Opinions Thu, 5 Jul 2012

Can Akuffo Addo defend himself?

By Dr E.K.Hayford

The flag bearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has at last defended his “all die be die” mantra with an explanation that it is not a call to war, but for Ghanaians to be ready to defend themselves all the times.

Before any comment can be made, I would like to congratulate Nana Addo Dankwa for bowing to pressure from his own party and from the good people of Ghana and for backing down from his atrocious pronouncement-“all die be die”. Reading through the lines, one has the impression that the use of the word “defend” can only come from someone who has programmed violence in his subconscious mind but still wants to be apologetic. What Nana Addo Dankwa is trying hard to do is to say that: I did not say 3+1, instead I said 2+2. He has possibly forgotten, that 3+1 or 2+2; the end result is 4 and the good people of Ghana know it all.

The question is: what did Nana Addo Dankwa actually say that? Nana Akuffo Addo said, “one must understand that this party (NPP) was formed by courageous people. Our leaders who formed this party that has now become the biggest political movement in Ghana were not cowards. So in 2012 we need to be courageous because all die be die”. Instead of defending this statement, it would have been better for Nana to remain credible to himself by apologizing to the good people of Ghana and then withdrawing the “all die be die “ mantra.

The truth is that Nana Addo Dankwa is desperately desperate .Indeed his desperate struggles did not start today. In the late nineties when the struggle was between him and former President Kufuor for the flagbearership, Kufour defeated him. This was because he insisted that he comes from the “DOMBO” tradition and so should be given power on a silver plate. Fortunately the NPP voters read through the lines and voted him out because they could see competence, charisma, vision and leadership qualities in Kufour and not in Nana Addo Dankwa.

Many years have passed. The positions have changed and Nana Addo Dankwa is faced with another struggle, this time against President Mills-the sitting President of Ghana. Assessing his chances, he comes to the bitter conclusion, that Prof Mills is too “Big” for him and there is no way he could win the 2012 election. This assessment calls for alternate strategies he muted. Violence war mongering and the use of intemperate language among others were possible alternatives. These alternative plans had to be communicated to his people. Nana Addo Dankwa saw Atiwa- an area with a previous record of violence as a fertile ground for his bomb shell-“all die be die”. For the good people of Atiwa, and for the minority who subscribe to violence as legitimate mettle, it was a clear call to violence and absolute resistance at all cost. Indeed as a flag-bearer of NPP Party for 2012, it was a clear call to his party to consider seriously violence as an option. This option was picked up by Kwabena Adjapong a leading member of the NPP, whose country wide call to violence could only be halted by the security forces.

The reason behind the desperate quest for power by Nana Addo Dankwa is not difficult to come by. Age has caught up with him. At the age of sixty plus he cannot afford to lose this election. Besides his radical followers are pressure groups advocating the use of violence in their desperate quest for power. Certainly Nana Addo Dankwa himself will gladly like to be a President to follow the “tradition” of his father.

At this point, two questions can help the navigation. The first question is: can personal and egoistic interest override the interest of Ghana and the good people of Ghana? The answer is NO. The second question is : which vision and leadership qualities has Nana Addo Dankwa for Ghana which President Mills is not operating? The answer is NONE.

On the 17th February, 2011, during the state of the nation’s address President Mills stressed his determination to fight the drug menace which reached its apogee during the previous regime. In fact, Ghana was described as a “cocaine coast” as parcels of cocaine were “floating everywhere”. During that time, a Member of Parliament of our Republic was arrested in the United States of America for drug peddling. This is a big disgrace to Ghana. Have we forgotten so soon?

We need a President who is honest and can fight the drug menace. We need a President who has clocked the highest growth rate in the world and continues to achieve accelerated growth for Ghana. We need a President whose economic policies have led to single digit inflation for several months. We need a President who can increase salaries across board raising the Government salary budget from 2.5 billion to 3.5 billion to fill the pockets of workers. We need a President who can decrease the burden of the people with the supply of free school uniforms, free exercise books, free school feeding programs, free computers for schools, free education for the disabled, increases in capitation grants, allowances for teachers, water supply and electricity for deprived areas.

We need a President who has recently been named one of the five best leaders in Africa. We need Prof Mills for another four year term of office.

Dr E.K.Hayford

UG - Legon

Columnist: Hayford, E. K.