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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Columnist: Apau, Yirenky

The Man Akufo Addo

Nana Akufo Addo is generally considered by most commentators to be among the five or six persons that will eventually pay the NPP Leadership nomination fees.

Monitoring the media closely has convinced me that some of the aspirants are in the Leadership race essentially to forge alliances at the eleventh hour with other aspirants. They know deep within their thoughts that they cannot win the race. Whether it makes sense to engage in a losing battle is up to them to judge.

I wouldn?t have bothered in commenting on Nana Addo but listening to him carefully has made it imperative to say a few things. It is a fact that Nana Addo started his Presidential bid just after losing to then Presidential Candidate J. A. Kufour. Reliable information indicates that, among other things, Akufo Addo has spent huge sums of money on his campaign. This includes assisting some National Officers and some aspiring MPs all in the hope of winning more friends to his side.

But one thing that strikes me most is Nana Addo?s determination to be at the Castle by hook or crook; that is the problem. No one can dispute Nana Addo?s contribution to the NPP; by all intents and purposes he is a huge asset to the NPP. And every political party will love to have Nana Addo in his party. Unfortunately, Nana Addo as an NPP Presidential Candidate will surely cause an injury to the party; no two ways about that. I have been in the party for a long time to know what I am talking about.

POPULARITY

He claims to be the most popular among all the aspirants and therefore the choice of the people. It is true that he is reasonably popular but so are the likes of Super O.D., Maame Darkono, Nkwmode etc. Popularity does not equate to a national acceptance. The fact that you are popular does not mean that the people/electorate would want you as their leader. If that were the case then people like Super O.D. could put themselves forward for an election. I remember when Maame Darkono thought her TV exposure had made her popular hence decided to contest to be an MP in the Eastern Region and lost badly. What is required is the person with the right credentials and national appeal who the electorate will humbly call as their father.

OWERNERSHIP OF THE LEADERSHIP SLOT

Nana Addo seems to be fighting with any one who wants to stand in his way in obtaining the nod from the Delegates. His posture seems to be saying that the NPP leadership is his bonafide property and wonders why people should contest against him. He is on record to have told NPP members that he will surely get the nod provided the election is not rigged. Nana, aren?t you casting a huge doubt on the integrity of the Party?s electoral process? To question the genuineness of your own Party?s electoral process in such a manner is unfortunate. It?s just like saying before a game that you will only lose if the referee is biased. Where was Nana Addo when the previous NPP leadership elections were held? This shows his ignorance about the voting process. There is no way on the voting day that any one can rig the elections. I voted in the previous two leadership elections and know for certain that on the voting day, there is no chance to even add a single ballot paper. Unfortunately, his comment did more harm to his image and the party.

FIGHTING FOR THE PARTY

Nana Addo?s message of telling every one that he has fought so hard for this party may be true but he is not the only one among the aspirants who has done so. His comment that when the battle was going on some of the aspirants hide under their beds and now that the cake is baked they want to come and eat it, is lamentable. I certainly do not have a clue as to what he is referring to.

Every seasoned party faithful knows that there are many party members who fought tooth and nail in the towns, villages and the regions but sadly enough the media did not focus on them. It is only those who spearheaded the fight in ACCRA who can claim to have fought for the Party. There are those who provided financial and material resources at a time when the Party was on its knees but who are modest enough not to brag about their contributions.

From north to south, many men and women of our beloved party fought so hard in giving money and advice on how best to confront the NDC. It becomes more irritating when honourable Nana Addo and his friends think that it is only Nana Addo who has suffered for our great party. They display a colossal lack of party history and have failed miserably to find out about men and women who equally fought for the growth of the party in the other regions.

MORAL STANDING

Nana Addo?s beloved newspaper, The Statesman, recently quoted him as saying that during the struggle when he boldly faced the NDC people were hailing him as brave, now that he wants to lead the party, they say he is arrogant. Nana Addo has failed to recognise that the attitude and image that goes with the office of the President is totally different from any other leadership position in the party.

Being a Minister or party official and arrogant may be permitted to a certain extent, but to be a Party leader and possibly the Father of the Nation you will be scrutinized on your temperament and actions. Party leadership or the Presidency is about the right leadership qualities and attributes, which include a good temperament and an adequate level of humility. Nana Addo?s erratic attitude will make it very tough for him to lead the NPP or govern this country well. If Nana Addo and his supporters seem to fight all members who challenge his moral standing, how can he stand the test of agitations from over 20 million Ghanaians? Nana Addo can always be a normal Minister or say Speaker of Parliament but as a President, I can see trouble ahead.

Another worry about Nana Addo is the perception about him easily unzipping whenever he meets the opposite sex. People?s private lives should never be discussed in public, for some of us are not angels either and that is why I will never seek public office, but when a personality such as Nana Addo wants to be the President of this Nation, then questions need to be asked.

Nana Addo confirmed this when he recently boasted about his love for women when he said that people who think he is old should go out and ask the women on the street, thereby inferring that he is very strong in bed with many of them. Many Leaders have been brought down miserably by their extreme love for women. And Nana Addo has already lost the trust and confidence of his followers except Gabby and Newman. A chief recently told me that Nana Addo should apologise to his wife and Ghanaian women. With such pronouncements, can Nana Akufo ever tell the youth to stay away from immorality and stick to righteousness? The Youth are likely to rebuff, ?We are learning from you?

UNITY IN HIS GOVERNMENT

At the Asamakese rally, a Communication Director for one of the aspirants said in a private conversation that Nana Addo thought the office of the President was an avenue to show off. To him Nana Addo will continue to be loved by all members but his attitude is a big problem for him to be a President of the Nation. People are just worried as to how, given his famed short fuse and arrogance, Nana Addo will engage his Cabinet Ministers in any meaningful discussions.

He somehow mellowed a bit during his Foreign Ministerial tenure and people thought he had become a changed man but listening to him speak to some of the potential delegates showed a man who will explode under a little pressure. Government can never run smoothly if there is a divided Cabinet and Nana Addo?s personality does not give the impression of someone who can oversee a united Cabinet.

The office of the President should always be reserved for a person who is humble and has the coolness of head and is capable of earning the respect of his ministers. That is something Nana Addo lacks ? humbleness and the coolness of head.

VERY REACTIONARY

Nana Addo has told his spokesman, Mr Mustapha Hamid, to tell Ghanaians that he (Nana Addo) is the only one the NDC is scared of. Well, if the NDC has said that it could only be a ploy to fool the NPP into electing Nana Addo then they (NDC) will come out with why he is a dangerous person and not fit to run the country. Of course some Ghanaians will be concerned about Nana Addo leading the NPP for his performance as Attorney General and Minister of Justice was rumoured to be an avenue to persecute some former NDC members in a very confrontational way.

As a matter of fact, the NDC did some horrible things in their time and rightly should always be made to account for their misdeeds. However, all prosecutions should follow due procedure and any fast tracking of cases should be done fairly. Thus it is rumoured, Nana Addo misjudgement of issues forced President Kufour to re-assign him. There are decent Ghanaians who do not belong to the NPP but for the sake of National unity and cohesion will never endorse Nana Addo to be president of this Nation.

He is very eloquent but that is only a minute part of the qualities and attributes of a good leader. According to sources from the NDC, they have a dossier about Nana Addo and will surely release it once the NPP has selected him as their Presidential Candidate. Let me tell the NDC that the NPP will surely face them and their dirty tricks and unhealthy propaganda during the 2008 election Campaign.

Since 1995, the Statesman newspaper has been reminding the NPP of the division that took place in its ranks in the 1970s. Even at times they warned of a breakaway faction if the Party failed to elect Nana Addo. At that time Presidential candidate Kufour was elected and nothing happened and today his people are crying the same cry. Nana Addo will not be given the nod but all members will continue to be members of this great party.

Nobody is against Nana Addo in person but it is his character to seek the highest office of the land at all costs that makes us sceptical. He may say the nice things and encourage the Statesman to lead the crusade but his own character is destroying his chances. He has not even been helped by the utterances coming from his inner circle.

The office of the President is not a business venture and those who think they are helping other aspirants so that if they get the nod they can use his Presidency to further their personal business ambitions may be living a fool?s paradise. They should be reminded that it is the whole of Ghana that has been entrusted unto the hands of the NPP and a person who can do the job for the country is what we are looking for.

There could still be a place for Nana Addo in the next NPP government, but for the top job he should forget it.

Mr.Yirenky Apau (PARTY ELDER)

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