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Opinions of Monday, 23 August 2010

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Nana, Please do not Pick the Good Doctor this Time around.

Going into the ’08 party primaries, I had high hopes for the then Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. But deep down in my heart, I knew he was not going to win. But I expected him to compete. Why did I not expect him to win? Because he had the misfortune of going up against – just like many politicians in our time- one of the greatest statesmen and politician of modern Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffu-Addo. But I still expected a good show from the then V.P and not the abysmal performance he put up in the primaries.
The then Vice President had the money and the fame but he lacked the most important ingredient of all, political instinct. And that was his doom. Unfortunately, his doom was not only a personal doom but the party’s doom as well. It strengthened the perception that the Akans or the Southerners would never allow a Northerner to “lord” over them. After all, how could a sitting V.P fail to win his party’s presidential nomination, or even come in second or third if not for the bias on the part of the “electorate.” But it had nothing to do with Southern bias, no matter what the P-ndc wanted Ghanaians and still wants us to believe. It had everything to do with the candidate himself. He was a party faithful and all but He just was not cut out to be a politician and it takes a politician to win an election. (It is widely known that President Kuffour sent him, on behalf of the party to present the V.P nomination to another, a northerner, and when the recipient rejected the offer, Kuffour picked the Alhaji).
After Nana addo won the 08 nomination, he had the chance to pick a more formidable V.P candidate but low and behold, Aliu Mahama “Version 2.0” was picked. If Nana had won the 08 elections (oh what a wonderful thought), the party would have found itself in the same predicament: a toothless V.P who would not have been able to beat Reverend Lawyer Kodua in the next party primaries; which would have further re- enforce the notion and rearm the P-ndc with propaganda tools to spew the so called Southern disdain for Northern “lordship”.
Dr. Bawumia did not have the “right stuff”. To make matters worse, right after we lost the 08 elections, the Doctor packed up his bags and left the country. A politician, and a good politician, with political instincts, would have stayed and campaign with Nana from day one during the just ended primaries, whether he had hidden aspirations or not. (I mentioned this fact to a friend. The friend replied “but cha, he got to feed his family”. After all he had lost his job as the Deputy Governor of Bank of Governor. But I pointed out to my friend that that was exactly what I was talking about. A good politician makes sacrifices and if anybody at all could survive unemployment, it would be a former deputy Governor of bank of Ghana.)
Now there are rumors that the Doctor and Nana’s pick for V.P in the 2008 elections has been shortlisted. That is a political catastrophe. He is just not a politician, short and simple.

Before I conclude, I want to stress that there is wisdom in the South/North ticket and those who think otherwise, should think twice. I urge Nana not to break the tradition as some are advocating but he needs to pick a politician. He needs to pick someone who has been in the trenches; someone who has withstood the dirty tricks and the propaganda machine of the P-ndc; someone who has dirtied his/her hands in the trenches by running for office before. I therefore urge Nana to pick an MP from the North.
As a MP, the candidate would possess the experience of running a campaign on his own. He would be able to compete and compete well in the party primaries, with the possibility of winning the next primaries, after Nana is done with his second term. Whether this person would be able to beat “Alan Cash” in the next primaries is another matter. But this person must be able to give Alan a run for his “Cash”. And I don’t believe Dr. Bawumia is the right candidate, just as Aliu Mahama was not.

An MP from the North is a “sure banker” now and for the future.