Buhari for Nigeria doesn’t mean Akufo-Addo for Ghana

Sun, 26 Apr 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, April 24, 2015

Folks, the common saying that "coming events cast their shadows ahead of them" is at play in the affairs of the NPP's Akufo-Addo vis-a-vis the electoral victory chalked by Nigeria's Gen. (rtd.) Mohammadu Buhari.

True to my prediction in an opinion piece just after Buhari had won the Presidential elections, Akufo-Addo is doing exactly what a desperate power-seeker of his kind is expected to do. He is scratching around for anything to hang on to just to keep his political ambitions alive!!

He quickly commended Buhari and followed up with public utterances, expressing optimism that what Buhari has done can be replicated in Ghana.

Not satisfied with such utterances, he has now taken the GIANT step to physically sit down with Buhari to learn the ropes. He was in Nigeria on Thursday for that purpose, creating the impression that as a serial loser of elections, he can follow the suit set by Buhari to change the dynamics of Ghana's politics in his favour.

As the news reports on his interactions with Buhari revealed, Akufo-Addo "met with the incoming president of West Africa’s most populous nation in Abuja to cement ties with the then opposition party". (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=355824).

Quick questions: What will cementing ties with Buhari's APC mean for Akufo-Addo and his NPP? Cementing ties? What is that at all? That Akufo-Addo and his NPP see themselves as underdogs to be uplifted to stardom on the account of the Buhari experience? I ask again: What is that element of cementing ties? Why now and not before the general elections in Nigeria?

Did Akufo-Addo and his gang of tribal rogue politicians ever know of the existence of the APC in Nigerian politics before the recent elections? Why didn't they draw nigh to the APC then?

Folks, we recall that the party headed by the defeated Jonathan Goodluck was in the good books of the Kufuor administration at the time it was headed by the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo (Kufuor's personal friend, who contributed 50,000 Dollars to the NPP's 2000 electoral campaign efforts).

Even after Obasanjo had left office---and until his head-butting sessions with Goodluck, which forced him out of the PDP---he remained a close ally of Kufuor and his political camp. At that time, the APC and its Gen. Buhari were considered anathema to Nigerian politics. The NPP people never wanted to have anything to do with such a political camp.

Out of the objective realities of the Nigerian political situation, the APC has now emerged to clinch electoral victory. And then, the NPP has seen it as a beacon to gravitate toward for sustenance. Why are these NPP people so predictable in their politics of opportunism? Why can't they inject some sophistication into their politicking, at least, to outwit their critics/opponents?

We ask these questions for a good reason to explain why politics in our part of the world is dirty. There is no morality behind it all. It is a kind of politics of expediency that doesn't solve problems. A kind of "barracuda politics" that destroys a lot just to sustain one life. And in the case of the NPP, it is only Akufo-Addo's life that is aimed at being sustained through all these predictably childish and roguish manouevres!!

While gravitating toward Gen. Buhari's APC, they forget their own trail. In the light of happenings in Togo (general elections will be held in the next few days and the border between Ghana and Togo has been closed. We know why), how is this Akufo-Addo positioning himself? I guess that he is just waiting for the opposition to spring a surprise and then dash down to Lome to do what he has done in Nigeria.

A tireless leech sucking the blood of politicians in these countries whose sun seems to be rising while his own gradually and steadily sets?

Here is the history to ponder over. Under the late Gnasingbe Eyadema (a notorious and monstrous leader who was a good pal of former President Kufuor), the NPP had everything to celebrate in the Ghana-Togo relations, clearly to spite the Rawlings phenomenon.

Under Faure Gnasingbe, the situation isn't so anymore because both Faure and Ghana's post-Kufuor leaders (Atta Mills and John Mahama) are on very good terms, moving their countries where they should be in terms of bilateral relations and development projects.

The outcome of the elections in Togo are quite predictable: a resounding victory for Faure, which will send the opposition reeling head-over-heels in useless agitations. What will Akufo-Addo do in that circumstance? Commiserate with the defeated opposition to strengthen their (or his own) resolve to work for a change, or simply disregard the Togo case as inconsequential to his ambitions?

Why isn't the NPP any more interested in cementing ties with Togo or Burkina Faso (whose Blaise Compaore was Kufuor's pal)? And the Ivory Coast too?

Clearly, Akufo-Addo's kind of politics is zig-zag. We recall how he went touring the neighbouring states in 2008 before the general elections to create the impression that he had already won the bid to become Ghana's President. He lost big time and lost again in 2012. I don't think that 2016 will redeem him either.

So, by hob-nobbing with Nigeria's Buhari, he seems to be setting his eyes on a prize that remains elusive. The land of honey and milk is near yet so far for him. Just because he is not well-cut-out to lead anybody (including himself) there. It takes more than this mere public posturing to win electoral victory. Will he ever get to know this truth?

Folks, let's return to the current issue. Akufo-Addo's desperate efforts to be relevant are legendary. He is so avid for political power as to do anything any how. Being with Gen. Buhari to pick anything at all from the leaf as he prepares to stake his (ill) luck again is a clear confirmation of that agenda. Is it coming too late for him?

True, the Nigerian voters rejected Jonathan Goodluck and his PDP for reasons best known to them. Ghanaians may have their own reasons to inform the choices that they will make on Election Day in 2016. They know that the Nigerian situation isn't similar to the Ghanaian one (even though some NPP people have drawn parallels at the level of economic malaise, incompetence, security, and many others relevant to their anti-Mahama politics).

By snuggling to Gen. Buhari this way, Akufo-Addo is exposing his underbelly. He did same in swallowing back his own saliva and snuggling to Rawlings before Election 2012 but hasn't since then had any interaction with Rawlings, which betrays him as a shameless opportunist. The truth is that Rawlings won't forgive him for his role in the public humiliation that he suffered under Kufuor (especially when Akufo-Addo was the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General).

All these happenings present Akufo-Addo in a light that he doesn't have the gift of foresight to see as likely to blight his electoral chances. In politics, this kind of calculated ambivalence leads to nothing but electoral disaster.

I am tempted to conclude that what Akufo-Addo has seen in Buhari's strategies for winning the elections will not apply to the Ghanaian situation; thus, any ill-thought-of implementation of such strategies will definitely backfire.

In truth, Gen. Buhari's personal accomplishments (as a former head of state) and personal integrity and his pinpointed desire to clamp down on the Boko Haram terrorist organization tearing Nigeria apart can be adduced as positive aspects of what won him the elections. Is it the same for Akufo-Addo?

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.