Opinions Tue, 18 Oct 2011

Is John Evans Atta-Mills Confused?

I am following the Greater Accra tour of the President John Evans Atta-Mills with keen interest and I am tempted to think that it has started on a faulty note and it raises question as to whether the president is in the right state of mind – I mean he must be confused.

First, according the campaign rules of the NDC for the 2012 primaries, aspiring candidates for NDC slots where there are sitting NDC MPs are barred from campaigning until the primaries in orphan constituency have been concluded. But in the middle of a regional tour, the president decides to tout an unpopular sitting MP who is yet to go through his primaries to seek reelection if he wishes. The president has not only flouted the so-called rules for the NDC 2012 primaries, he has as well prejudiced the South Ablekuma constituency primaries in favor of the beleaguered sitting MP, Fritz Baffour. I have been waiting to read a statement from other contenders who are gearing up to unseat the unpopular MP but none has come out yet. I can, however, assure those intending to go into battle with Fritz Baffour to be prepared for all the machinations. It might be more horrendous than the country witnessed in Sunyani in July 2011. With the former GFA man, Ade Coker, in the thick of things, nobody needs a history lesson to understand what machinations are in place to subdue a process that could best be allowed to run its course.

Second, what happens if Fritz Baffour goes into this primary and loses to a more competent person? Does that not signal to the constituency and the whole nation that the president has lost touch with his own party? So the second point, premised on the endorsement of Baffour by the president, implies that the Castle is prepared to sacrifice decorum, civility, “rules of the game,” and whatever it takes to ensure that Fritz Baffour is retained as a candidate on the ticket of the NDC for the 2012. This posture has its implications, too, as we shall see in the days ahead.

Third, when even primaries are not yet conducted and a sitting president is endorsing a candidate in the upcoming race, what does that mean to the constituents, fair contest, etc? Is the president the one to tell the people of South Ablekuma who lead them or what is good for them? How was the Dansoman road Fritz Baffour’s own initiative? How were school projects in the South Ablekuma Fritz Baffour’s own initiative? What about roads in other parts of the constituency? What about dilapidated conditions at Shiabu, Gbebu, Gbeigbeisei and all the areas competing for limited national resources? Did Fritz Baffour use his personal savings to initiate the project? Does the president know what others can initiate if they have the opportunity to be within the political structures?

Fourth, does the president remember his own history as an establishment candidate and a favored contender when he contested the 2000 General Elections? His defeat started from the very day the then president, Jerry John Rawlings, lifted his hands up and declared him his successor at Swedru after thumb printing the manifestoes of the NDC party for the 2012 to endorse him with his blood, subverting all democratic structures within the party. The lesson is that being an establishment candidate does not always win an election. Further set of questions: why did he not do same for Nii Tackie Commey? Would he do same for all the sitting MPs? What is it about the South Ablekuma seat that he has to go on this confused drive?

With all these points considered, I think it is not impervious to question the mental state of the president. Is he showing signs of confusion in this recent action?

Fifth, I urge the contenders for the South Ablekuma primary on the ticket of the NDC – Okunnor, Tsikata, Mensah, Dodoo (I have met all of you and think any of you can be a better rep for this constituency than what we currently have as an MP) – to all return to the drawing board to device new strategies in light of the Castles incursion into South Ablekuma. It would even make sense for all of you to decide among yourselves to throw your weight behind one person to either contest the primary and get the slot or you all contest and split the votes for Fritz Baffour to have an upper hand. Even going independent is another option you all can consider and ensure this arrogant MP doesn’t return to the legislative assembly.

Finally, those around the president should advice him to stop his undemocratic behavior of endorsing candidates as he tours the constituencies. He might end up decapitating the party further before he leaves office. It is interesting Cletus Avoka is warning NDC members flouting campaign rules. He should first call John Evans Atta-Mills to order and stop this naked hypocrisy.

Gustavo Amar Klottey,

NDC sympathizer, Korle-Gonno

Email: gustavoclottey@yahoo.com
Columnist: Klottey, Gustavo Amar