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Opinions Thu, 23 Feb 2012

Akufo-Addo’s Biggest Missed Opportunity At Rally

By Margaret Jackson

In case you have not been on the Ghanaian block and as a result have not tuned in to know what’s going on, I have news for you. The NPP, with its loud-mouthed and over confident leadership has been reeling under severe stress for the past two weeks. It never crossed the minds of the NPP folks that some unforeseen circumstances will change the political tide leading them to run for cover or helter-skelter.

The past two weeks saw the Woyome issue which the NPP has been trumpeting as a criminal act by the NDC government suddenly crumbling in their face. When news and documents started emerging that some NPP gurus notably ex-president Kufour, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, OB Amoah, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and a host of others all scooped some soup from Woyome, suddenly the NPP started singing with confessions. The NPP’s Communications Director, Nana Akomea, came out to confirm that indeed some party members notably OB Amoah have “gone to the market” with monies from Woyome. As a result, OB Amoah who was arrested and questioned by the police on Sunday was forced to come out of his woods and for the first time substantiated the allegations that he had been given some monies by Woyome.

As the sudden about-turn confessions by the NPP was steaming up, out of nowhere came the news on the arrest of Asem Darkey, the mastermind behind the missing 77 parcels of cocaine with a street value of over $438.9 million. This sent dread shock waves across the length and breadth of the NPP as Darkey dropped the bombshell by mentioning names like the loud-mouthed parliamentarian, Kennedy Ohene Agyepong, Albert Kan-Dapaah, Member of Parliament for Afigya Sekyere West, Chief Kufour (Son of ex-president Kufour) and Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, former MP for Asuogyaman, as being part of the network of beneficiaries of the missing cocaine.

But wait a minute since I am not done yet. When the NPP sent its paid hacks to avert attention from the missing 77 parcels of cocaine and they realized that their explanation/s were not being bought by anybody except their shameful supporters, they came out in full force charging that the arrest of Asem Darkey was rather meant by the NDC government to cover-up the Woyome issue which some NPP members have been implicated.

I have always had the belief that criminals would never hide forever as their sins would eventually find them out. Therefore, before one could say jack, another powerful stinking story about the NPP emerged which scattered them into smithereens. Readers would recall the Daily Graphic’s front page lead story on Monday February 13, 2012, which stated that the notorious Ghanaian drug baron, Raymond Kwame Amankwah, who is serving a 14-year prison term at the Provisional Detention Centre at Caucaia in Brazil for drug trafficking was holding a Ghanaian diplomatic passport at the time of his arrest. And that the diplomatic passport was issued to Amankwah when Akufo-Addo, the all-die-be-die would-be-president, was the Foreign Affairs Minister, to help the drug baron facilitate his illicit drug trade.

But things came to a head for the NPP when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sene, Felix Twumasi Appiah (NDC) goaded his colleague MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong (NPP, Assin North) to produce Nana Akufo-Addo for a test at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital to establish who between them is a wee smoker. Twumasi Appiah, Chairman of Parliament’s Joint Committee on Communications became angry and issued that challenge when Ken Agyapong called him a wee smoker.

The NPP realized that they have had enough bad press so they had to do something quick to change their sinking image and also shake up the base of their party. Therefore, out of the blue moon was the hurriedly arranged rally dubbed, “The Gargantuan Rally” at Mantse Agbonaa, James Town in Accra on Saturday, which was addressed by Akufo-Addo and some leading members of the NPP.

Many political pundits assumed that this was going to be Akufo-Addo’s moment: A day that Akufo-Addo was going to look into the eyes of his teeming supporters and address any negative stories about him once and for all. Therefore, there were some people including myself who went to the rally grounds just to see if Akufo-Addo is indeed serious about the presidency, and that he was going to put to bed all the negativity surrounding his candidature.

But we were all dead wrong. Akufo-Addo, who is seriously being manipulated, coached and staged managed by a bunch of people got to the microphones and stated that no amount of vilification, insults, fabrications and concoctions will stop him from carrying out his core duties to the state and his party. Hear him in his own words, “They have decided that the only campaign weapon they have is to attack me and blacken my name and reputation in this country. But I’ve news for the president, I’ve news for his so-called advisors; No amount of vilification, no amount of insults, no amount of fabrications, no concoctions against me is going to stop me from doing my work for the people of our country and for the progress of our nation.” I then asked myself, what core duties is Akufo-Addo currently carrying out for the state of Ghana? Akufo-Addo added that the NDC party can continue to put him under the microscope by subjecting him to a campaign of defamation but he Akufo-Addo will not be deterred in his mission.

Can you please roll back the cameras? When Akufo-Addo spoke about the campaign of vilification and fabrication by the NDC, he climbed the hill where many people expected him to tell Ghanaians that it was all lies about his drug abuse, and that he has never smoked the weed or tasted cocaine as was being spread around. Many political pundits thought Akufo-Addo will tell Ghanaians that the Wikileaks story that he wakes up with heavy smoke engulfing his head was a made-up story and that he was ready to go for a test to confirm it. Ghanaians again expected Akufo-Addo to tell everybody that he knew nothing about the issuance of the diplomatic passport to convicted drug baron, Raymond Kwame Amankwah.

But Akufo-Addo chose a different and a wrong path by listening to his ton of advisers who have nothing good to offer him and danced around those allegations at the rally grounds. This further compounded his situation and his sinking image and also gave credence to the fact that he is indeed a drug abuser and also the brain behind the issuance of the diplomatic passport to Raymond Amankwah. If Akufo-Addo thought that by wiggling around rather than addressing issues that bores on his credibility will cut it, I want to tell him that he failed woefully, because what he said did not fly with anybody.

I want to tell Akufo-Addo that his credibility issue alone would sink his 2012 campaign if he continues to shy away from it rather than tackle it headlong. Akufo-Addo claims he is running on his record, but I personally believe he has no record to run on. So far nobody including Akufo-Addo knows the kind of record he is going to run on. I am telling Akufo-Addo to get prepared for questions since he has stated that the 2012 elections would be based on his record versus that of President Mills.

Questions that would pop up during the 2012 campaigns would involve the case of the three NPP Dzorwulo women who were busted for attempting to smuggle drugs at the Kotoka International Airport when Akufo-Addo was Attorney General and Minister of Justice. The case concerning the 44 butchered Ghanaians in the Gambia when Akufo-Addo was Minister of Foreign Affairs but did nothing for the affected families is not a solid record he wants to share with Ghanaians. Issues would also be raised concerning the undiplomatic issuance of the diplomatic passport to jailed drug baron, Raymond Amankwah by Akufo-Addo, and the cloud of smoke that hangs on Akufo-Addo’s head daily. The Wikileaks information that Akufo-Addo is a womanizer is another record that would come under sharp focus. Even his arrogance and disdain for others would be considered as part of his record.

I strongly believe things are not looking too good for Akufo-Addo. He can run but cannot hide forever. Issues bothering on his character and judgment aint going away, therefore, he should deal with it!

http://majjacks80.blogspot.com magjackson80@yahoo.com

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret