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Opinions of Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Columnist: Asante, Sam Ohene

With Elders Like These Who Need Party Juveniles?

Rejoinder to The Man Akuffo Addo

Mr Yirekyi Apau’s article on Ghanaweb on 24th October 2007 gave the cat away. He is not a fan of Nana Akuffo Addo and should have devoted his article, his mental faculty and allegiance to flaunt the support of his man. He is spoilt for choice – there are 19 aspiring presidential candidates and one of them in the name of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, in his wholesome judgement, is not a “fit and proper person” for the presidency. The begging question here is: does he see Nana Akuffo Addo as the last among the equals or is he the man his preferred candidate should beat?

A party elder sowing the seed of fragmented party after December 2008 should as the Ga’s say “ashie aha gbekerbii” – let the party juveniles throw such imbecilic tantrums. Is he really a party elder? Has he got a sense of history about the party he supports? He ended up exposing himself as not being a fit and proper person to label himself as a party elder. I am inviting him to come back and tell the world at large who is his man rather than his ABAA (Anybody But Akuffo-Addo) stance; he should be telling us who is best to lead the party. Having denigrated one out of nineteen and still left with eighteen but can only have one leader where does his Akuffo-Addo bashing leaves the party?

A party elder worthy of the name, should use his position and influence in the party to drum up support for whoever he perceives to be the best out of the truckload of presidential aspirants. Does he realise that whoever wins on 22nd December has the herculean and unpleasant task of uniting eighteen defeated presidential aspirants? Can he solemnly declare that out of the nineteen aspiring presidential candidates the eighteen has slept with no woman but their wives? It poses a disturbing problem for the party management team at such a sensitive moment in the party.

As a nation, we paid a horrendous price in 1979 when the same unproven, defamatory and fluffy indictment was labelled against Victor Owusu that he was arrogant, an Ashanti, has insulted the Ewes and to let in a political rookie in the name of Dr Liman only to pave the way for a well known serial coup-maker cum pseudo revolutionary and had to wait for almost 20 years to get our nation back. Of course there was the UNC factor but Liman like it or hate it was an unknown political entity at the time.

In 1979 I was a member of the PFP youth wing campaigning for Vitor Owusu and in my own Akuapim constituencies, I was told; “Papa no de oye na mom ye mpe Osanteni” – they have nothing against the man except that he was an Ashanti. How come Kuffor won two elections? Perhaps, Rawlings inadvertently united the Akan votes by declaring 90 something per cent votes in Volta Region (on two consecutive elections) but that will not forever guarantee an NPP victory. The party, in the midst of overloaded presidential candidates should be seen to be cohesive and joined at the hip and the last thing the party need is off the top of your head remark, unguarded and discordant message veiled as judicious advice coming from a sagacious elder.

Mr Yirenkyi, in short, the timing of your article was imprudent, injudicious and disruptive. Come out of the closet and let the public know who your man is. Your neutrality is as good as a football manger on the touchline watching his team play but feigning support for the opposing team – he will be booed by the supporters of the opposing team because it is one support their team cannot really depend on.



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