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Opinions of Friday, 17 February 2012

Columnist: Dery, Francis

Re: Northern Youth Endorse Ambrose Dery

I am reacting to a story carried on Ghanaweb on January 27, 2012, said to be written by a certain Newman Dotse, and sourced from some “The Citizens Newspaper”, with a email address and a telephone number that is unanswered when called. This publication is yet another attempt at “fanfooling” Ghanaians into thinking that Mr. Ambrose Dery is qualified to be Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. Let’s be clear – it is only in politics that characters like Mr. Dery get to rise to high office, otherwise the man lacks the professional and proper demeanor, and character chops to ascend that high office; but politics is an ass, and Ghanaians may well wake up to their worst nightmare yet. Normally, I would consider myself guilty of the same allegation I make against Mr. Dery – that is, his determination to get to a position at the expense of his fellow “northerner”, such as I, a northerner, am trying to cost him that same goal. However, the two situations are different because the former is a take-no prisoners, selfish approach; the latter is an objection to Mr. Dery based on his record and brand of politics.

Ghanaians have seen this play-book before. Mr. Ambrose Dery has the rather unhelpful habit of engaging the services of minions like the local boy who doubles both as his subterranean political operative and a director of a major religious relief organization, and whose first name almost alliterates with “hypocrite”, to parrot his dirty schemes on Northerners and the people of Ghana as a whole. There is nothing “Youthful”, “Northern” or “Endorsed” about this scam. It is a well-known gimmick exhaustively used time and again by Mr. Dery and his crooked cronies to give a semblance of popular appeal to his selfish political aspirations. It is only cowards who behave this way – hiding behind a gimmick to oppose what is obviously a sway within the NPP for Dr. Bawumia. See, the man is doing all he can in the background to divide the North and deny an opportunity to a fellow northerner, yet at the same time, he is claiming through ghost writers (who are not so ghostly anymore), that northerners or northern youth are united behind his aspiration for the vice presidency, and by default, opposed to Bawumia’s. How truly divisive! What hogwash!!! To the facts of the matter however.

1) Contrary to what the writer would have us believe, the North is not just one big blob, constantly drifting in one direction, especially politically, in line with the whim of some political surrogate. Any time it suits the parochial political ends of some non-northern politician they run up north looking for the next lackey they can pick in order to lock in the northern vote; but I will return to that subject at a later date. Still, it is highly unlikely that the youngest region, the Upper-West Region, would be selected by Northern Region and Upper-East Region, to speak on their behalf, on such an important matter, by such a lowly-placed constituency executive, such as Mr. Abudu Muniru, the Wa Central Constituency Youth Organizer is, without due and careful consideration. If such a unitary declaration were being contemplated by the three northern regions, and if asking the Upper-West Region to lead this effort would be beneficial, it would have been done deliberately with all the calibration for it to carry the proper weight, import and effect, and not done through some delusional pronouncements allegedly made by a local apparatchik. The fact that such a major coalition is said to be in place and yet no prominent northern personality is associated with this “coalition of the willing” is testament to the sham that it is.

2) The last time round, a similar article captioned “Ambrose Dery Holds The Key To Unlocking The North For The NPP”, sought to advance the same empty arguments in favour of Mr. Dery, in which the writer, argued, that Mr. Dery was the only one able to “marshal” votes in the North (Upper-West, Upper-East and Northern Regions) for NPP’s victory. That bold assertion is glaringly missing in this latest gimmick, perhaps because his hair-brained political surrogates have deduced that such vaunted claims are likely to alienate the very people whose support he is seeking to make his bid. That effort was little more than the whimper of a desperate dog cowering in fear of failure.

The sentiment locally at the moment is inconsistent with this new claim by “Newman Dotse” our new ghostly writer. All shades of northerners who know the history about the politics of northern personalities from that side of the country since Ghana’s founding agree on one thing – Mr. Ambrose Dery is the most divisive politician ever to hail from anywhere in the Region. To support their point, natives often cite Chief Dombo, Naa Abayifaa Karbo, Mr. C. Y. Dery, Dr. Edward Gyader, etc. as political stalwarts with a long history of political involvement from the Region, who belong to different parties. Yet, none of these personalities has ever resorted to the brutal, violent and divisive tactics which have become the brand of politics championed by Mr. Ambrose Dery. In every election in Nandom that Mr. Dery has been involved with, he has fomented violence and brutality, in which people have been hurt physically; in one such incident, it was alleged a young man, a victim of Mr. Dery’s brand of politics was actually killed; several others sustained cutlass wounds.

For example, when Mr. Dery was Regional Minister in the Upper-West Region, it is alleged he routinely denied access to electricity connection to the National Grid, to some homes in Gozir, a Suburb of Nandom, which he believed were supporting some party other than the NPP. The locals now say that rejecting this brand of politics is a matter of principle and justice, and not some personal hatred of the man. However, they believe that the man carries a personal vendetta for anyone he perceives as unsupportive of his political aspirations.

Similar allegations exist, of his misuse of the police institution in the Upper-West Region during his tenure, to terrorize local men and women, making them strip naked from the top. These are people who could be his parents. Truth be told, Mr. Dery has no regard for his people or his country; he is simply seeking a position for his own aggrandizement and will stop at nothing to achieve than end.

3) Credible reports in the Upper-West region in particular, point to recent incidents regarding Mr. Dery’s latest political maneuvres, and for good reason too. The people of Nandom are said to be so upset with Mr. Dery on a wide variety of levels that they have vowed to unseat him in the 2012 elections. Sensing an end to his political career in Nandom, Mr. Dery quickly attempted buying land in Lawra, as basis for making a bid to represent Lawra with the impending creation of new Districts. I am told the people of Lawra unanimously decided no land should be sold to him; he subsequently made a more direct request to represent them and again he was given the boot.

This tactic is not in isolation. One of his most reliable lap dogs from Lisa, is making spirited efforts to have Lisa included in Nandom’s districting so that this lap dog would have an opportunity to run for political office from Nandom. However, the inclusion of Lisa in Nandom will be illegal and contrary to earlier statutory provisions, long resolved, perhaps years before the lap dog was born. As it is, the Lisa boy cannot run for office from Nandom at this time; neither will Lawra or Jirapa accept him. So he is basically stuck, politically locally, for now….

In recent times, another otherwise respectable individual has signed up for duty as a zombie of Mr. Dery’s as well. I am talking about the Pro-Vice Chancelor of a certain university. You would assume that for a professor, a position which routinely radiates erudition and common sense, that this man would know better. No; the guy has descended into the gutter of dirty politics with Mr. Dery and the Lisa Boy, and recent Christmas events in Nandom allege their interference with an opposing political party’s right to free speech, during which time they even invoked the name of the late Rear Admiral Dzang. Clearly, this man makes no distinction between his position as the third most senior person in an institution of higher learning and the basic freedoms of a people under a democratic government. His lack of thoughtful discernment makes us miss exemplary professors like P.A.V.A. Ansah, Adu Boahen and others who, in the heady days of the PNDC, stood up for all ordinary men and women in Ghana, and the very basic but cardinal principles of democratic government. What a shame! Well, the French have Sarkozy for a president; what else is new? The people of Nandom however, are watching this new nut-job closely. More anon!

For now, there is no evidence of any northern coalition to push Mr. Ambrose Dery as Nana Akuffo Addo’s running mate, given the man’s objectionable and dismal record. If Nana selects him, that is his problem, and it is certainly within Nana’s rights to make a poor choice; he would then have written the eulogy to his own defeat in 2012, for Ambrose Dery is neither capable of “marshaling votes”, nor is he suitable to be vice president of anything, certainly not Ghana’s.

Francis Dery