Veep’s speech; Is NPP running from its ugly shadow in Ashanti?

Amissah Arthur Veep Hand Vice President Amissah-Arthur

Thu, 6 Oct 2016 Source: Maxwell Okamafo Addo

By Maxwell Okamafo Addo

Contrary to what his accusers and opponents are alleging, the Vice President never used the word ‘rig’ during his speech in Asawase. It however not surprising to hear them go on that tangent, since as the saying goes, ‘you give a dog a bad name so as to hang it’.

The Veep only told electorates to be vigilant so as not to be taken by surprise. Yes, vigilance against ballot theft; vigilance against hooliganism. If ‘vigilance’ is a bad word to use, who would political anybody be innocent in this atmosphere?

The recent attacks on the Vice President for asking electorates to be vigilant during the December polls are uncalled for. What is most enigmatic about the sources of these attacks is that they are the very people who preach vigilance to be a prerequisite for free and fair elections. While such people cannot be faulted for preaching vigilance, the marshaling of their acerbic forces against the Veep is very hypocritical.

The man Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur has over the past 4 years been very focused on his job as a Vice President and Chairman of the economic management team. With the economic challenges that the country experienced, it is not surprising that he had not engaged in politicking but rather worked assiduously with the President to stabilize the system.

We now have one of the most stable currencies on the continent. Few days ago IMF praised us for reducing the debt stock; and the recent upgrade of our economy by Moody with respect to our credit worthiness did not happen in vacuum. It was due to focus leadership that had ignored all the frivolous and doom-saying politicking during the hard times. They did not allow themselves to be distracted.

We are in the campaign season and people expect that the gentlemen who were given the job on the 7th of January 2012 render account of their stewardship to the state.

This activity is critical especially when the incumbent is asking the good people of Ghana to renew the social contract. In the process candidates both incumbent and opposition have the political and democratic right to ask their followers to be vigilant.

We have heard that over and over from the opposition, why we cannot hear same from the incumbent? Was the Vice Presidents focus on his job during the past years mistaken for a lack of interest in politics?

What is even more confusing is the fact that most of those criticizing him rarely come out with any tangible solutions or policy alternatives to the nation’s problems in their daily submissions on prime talk shows they frequently visit.

In the 2008 elections we had polling stations in Ashanti region that had turnout as awkward as 128%. This is obviously the stronghold of the New Patriotic Party and they stood to benefit from such fraud.

The Herald’s report of 20th December 2012 stated that ‘the Ashanti Region which is the powerhouse of the NPP, has been recording 120 percent of voter turnout in some key constituencies such as Bantama, Manhyia, Suame, Oforikrom, Nhyiaeso and Subin within the Kumasi metropolis until the introduction of the Biometric Verification…’. The venue from where the Veep spoke, was very appropriate, and the message equally apt. The timing was perfect.

This is a region the NPP regional chairman, one Wontumi has declared himself ‘governor’ over. He has sat on Good Evening Ghana and openly avowed to reject peace in the upcoming elections. He has displayed violence at all facets of his political engagement. In fact his own party members including a sitting MP, he has physically assaulted.

What would he not do to the supporters of other parties? Asawase happen to be an ‘island’ of pro NDC constituency in the ‘ocean’ of pro NPP constituencies in the Ashanti region. Are electorates in this area not to be told to defend their votes against threats from this ‘governor’?

The Veep is a very peaceful, hardworking, meritocratic and has a good sense of humor which he uses to calm nerves when necessary. These are attributes that are very essential for nation building and unifying the population towards development. He has never made any violent speech. He does not believe that elections must be won at all cost.

Columnist: Maxwell Okamafo Addo