By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, June 12, 2015
Folks, we have said a lot about the problems facing Ghana under the Mahama-led administration, viewed against the background of square pegs gyrating in round holes and not finding their bearings to solve problems. More square pegs outside those round holes have made their presence felt, and we have every right to bring them to focus in our conversation about why it is difficult to move Ghana out of the woods.
In our time, politics has become a goldmine for non-achievers in specific careers who have detoured. Thanks to the NPP MP for Talensi who is now relishing his new status as a Paramount Chief, we can get to know why Ghanaian politics is not helping us move our country forward because it is not designed to solve problems. It is just a matter of digging in and making one's voice heard so the perks can "flow" to sustain the empty rhetoric that Ghanaian politics thrives on. Let's just consider the case of "Methusellahs" in Ghana's Parliament (the "real" politicians"), for instance.
There are many in the NDC (ET Mensah, Alban Bagbin, Doe Adjaho, etc.) and the NPP (Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, etc.) who have been in Parliament since its inception in this Fourth Republic but whose contributions toward solving problems are far below ZERO. Yet, they are moving every stone to remain in Parliament just because they know what the benefits are. And they use nothing but empty political rhetoric and a play on the people's sentiments and lost hopes to ride the waves. They are problems to solve.
Those in power too know that they cannot survive without recourse to such political rhetoric; and those in the opposition breathing needless hot air over their shoulders act in concert to perpetuate that air of deception. Their kind of politics doesn't solve problems.
Within that context, I am not surprised at happenings in the NPP as the party gears up for the primaries to elect Parliamentary candidates on Saturday. Much water has already passed under the bridge for me to wonder what new spectacle will emerge. Everything has followed a predicable path thus far.
And we have the picture in focus: The NPP remains a divided house that is waiting for nothing but a slight poke of the finger to implode all the more. Forget about the acid-bathing of Alhaji Adams and Akufo-Addo's face-saving manouevres (We are told that he has been able to re-unite the NPP executives in the Upper East Region after the final funeral rites of the unfortunate Alhaji Adams---a victim of this very Akufo-Addo's political madness). Reuniting those people being stage-managed for mischief by Akufo-Addo? I cringe. Many sore areas exist in the NPP camp.
The onslaught on Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong hasn't ended. Both are issuing statements and directives on steps to be taken by the NPP toward the June 13 primaries and no one seems to know the implications, especially when they are still regarded as "persona non grata" in their own party. They are operating from the fringes while Akufo-Addo has the mantle and is issuing statements left-and-right as if he is his own man to fight against the NDC. He is deceived already. Beating the NDC at Election 2016 will take more than what he has invested himself in. Such a character is already fighting a losing battle.
In the meantime, he is playing his usual "Kwaku Ananse" game, urging his followers to allow Afoko and Agyepong to function as the National Chairman and General Secretary. A terrible faux pas!! For as long as these two elected officials cannot be assured of their personal safety at the NPP headquarters or within the various sacrifices of the party throughout the country, anything said by Akufo-Addo to grant them "an amnesty" is politically dangerous and will backfire to his own disadvantage. Is this man really a politician? I don't think so. He is leading nobody but himself to another political disaster.
When I read Agyepong's statement on how the primaries are to be conducted, I laughed out really loud. Is there anybody in the NPP who respects him anymore for what he is upholding himself to be? How will his directives shape and shave the Fate of the NPP at the primaries and beyond? How about Paul Afoko?
Folks, these NPP people are really attacking their own shadows. While mobilizing their resources for the primaries, they set time-bombs on the way to blow them into smithereens. They have come out to say that 30 constituencies will not participate in the primaries. And these constituencies are crucial to their bid for political power at Election 2016. There is a lot that they are already doing to undercut themselves, which they shouldn't have done but are doing because they don't know how to do clean politics.
As one would have expected—and granted that successful old-timers in their ranks who have been in Parliament in this 4th Republic to uphold their hollow Danquah-Busia ideology would be pushed up—there are attempts to undo them. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu of Suame is crying wolf and not being heard.
On the flip side, Maxwell Kofi Jumah is fighting to stage a comeback and reinforcing negative impressions about Akufo-Addo. Meantime, Akufo-Addo himself is lending support to Parliamentary candidates seen as his lackeys, reinforcing negative impressions about him as a divider of the NPP front. He has just been exposed as supporting Atta Akyea of the Abuakwa South constituency, even before the primaries are held. Such an open display of negative partisanship won't help his cause or that of the NPP whose flag he is bearing to Election 2016.
There is a lot happening for me to conclude that the NPP's attempts at gearing up for Election 2016 will be beset with problems that will denigrate it more than expected. Court actions will open the party to more scorn and internal crisis, which won't help it redeem its public image.
So much is already happening to suggest that it is not an alternative to the Mahama administration. At best, it can serve Ghana better while it remains in opposition to fulfill constitutional requirements and not to serve the interests of the people.
As Kofi Jumah is reported to have said, an Akufo-Addo Presidency will spell Ghana's doom, which is why he shouldn't be placed in office.
The irony is that those of us unhappy that Ghana is still deeply embedded in the woods despite the enormous natural and human resources available to it have a sad commentary, which is why we keep on stepping on toes. Those who wish Ghana well should do what is required to move the country out of the woods. Daily effusions of promises and lamentations won't solve problems. Only decisive action on stated problems will. Is anybody listening?
The bitter truth is that the NPP people are not listening. They are more interested in jostling for elbow-room to display elitism while condemning those not elitist as they are. Ghana can't be developed with this warped mentality. My take. What is yours?
I shall return…
• E-mail: email@example.com
• Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor to continue the conversation