Kufuor - The Walking Contradiction
Read through his utterances both in public and private, as reported by the media, one is being tempted to ask whether the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor is not a “walking contradiction”. Is the President under pressure to swallow his own words or he is being swallowed by the words and actions of others?
Between December 2005 and now, the President's positions on who should take what position in the Party clearly show that the President's is the epitome of double standard.
In December, 2005, Peter Mac Manu benefited from the President and the presidency's decision to back Steve Ntim who was contesting the former on the national Chairmanship position. The delegates at the conference on hearing that Steve Ntim had the backing of the executive, thanks to Dan Botwe and few other “radicals”, by way of rebelling against the executive, voted for Mac.
The President was reported to have preferred Ntim to Mac because the latter was an Ashanti and that it was politically incorrect for the President and the National Party Chairman to come from the same region. Lately, pieces of information coming out indicate that Steve Ntim may not be an absolute non-Ashanti in which case the President's reason for preferring him to Mac seemed to be laced with other ulterior motives. Indeed, pieces of information reaching this writer are that his father comes from the Ashanti region.
As we all know, some ministers became casualties of the ministerial reshuffle that followed the 2005 conference. Some were alleged to have been removed or reshuffled because of the role they played in that conference that brought Mac and his team to power. Some were allegedly removed for not campaigning effectively for the President's choice.
Right from the 2005 conference, rumours began flipping out that the executive particularly the President was backing one particular aspirant to the detriment of the rest. Indeed, certain behaviours of a particular aspirant became clear that he was for sure enjoying some form of support from the executive.
This became an issue to the extent that the President, knowing the repercussions of such action, had to come out publicly at a function organized at the Okaikoi North Constituency that he was not backing any candidate.
Some of the aspirants decided to hold on to his words while others, from their own convictions, continued to accuse him of backing one candidate. Hon. Felix Kwasi Owusu-Adjapong - another aspirant - was of the view that once the President had denied backing any candidate, he would believe what the President had until the contrary is established. In fact he charged party members to chastise those who move about using the President to solicit for votes and in the process destroy the Party.
On the contrary, someone like Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo did not show any sign of belief in the President. Hence, he sounded a note of caution to the executive that they should do all they could to erase the perception that they were backing a particular candidate. That was when he launched his campaign.
This particular presidential candidate is not only an Ashanti but comes from the same traditional area within the Ashanti Region as the National Chairman - a clear case of double standard. If for being a “non-Ashanti” (true?), Ntim was the President's preferred contestant, then why backing this Presidential Candidate who comes from the same area as the National Chairman?
Still not satisfied with the President's public pronouncements, and based on their own observations, some social commentators, journalists and even the aspirants kept on referring to it time and again, leading to a meeting between the aspirants and the President. This was convened by the NPP council of elders.
At the meeting, the President “affirmed” his position that he was not backing any aspirant. That was a big banner headline at the front page of the Daily Graphic on the morning after the meeting. Conspicuously absent in the Graphic story - and this was not too surprising - was what the President said at the tail end of his assurance to the aspirants that he was not backing any aspirant. Indeed he reportedly followed this assurance with a big “but”. He said was prepared to work and cooperate with whoever the Party will vote for as the leader except those he dismissed. This, the President said in the presence of, Hon Osafo Marfo, Dr. Konadu Apraku, Dan Botwe and Effah Nkrabeah Darteh but none bothered to challenge him why he said that.
Then on the 9th of November, the President told cheering party members in Kumasi that they should not vote for a bully or someone they cannot access when the need arises. That was when he had gone to inaugurate the Asafo Interchange. Here him, “I may not meet you as I have today before you go for the congress and please, do not go and vote for a bully, someone you will not be able to access when you need him. Do not vote for someone you cannot find looking for him” (Ma mo nko to mma obi a oye patapaa, mpo se eba se mohia no a, mo nhu no….. monto ma nea yerehwehwe no a yebehu no). In fact the president was in a way making known to the public what he had said at the meeting with the aspirants - the portion that Graphic did not include in that front page article.
Then last Sunday, December 2nd, the President's address at the Kasoa rally was a complete repudiation of what he had said at the inauguration of the Asafo Interchange. Here him, “all of them are solid and are capable of leading this party. Whoever you bring will get my support and I will take him round the country to ensure that he wins.” Between November 9th and December 2nd is barely one month and the President has made two public pronouncements on the same issue which are completely different in perspective.