Instead of condemning Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe… (Part I)

Sun, 11 Oct 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, an NPP bigwig, has boldly rubbished Akufo-Addo’s regional tours as “useless” only for him to be taken to the cleaners by Akufo-Addo’s lackeys. Clearly, they took Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s concerns only on its face value without dipping down into its insightful political ramifications. Their berating him is characteristic of politicians who fail to see things beyond their noses.

I don’t blame them, but I want to help them weigh and unpack Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s criticism of Akufo-Addo within a broader scope to be able to know why he was so apprehensive. After all, despite all the pejorative comments against him, he is known for what he is in the NPP and how his material contributions have sustained the party thus far. Banishing him for taking on Akufo-Addo will only deepen the internal crisis and alienate potential electoral constituencies (floating voters).

A careful analysis of Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s concerns reveals a lot to us, especially in reference to what specifically such a tour aimed at achieving to improve the NPP’s chances of winning Election 2016. He was reported to have said that “Rise and build tour is not what will get the party united. If you start such a tour without principal players in the NPP then where are you heading towards?” According to him, at times he gets surprised at Nana Addo because there are things the latter is supposed to know—thus, he cannot win with a broken front…

“What my party needs at the moment is a very strong, united front and not Rise and Build whatever tour! A united front is key to success! If we're not united, we should forget 2016, and truly, we're not united! Anyone who will tell you the party is united is not telling you the truth,” he emphasized.

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe said that if some people in the party are afraid of Nana Addo, he is not and that he will tell Nana Addo the truth because experience is the best teacher. “I always refer to Kufuor because Kufuor knows how to win power! Kufuor can lie on the floor, and humble himself to get power. That's what Nana Addo has to learn!” he added. (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Akufo-Addo-s-rise-and-build-tour-useless-Nyaho-386321).

And events characterizing Akufo-Addo’s tour confirm much of what Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe is worried about. Highlights of Akufo-Addo’s pronouncements on the tour to 9 of the 10 regions include: “I’m not too old to be Ghana’s President”; “I will not steal Ghana’s money”; I will give Ghana a first-class government”; “I will banish poverty from Ghana”; “Mahama’s government is the most incompetent”; and many more. Such banal and bland utterances won’t win the voters’ mandate. At best, they expose Akufo-Addo as not learning anything new after his two previous electoral losses to enhance his politicking for the third and final shot at the Presidency. No one listening to such hollow utterances will be moved to support him. That’s what he has brought upon himself.

Nothing specifically beneficial for party unity has emerged so far. Only tired utterances that grate on the ear and serve no useful purpose other than reinforcing Akufo-Addo’s own self-righteousness and boosting his own ego. What for?

Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to appeal to the party members to unite but cannot be said to have taken any practical action on his own to unite the party, more so when the disunity is the result of his own posturing and instigation. He knows it. Nothing of this sort happened under previous flagbearers of the party.

In that sense, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s observation reflects genuine concerns that every mature politician will appreciate instead of condemning as Akufo-Addo’s lackeys have rashly done. Insulting comments from Obetsebi-Lamptey and Otiko Djaba won’t solve the problems that Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe raised. Indeed, the thrust of his criticism of Akufo-Addo’s junketing is lost on those condemning him. To help them, let me say that Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe said Akufo-Addo’s tour was useless inasmuch as it didn’t include direct action to patch up differences in the party and strengthen it for Election 2016.

What did Akufo-Addo want to portray to the world if he could go on regional tours without the inclusion of the NPP’s National Chairman or General Secretary at any point? Did that lapse assure Ghanaians that the crisis aroused by machinations to remove Afoko and Agyepong from office had been dealt with decisively and to prove that Akufo-Addo could restore sanity into the party’s affairs and must, therefore, be given Ghana to rule?

In fact, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s concern has more to do with leadership issues than with any alleged undermining of the NPP as a whole. He pointed to a serious inadequacy about Akufo-Addo’s leadership skills that should have been understood and digested to help him make amends. A party leader so caught up in the fracas of the sort would act decisively to assure the electorate that he could unite forces to boost his administration. But he didn’t, which Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe drew attention to. And it’s a serious problem that cuts across the boundaries of the NPP. The question is: If he cannot “rule” his own small NPP, what can he do to a whole country, made up of over 100 ethnic groups and prone to internecine ethnic rivalries and strife? That’s a major issue not to be missed by the electorate.

Then, we consider also the fact that Akufo-Addo’s directive to his party members to stop the wordy warfare hasn’t been obeyed. The daily personal attacks and allegations of impropriety continue. Although the impression has been created that he is for peace, whatever is happening in the NPP can be traced to his doorstep as the prime-mover. He is only hiding behind the smokescreen to ensure that Afoko and Agyepong are jostled by his followers. What sort of leader is this?

The third point concerns the allegations of financial impropriety going on, especially concerning the secret account opened and operated by Freddie Blay and Abankwa, the borrowing of money for the 2012 elections (which hasn’t been repaid yet), and the ongoing moves to register online and solicit funds from NPP followers. Akufo-Addo hasn't reacted to these happenings.

Although he has continued to project himself as not corrupt or incorruptible, these happenings undermine his worth as such. If he won’t personally dip his hands into public funds, what is the guarantee that he has the acumen to ensure that those he is working with won’t do so? A leader who trusts his own self and cannot do so for others is no leader worth supporting.

Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s criticism is about credibility. How credible is Akufo-Addo such that he can prevail against President Mahama at Election 2016? Forget about the other Presidential Candidates because they have no gravitational pull to outdo the incumbent and Akufo-Addo. It is a matter of credibility for Akufo-Addo, especially.

Those of us who have been politically active since the beginning of this 4th Republic can attest to what the leaders of the various governments could do or not do. We also know why Kufuor defeated the late President Mills twice and handed over the baton to Akufo-Addo only for him to be pounded twice. His third bid will bring back to mind the factors that had dimmed his light; and credibility is at the root of it all. Has he added value to himself to sway the electorate this time around? Where is the evidence when a lot happening under his leadership of the NPP is fast eroding his own support base? Na who cause am?

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.