By Margaret Jackson
Strange things are happening these days in the country’s political gamut, and I bet stranger things which are yet to unfold are still in the pipeline. That is why bizarre things we never assumed to be possibilities in the political playing field are weirdly enough unfolding before our very eyes. Therefore, I am being pushed to predict that by the time we hit mid-year when the political campaigns would have peaked, Ghanaians would better understand me better.
Ladies and gentlemen, the number one stranger in town today is no other person than ex-president John Agyekum Kufour. He has not been indicted of committing any crimes yet. In fact he has not been accused of smoking the weed or having a heavy smoke around his head when he wakes up. I do not recall Kufour being captured on camera fondling the breast of a make-up artist nor did he facilitate the issuance of Ghana’s prized diplomatic passport to a jailed drug baron.
But what Kufour has been doing has sent many tongues wagging. Kufour has hit the campaign trail big time. He is currently the unofficial campaign manager of Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Kufour is presently doing what he failed to do in 2008, by touting and defending Akufo-Addo at every turn of event. This sudden change of attitude by Kufour I am told has even shocked Akufo-Addo beyond belief, and he is reported to have stated that if Kufour had done just a quarter of what he is doing today he would have been sitting on the highest throne of the land today.
You may label Kufour’s actions these days as Redemption if you want to, but that word would painfully remind the NPP folks of the National Redemption Council headed by the late General Kutu Acheampong that dismissed the government of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia from power in 1972. If we go with the word Liberation, still the NPP folks would feel highly uncomfortable since the Convention People’s Party (CPP) had never forgiven the NPP folks for having a hand in the National Liberation Council’s coup that sent Dr. Kwame Nkrumah packing to the political oblivion in far away Guinea. So let us try another word. To be on the safest side, I guess we can settle on Emancipation since that word is yet to be tied to any political event in the country.
Ever since Akufo-Addo lost the 2008 presidential election to President Mills, the NPP folks never forgave Kufour and thought he played a passive role during the campaign events. In fact some NPP people quietly accused Kufour of doing little or nothing to help Akufo-Addo when Kufour’s assumed heir apparent, Alan Kyeremanteng, lost out at the NPP presidential primary to Akufo-Addo. Even though this conspiracy theory exist in NPP circles the sudden approach taken by Kufour to polish his image by selling Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians has taken many NPP folks by surprise and are wondering what next he would do to help Akufo-Addo who has seen his popularity and numbers dipping within the past two weeks.
I am tempted to say that Kufour after listening to himself and the various criticisms labeled against him after Akufo-Addo lost despondently to President Mills in 2008, is maybe trying to emancipate or redeem his name and image by going all out this time round by whipping the campaign of the “dead horse”, Akufo-Addo.
But in his perceptible attempt and over anxiety to sell Akufo-Addo to the voting populace, Kufour may be hitting the wrong cords and saying things that may rather come back to hurt Akufo-Addo’s campaign. Kufour stated during the NPP “gargantuan rally” held at Mantse Agbonaa, in Jamestown, that Ghanaians were yearning for Akufo-Addo, adding that Ghanaians were looking forward to a quality leader like Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Ever since Kufour left office in 2009, he is just continuing from where he left off: traveling, since he claims its part of his hobby. Therefore, if Kufour happens to be in Ghana, his main outings have been to funerals, engagements and weddings of closely knitted NPP folks. He has not done just a single solo campaign event for Akufo-Addo. So one may ask, where did Kufour go that he heard Ghanaians yearning for Akufo-Addo? At those funerals or weddings or on a campaign event?
To add insult to injury Kufour said Ghanaians were looking forward to a quality leader like Akufo-Addo. Quality indeed! If Akufo-Addo has some special qualities in him, why did Kufour support Alan Kyeremanteng in both the NPP primaries for 2008 and 2012 presidential elections? What is Kufour seeing today in Akufo-Addo that he did not see in 2008 hence his lukewarm attitude towards his campaign? Kufour should stop throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians, because the last person he Kufour wants to see at the Osu Castle as President of Ghana is not called Nana Akufo-Addo.
But wait and hear more from Kufour. In an interview with journalists after the rally, Kufour touted Akufo-Addo for showing maturity and “impressive restraint” in the face of petty and “rather immature propaganda” from the NDC. Kufour stated that despite being the target of persistent vile propaganda and concoctions, Akufo-Addo had shown impeccable maturity and restraint by not responding in like manner.
Impeccable maturity and impressive restraint? Please, add more for Kufour. Now I have gotten Kufour caged and would want him to provide answers to some simple basic questions. It was not too long ago when the George Walker Bush Motorway was commissioned. It brought competing claims as the NPP was demanding full praise for securing the funding for the project that was executed under the leadership of by President Mills. But another claimant in the person of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, also emerged. But acting like a swift crocodile Kufour jumped from one radio station to another stating that he is the sole person who secured the funding for the that road project. He lambasted Nduom for daring to claim part of the funding credit.
Ladies and gentlemen, look at the way Kufour moved swiftly to fight Nduom off the George Walker Bush Motorway funding. Do you think that by Kufour’s behaviour on this project if it is rumoured today that he smokes the weed, would he sit down quietly as Akufo-Addo has been doing and do nothing? Won’t Kufour say anything? Won’t Kufour who is so obsessed about his legacy fight it out? Will he dodge for people to fight for him? Just look at how Kufour fought Gisselle Yajzi, who accused him of fathering her twins? I personally do not think so. Therefore, for Kufour to praise Akufo-Addo for keeping quiet on serious charges that got a school kid in the Central Region to tell Akufo-Addo in the face, “Naa Nana, Naa Cocaine”, is indeed incomprehensible.
Ever since the Woyome issue broke out Kufour has been part of the NPP gang that keeps accusing President Mills of having a hand in the whole stinking incident. He is reported as saying that since the issue happened under the watch of President Mills, the buck stops in his office. Fair deal, if only Kufour would also take blame for the issuance of Ghana’s diplomatic passport by Akufo-Addo to the disgraced but jailed drug baron, Raymond Amankwah during the time he Kufour was president of Ghana.
Kufour claims Akufo-Addo has unmatched credentials when compared to President Mills. Now bring it on! Can a man who claims to have unmatched qualities just sit there and do nothing when three women of his party were arrested at the Kotoka International Airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine? And Kufour calls this impeccable maturity? In the Lord of War movie, it is stated that, "Evil Prevails when Good Men Fail To Act.”
Ewuranom Ghanafo, if you are being accused of being a thief and you claim to be one of the top lawyers in Ghana, what do you do? Is it cool to dodge everybody and keep quiet and later get praise from Kufour for showing “impressive restraint”? How impressive can it be?
I have my last question for Kufour. Assuming he has a big company employing 24 million people, that he is looking for a good, well-mannered and seasoned CEO to man. Kufour then advertises in the newspapers and lots of people show interest and therefore apply for the job. Later, three of the candidates were short-listed for interview for that big job. Would Kufour without cross-checking the backgrounds of the short-listed candidates simply assume that they all have impeccable and impressive moral characters? What then happens if Kufour does not allow the backgrounds of the candidates to be cross-checked and the one who eventually bamboozles the interviewers gets the job, only for the company to realize two weeks after he had taken the job that he has a criminal record? How would Kufour and his company look in the eyes of the 24 million employees? Mr. Kufour, this is the mistake that we Ghanaians want to avoid.