Akufo-Addo still doesn't get it!!

Fri, 23 Jan 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Folks, the NPP's Akufo-Addo is reported to have said that he has 'ener­gy' and 'commitment' to lead Ghana as president.

"I believe I have the energy; I also have the commitment, and those are the two things that are driving me," the experi­enced politician said on BBC's Democracy Day panel discussion in Lon­don yesterday. (See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/January-21st/i-have-energy-to-floor-mahama-in-2016-akufo-addo.php#sthash.UIGU1WNC.dpuf)


It is not a matter of ENERGY (whatever it means to Akufo-Addo) of COMMITMENT (whatever it means to Akufo-Addo). It is a matter of APPEAL to the electorate, based on how they perceive the candidate bombarding them with calls to be elected into office.

In fact, issues that inform the electoral decisions made by voters go beyond ENERGY and COMMITMENT (as understood by Akufo-Addo). They have a lot to do with the CHARACTER of the candidate (as revealed over the years and known to the electorate), public posturing (as will be portrayed by the candidate to create all kinds of impressions), public utterances (as the electorate will assess them to determine whether the candidate is, indeed, a threat to them or not); the moral fiber of the candidate (whether the candidate is seen by the electorate as upright or not), performances in previous capacities in public service, and many others.

In our particular Ghanaian situation where extraneous issues heavily influence the political decisions of the electorate, any candidate narrowing his/her political fortunes to "energy" and "commitment" has already lost the game.

In Akufo-Addo's case, many of those extraneous issues that have cut short his journey to the presidency are already in the public domain: serious allegations of drug abuse, incontinence (particularly those that have to do with quick temper, vindictiveness, etc.), incompetence while in office as the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General and Foreign Affairs), association with known drug barons, and many others that are still damaging his public image. We are even not talking about the shady circumstances surrounding his training at the Middle temple and back-door enrollment into the Ghana Bar by the general Legal Council. All these issues will neutralize any claim he makes about "energy" and "commitment" for as long as they sting!!

Then, when his ethnocentric comments ("Yen Akanfuo") and the chilling "All-die-be-die" utterances are brought into sharp focus, they portray him as a political scare-crow. Added to that is his refusal to apologize for all those threatening utterances, including the urge by Kennedy Agyapong to Asantes to kill all Ewes and gas in the Ashanti Region. Very terrible!!

To top it all, Akufo-Addo is known for being excessively arrogant, which his mien and public utterances easily convey. Ghanaians know him as such and he has an uphill task to make them disabuse their minds of such poor opinions about him.

I am still wondering why Kofi Coomson of the Ghanaian Chronicle would say before the 2008 elections that he couldn't sleep with his eyes closed if Akufo-Addo was elected as the president of Ghana. Many others are still concerned.

Thus, for Akufo-Addo to throw dust into his own eyes, basing his chances at Election 2016 on "energy" and "commitment" portrays him as having not learnt any useful lesson from what caused his defeat at Elections 2008 and 2012 to be able to make the difference. What is the campaign message this time to do the magic for him? Nothing new to choose between.

What will he do to solve the problems that he is leading the NPP pack to insult the Mahama-led administration over? How will he do things differently? Nothing from to that effect. Defeat awaits him again!!

What sort of "energy" or "commitment" does he have that President Mahama lacks? His only bet is that the electorate will extend their anger against the government for not doing what it is expected to do so he can slip through. That is a dangerous gamble for him. Such a narrow-minded approach to politics will doom him again.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.