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Opinions Fri, 16 May 2014

Kufuor’s recipe on how to be a good statesman

Preamble: Ex President Kufuor is at it again. He has done what he knows best. And that is to break the hearts of genuine members of the New Patriotic Party. Not once, not twice has he put us in such terrible situations. He has done it countless number of times. Sometimes, I debate within myself to find answers to why the Former Number One Citizen of the land chooses to break our hearts in such a manner. Again, I try to find out whether it was the party that made him President or it was his own personal efforts which culminated in being made President of the country. Someone should please educate me on that.

Can someone please tell me why ex-President Kufuor always uses the NDC to break the hearts and resilience of genuine NPP members? I am at a loss to understand why he has chosen the path which is completely at variance with the laudable principles of our Great Osono Tradition. I wish someone would be bold enough to once again educate me on the genius called John Agyekum Kufuor, aka Kofi Diawuo. Yes, I need some education, and so do all of us.

Mistake Number One: Ex- President Kufuor first stabbed the party in the back when he went against all the ethics of politics by nominating the then Presidential Candidate of the NDC, the late Professor John Atta Mills for the highest honours of the land a few months to the 2008 Presidential Elections. Our Presidential Candidate was nominated for a lesser prestigious State Award. That was the mother of all political miscalculations! I didn’t understand our Gentle Giant then. Neither do I understand him now! At that time I wrote: “It appeared as if President Kufuor had entered into an unholy alliance with the NDC so that in the unlikely event of the NPP losing power at the centre, the NDC would treat him with kid gloves”. Now my fears are beginning to manifest.

Mistake Number Two: Ex President Kufuor, against all candid advice unilaterally decided to attend the inaugural ceremony of John Dramani Mahama as President. According to him, he wanted to be seen as a statesman. Already, the party had had cause to complain about the conduct of the 2012 Presidential Election and the declaration of results by the Electoral Commission. Top members of the party had advised him to put a halt to the path he was about to take, but he refused. When all else failed, the youth decided to embark on the only course opened to them. They decided to hold him hostage in his house. They formed a human cordon around his residence.

These youth who had had no food and water since the previous night got what they had not bargained for. Ex President Kufuor was bent on attending the function and the NPP youth would not give in. But when iron meets steel one of them has got to cave in. Ex President Kufuor puts in a call to the IGP and within minutes a detachment of Yaw Boateng Djan’s Special Forces arrives at the former’s residence. It was tagged operation “seek, search and destroy”. But what were they searching for, since the target was already there? The Special Force plunged into action and within minutes the resistance had been crushed. Some of the victims are still cursing the day on which they were born. The heavily armed Special Forces of Yaw Boateng Djan left in its trail broken limbs, necks and shoulders.

More questions than answers: Yaw Boateng Djan’s victims were dumbfounded. They could not fathom what was happening to them. It looked like a film was being enacted right before their very eyes. But it was a real act in which they (NPP Youth) were the real actors. They were united in their predicament by disbelief and a sense of betrayal. Is this the same Kufuor some of us have pledged to lay down our lives for in defence of the lofty ideals of our party? Is this the same person some of our members had been beaten and maimed during the elections when they went to protect the ballot boxes in hostile terrain and environment? And this is our reward! Oh why, ex-President Kufuor? We helped make you the President and see what you have done to us! It is indeed true that the butterfly cannot call itself a bird. We the flotsam and jetsam are the butterfly and you, Kufuor are the bird!

Ex President Kufuor cannot eat his cake and still have it: If ex-President Kufuor wants to be remembered as an International Statesman, then he should shed the partisan stance he takes at times. Readers will recall that prior to the December, 2012 Elections, he had joined forces with the NPP to condemn the Electoral Commission’s decision to create more constituencies with less than two months to the election. But our Gentle Giant who came to power on the ticket of the NPP is the same person who brought in Yaw Boateng Djan’s Special Forces to harass, beat and main some youthful NPP activists whose only crime was to make our Gentle Giant realize that the lion cannot mate with the she goat and expect to have a lion/lioness as an offspring.

As it was at the beginning, so will it be at the end. And so, our Gentle Giant attended the function and received the greatest humiliation of his life. He and his predecessor, John Jerry Rawlings attended the event together. But Kufuor’s greatest mistake on that occasion was that he chose to attend the function without his better half. Rawlings, his counterpart went in company of his beloved, Konadu Agyemang Rawlings. Kufuor has a withdrawn personality, whereas his colleague, Jerry Rawlings is the domineering type and was therefore bound to draw attention to himself. Well, we all saw what happened. With a clenched fist, Rawlings stole the show which was purposely staged to showcase a new and “born again” John Jerry Rawlings and the humiliation of ex President Kufuor. With a clenched fist, the vivacious Rawlings responded to cheers and appellations of the crowd. The former Air Force officer loved every bit of the show and did not hide it. I pitied ex-President Kufuor for the humiliation he brought unto himself that day. But na who causam?

Is Kufuor also fumbling and wobbling? One would have thought that that incident would have taught our Gentle Giant a bitter lesson, but no, he has not learnt any lesson from it. He is fumbling and unless, he stands up to be counted amongst the bold and the beautiful, he would sooner than later find himself amongst the worst President that ever bestrides the corridors of power in the country.

The mother of all fumble and mistake: Yes, Kufuor’s attendance at the rebranding ceremony of former Merchant Bank as Universal Merchant Bank is unforgiving, unethical and will go down in history as the greatest anti party activity of all time. Apostle Paul says all things are lawful for him but it is not everything that is expedient. Why does he always court controversy unto himself? Couldn’t he avert swimming in troubled waters? Who are his advisors and does he even listen to them? I can deduce that our Former Number One Citizen has a strong mien and I am tempted to conclude that the Gentle Giant might have been advised not to tread the path of perfidy by refused to yield. This can be seen from the numerous attempts made by his handlers as they wobbled and fumbled in their desperate attempts to defend the indefensible.

Futile attempts to justify Kufuor’s attendance: Both Andrews Awuni, Former Press Secretary to ex President Kufuor and Albert Ken Dapaah, former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament were vociferous in their in their demand for outward cancellation of the sale which they described as “fraudulent”. Andrew Awuni, Executive Director of Centre for Freedom and Accuracy had gone to court to stop the sale without success. He described the transaction as a “dash”. If it was a genuine transaction, why did (he) Awuni go to court in the first place? Even after he had lost the case in court, he still maintained his stance that the transaction was “fraudulent”.

Did Kufuor’s presence legitimize the transaction? Ken Dapaah says Kufuor’s presence at the rebranding exercise does not legitimize the sale of the bank to “For Thieves”. Which lopsided logic is this? How do you attend the ceremony involving the sharing of money which you know deep down in your heart that it was stolen and then turn round to say that there was nothing wrong with the sharing of stolen money? Did your attendance not make you a partaker of stolen goods/money and for that matter one of the thieves? Will the Police not arrest you if you are found at the scene of a crime? So, what do Ken Dapaah and Andrew Awuni want to tell Ghanaians? That there was nothing wrong for Kufuor to attend a function where stolen state property was shared? Did his presence not legitimize the daylight robbery? I don’t know whether President John Mahama was present. If he wasn’t, why did Kufuor attend? What about ex-President Rawlings?

Ex-President Kufuor is unknowingly acting a script written by the NDC: You see the NDC has orchestrated a script which is being enacted right before our very eyes. Their target is former President Kufuor. But the man will not look before he takes a leap/plunge into the unknown. You see, the script is similar to the one they enacted in Parliament during late President Mills tenure. They knew very well that the former Speaker, Mrs. Justice Bamfo Bampoe was a member of the elite corps of the Judiciary and so anytime there was going to debate a subject which bordered on controversy, they would bring Doe Adjaho to preside over the proceedings, so that Justice Bampoe’s record will remain intact.

If you dine with the lion/ leopard, you will eventually end up in its stomach. One walks cautiously in the midst of one’s enemies. In that wise, one doesn’t sleep with both eyes sleep. This is a cardinal principle in life. Unfortunately, our Gentle Giant appears to have been blinded by a false sense of security.

Chief Bola Ige false sense of security led to his untimely death. Chief Bolaji Ige, former Civilian Governor of Oyo State and Chief Matthew Aremu Okikiade Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria were the best of friends. While Obasanjo became President on the ticket of People’s Democratic Party, the Sage, Bola Ige was a kingpin in the Alliance for Democracy. When Obasanjo was elected President, Bola Ige sought permission from his political party to become an integral part of Obasanjo’s Government. The party did not give him a straight-forward “Yes” or “No” answer. It rather advised him to use his discretion.

Political Permutations at work : Chief Ige joined the Government and was initially made Minister in charge of Petroleum Resources. He was later made Attorney General and Minister of Justice. It was then that the game plan of the PDP Government began to unfold. Obasanjo comes from the South West which is made up of Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Ogun States. The Alliance for Democracy controlled the Legislative Arms of all the Six States and that of Edo at both Federal and State levels. Again, the party also controlled the State Houses of Assembly. Obasanjo wanted the PDP to make inroads into the West, but as long as Bola Ige was alive the task became impossible. And so, the party decided to embark on the path of “elimination”. They based their “solution” on the fact that it was better for one person to die than to subject the whole of South West into servitude. And so, Bola Ige became the sacrificial lamb.

The die is cast. Bola Ige must die: The way his execution was exacted was “perfect” and no doubt the work of a professional. The Chief Law Officer of the country had left Abuja to spend the week end at his country home in Ibadan, Oyo State. There was security presence at his gate and inside the house. In their cautioned statement, the security men claimed that they felt hungry and went out to buy food. But before they left the house they put all their guns into a sack and tied it. Then, they trooped out of the residence to find food to eat. By the time they returned, the assassin bullets had done the worst. Chief Bola Ige, Nigeria Chief Law Enforcement Officer lay dead in a pool of blood. Till date, more than a decade and a half after that dastardly act, nobody knows how Chief Bola Ige died and who killed him.

Mills’ untimely death is similar to that of late President Mills: The ingredients present in Bola Ige’s death were also present in that of President Mills death. There are numerous questions whose answers could only come from the personae involved in both high profile deaths. In Mills case, he appeared to have been a liability to the political fortune of the NDC. So the mantra was “what is one death compared to the good fortune of an entire political party”. So the old man was transmuted into a human corpse. I have stated it and will continue to say it everywhere and every time that current President John Dramani Mahama has a lot of question to answer in connection with the sudden death of his predecessor. His mien and disparity in his accounts and the death of his predecessor make him culpable. He can continue to parry those questions with a mere wave of his hands because he can do and undo – he has the entire instrument of coercion under him. But a day of reckoning will come and there is nothing he can do about it – he will have to give account of how his predecessor died.

Ex-President Kufuor should be careful of his newly found friendship with the NDC. What is friendship when it involves the NDC? Can it be found in their political dictionary? At least the way the party treated late President Mills during his last few hours on earth shows that brotherhood and friendship do not exist amongst members of the NDC.

A candid advice to Ex President Kufuor: I have introduced the Bola Ige’s angle to demonstrate to ex-President Kufuor that the butterfly cannot call itself a bird and the mere fact that one is in the middle of the ocean does not mean that one can call the shark/whale father. If he has forgotten, I would like to remind him of all the agonies the NDC put him through when the party regained power in 2009. Did the party and the now sacked National Security Capo not seize and put under lock and key the building which he (ex-President Kufuor) had wanted to use as his Office? What about his ex-gratia and that of his staff? Whereas Rawlings decided on what materials should go into the construction of his residential and office accommodation (which the Presidency) acceded to, nothing has so far been heard of Kufuor’s own. What about the insults galore? There were even attempts to rewrite the history of this country by “babies with sharp teeth” who were not even born at the time the Fourth Constitution was promulgated. Yes, that is how bad the situation has been since the NDC came to power.

Who can defend the indefensible? Was Commonsense applied when the State divested itself of the 90 % shares “For Thieves”? Who in his real sense will sell his property to the lowest bidder when there are higher bidders around? None, I suppose! May be they will attribute it to patriotic and nationalistic sentiments. Yes, they wanted to give to a local company. A sense of pride, I suppose! But if that is the case, what do they say about the STX deal? There were local companies whose bids were far less than the amount STX was demanding. Yet Government gave the contract to a foreign company whose terms of agreement were more than what any of the local companies had quoted. You see the contradiction here? That in itself was enough for ex President Kufuor to have put the brakes on his decision to attend the “rebranding” of major Ghanaian Bank which had been divested, and given to cronies of NDC Government. Were all these factors not available to President Kufuor before he chose the path of “perfidy”?

Are Boycotts and Walk outs relevant in our current political dispensations? You see, the minority in Parliament had taken a stand on the sale of Merchant Bank to a company named “For Thieves”. The least ex President Kufuor could do was to steer off the subject completely. You do not become a statesman by attending events which are shrouded in controversies. I bet, Nkrumah would be weeping in his grave! So will Nelson Mandela. In fact, they will be extremely angry that some “greedy bastards” have stolen our assets and are officially apportioning it amongst themselves and daring us to question them if we had guts. Are Ken Dapaah and ex President Kufuor telling Ghanaians that if their friend had “conscripted” the property of another through illegal process, they would have sanctioned the transaction? That was exactly what Kufuor’s attendance at the rebranding exercise portends. Instead of being angry and telling their friend that what he/she did was unethical and improper, they are rather telling concerned citizens and those who love the NPP to go to hell. Well, we won’t go to hell but we shall keep our eagle eyes on their “nocturnal” deals and wait for the day when their newly found friendship will go awry. That be the day that “monkey will go to the market and will not return”.

Was Kufuor happy when the NDC then in minority boycott Parliament during debate on ROPAB, NHIS and when Dan Abodakpi was jailed? The NPP has also applied sanctions and boycotts on issues like STX, the recently introduced VAT on banking and financial services. When the NPP minority found out that the ruling NDC was playing a fast one on them behind the scene, did the NPP not pull out of the Transition Team put together to ensure a smooth transfer of power from the NPP to the NDC? What did ex President Kufuor not condemn the pull out and the boycotts earlier on mentioned.

Kwadwo Mpiani should not act and play God: I do not want to go on a negative tangent by attacking Kwadwo Mpiani. I am choosing my words very carefully in order to fall into category of people that I usually condemn. Suffice it to say that the bane of our woes and imperfections is our inability to tell people the truth the way we see it. Some of us assume erroneously though that our bosses are always right. Some also refuse to talk because they are under their monetary influence. Kwadwo Mpiani’s outbursts are neither here nor there. He knows deep down in his heart that they erred by attending the rebranding exercise. The Introduction of personality and friendship into the debate has rather “whistled down” the few relevant points that were in their favour. If I may ask, does attending a private function make one a statesman? Definitely, not! They should get better things to tell us, not these shallow arguments. Ghanaians are beyond that.

The Epilogue: Before I end this piece, I have some few relevant questions for ex President Kufuor to answer. “How do you regard the Merchant Bank saga? Was it a genuine and legitimate transaction? Were the NPP pull out of the Transition Tem, our boycotts of the STX and the VAT Debates relevant? Why did he not attend Mahama’s Economic Forum?

Thank you for answering these questions candidly, Mr. ex-President.

God bless the Minority in Parliament! God bless the New Patriotic Party!! God bless Ghana!!!

Daniel Danquah Damptey (Damptey_daniel@yahoo.com)0243715297
Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah