Is Nana Addo 2016 a Short Sighted Choice for NPP?

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 Source: Yeboah, Kojo

“No Nana, No Vote!” In a country where “Edey Bee Keke,” helped catapult Mr. John Dramani Mahama from an underdog candidate to President in three short months; the “No Nana, No Vote” catchphrase sounds like a ‘sure banker’ for Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo in the next NPP internal election.

Yes, barring the unforeseen, Nana’s march to ‘three time NPP flag bearer’ is all but guaranteed. August’s 80% endorsement at the party’s Super Delegates Congress was more grandiloquent than any orchestra of Atumpan, Fomtomfrom and kpalongo drums. Nana is simply the darling of NPP ‘big shots.’ Even Kumasi stalwarts like Chairman Wontumi and Kofi Jumah (former Alan Kyeremanten supporters or sympathizers) have scrambled to get aboard the Nana flag bearer train.

Following his 2012 general election loss, Nana has been tactically brilliant in maneuvering party apparatus into his corner. While some of us were expecting him to walk into the twilight and take a senior position in the party - please google and read “Farewell! Nana Addo …,” - he and his associates were strategizing, gearing for action. And when they swung into action; Oh! What action it was!

They howled stolen elections and proceeded to petition Ghana’s Supreme Court for redress. For eight (8) long months, party faithful were whipped into believing that Nana’s Presidency has been stolen. That Ghana’s Lords and Ladies of the Supreme Court were going to right that wrong. “Take Nana’s Presidency from the thief and give back to him. Nana was going to be president!” Alas! What wishful thinking?

Internal party dissent was stifled, dissenters ostracized, regardless of standing in the party. Aspiring presidential candidates dared not open their mouths lest they be branded forever as egotistical party traitors. The NPP followed Nana and Co in search of a mirage. They asked the Court for the impossible. Throw somebody else’s vote out and “let my vote count!”

Among other things, the party asked the Court to throw away votes of some Ghanaians who stood in long lines, passed Biometric identification and did their civic duty in good faith. Votes that were counted tallied and recorded by the EC in the presence of party representatives, witnesses and in some cases cameras. Still those transparently counted and tallied votes were no good for Nana and Co because a presiding officer forgot or neglected to append his/her signature to the count (pink) sheet.

Obviously, Nana Addo and Co lost the Court case but Nana still came out a winner. Court action was a huge bonanza for him. Can anybody envision Nana Addo in the current NPP flag bearer race if he had not challenged the 2012 election results in Court? Even Nana’s sojourn to find the ‘Voice of God’ in London was brilliant. Since God himself might have told Nana to run again, nobody can beat him, right?

NPP delegates preparing to crown Nana Akufo Addo flag bearer for the third consecutive time should take a minute and ponder these nagging questions beginning with - what if? What if Nana Addo fails to unseat President Mahama for the second time? What if Nana Addo leads the party to a third electoral loss, conscribing the NPP to twelve (12) successive years in opposition? What will another Nana loss do to party morale? How will another Nana loss affect party finances and political outlook in 2020?

Yes, Nana Addo is the most marketed candidate of the NPP but what has changed about him since 2008 and 2012? He will be 72 years old in 2016, his negatives will remain unchanged. And he has managed to lose two Presidential elections that he entered as the prohibitive favorite. So why is the NPP, Ghana’s most elite party, with all its educated members being reduced to a de facto Nana Akufo Addo cult? By L. Kojo Yeboah, NC, USA

Columnist: Yeboah, Kojo