“Nana Addo would be joking in his quest for political power if he supports aspirants for the National Executive positions”, these are the words of former Chief of Staff and close confidante to former President Kufuor, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani.
What prompted Mr. Mpiani to go on a number of radio stations on Friday afternoon to make these and more such unfortunate statements was nothing but mere rumors, without any evidence, that some regional chairmen are campaigning for some aspirants for the National Executive positions using Nana Akufo-Addo’s name – allegations which had been denied by Nana Akufo – Addo’s spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid barely 24 hours earlier.
The rush by Mr. Mpiani to radio to make such statements is quite baffling and also sad. This is especially so when one takes into account, Mr. Mpiani’s pedigree in the party and his history but less surprising as it comes in the wake of a constantly evolving norm of so called party elders rushing to radio to make all sorts of unfortunate statements and allegations when there are several structures which can be used to settle some of those issues.
What seems to be also becoming the norm is the tendency of these party elders, the latest being Mr. Mpiani, to threaten the party with further stay in opposition if this or that is not done. It is beginning to look like some of our party elders feel that continued stay in opposition only affects Nana Akufo-Addo or that a return to power will only be in the interest of Nana Akufo – Addo. Otherwise, why will a leading member like Mr. Mpiani, single Nana Akufo – Addo out and make doomsday prophecies about his chances of securing power?
What I found to be very dangerous was how a member of the party’s council of elders and National Council could go as far as suggesting and to an extent inciting members of the party to stay away from voting or vote against the party should their preferred candidates no win in the upcoming National Executive election.
Above all, Mr. Mpiani’s posture on Friday afternoon begs the question; what happened to the principle of he who calls for equity needing to come with clean hands? Not long ago, as Chief of Staff we all know how Mr. Mpiani used Executive power and his influence within the party to back candidates for various positions within the party from Parliamentary aspirants, through Constituency and Regional Executive aspirants, to National aspirants to flagbearership aspirants.
Is Mr. Mpiani saying that when he and former President Kufuor supported candidates for various offices in the party after 2001, they were doing so to cause disunity in the party and sow the seeds for the party’s defeat in subsequent elections? If that was their motive, then we can understand why he will want to ascribe similar motives to Nana Akufo – Addo today. But if that wasn’t the case, then why is he drawing those conclusions today?
The party has gone through some rough potholes we all want to forget and move on but unfortunately the posture of persons like Mr. Mpiani will always make it difficult for some of the things in our past to be forgotten. Between 2005 and late 2007, we remember how office holders all across the country from DCEs to Ministers and other appointees were whipped into line for one candidate or the other, preferred by Mr. Mpiani or former President Kufuor. Officials who showed little signs of recalcitrance were dismissed and new ones who will fulfill the dictates of Mr. Mpiani appointed. It is not our wish that we remind ourselves of all these and therefore it will be very good if we all try to stay clear of statements that will leave members of the party no choice other than to remind ourselves of the apparent double standards at play.
It is not good for the health of the party that we keep going back.
Let us get it straight that even assuming Nana Akufo – Addo has candidates and decides to go round campaigning for them, he would have committed no crime or flouted any laws of the NPP; just as am sure Mr. Mpiani understands that former President Kufuor contravened no laws when he backed candidates for various National Executive positions after his defeat in the 1996 General Elections and in the run up to the 1998 Congress. And as earlier stated, even as President and leader of the Party, President Kufuor was known to have supported several candidates in internal contests with the highlight of this history being his support for Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng in the run up to the December 2007 Congress.
What is more amazing is that the double standards encapsulated in Mr. Mpaini’s statements don’t only lie in the past - for who doesn’t know that Mr. Mpiani has candidates he is backing in the current contest? And that it is largely known that such candidates are also the candidates of former President Kufuor? We all know how Mr. Mpiani toured the nation with Mr. Afoko while the NPP was in the Supreme Court to initiate the Afoko for Chairman campaign and how he still heads and sponsors the Afoko campaign. We know of how Mr. Mpiani has managed to whip in line a considerable number of former DCEs to support Mr. Afoko for example.
Are we to assume that such tactics are also divisive and could disunite the party? Maybe, just maybe, it is only bad when Nana Akufo-Addo or people close to him support candidates; it is the opposite when such support comes from former President Kufuor or people close to him. Or maybe, as I suggested earlier, Mr. Mpiani believes that Nana Akufo – Addo should be the only one concerned about the party’s victory and that all others can act or talk as they wish and damn the consequences, after all, they don’t lose much when the party is in opposition.
I won’t pretend that I think this article will point Mr. Mpiani unto the right path and cause him to have a rethink of his actions and words. I belief that Mr. Mpiani knows very well all the points stated above. He knows that flagbearer aspirants and former flagbearers can have choices in party contests; he knows that having such choices do not mean one is divisive; he knows that it is only an allegation that some regional chairmen are campaigning for certain candidates with the name of Nana Akufo – Addo and he knows that even as unsubstantiated as they are, the allegations have already been denied by Nana Akufo-Addo through his spokesperson. He knows that Nana Akufo – Addo has stated himself, since he arrived, that he has no candidate for the National Executive elections.
So the question is why? Why will Mr. Mpiani still go ahead to make the comments he made on radio?
From where I sit, Mr. Mpiani has exposed the fact that he leads a camp which is sponsoring candidates who will work against the interest of Nana Akufo – Addo once such persons are elected as executives. With the overwhelming support Nana Akufo – Addo enjoys in the party, Mr. Mpiani feels threatened that any move by pro-Nana Chairmen and forces to campaign against the ‘anti-Nana’ candidates will mean certain defeat for such candidates and so he has to proclaim an upcoming calamity to stop any such attempt.
My advice to Mr. Mpiani is that he should kindly focus on campaigning for his preferred candidates. This posture that it either goes a certain way or otherwise the party will suffer and be deliberately damaged should cease. The deliberate muddying of waters is problematic and is causing a lot of party faithful to rethink the commitment of some of our elders to the party and its fortunes.
In any case, why is it that all the candidates in the current NPP National contest, including the candidates supported by Mr. Mpiani, are using the name of Nana Akufo – Addo to campaign and claim that they are in to serve his (Nana Addo) interest? Why has Mr. Mpiani not stopped his candidates from doing that? It is not too late though. It is quite remarkable that Mr. Mpiani doesn’t see anything wrong with candidates campaigning with Nana Addo’s name and claiming that they will work to serve Nana’s interest but finds it offensive for pro-Nana elements to campaign for people they really see to be genuine in their commitment to serve the interest of the NPP and Nana Akufo – Addo.
I know that the usual chorus will follow this rather harmless article; I will be accused of having attacked Mr. Mpiani. It will be said that this article is a sign of a developing intolerance in the NPP but again, this is the norm now. Some few in the party can talk and are free to say anything and accuse anyone of anything but immediately another person or group responds, then it is an attack or a sign of intolerance. It is saintly to be a critic of Nana Akufo-Addo but increasingly becoming a crime to be seen as defending him.
Double Standards, Contradictions, Hypocrisy everywhere. What is good for the goose is now poison for the gander!
(Another Concerned Patriot)