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Opinions of Sunday, 2 May 2010

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

These Insinuations, Slanders, Innuendos and Aspersions in NPP:

In Whose Interest?

Introduction:

Undoubtedly, my beloved party the NPP is at the cross roads and it is incumbent on all sons and daughters who have the party’s interest at heart to stand up against the seeming rancour, division and the apparent guerrilla war which is threatening to tear the party apart. The current jostling and elbowing for the flag bearer-ship is getting dirtier, muddier and even scandalous. What is happening in the party now goes beyond mere competition for the flag bearer-ship. This very good opportunity to market our party and the gentlemen who have put themselves forward to lead our party long before the 2012 general election has rather degenerated into personal vendetta and settling personal scores. Prof Frimpong Boateng, Alan Kyeremateng, Nana Akuffo-Addo and the others are fine gentlemen standards and are all qualified to lead the party; but need their followers and sympathisers go to the extent of casting needless insinuations, slanders and aspersions on the characters of the other contenders? I can say with all my heart that any one who love NPP would never go to the extent people have gone to tear these eminent personalities apart. It is shocking to see the amount of energy people are expending towards this senseless and unenviable task.

Personally, I detest those who have made it their pastime to phone-in to various radio stations to rein unprintable insults on various personalities in the party. I am disgusted when they even call themselves NPP sympathisers or members. I am not going to name any names in this write-up for the same reasons that I have written this piece but those individuals know themselves more than I do. If they genuinely claim to have an iota of love for the party, then they should pause and evaluate the impact their activities are having on the party and advice themselves.

The Akans have an adage which goes: “Se Okomfo bone hye nkom se kuro mbo a, wote mu bi.” To wit, a bad fetish priest who divines the destruction of a community without providing the divination to avoid the catastrophe is consumed in the destruction that befalls the community. Ironically, these political assassins who are firing verbal arsenals at either Nana or Alan claim to be sympathisers or actually, in the camp of one or the other. For the above reason, I will like to offer the following suggestions to both camps.

A word of advice to Alan’s Camp: I would like to use this platform to offer my unsolicited advice to Alan and especially fellow Osonites in his camp on the following issues: • Alan should rather put out a message about what he can/will do to alleviate the suffering of the common Ghanaian. Please desist from saying anything about your age, height and looks. I do not think age, looks and height is a measure of competence or ability. In any case, president Mills is neither the most handsome nor tallest man in Ghana. Is he not the president of our country? • The Alan “cash-man” tag is not a message and it’s not good enough to convince the delegates or Ghanaians. President Mills is still struggling to rid himself of his campaign promise of “putting cash in the pockets of Ghanaians”. I don’t think fellow Osonites and for that matter Ghanaians will fall for the “cash” message ever again. Alan’s advisors can market him much better than centring the whole campaign on giving “cash” to the people.

• Most importantly, Alan’s advisors should please help him rein-in his sympathisers and followers who are engaged in spreading falsehood and wild-lies about Nana Akuffo-Addo. It does neither the party nor Alan any good. It is dangerous and damaging to the prospects and chances of the party re-capturing power in 2012. Should Alan win, he is going to need Nana on board even more than any of his loyalists. If they let lose their assassins on Nana now and antagonise him how then would they bring him back should Alan win? Alan’s sympathisers who are using uncouth language on Nana Addo must be chided, thrown out of his team and even given up to be punished by their constituencies. If you can’t deal with your followers now, how then would you manage the entire country? Please bear the above Akan adage in mind.

A word of Advice to Nana Addo’s Camp: Similarly, I will like to use this opportunity to draw Osonites especially those in Nana’s camp to ponder over the following:

• As a seasoned politician, didn’t Nana have a better message to launch his candidature than describing himself as a “…62 year old young man, short and not so handsome….” in apparent response to Alan’s “tall, handsome and young etc” message? There was no need for Nana to bite the bate. I repeat, height, looks and age has never been a determining factor in Ghanaian politics. If it were, then candidate Mills who was slightly younger than former President Kuffuor wouldn’t have lost twice to the latter in 2000 and 2004.

• It is equally imperative for Nana to discipline his followers. I needn’t sound repetitive but the same message applies to Nana’s sympathisers. They needn’t cast aspersions and innuendos on the character of Alan. It is preposterous for anyone in Nana’s camp to think that Nana wouldn’t need Alan and his faction. Whether we like it or not, the party has been split into 2 by both your candidatures and like Siamese twins, you need each other to survive.

Slanders, Insinuations and Aspersions: In whose interest? Are the hired assassins of both Nana and Alan aware of the damage they are causing the party they profess to love? Are they that short-sighted not to know that their corrosive utterances are chipping away at the party’s credibility? They should know that the party would outlive both Nana and Alan. If these followers have any foresight, they could have realised that they are giving the NDC a head-start by their actions and utterances. I can assure the followers of Nana and Alan that their lies, half-truths, slanders, innuendos, insinuation and aspersions are being recorded by the NDC and they will surely play them back to us during the campaign in 2012. My question to those people is this: how would you counter same allegations you have been spewing out now when the NDC starts playing them back in the run up to the 2012 elections? If we cannot maximise our time to advance our cause, should we expend our energies tearing each other up to the advantage of our main competitors!?! Sometimes, I even begin to wonder whether some of these people aren’t actually being paid by our opponents to say some of the things they have been saying.

Any member of the party who has engaged in this silly petulance and unnecessary cry-baby antics should bow his/her head in shame. The Akans say; “Se woanya bribi amma woase a, yemmo ne krono” which literally translates: If one has nothing to offer an in-law one mustn’t pilfer her little resources. If these so-called Nana and Alan sympathisers have nothing to contribute to the party, at least they shouldn’t say anything that will adversely affect its fortunes. Before we utter a word, we should measure whether our utterances would enrich and add to the party before we think of any personality. NPP is a national party; it’s neither for Ashantis nor Akyems and let those who are experimenting with the Ashanti and Akyem segmentation be warned!!!

Preparation for 2012

Undeniably, the party has not been helped recently by the utterances of some of the followers of Nana and Alan. We have already false-started before the race began. If the nonsense of these unguarded verbal salvos continues, we might as well forget about 2012. Let’s not stock-pile ammunitions for our opponents to ambush us with and then turn round to accuse them of rigging the elections of 2012. Instead of striving for a level playing field before elections 2012, we have ended up digging ourselves a deep hole that we will struggle to get out of. I must add though that, we can rectify the situation if we end these petty bickering and character assassinations. The big question though is: Are these unscrupulous individuals parading as followers of Nana Addo and Alan ready to amend their ways? 2012 is just around the corner.

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei