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Opinions of Friday, 13 September 2013

Columnist: Arthur, Augustine

Smart Nana Akuffo Addo Avoids ICC Arrest

By Augustine Arthur

Nana Akuffo Addo has realized that it is better to be an opposition leader in your country so that you can continue to enjoy your fufu and palm nut soup with crabs, snails, smoked tilapia and cocoyam leaves than to be caged like a monkey at a zoo at the pleasure of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in the Netherlands.
After Nana Akuffo Addo had stated that even though he rejected the Supreme Court verdict that would keep him away from the Flagstaff House for the next three years or even forever, he reluctantly accepted the verdict. However, some fanatics in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been condemning him for rushing to accept the verdict.
Nana Akuffo Addo is not a fool. He is smarter than those who are lambasting him for cowardly accepting the verdict.
Anytime Nana Akuffo Addo mounted a political platform, he spoke militantly like someone who wanted to fight his political opponents. That is his style of communicating to party faithful but his political opponents have often described him as arrogant, aggressive, proud, pompous, man-of-no-peace, and “patapaa”.
It was even reported that during the 1996 general elections he allegedly pulled a pistol and fired some shots at Kyebi when he stood as the NPP parliamentary candidate against Owuraku Amofa of the then EGLE Party.
The most recent situation that portrayed Nana Akuffo Addo as someone who always wanted to fight his political opponents was his famous “ALL DIE BE DIE” mantra. No matter the public relations and image building antics employed by Nana Akuffo Addo and the NPP to downplay the “ALL DIE BE DIE” issue, that thing really affected his image during the run up to the December 2012 elections.
I had the opportunity to attend a course organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington DC, USA in May/June 2012 on the topic, “Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa: Tools for Policymakers”. The United States Institute of Peace was established by Congress in 1984 as an independent, federally-funded national security institution devoted to the nonviolent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad. During the course, participants analyzed events of political elections in some African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, and one of the lecturers made mention of Nana Akuffo Addo’s “ALL DIE BE DIE” matter as a statement that could cause chaos in Ghana. I was shocked because I never thought that the “ALL DIE BE DIE” slogan had caught the attention of the United States of America.
The December 2012 general elections passed smoothly with no serious infraction even though the vanquished NPP did not accept the presidential results and declared their intention to take the matter to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana to seek redress. However, both international and domestic election observers had touted the elections as being free, fair and transparent. In other words, the whole international community accepted and recognized His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama as the duly and legitimately elected President of the Republic of Ghana. Again, the international community, especially the USA, was seriously watching and monitoring the proceedings of the election petition at the Supreme Court.
I strongly believe that the White House had called the two leaders in Ghana’s political arena, President John Mahama and Nana Akuffo Addo prior to the Supreme Court judgment that they should respect the final verdict of the court to avoid any political conflict in Ghana. The USA and international donors have big interest in terms of investments in Ghana and would not want to see their investments going down the drain. They want a peaceful and conducive atmosphere in Ghana so that they can recoup positively from their investments.
So if Nana Akuffo Addo had refused to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court and plunged Ghana into war as some doomsayers were predicting, the International Criminal Court would have issued an arrest warrant and hunted him down, bundled him like a piece of wood, and hauled him to The Hague to face trial. Nana Akuffo Addo is smart. He wouldn’t like to be in the same situation like Charles Taylor of Liberia and Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D’Ivoire. After all he is still very popular in Ghana’s political terrain. If the NPP gives him the chance to attempt “trinity mission” just like the late President John Atta Mills, who knows, he may win the December 2016 presidential election and become the President of the Republic of Ghana in a wheelchair (unquote, Sir John). On the other hand if he fails to get the NPP nomination for the 2016 presidential election, he will still live comfortably in Ghana and continue to enjoy his early morning hausa kookoo and koose, or yorkor gari and fried plantain, or khebab with some bottles of Guinness, or Sunday afternoon omo tuo with satroka leaves instead of being caged and fed on some unfamiliar European prison menu.
The Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General for West Africa, Ambassador Said Djinnit paid a courtesy call on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to commend him for accepting the Supreme Court verdict. Even though the ICC is not part of the United Nations system, the silent message from the UN Representative to Nana Akuffo Addo was clear. “If you had refused to accept the Supreme Court judgment and plunged Ghana into any senseless war for innocent people to be killed, you would have been bundled like how Charles Taylor and Laurent Gbagbo to The Hague were bundled to the ICC. You can run but you cannot hide”.
Nana Akuffo Addo, you are smart. Don’t mind those NPP goons who are describing you as a coward for readily accepting the Supreme Court verdict. After all you would have been the only person to be issued with an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court. Nana, Ghana sweet paaaaa!

By Augustine Arthur