Feature Article of Saturday, 24 September 2011

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

Kufuor: "Judge Not Akufo-Addo By His Past!

By* *Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Feature Article

*There is no doubt that the NPP has gone into political damage control mode,
in the wake of the recent WikiLeaks revelations which seem to confirm what
Ghanaians have been already in the know thanks NPP aspirants to the
much-coveted position of the flag-bearer of their party, a couple of years
ago. What I have found to be very pathetic is the way they are going about
it and the kind of things they are saying of late about this scandal. It is
increasingly sounding as if they are at the end of their wits. This is not
just the issue of simple denial, but how they go about it.*

*Why is it "*not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did
not do in the past", as the ex-President is admonishing? *I wonder if the
ex-President really intended to ask us to judge Nana Akufo-Addo by his
future rather than the usual evaluation of personal records of excellence,
mediocrity, criminal past, and, or experience. This is news. Of course, I
know of jobs where background and experience might not be necessary, but
certainly not the office of the President! ** It really makes me wonder if
he intends to be taken seriously.*

*Akufo-Addo has never been his bosom friend, even though Mr. Kufuor might
have met him at a few funerals and meetings over a period of forty years.
They were not class mates. Not the same age group, where you might say they
passed time together, chased "bottoms" together, and played with each other,
growing up. Perhaps this explains why ex-President Kufuor seems to be
equivocating or even stammering as he comes to Nana Addo's defence, over an
issue which, if true, he would obviously know nothing about:*


*"Former President John Agyekum Kufuor yesterday stated categorically that
he had never seen Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 Presidential
Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, smoking or drinking alcohol."*

According to the Statesman,

"Former President Kufuor who, who was speaking on Tema based Adom FM, said
even though he had known Nana Akufo-Addo for over 40 years, he had never
seen him taking any narcotic drugs, as his detractors would want the whole
world to believe."
What someone close to the ex-President ought to draw his attention to is the
fact that the Ghana Police can also testify that they have known him since
he was a child of ex-President Edward Akufo-Addo, and had never seen him
smoke or drink, but that would not mean he never smoked or drunk, nor used
drugs. You see, people are very clever. They hide these things, sometimes
even from friends. The fact that you don't see it does not mean that it does
not happen. That is why most people escape from being caught. So what Kufuor
was saying must have sounded very hollow even in his own ears, if he was
listening to himself whilst talking.

I was equally taken a bit aback by the phrase "as his detractors would want
the whole world to believe". Who might these "detractors" be, ex-President
Kufuor? Were these so-called "detractors" responsible for these apparently
"very wicked leaks" under discussion? In the first place, what is funny
about the wikileaks is that the original information was not even meant for
the world to see, let alone believe! Who would want the world to believe
that, the "detractors" of Akufo-Addo were behind these leakages? Now, here
is a very funny man, if you are looking for one! How remotely possible could
Julian Assange be a detractor of Akufo-Addo? Ha!

Those behind the Wikileaks did not even know that Nana Akufo-Addo exists.
And it is very interesting to observe that Kwesi mentioned the wee smoking
in order to defend Nana and not to accuse him. Perhaps, it is also important
to point out once more, that it is not even as though Mr. Kwesi Pratt was
out there attacking Nana Akufo-Addo and trying to undermine him. In fact, a
careful reading of the document gives the unmistakable impression that Mr.
Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. was even going out of his way to be fair to Nana

"¶3. (C) Pratt said that he has a long-standing personal goes back at least
two decades. He felt that Akufo-Addo had because of the high-level positions
he has held within the Kufuor administration, but that he was in fact much
cleaner than most of those around him. Pratt has been a virulent critic of
corruption in the Kufuor government, which he labeled as 'astronomical" and
"an affront to all Ghanaians." grown exponentially, he said, because of the
discovery of oil Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second
Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils." relationship with both
Akufo-Addo and John Atta-Mills that been unfairly tarnished by the
assumption of corruption and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he
posited that The amounts of money being pocketed by public officials had
grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil and the
ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that Akufo-Addo, in his role
as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in
the spoils."

Apart from ex-President Kufuor who needs to defend his own record, I don't
see any "detractor" here! After speaking his mind and defending Akufo-Addo
concerning the corruption allegations, Kwesi Pratt even went ahead to defend
him of the serious charges of cocaine addiction:

"¶3...When questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo's own cocaine
habit, Pratt admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate's drug
use, but that it was not cocaine. "Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana,"
Pratt said, "and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to
be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw
him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."
It is therefore very much in evidence that even in what seems like the
marijuana smoking scandal, it seems to have been chipped in, in order to
fend off the more serious allegation of cocaine addiction. This is why Kwesi
Pratt, Jnr., remains unassailable in this story. This is why Kwesi Pratt is
more credible than President Kufuor, if indeed, as the paper says,"He was
commenting on the recent Wikileaks report on the leaked US diplomatic cables
which captured alleged, among other things, claims by some people, including
Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper that Nana
Akufo-Addo used to smoke marijuana."

*I find the following observation of former President Kufuor a bit strange:*

*"*Mr Kufuor noted that it was not appropriate to judge people based on what
they did or did not do in the past, adding that Ghanaians should not judge
Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past."


With all due respect, is the President suggesting this for all of us or only
an exceptional treatment for Nana Akufo-Addo? If so, does he not think it
would have been wiser to have also explained why we are all judged by our
past actions rather than our intentions for the future but not Akufo-Addo?
Would he be saying this if he were to be proud of Akufo-Addo's past? Why is
it not appropriate to base our judgement on what Akufo-Addo "did or did not
do in the past"? It is ridiculous to admonish us that "*Ghanaians should not
judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past."
Are we to judge him with the things he is going to do in the future? This is
a good one! This is new, fresh and original!*
*The reason why he is making this bizarre request for us to forget about the
past is not far-fetched:*
*"Former President Kufuor urged the electorate to support Nana Akufo-Addo’s
bid to become the next president of the country by voting massively for the
NPP presidential candidate in next year’s general election."*
The only problem is that he provided no reason for that specific request!
Even if we must forget about his past, we would still need a reason to vote
for him, wouldn't we? What is President Kufuor trying to tell us? Methinks I
understand his predicament. In the Akan language there is the expression,
"oretotow paapaa do". It literally means "he is throwing it, one on top of
the other". Where "it" can be anything from plain nonsense to unintelligent
and stupid lies. It happens often when people are caught red-handed in an
embarrassing situation and do not know exactly what to say.
*A classic example is that of Count Dracula. Count Dracula was reported to
have told a lady who wondered why she could not see him in her dressing
mirror, even though Dracula was standing right behind her and trying to
fondle her, as she is looking in the mirror. "I am not feeling quite well"
was the excuse Dracula provided as the reason why he could not be seen in
the mirror! *
*This has been a classic one in its own rights until ex-President Kufuor's
latest quote that it is "*not appropriate to judge people based on what they
did or did not do in the past"! If he thinks Ghanaians voted for him because
of the things he was going to do in the future and not based on his past
records, then God help us! We are going to judge Akufo-Addo by what he did
or did not do in the past. We shall judge him by what he smoked or did not
smoke in the past! We shall judge him by what he sniffed or did not sniff in
the past.

I find it stranger still that the Statesman even thought it fit to publish
this. How desperate could they be? Is this not a hell-fire sign that the
Akufo-Addo camp is fully aware that the campaign is going well at all? Is
this not an indirect admission that Akufo-Addo has something to hide from us
concerning his past? Is the President suggesting that Akufo-Addo's past is
nothing to write home about? Why should we forget it when he is asking us to
make him the most important citizen of the land, who can make decisions that
can make a difference between whether we live or die?
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!


Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro

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