosen someone from the North as the running mate but all in all, it has generally not worked to our advantage. Apart from 2000 elections that we won with Alh. Aliu Mahama as the number two chief executive, none of the pairings has done us any good. A clear sampling from 1979 with Victor Owusu-Alhaji Tolon Na partnership proved futile; Victor Owusu again partnered with Obed Asamoah for the All People’s Party for the re-run against Dr. Hilla Liman and we lost. Obed could not conjure any magic from the Volta Region even though a Voltarian. Prof. Adu Boahen also in 1992 chose Roland Alhassan as his partner but was aborted as a result of the general boycott and the Stolen Verdict; then in 1996, John Kufuor partnered Arkaah and lost; finally, in 2000, he again chose Alh. Aliu Mahama and managed to win simply because the entire country was fed up with the NDC and their evil machinations as already enumerated above but not, repeat not the choice of him as the running mate earned us the diadem. No matter what the NPP and its hierarchy do, the three northern regions with 49 seats collectively would never ever vote for the NPP massively to win more than 10 seats with the existence of Rawlings and his NDC as human institution to form government. My humble advice to the 100-plus revered Council of Elders and the National Executive Council with ex-president Kufuor as the umpire and chairperson of the special advisory council, should never ever be mistaken to advise Nana Akufo Addo to pick someone from the north but to focus on Brong Ahafo with special emphasis on vote catching because a citizen from B.A. would definitely galvanize more votes from the indigenes and settler farmers for the party to clinch total victory come 2012. We are after votes, nothing but majority votes. No gambling whatsoever should be entertained as was exhibited by the late Col. Gadhafi who gambled with his life, relied on his might and his tribal supporters to meet his death. After all, the difference between the NDC and NPP presidential votes in Brong Ahafo was 6,800 and forcing Nana Akufo Addo to trespass to the north will obviously be suicidal and disastrous for the Osono Party. While the NPP has more chances in the BA than from the North, unless otherwise Nana Akufo Addo does not want to become president and enjoys the presidential prestige at the expense of the Mills-Mahama non-performance, he should acquiesce to the coercion and whims and caprices of the detractors and enemies of the NPP.

Kofi Appiah - 0277 122 909