Akufo-Addo’s Pyrrhic victory, the NPP’s woes at Election 2016

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Folks, the rampaging going on in the NPP to the advantage of Akufo-Addo doesn’t surprise me at all. As an outsider who has been keenly observing the goings-on in the NPP over the years, particularly since the emergence of Akufo-Addo as a potentate exercising maximum stranglehold (call it “chokehold, if you may) on the party, I have not missed any opportunity to comment on what piques my curiosity. I have made it clear that the NPP isn’t as stable as its praise singers will have us believe.

Goings-on confirm my stance; and events leading to the August 31 super delegates’ congress buttress it all the more. The synchronized and choreographed manouevres that ended up giving Akufo-Addo a whopping 80.78% of votes are enough to confirm that those seeing him as the “redeemer” of the NPP will do all they can to silence opposition, even when the man himself is out and about saying that he welcomes competition.

The orchestration to intimidate his contenders for the flagbearership is glaring. While his organized gangs of supporters have chosen open aggression, intimidation, bad-mouthing, and plain calumny as the tool with which to undercut Alan Kyerematen (seen as his main challenger), others coming across as opinion leaders in the party are subtly pulling strings and urging Kyerematen to call it quits, citing his performance at the super delegates’ congress as the justification. Others have plainly dismissed him as a dreamer or an irritant and are doing all they can to paint him black so he will have no space at the October 18 congress to choose the flagbearer.

No day passes by without something coming from them to create the impression that Kyerematen is either a black sheep in the NPP or is simply a wash-out to be pooh-poohed. Contrary to expectation, he has stood his grounds and refused to be cowed into submission. He is contesting the flagbearer position together with Adai Nimoh. Joe Ghartey has already bowed to pressure (or self-introspection) to quit, leaving Osei Ameyaw and the other one who scraped through on August 31 to make up their minds. I suspect that they will bow out.

The problem with the NPP at this stage is that forces loyal to Akufo-Addo are doing all they can to belittle, devalue, and “emasculate” Alan Kyerematen so that he will be humiliated at the October 18 congress to create the impression that he has chosen to bite off more than he could chew and will suffer the nasty consequences. In truth, everything is being done to squeeze him out of contention, even if we turn to consider the machinations of the despicable buffoon called Bugri Naabu, who can’t bring himself to accept the fact that some people in the Northern Region would root for Kyerematen despite all the intimidation and recourse to voodooism that preceded the super delegates’ conference to tie their hands in favour of Akufo-Addo.

From what has transpired so far, it is clear that Kyerematen will lose the game and face a gloomy future in the NPP. After all, when he listened to good counsel to bow out in 2007 for Akufo-Addo to bear the party’s flag to Election 2008 even though he didn’t have the full confidence of the delegates (not being able to win the 50%=1 vote required), he did so in anticipation of better times ahead. Having assessed the situation and found it to be unfavourable, he did the unexpected—to resign from the party, only to return to it upon suasion from well-meaning bigshots. That miscalculation seems to be his undoing because it is being cited to undercut him as not a committed party member.

But he has his bright spots too. No matter how unappealing he may seem to the Akufo-Addo camp, he has what attracts followers; and he will have his camp within the NPP rooting for him no matter how much mud is slung at him. And the truth is that the more mud that is slung at him, the more anger will be wrought in such followers. The parameters are already set, though, especially when we consider the persistent taunting and urge for Kyerematen to bow out for Akufo-Addo to become unopposed. He has dug in but can’t be said to be a force to be beckoned with. He is fading fast just because of the massive campaign of sorts mounted against him as if it is wrong for him to stake his luck.

No matter what happens on October 18, therefore, Kyerematen seems to have a rough road to travel. He is pushed to the wall already and will lose the bid. But his loss will give Akufo-Addo the Pyrrhic victory that will have nasty boomerang effects to dim his light again. The followers of Kyerematen may be difficult to persuade to abandon their cause and join the Akufo-Addo train. On the surface, they may remain loyal members of the NPP, but the harm that they are capable of doing will be known on Election Day. I suspect that they will either vote against Akufo-Addo or simply abstain from voting in protest. They are also likely to influence those close to them to do same.

Therein lies the problem for Akufo-Addo, which is why when I consider the careless abandon with which his followers continue to bad-mouth and alienate Kyerematen, I find it difficult to regard them as experienced politicians. The unfortunate aspect of all the anti-Kyerematen campaign is that Akufo-Addo himself seems to be relishing it and isn’t using his “coconut” to change the dynamics. Apparently, he cannot read between the lines to know that the massive intimidation going on against Kyerematen has the potential to doom him in the end. Being shortsighted and focusing his mind on the prize alone, he has forgotten that the race is really rough and tough and that depending on how it is run between now and Election 2016, he risks seeing the land of milk and honey from afar but not stepping foot on it.

I am more than convinced at this stage that Akufo-Addo is more prepared for the Pyrrhic victory that awaits him than the ultimate prize that Election 2008 promises. Does he have the capability to put his own house in order so he can move it to victory on the D-day? I wonder; I truly wonder!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.