Too many c(r)ooks are spoiling the NPP’s broth

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Folks, the manipulation of the situation in the NPP to favour Akufo-Addo is too glaring to miss. And it has been done in a calculating manner but will have a nasty string of repercussions for the party unless the miraculous happens.

The NPP is really at the crossroads, even as its aged pillars are counting their days and praying hard that the new generation of supporters will be guided by the ideals of the Danquah-Busia political culture, dating back to 1947, and the failed ambitions of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Those who think that there is a “Dombo” component of this Akan tribal cabal had better think twice because it is an appendage well-thought-out by those seeking to exploit Northern Ghana sentiments. The “Dombo” hue in the party’s complexion is infinitesimal.

That is why a political neophyte like Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has become a captive of the “Yen Akanfuo” cabal and is doing their bidding, regardless of how much harm he is doing to his own professional image in the process. In truth, Bawumia stands to gain a lot more as an economist (even if his perspectives are often debunked). Does he have eyes to see things clearly or a mind to delve into the deeper layers of the kind of politics being done by those manipulating him? Where is Mustapha Hamid too, known to us as an Akufo-Addo aide, today?

A cabal of self-satisfied successful businessmen and professionals (mostly lawyers) can’t be relied on to lead a country out of the woods, especially when on their “property-grabbing” spree in politics. Personal success becomes an object of adulation and self-satisfaction, which becomes a stumbling block to efforts at working for the good of the underprivileged masses. Such is the nature of the forebears of the current New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The truth is there for them to see and cringe at, if only their conscience will allow. A political party of those considering themselves as “privileged” cannot be trusted to work for the good of the large majority of the underprivileged citizens on whose sweat, toil, and blood they feast to sustain their positions of privilege. No one should miss this fundamental point. If you do, you will be playing yourself into the hands of these power-hungry elements seeking your goodwill to reassert their privileges. Our democracy shouldn’t be damped down to that deplorable nadir. Time to wake up, friends!!

On that score, I will explore current happenings in the NPP to prove that those fighting tooth-and-nail to be in reckoning have a privileged position to defend. And their defence of that position is to the detriment of the vast majority of poor people who can’t make ends meet, not because the Mahama-led administration is insensitive but because of its inability to solve the systemic problems that have bedevilled this country since time out-of-mind.

Just take a good look at what is happening at the NPP front to see how the “privileged” ones are manipulating the situation to serve their narrow and parochial purposes. Folks, let us patiently unpack the duplicity to expose the premeditated stratagems of the Akufo-Addo camp to prove and reinforce our perceptions about the kind of politics that Akufo-Addo is leading the NPP to do in our time. We have at the back of our minds the petulant manner in which Akufo-Addo conceded defeat to former President Kufuor at the Sunyani congress of the NPP that settled on Kufuor to challenge the NDC’s Jerry Rawlings at Election 1996 only to lose ignominiously because he didn’t have the urge or the electoral appeal.

At that congress, Akufo-Addo had huffed and puffed, readying himself for nothing but victory. A friend of mine who monitored the event told me about how delegates were lured into the lavatory for their palms to be greased to tilt toward Kufuor whereupon Akufo-Addo jumped on Kufuor, openly castigating him as a fake lawyer and asking him to prove which law chamber he practised in if he called himself a lawyer. History remains our guide. Probably, Akufo-Addo himself has a lot to say and do to erase what Justice Kpegah has stamped on his reputation. Hehhhehheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

In effect, the NPP had no appeal to the electorate at the time, even as would be confirmed at Elections 2008 and 2012. That is why whenever I hear any NPP follower blaming the Electoral Commission or the NDC for rigging elections, I laugh myself lame. Victory at the polls goes beyond such lame accusations. Unfortunately, it is clear that despite its huge investment in the electoral process, the NPP people haven’t learnt any useful lesson. Now, they are more interested in undercutting each other than confronting the inadequacies of the Mahama-led administration and proving to the electorate that they have what it will take the move the country out of the woods. Merely commenting on what is already known or using lackeys in the mass media to hype baseless allegations won’t pave the way for them to be in power. It is a teasing fact that they need to face but can’t because of their fixation on “book” and “rogue” politics. The rest must be known to you, my good friends.

Let me stop digressing. So, we are back to the stratagem of the Akufo-Addo camp to intimidate his challengers. Some flashback first. The decision to go to the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of Election 2012 was informed by Akufo-Addo’s agenda to contest Election 2016. He knew deep down his heart that he was rejected by the electorate just as they did him at Election 2008 when Tain confirmed his ill-luck; but he relied on an over-bloated self-confidence and a deceptive conviction that the NPP’s “friends” in the judiciary could undo the harm that the electorate had done to him to push his childhood ambition of becoming Ghana’s President in the dustbin of history.

He hid behind Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia just as he is doing now for him to touch on the main issue dear to the hearts of Ghanaians—the economy. It is Bawumia who is talking about the economy (even if his assertions are now being torn apart as amateurish, deceptive, and childish). Akufo-Addo has confined himself to the fluffy areas—making promises on free senior high school education, building houses for street girls (“Kayayei”), and saying nothing deep about how to solve the systemic problems that have continued to draw Ghana back. If you doubt it, just monitor his utterances.

Okay. So, for now, Akufo-Addo is in the reckoning, having succeeded in hoodwinking the NPP people with his so-called 6 months’ “hibernation” in London after his sorry fate had been sealed by the Supreme Court. He said he was going to seek the face of God to know his future political direction even when he had already known that fact, which is to bounce back into the saddle to contest Election 2016 on the ticket of the NPP. What didn’t he do while hibernating to get his supporters to go round mobilizing support for him? What is emerging is just the natural consequence of his underhand dealings with the NPP cabal. And there are many who will jump on board to sing his praises, deceiving themselves that he is the most popular in that cabal and will automatically be so at Election 2016. Meantime, he is fighting tooth-and-nail against Nature, knowing very well that his better accomplished father died at age 71, where he will be in March 2015!!

Well, the string pulling continues. Having strategically positioned his “freedom fighters” at favourable positions, what else to do but to unleash the venom against his opponents? We know how much has been done to damage the personal image of those challenging him and how much his lackeys in the sensitive sectors of the NPP have done to that effect. In that sense, then, the impression has been created that he is the only one to lead the NPP to victory, which explains why wherever he goes, his lackeys lead the chorus of endorsement for him.

Meantime, his opponents are also playing their cards, regardless of how much hot air is being breathed down their shoulders. Indeed, the entire apparatus of the NPP seems to be skewed in favour of Akufo-Addo, especially considering the manner in which things are being done and entrenched positions taken to suggest that “No Nana, No Vote”. Even those bold enough to air their dissension are either taken on by the NPP’s Sanhedrin (the National Executive Committee or the Council of Elders) or openly threatened and cowed into submission. Dr. Wereko-Brobbey, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, and many others are still nursing their bitterness as such.

As for other subtle means of intimidation, you needn’t look far afield. There is much emphasis on removing from office anybody who shows any sign of being anti-Akufo-Addo. Even Paul Afoko (National Chairman) and Kwabena Agyepong (General Secretary) are not spared. Thanks to the timely intervention of the police, they would have become victims of unfortunate circumstances. Any reason why they are quiet now? Threats to remove them from office are still rife.

Bring in the zany Kennedy Agyapong and you should see how the NPP’s internal politics of intimidation is likely to be its bane at Election 2016. He has openly gored Kwadwo Mpiani (former Chief of Staff under Kufuor) and Dr. Richard Anane (former Minister), accusing them of plotting to poison Akufo-Addo. Eiiiiiiih!! Such a serious allegation!! Yet, Mpiani and Anane can’t clear the air. Agyapong has even gone further to establish Mpiani as a celebrated drunkard who enjoyed the “Open Sesame” windfall just because he (Agyapong) succeeded in persuading ex-President Kufuor to co-opt him into his administration. A serious indictment that Kufuor hasn’t responded to!! How disturbing for us!!

At this stage, it must be clear that the Akufo-Addo camp is using stratagems long hatched before this time to clip the wings of anybody opposed to Akufo-Addo’s attempt at a third electoral contest. He is so fixated on becoming Ghana’s President that he can’t bear any challenge from within his own party. Oh, how such over-ambitious characters end up!!

So, folks, we can continue adducing reasons for what is happening in the NPP; but what use will that be, especially when the die is already cast for those challenging Akufo-Addo? As the Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Council of Elders of the NPP (Akenten Appiah-Menka) revealed today, it will be better for those contesting Akufo-Addo to end their bid and prepare to support him at the August 31 Super Delegates Conference when “a handsome winner” emerges to prevent another congress being held in October this year to elect a flagbearer. In other words, August 31 should give the NPP a flagbearer!! Then, such a candidate will have ample time to reach out to the electorate. Nothing strange for Akufo-Addo especially, who spent more than two years campaigning for Election 2012 only to be shown the way to the dark chambers of the Supreme Court for an unwarranted redress. After the fact, he now knows that elections are won at the polling stations. Such a character!!

Let me just cut short my assessment of the situation in the NPP to say that I anticipate a lot of head-butting between now and Election 2016. No appeal to the conscience of those challenging Akufo-Addo will solve the NPP’s internal crisis because the very foundation on which the issues are constructed is weak. Once those who matter in the party have taken an entrenched position in favour of Akufo-Addo—creating the impression that he is the most marketed of the candidates to reduce the burden on the NPP’s finances and campaign efforts—they are prejudiced. They aren’t giving a good account of themselves and will deepen the NPP’s woes, especially when the challengers “advise” themselves after the August 31 Super Delegates Congress. Are these people really what they profess to be?

The NPP bigwigs appear to be in an indecent haste, and need to hasten slowly so they don’t create more problems for the party. Ghana stands to benefit from the NPP, especially as a vibrant political front, and they should do all they can to ensure that the party serves its purpose as such. They will use the same “takashi” strategies for Election 2016 only to end up none the wiser or better. No more!!

I am Michael J.K. Bokor, and I approve this message. I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.