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Opinions of Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Columnist: Adoli, Kofi

On Arthur Kennedy's Call For Apologies

: A Dissection Of The Untruths And Political Equalisation.

In a world in which the keyboard and telecommunication have markedly enhanced the production and proliferation of ideas in texts, key necessities remain in constant danger of being sacrificed: these are, but not limited to, accuracy and reliability of content. Nowhere, in recent times, have these sacrifices been copiously displayed than in the article written by Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy entitled "apologies in life" and dated 30th April, 2012.

Before delving into the deprecation of facts and the political equalisations contained in his article, I concur with him on his appeal that causes and consequences must be recognised by all stakeholders in the debate of national issues, such as those involving Nii Lantey Vanderpuye's statements regarding altercations in Odododiodioo and Kennedy Agyapong's declaration of war. But, unfortunately Dr Kennedy carries that message in a basket which leaks rather badly. Without any intention of being sub judice, I note the media discussions of the Woyome scandal as a case in point. In this case Dr Kennedy and his NPP expediently give pre-eminence to consequence (the court judgment and the subsequent payments under the Mills government) over cause (the series of contestable decisions under the Kufuor regime). Indeed in the Ghanaian media, the question of why we are where we are continues to be ignored in the discussion of that scandal. Suddenly that fundamental intellectual tool of establishing cause, has found use when one of Dr Kennedy’s own is clearly caught pants down.

Dr Kennedy also provided causes that are not only baseless but feeble. In the case of the altercations in Odododiodioo, nowhere was Nii Lantey Vanderpuye heard saying that residents of Odododiodioo with non-Ga names should be barred from registering in Odododiodioo. Rather, his reason for calling for "resistance" was that Ursula Owusu and her party were busing non-resident registrants to Odododiodioo. So clearly, tribal nomenclature was not a basis for his angst.

Again on that specific issue, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye called for the resistance on Joy FM's News Night after (not before) the reported beating of Ursula Owusu. He also stated in that interview that he was just leaving his office. It is common sense, therefore, that Miss Ursula Owusu's aggressors could not have been acting on the non-existent orders of resistance from Nii Lantey Vanderpuye. This is why the equalisation of Nii Lantey to Kennedy Agyapong has no leg to stand on and falls rather flat on its face.

Even weaker is the attempt to make President Mills responsible for the divisive and devious declarations emanating from Nana Addo and his campaign team. The suggestion that "when the President acts, Nana Addo must match him, positive step by positive step", is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse. Neither did President Mills instigate nor declare, the 'all die be die' cry. He cannot, therefore, be the one to instigate the apology or otherwise of Nana Addo. The decision to apologise for making divisive, inflammatory, and tribal political speeches was by Nana Akufo Addo and his campaign team. Nana Addo and his party must make the decision to apologise if they feel remorseful to do so. Let him carry his cross. It is a complete balderdash to be equalising the President and Nana Addo's political conduct. The latter's activities were not caused by the former. In an unfair attempt to justify the seditious political conduct of Nana Addo and his campaign team, Dr Kennedy draws attention to a speech made by President Mills before the 2008 elections in which the latter, inter alia, said: The NDC “therefore urges all Ghanaians and the international community to draw useful lessons from the on-going KENYAN conflict situation and the unacceptable conduct of elections held recently in other African countries with a view to ensuring that they are not replicated in our dear country at the next general elections.”……

Candidate Mills, on his second mention of Kenya in the entire speech, also said: “let me convey the sincere condolences of the National Democratic congress to the families of the more than 500 people who have lost their lives needlessly in the conflict in KENYA and also express the hope that the over 150,000 displaced persons in that country would be returned to peace and their homes as soon as possible.”

It is clear from that speech that the then candidate Mills never said or made any “pledge to turn Ghana into Kenya if things did not go a certain way in 2008” as dishonestly and spuriously claimed by Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy Arrogance, more than sycophancy and partisanship, has been observed as the primary reason for which people fail to show genuine remorse for their errors. And nowhere in our country's recent history was arrogance more abundant than during the 2008 elections. The NPP's campaign for which Dr Kennedy was the communications director, arrogantly failed to apologise to Ghanaians on many wrongs committed by members of the then NPP government. It was only when the second round was afoot and defeat menacingly stared at the NPP that the floodgates of dramatic and insincere apologies began to pour from them. But it was too late at that point.

My question to Dr Kennedy and his political ilk is, are you going to keep at this game of deflections, diversions, failed equalisations, plain untruths, arrogance and dogma until it is too late, all over again? As I wind down this rejoinder to your call for apologies, the NPP has released a video online ( re-affirming the 'all die be die' declaration, a concept which did not only shock and scare the world but formed the genesis of the violent demagoguery from the NPP in this political season. Not surprisingly the artiste in that video masks his face, clearly not wanting to be associated with this moral descent.

It is proper to assert that those who call for apologies must do so with clean hands. The time to start introspecting is not long gone for a party which is not just fast degenerating but also on a cliff. God bless our home land. May we sow the seeds of untwisted truth as the basis for a stronger and united Ghana.

Kofi Adoli.