If Kofi Adams is a “Prodigal Son,” accept him

Sat, 26 Jan 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, January 25, 2013

With the NPP’s abstention from the two upcoming bye-elections in the Akatsi South and Buem constituencies, the NDC must be laughing all the way to claim an easy electoral victory. Not much money expected to be spent campaigning, certainly.

The candidate for Akatsi South has been selected without incident. But for Buem, the situation has turned ugly—too ugly—for comfort, which raises questions: Is somebody being batty? Or allowing the NDC’s performance at Election 2012 to eat away his reasoning ability?

The NDC leaders have disqualified Kofi Adams, the spokesperson for the Rawlingses, from contesting the primaries. This action is not only sickening but it also reflects the shadiness with which the party’s leaders approach politics. It is a clear instance of the off-colour politics that they do to create problems.

We are told that a member of the party in the Buem constituency yesterday sought the court’s injunction against the exercise. The belief is that the court injunction is linked to the disqualification of Kofi Adams. That is good news to me. At least, it exposes a major cause of the NDC’s self-created woes.

I consider the extreme to which the NDC leaders have gone to disqualify Kofi Adams as politically unwise because of its implications and the impact on the party itself.

What is it about Kofi Adams that we haven’t had before in Ghanaian politics? In the heat of the factionalism rocking the party and threatening an implosion, he was suspended over the contents of a so-called leaked audio tape recording that exposed clandestine attempts at undoing the NDC.

The National Executive Council rose up to the issue and stripped Kofi Adams of his post as Deputy General Secretary, leaving Asiedu Nketiah alone to have hold sway. Several public pronouncements indicated that the matter was to be investigated for Adams’ fate to be determined.

Nothing concrete emerged to confirm that he was indeed the person caught on tape attempting to ditch the NDC; nor was any official action taken to dismiss him from the party. He didn’t of his own volition resign from the party. It was just the post that he lost. Nobody took over from him to fill that slot in the party’s echelons.

So, what is the basis for not allowing him to stake his luck in the primaries? Just because he was suspected of destroying the party from within and divested of his status within the party?

What is it about Kofi Adams’ so-called “treachery” that is novel? None, to me. From all indications, he was downright critical in his public pronouncements about goings-on in the party, especially when the late President Mills became the butt of open ridicule and scathing criticisms over his leadership style.

Of course, he identified with the Rawlingses and tore into the Mills-led administration for its perceived failures, especially in the case of the Woyome judgement debt scandal and many others regarding sloppy performance at the Presidency.

Indeed, he can be described as a victim of circumstance—speaking for the Rawlingses who had turned themselves into matadors ready to gore ex-President Mills. He couldn’t dissociate himself from the forces among which he was situated. But he didn’t resign from the NDC all through those tumultuous times.

However, when President Mahama moved into the saddle to ride the horse of state, he turned coat. He quickly submitted to President Mahama’s authority, even to the chagrin of Nana Konadu (if news reports on happenings in the Rawlings household were to be believed then).

He even went the extra mile to openly declare his support for President Mahama and the NDC, refusing to toe Nana Konadu’s political line to join the National Democratic Party that was formed right where his daily bread was being buttered. He stuck to the NDC and openly campaigned for President Mahama in his own small way.

Here is my beef. In all that situation, the Rawlingses stood out as the worst internal destroyers of the NDC, but the party leaders couldn’t take any action against them. They still regarded Rawlings as the founder and father of the party despite all that he did to destroy its fabric, hitting heads against each other, and going to the extent of uplifting the NPP and its Akufo-Addo as better than President Mahama and the NDC. Even after the elections, the Rawlingses eased themselves toward the President.

My question is: If the NDC leaders could still accept Rawlings for all that he did, what is it about Kofi Adams that irks them so much that they can’t look beyond the surface to allow him stake his luck in the primaries for the bye-elections? Granted that he has bitten the finger feeding him, can these party leaders not consider his worth to accommodate him but will rather choose to destroy him and damn the consequences?

In truth, what I see happening here is a rare case of wickedness in politics. I am highly disappointed and will caution these leaders to act wisely if they don’t want to re-start the internal wranglings.

Asiedu Nketiah, particularly, needs to know that he is not the only person around whom the NDC revolves. Every single member of the NDC matters in determining the destiny of the party. The future of the party rests on youthful, hardworking personalities like this Kofi Adams against whom they’ve all ganged up just because he miscalculated his steps in a period which demanded what he did or said.

I don’t think that his actions or pronouncements hurt the party more than what all others have in one way or the other done. Take the National Chairman (Dr. Kwabena Adjei), for instance, when he told the judges that “there are many ways to kill a cat,” which was a dangerous utterance that detracted from the NDC’s worth.

Or the machinations attributed to Yaw Boateng-Gyang, which sought to create national security problems. What action did the national leaders take against those two for their impolitic goofs?

Even, Bede Ziedeng who deserted the NDC for Obed Asamoah’s DFP and harmed its interests is back and rewarded with a Regional Minister’s post. Obed Asamoah, who caused the NDC to lose over 100 million Cedis hidden under his bed in his McCarthy Hill residence and worked against the NDC, is back and deferred to.

The message I want to convey is simple: The NDC leaders shouldn’t all too soon revive the intra-party dissensions. They need to know that their ill-considered action against Kofi Adams will annoy those who don’t agree with them; and it will be the dangerous seed of discord to blossom into internal crisis sooner than later.

By taking this drastic action against Kofi Adams, they are re-igniting the kind of fire that threatened to consume the party in the post-Election 2008 period but was somehow doused to ensure its electoral victory in Election 2012. Nerves may be lax after that victory but can be stretched taut again at the least prompting.

Let’s be honest to say here that much of what caused thepost-2008 fire resulted from this kind of sheer incompetence, greed, or a dangerous penchant for vindictiveness.

I’ll place the circumstances surrounding the Buem Constituency bye-elections in its proper context to condemn the shortsightedness and plain mischief of the national, regional, and constituency executive officers of the NDC.

I am more than happy that a court has placed an injunction against the holding of the primaries to choose the party’s candidate for the bye-election, which should have taken place today. The leadership of the NDC in the Volta Region may say that they cannot allow the injunction placed on the Buem primaries to stay. But it has already stayed; not so? What can they do to reverse it? Nothing for now!

It is pathetic that the NDC leaders cannot think outside the box to sustain the seemingly united front that the party has built after its success at Election 2012 and are doing acts and making unguarded pronouncements to pit Kofi Adams and his sympathizers against them.

As muscles begin being flexed just because the national, regional, and constituency leaders of the party can’t make productive decisions to move the party forward, I am more than convinced that the fire will soon flare up to throw all of them into the panic mode again.

No amount of litigation will solve this simple problem. That is why the Volta Regional NDC chairman Akwasi Aboagye’s message that the party’s leaders are consulting their national leaders to immediately find lawyers to table strong arguments before the court to get the injunction slapped on their primaries annulled is nonsensical.

So also is Kwasi Aboagye’s worry about the situation because this situation shouldn’t have arisen, in the first place, had somebody in authority in the party worn his thinking cap at the right angle instead of placing it jauntily on his spinning head to be noticed as a lazy thinker.

How much more harm do these NDC leaders want to inflict on the party at this time when they should rather have been spending their time, energy, and resources on consolidating the gains made at Election 2012?

I say, give Kofi Adams the chance to prove his mettle. It is not as if he can’t uplift the NDC’s flag wherever he is. He has all the benefits of common sense and political astuteness to do well if given the chance. Disqualifying him from participating in the primaries is the work of evil minds in the NDC.

Even, the Prodigal Son had the gift of commonsense to return to his roots when reality struck. Kofi Adams isn’t a “Prodigal Son” because he didn’t desert the NDC for anywhere. He has stuck to the party all this while. He is just a small fry who must not be hit with a sledge-hammer. He deserves better than being treated like a bugbear. The real bugbears have stuck to the NDC like leeches, sucked its blood, but are still well treated. Why not Kofi Adams too?

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.