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Opinions Sun, 22 Aug 2010

David Annan Is Darn Wrong!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

While in politics, the unpredictable is almost always to be feared and seriously prepared for, the implicit assertion by Mr. David Annan, the National Democratic Congress stalwart and prominent Accra-based lawyer, that Mr. Alan Kyerematen, going into Election 2012, would have been a relatively more formidable challenger to President John Evans Atta-Mills, may well be a gimmick calculated to deftly sandbagging the chances of the New Patriotic Party in a little over a couple of years from now.

For starters, we have recently learned that, indeed, popularity had far more to do with President Mills’ narrow defeat of Candidate Akufo-Addo than any perceived yeomanly contributions that these gentlemen may have severally registered towards our national development effort. What the preceding means is that having campaigned nationally twice for the presidency before locking horns with Nana Akufo-Addo in Election 2008, virtually guaranteed that a better- and more widely-marketed Candidate Atta-Mills would, literally, have a leg up on his most formidable opponent. For while the latter had, so to speak, become a household name by 2008, Nana Akufo-Addo had yet to receive the same level of voter recognition, particularly in the rural areas of the country where most of our people reside and the relatively harsher realities of human existence have meant that far less attention would be focused on individual political personalities.

Indeed, looking at the results of the 2010 NPP presidential primary, it is quite clear that popularity with the voting public had far more to do with who was apt to clinching a sizeable percentage of the total ballot cast than the sheer impressiveness of one’s resume or personal achievements. Thus it was only to be expected that Nana Akufo-Addo would clinch what amounted to an unprecedented electoral blowout, with Mr. Alan Kyerematen emerging a distant but quite a decent second, and Messrs. Isaac Osei, John Koduah and Frimpong-Boateng following in respective order.

Of course, it does not therefore automatically follow that should Nana Akufo-Addo drop out of the picture, the NPP presidential nomination process would, perforce, fall to Mr. Kyerematen; for there likely would spring to life an assemblage of fresh candidates, many of whom may have yet to register their presence on the national political landscape. Even so, his two remarkable runs for his party’s presidential nomination would have guaranteed that Mr. Kyerematen would be aptly reckoned as the credible frontrunner.

What makes Mr. Annan grossly mistaken in his assessment of the purported unpredictability of Mr. Kyerematen, however, inheres in the fact that in his frenzied bid to clinching his party’s presidential nomination, like the fallible human that all of us are, Mr. Kyerematen has committed the kinds of personality and character blunders that would have provided ready fodder for the NDC campaign hacks to zestfully use against him. For instance, such gaping rhetorical inconsistencies as that he had not resigned from the NPP, and also that he had not conceded defeat to Nana Akufo-Addo during the 2007 congressional election, would have been effectively used to undermine Mr. Kyerematen’s credibility. And, needless to say, in a presidential electioneering campaign, credibility may yet constitute the epic triumphal capital.

Suffice it to observe herein, however, that in 2008 the NDC only witnessed Nana Akufo-Addo fighting a Sisyphean battle on two fronts – both internally against either a lukewarm or decidedly hostile party heavyweights, on the one hand, and the Mafia-modeled terror machine of the so-called National Democratic Congress, on the other. In 2012, however, Monsieur David Annan and his fellow travelers are apt to receive a vintage “taste” of the real unfettered Akufo-Addo. And I bet no amount of tree-tonnage felled on the highway from Keta to Kete-Krachie would be able to either impede or totally stall the Akufo-Addo presidential campaign juggernaut!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and the author of 21 books, including “Selected Political Writings” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame