Nana Addo Must Show Leadership as a Flag-bearer

Wed, 14 Jan 2015 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Right after the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Regional and National Conferences last year, many Kukrudites called for early Congress. They argued that, early Congress to select the party's flag-bearer was to ensure adequately preparation of the party for Election 2016. Though, the argument sounded good on paper, it was however obvious from their actions and pronouncements that, the call was just a ploy to 'democratically' impose Nana Akufo-Addo on the NPP as its flag-bearer. Indeed, the 'wishes' of the grass-root were duly granted and the political idol, Hon. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was unanimously elected as the 3rd time flag-bearer of the NPP. A call for unity within the party was quickly made, and the two loosing Candidates, Hon. Alan Kyerematen and Hon. Addai Nimoh, not only visited Nana Addo at his residence, but also pledged their support to him. As if Nana Addo was being pressurized to name a running-mate at all cost, he immediately chose Dr. Bawumia to partner him in 2016, knowing very well that, a position of that nature requires serious consultations and consensus building from all quarters.

It is nearly 3 months now and nothing politically seems to be done as expected from an opposition party. The decision to revamp the Communication structure by the General Secretary, Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, has hit the rocks. The appointments of the likes of Abdul Ganiyu & Ahmed Karim (Northern Sector), Nana Yaw Osei & Jennifer Amoako (Middle Belt), Michael Ampong (Western Sector), Mike Oquaye, Kofi Boateng, Pius Hadzide, Seibik Bugri (Eastern & Southern Sectors) have been thrown in the bin making the General Secretary somehow 'useless' and powerless. But, in the same way, the 'sycophants' praised the flag-bearer for making new appointments, especially when Perry Okudzeto, who had been asked to proceed on leave earlier was reinstated. What does Nana Addo take the party's General Secretary for, if I may ask? A critical observation of the new appointees reveals that none of them lives outside Greater Accra, the very region that Nana Addo has lost general elections thrice on the trot (run-off included). Thus, one would ask; Is there any political sense in choosing Deputy Communicators from Accra alone?

Putting the appointments aside, Nana Addo has made his presence felt at important funerals. The usual shouts by his admirers; "Nana o! Nana o!"; "This is our next president" etc continue to give him hope, but could these praises be translated into votes in regions such as Volta and Northern? Again, Nana Addo has been to international conferences and making brilliant speeches over there, but whether the attendees would participate in Election 2016 is another ball game altogether. Our flag-bearer crowned his efforts by a Thanksgiving service at no other place than the same Accra before the 2014 Christmas.

Regrettably, on a festive occasion like Christmas, where people expected Nana Addo to take political advantage by visiting vulnerable people and making personal donations, he left Ghanaians for the United Kingdom with the excuse that he was visiting his granddaughter. It took Nana Addo not less than one month before he returned to Ghana. Whilst in Europe, his counterpart, President John Mahama was in his home region interacting with chiefs and opinion leaders. He defied the odds and visited Bawku in the Upper East Region telling them that, just as an Ewe and Asante served two terms in office, a Northerner equally deserved that. Similarly, the Vice President was in the Central Region explaining government policies and donating items to orphanages. Now, between the actions of Nana Addo and Mahama, who stands a better chance of attracting more votes in 2016, if other things remain the same?

Last year, the Electoral Commission (EC) added new voters to the register, and it is surprising to note that, as of now, the NPP does not know the number of newly registered voters. Ghana's population is only 25m, but the voters' register has over 14m electorates, and it is likely to reach 17m for Election 2016. The percentage of the population registered voters in Ghana (56.2%) is the highest among other countries. What is the NPP's reaction to this bloated register? The NPP's slogan has been; "We won't allow ourselves to be cheated again", yet, the fundamental problems are usually overlooked. If the almighty "All die be die" could not stop rigging, what could the bragging do? The NDC has vowed to make inroads in the NPP's stronghold (Ashanti) by targeting 1m votes; our proposed Free SHS policy has been stolen; the District Assembly Elections will also take place soon. To be forewarned, they say, is to be forearmed. What has been the NPP's antidotes to these so far?

Currently, the airwaves and television stations are full of accusations and counter-accusations or should I call it "Cocaine & Corruption Politics of Equalization? After the big English and blame games, the new voter likewise the floating voter is confused as to which of these two parties (NPP and NDC) is better, in terms of solving the myriad of problems confronting the nation. Should the NPP continue in this way and expect to win in 2016? Your guess is as good as mine. If you make constructive criticism with the view to pushing our leaders to work harder, the fanatics descend on you and tag you as being anti-NPP and Nana Addo. How does this attitude attract new votes to the NPP, and how many of us could tolerate such pampering and fake praises?

For me, Nana Addo has not shown enough desire and commitment to wrestle power from the NDC. Yes, he might be a good politician, but the continuous repetition of his previous political mistakes makes him tactically weak against Mahama and his NDC. Nana Addo must not always listen to the "political hallelujah singers" who surround him and profess to love him, but to those of us who could help turn his failures into successes. In my next write-up, I'll make some useful recommendations to him for Election 2016, and it's my hope that, such recommendations would not be thrown away as happened the last time. The NPP does not deserve to be in opposition again.

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang

(Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri)

Mobile: 0202471070

Email: katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk

"Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success"

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku