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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

This is your 'star', Brong Ahafo

After critically analyzing the pros and cons of the General Elections of 2008 and its aftermath devastating effects on the NPP and entire supporters nationwide some of which even lost their lives, the author has come to the conclusion that if two regions namely, Ashanti and the Eastern, were able to marshal forces to withstand the might of the ruling NDC during the run-off; then common sense should obviously knock at the doors of the brains and discerning minds of the ‘political strategists and analysts’ of NPP to consider choosing the running mate to Nana Akufo Addo from Brong Ahafo.

First and foremost, the basis of the writer’s argument is that the first round of the 2008 elections proved that out of the 24 seats from the region the NPP won 15 of the lot but when the re-run took place, the NDC had a leeway. How come, one may dare ask as to why the NPP had about 53,000 votes more than their opponents and the second round turned out to be a shocker and a nightmare? The answer is quite simple. It meant that many voters either decided to vote the ‘skirt and blouse’ way as is being known and called in the Ghanaian electoral parlance or allowed complacency to set in or better still, did not find any relevance at all in voting because of the greed of some politicians who only saw to the comfort of their individual families and neglected the rest. Again, the idiocy on the part of the NPP for abandoning the Tain deciding votes that would have gone a begging for the Great Osono Party were left for the opponents to do their own thing.


In order to consolidate themselves in power, as a result of which perhaps, upon that strength His Excellency the President was prompted to emphatically state at a Ho function that he was hoping to do the ‘bla bla bla’ thing in 2013, which constitutionally, he shouldn’t have said that, the NDC have emphatically and clandestinely devised or do I say, hatched this orchestrated plan of action to win by ‘hook or crook’ the deciding region which is Brong Ahafo in this way –

a) By appointing the foul-mouthed Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia from B.A., as their General Secretary.

b) By carefully choosing the seemingly ‘venomous viper’ Mr. Yaw Boateng Djan also from the region as the National Organizer is indicative of their discreet plans to cling on to power which they don’t naturally deserve.

c) By conferring ‘honorary’ Campaign Manager’s post on the ageing J.H. Owusu Acheampong, one time long-serving M.P. for Berekum, also from Brong Ahafo needs no over emphasis all.

d) By tactically selecting Sunyani, the B.A. regional capital for the just ended presidential primaries in July where the congress grounds purportedly ‘put so much money in the pockets and purses’ of the Brong Ahafo people and at the same time humiliating the wife of their founder, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is their magic wand to capture the region.

e) The 2nd Gentleman of Ghana, a royal from Bole-Bamboi, has his better-half Lordina Mahama, also hail from Nkoranza in the B.A. region.

f) Finally, the deputy national women’s organizer also comes from Nkoranza, Brong Ahafo.

So, in a nutshell, it is akin to the Akan adage ‘wode bankye abo nngo mu’ to wit, it is like dipping a piece of cooked cassava in palm oil that literally translates as thus the sweetness of the pudding is in the eating. The NPP strategists should therefore shine their eyes.

CAUTION – The author has taken the trouble to catalogue all these for the NPP political strategists, analysts and research desk and perhaps, the block-headed persons who do not want Nana Akufo Addo to become president to ponder over this pertinent and clandestine, if not nocturnal machination of the NDC to carefully neutralize their devilish plans in the bud. The NPP flag-bearer should be able to propose someone from the B.A. for consideration and acceptance by the Council of Elders to counter all these well calculated but diabolical plans to be able to wrestle power from the non-performing Mills-Mahama led NDC government come the 2012 elections. The powers that be in NPP should adhere to this well thought advice, and choose the running mate from the same region bearing in mind that they i.e. the region, would be blessed with a vice president. I bet you, if former President Kufuor and the other Council of Elders sincerely deliberate over these chronicled events, believe you me that there is no way that even the sick person on the hospital bed in any part of Brong Ahafo would not beg for sympathizers to carry him/her on the bed to go and vote for the NPP and clinch some 20 and leave the traditional four seats for the NDC. Unless Nana doesn’t want to be the next president, he should give in to the flippy statements coming from the ‘loud mouthed talkative’ executives. Come to think of the national campaign manager walking off the whole regional women’s organizer from following Nana on his tour of the region. This is complete ‘childish’ and should not be tolerated let alone countenanced. If some of the NPP gurus do not know, when the British tried to prove difficult in the Gold Coast, it was Nana Duayaw Nkwantahene from Brong Ahafo who stood his grounds to fight with Otumfuor Osei Agyeman Prempeh I and as a result, were deported alongside with others to the Seychelles Island. The newly recruited executives most of which do not this historical background should refresh their memories at the Balme’s Library, U.G., with authorities like A.J. Wards on the history of the Gold Coast on the importance of chieftaincy, otherwise the British would have been here in their numbers; and perhaps, our independence would not have been won by now for us to come this far. So, in effect, if some of the distinguished chiefs like Nana Boakye Tromo of Duayaw Nkwanta, Nana Bechemhene, Nana Atroniehene, the very revered chiefs from Fiapre, Chiraa, Dormaa Akwamu, Wamfie, Wamanafo, Nsoatre, Breme, Bomaa, Dwenase, and of course those from Dormaa Ahenkro, Osagyefo Agyeman Badu and his counterpart from Techiman who are yet to be visited and which, to all intents and purposes, it stands out to reason that they will also support this laudable idea with one loud voice. All of them have come out to say that if Dr. Busia thought of using President Edward Akufo Addo (Nana Addo’s father) from Akyem as the president during the 2nd Republic, it is imperative that common sense dawns on Nana also from Akyem to reciprocate and go to Brong Ahafo to pick his running mate. ‘You scratch my back and I scratch your back’. This is simple logic and it is understandable. They have spoken in unison and who then has the guts to brush them aside? They must be listened to. Can anybody go to these same distinguished persons next year when the heat is on for their votes – their subjects and floaters? It is votes we want and are after but not a pre-condition or privilege for any particular place. Period! After all in 1979, Victor Owusu partnered Tolon Na, PFP never won; he again used Obed Asamoa on the ticket of the All People’s Party (APP) to woo the Volta votes; yet, we lost; then again in 1992, Prof. Adu Boahen used Roland Alhassan, we lost. Ironically, in 1996, Kufuor partnered with the Great Alliance, and we lost. It was not until 2000 that the party was lucky to have Aliu Mahama that we won. And mind you, it was not Aliu’s magic wand but because of the general fury and apathy on everybody’s mind for Rawlings’ NDC entrenchment in power that was why we won. After all, not until Rawlings’ retirement from active politics the three northern regions and of course the Volta region would never ever vote for us to form government but to continue to vote for the NDC, so why the block-headedness? We should better look round for a region that would fetch us more votes to win the presidency and that region is Brong Ahafo hence the NDC’s strategy disclosed above. The sycophants should not lick Nana’s boots for us to go into opposition because most of them would not go to parliament again; the others also have nothing to lose if we lose so it is up to them to do their worst. Ex-President Kufuor and the Council of Elders should consider this option very carefully and critically otherwise should the unlikely event happen for us to go into opposition, their families would never see peace in their lives and be spared by the very down trodden.


Even though the NPP could pride itself with a couple of professors from the region in the persons of Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi and Gyan Baffour , currently the MPs for Techiman and Wenchi respectively, to partner the flag-bearer, let us face facts, as a result of the poor, abysmal and non- performance of Prof. John Mills as President of the Republic, believe you me that nobody, repeat nobody, with due respect to our ’illiterate’ brothers and sisters from the remotest parts of the country, no illiterate voter would like or want to hear ‘professor this or professor that’ bidding for the presidential ambition in the next 50 years or more. A careful study undertaken by the author after following Nana Akufo Addo closely on his heels on the tour of the region clearly depicts that the chiefs and the well opinion leaders of the region have entirely debunked personalities such as explained above but cannot come out openly to declare because they know that these two honourable gentlemen do not have any chance at all not even the slightest as international pollsters would put it for the simple reason that the learned professor piloting the flagship of Ghana who should have taken Ghana to the next level of development has woefully failed and crash-landed the aircraft (Ghana) (no soul(s) survived) and twice bitten is twice shy. They don’t want to hear of any professor’s name in their ears, period! If they have something to offer, they should help Nana Addo to win the presidential votes more convincingly. They should confine themselves in their own backyard and win their various constituencies.


For those who do not know but care to know, as far back as 1969 the late Gen. Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa , then Chairman of the N.L.C. stood on a campaign platform at the Sunyani Coronation Park and proclaimed to the people of Brong Ahafo by raising the hand of the late Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia, the then Chairman of the Civic Education, that he was a ‘star of the region’ (translated in the Akan language, mo nsoroma nie) so they should not be tempted to make a great mistake for not voting for the Progress Party as against the National Alliance of Liberals led by Mr. K.A. Gbedema. This proclamation worked like magic and the PP won the elections with a landslide victory – 105 of the 140 seats. This wonderful professor of par excellence, won massively and as a result, the PP won all the 13 seats from the region to form the government of the 2nd Republic.


I need not bother your memories about this biblical subject because many Christians and Muslims alike know the scenario as to the choice of David as king of Israel from amongst his brethren. Prophet Samuel’s visit to Jesse’s house where Eliab, Abindab and Shammah, the first, second and third born sons of Jesse respectively, were not pleasant in the sight of the Lord and were rejected. The spirit of the Lord came upon Samuel to further ask of Jesse if he had no other son elsewhere. And we all know of Jesse’s response – reference (1 Samuel 16:11-13 “Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the younger, and behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.” …… he was beautiful, countenance … And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren.


It is also hoped that if almost all the well respected chiefs, opinion leaders and the stakeholders from the region collectively and with one accord propose for consideration and acceptance by the NEC an eminent person who is a household name in the region, also commands sizeable amount of respect from both the BASU and BAPAC (Brong Ahafo Students Union and Brong Ahafo Patriotic Caucus) Nana would not shine his eyes and partner that person for victory 2012. A casual trip round the region indicates personalities like Mrs. Theresa Kufuor, Mr. J.H. Mensah, Madam Amma Busia, Hons. Adjei Darko, Prof. Chris Ameyaw Akumfi, Prof. Gyan Baffour, Capt. Nkrabea Effah Darteh, Nana Owusu Nsiah, ex-IGP, Nana Obuor of Berekum, Opanin Yaw Anane also of Berekum, Steve Ntim, Dr. Addai of Berekum, Mr. J.Y. Manu, Prof. Ofori of the University of Ghana, Legon, Mr. Kwasi Owusu, one time captain of the Black Stars, Asoma Cheremeh and a few others who can make and unmake are all of the opinion that the second slot should not elude their region, why not consent to oblige them, one would dare ask this pertinent question?


It is a fact that the B.A. region tried at the 2008 elections to trail the incumbent NDC with just 6,800 votes after the re-run after the Ashanti and the Eastern Regions had given the NDC the hottest chase of their lives; and so therefore, if the veep’s slot comes to them, it would be a blessing in disguise. Equally, any of the three regions could nominate a candidate for the second position but the investigation that has been conducted countrywide suggests that if a Gonja is selected from around Bole-Bamboi, those from the eastern corridor would definitely not budge and their teeming followers not vote for that person. In the same vein, if an ardent NPP candidate from the Abudu clan is chosen, then the whole Dagomba tribe of the Andani clan, even sympathizers who would decide for the NPP discreetly would not do so and that would cost us a fortune. And it goes on and on, so in the best interest of the party winning power, it is advisable to choose the running mate from the BA region to save the party from disintegration. Finally, if a Mamprusi is chosen as against a Kusasi, believe you me that no sane person from the other side of the coin would vote for us to form government and that would be a great loss. The Party hierarchy should not be mistaken to do the wrong thing otherwise the teeming followers and ordinary sympathizers and the massive floaters to curse them in view of the poor performance of the government. No amount of votes from the three northern regions would make us form government, period!

Author’s background – a historian, researcher and sympathizer of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, a former Castle staffer in the 70s and a former features article columnist for the New Punch, the New Crusading Guide and a couple of the popular Ghanaian dailies.

Kofi Appiah – 0277 122 909