Opinions Sat, 24 Sep 2011

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheOdikro

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Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea