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Opinions of Monday, 31 December 2018

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Who cares where Dumelo runs for MP?

He has quite remarkably distinguished himself as an actor by local Ghanaian standards; and so one expects that his name recognition could stand him in good stead if he decided to run in any parliamentary election. But, of course, there is the other “Woyome-like” baggage that this young man would have had to contend with, if Mr. John Dumelo had decided to run for the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat which became vacant with the recent passing of Mr. Emmanuel Kyerematen Agyarko (See “Hohoe Wants Me to Stand for MP – Dumelo” 12/29/18). And that baggage, of course, has to do with widespread reports of Mr. Dumelo’s having illegally attempted to hold onto some taxpayer-owned SUVs in the wake of the massive defeat of then-incumbent President John Dramani Mahama by then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the December 2016 Presidential Election. Some reports even had Mr. Dumelo attempting to spray paint some of these state-owned SUVs in order to enable them to avoid detection and confiscation.

If the foregoing reports have validity, then it was quite likely that Mr. Dumelo would have been coldly confronted with a credibility problem. And he must pretty well know that the mere fact of his popularity would not have edged him over his political opponents and/or rivals, both in the National Democratic Congress’ primary as well as the main byelection scheduled to be run on January 31, 2019. Indeed, he has been well-known to be a passionate Mahama partisan of the National Democratic Congress, but his formidability has yet to be seriously tested because Mr. Dumelo is not known to have successfully run for any elective political position or office, both at the local and national levels. And, of course, merely being a quite successful actor does not necessarily translate into a good or effective politician or statesman.

Well, it is also quite interesting to observe the fact that the Hohoe native, of the Volta Region, had called it quits in the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary byelection just on the heels of the decision by the Rev. Edward Agyekum-Kufuor, the second son of former President John Agyekum-Kufuor to stand aside by deferring to the candidacy of Mrs. Lydia Alhassan Agyarko, widow of Mr. Kyerematen Agyarko. But to hear Mr. Dumelo tell it, it well appears that the latter Thespian had literally thrown his proverbial hat in the ring primarily because he wanted to test his strength and popularity against the strength and popularity of the man who is also popularly known as “Chief Kufuor,” and possibly serve as a litmus test for the chances of his hero and idol, to wit, Mr. Mahama, in the leadup to the 2020 Presidential Election.

“I mean, if it was Kufuor’s son or anybody else who was standing against me, I don’t think they would have won. I think I would have won hands down, [but] God’s time is the best.” Ironically, although he clearly appears to exude confidence to the verge of downright arrogance, Mr. Dumelo also clearly and eerily appears to have seen the proverbial handwriting on the wall. For example, Mr. Dumelo thinks that any candidate put up by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has a greater chance of clinching an electoral victory over any candidate put up by the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress. To this end, the Hohoe native quite wisely observes: “If we work hard [enough], we’ll be able to capture the [Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary] seat. But you know how it is; I mean, the NPP are in power at this point, and they will obviously bring their machinery down to be able to win the seat. Same as the NDC but just that we are in opposition and there’s always this incumbency that always plays.”

In other words, while, indeed, he seems to strongly believe in his ability to defeat any challenger or opponent for the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat, nevertheless, the boaster is not willing to put his hard-won Thespian image and reputation, or whatever may be left of the same, on the line by risking the near-certain possibility of being irreparably trounced beyond recovery. Perhaps.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York