I have had, on a number of occasions, to take the trouble to admonish the communicators and the generality of the NPP family, to be circumspect in their utterances, anytime microphones are placed before them in the studios of radio stations. But I think this my constant admonitions have fallen on deaf-ears because some of these communicators, in their rabid desire to either please, or, defend their favourite candidates, have become impervious to wise-council.
The NPP, in opposition seems not to have learnt its lesson in spite of the constitutional amendments et al. One major fact for the loss of power by the NPP in 2008 was the inability to properly articulate, to the citizenry, all the good works of the 8years of Kufuor administration. Complacency, also contributed to the electoral demise of the NPP at the polls in 2008.
Immediately after the 2008 elections, some particular individuals were singled out for blame, as regards the loss of the party. At the time these finger pointing were going on, most of us were not really worried for the simple reason that, we had, then, just come out of a very bitter electoral defeat and cool heads were therefore not prevailing at the time. I therefore decided to give those making the allegations, the benefit of the doubt and allow the dust to settle so that people could then be sober enough to be able to engage in sensible post-election analysis.
Personally, I was confronted by the sympathizers of the NPP,everywhere I went,immediately after the 2008 elections, with lamentations of what they thought caused the defeat of the party and what must be done, in their view, to enhance the chances of the party in the 2012 elections. Amongst these steps that they said the party needs to take in preparation towards the 2012 elections, are; unity, grassroots mobilization of the citizenry, efficient communication strategy, and above all, the need to be guarded in our utterances when it comes to intra-party issues.
The expansion of the party’s electoral college has been done.But,the rest of the measures needed to be taken to ensure the success of the party in the 2012 elections, has completely been shelved and in its place, has been the constant firing of verbal-salvos at one-another, when it comes to dealing with intra-party differences.
From what is going on within the NPP at the moment, I doubt very much if the party is really serious in positioning itself, strategically, for the 2012 elections. This is because, matters that should be amicably resolved within the party, easily end up in verbal-brawls on the airwaves.
There is this adage that says; ‘se etan okwedu a, nna eyi n’emirika’, to wit, never down-play the swiftness of the monkey even if you hate it.
This wise saying best portrays my view of the hunger and conduct of the NDC, when they were in opposition and were determined to wrestle power from the then ruling NPP.
The NDC, with one accord, as in the biblical story of the ‘Tower of Babel’, marshaled all the forces at their disposal and consistently sang from the same song-sheet, even if the song they are singing did not make sense to the discerning people of this nation. They adopted a strategy of coming up with lies and made sure they persistently repeated them until these lies became the ‘truth’.
Each time Rawlings goofed on a political platform, the whole NDC will descend on the airwaves like swam of bees and defended him to the hilt.Rawlings was never criticized,openly,by the generality of the NDC.Even when Rawlings came down heavily on either the party,or,some individuals within the party, the people within the NDC will come and defend him(Rawlings)with the explanation that Rawlings is a citizen of Ghana, and therefore, has every right to voice his opinions on every issue in our nation. In effect, Rawlings, being the only person alive to have led the NDC in two successive electoral victories, is seen as a very useful asset to the party and a fulcrum around which the entire unity of the party revolved.
Rawlings has always had his preferences whenever there are elections within the NDC party. He (Rawlings) even goes ahead to openly canvass for his preferred candidates. At times some of his (Rawlings) preferred candidates won, and in some cases, they lost. But, hell never breaks loose in the NDC.The perceived favourites of Rawlings do not become political-outcasts within the NDC.
Just take a good look at the composition of the current NDC national executives and you will appreciate how shrewd this party can be, when it comes to putting aside intra-party differences, in order to forge ahead in unity, with the sole purpose of wining political power through fair, ‘bugabuga’ or ‘kuluulu’ means.
There are rumours making rounds that Rawlings will sponsor a candidate to contest Atta-Mills for the NDC flagbearership in 2012, which will bring about the splitting-up of the NDC.The NDC,as I have come to know them, will never engage in such an enterprise if it is going to result in political power eluding them!!.You just wait and see.Rawlings says Atta-Mills is not performing. But, who told you he (Rawlings) will prefer living under a competent NPP administration, to, that of an incompetent NDC administration?
In otherwords,eventhough Rawlings is describing the Atta-Mills administration as inept, he(Rawlings)will vigorously campaign for Atta-Mills to retain power rather than rocking the ‘NDC-boat’ to make it possible for the NPP to slip through the ‘electoral-fishing-net’ and cruise to the jubilee house in 2012.So, those who are anxiously waiting for that very active ‘boom-junction-volcano’ to erupt and spread ‘volcanic-ash’ into the skies of the Old Slave Castle, to make it impossible for Atta-Mills to fly in 2012, must rather think of a better campaign strategy because they are certainly going to be disappointed!!
However, when it comes to the NPP, Kufuor is seen as a ‘bubonic plaque’, by a section within the party who think Kufuor supports an individual, other than them. Very private meetings Kufuor holds with top hierarchy of the party, always finds its way into the media with lightening speed.
Kufuor was accused by some elements within the party for the simple reason that the NPP was in power, had the resources, command over the security apparatus and so on, and for that reason, the party should have maintained power in 2008,at all cost, if Kufuor really wanted the party to. But Rawlings was the head of state of Ghana for nearly 20years and his party, headed by Atta-Mills, who was the vice president at the time; lost the 2000 general elections to the then opposition NPP.And did anybody hear the supporters of the NDC blaming Rawlings for the party’s electoral defeat?
The NPP, as a party, is gradually cutting an image of ‘obiaa nnye obiaa’ for itself, and as a result, there is no single individual in the party who is recognized as a father figure, whose advise is respected by the generality of the followers of the party. And this brings to mind a famous Fante adage that says; ‘se nnyi penyi a due’, to wit, “woe unto you if don not have access to elderly council”. There are some people in the NPP who simply love to hate, even, the voice of kufuor.Yet, these same individuals will go on air and say that Kufuor is the only person who has the key to unlock the web of confusion currently engulfing the party. In effect, these people are asking Kufuor to share a highly poisonous meat with his teeth. This is simply not fair!!
I did not see the reign of Busia and therefore will not be in a position to talk about that period of our nation’s history. But from what I have personally seen and experienced, I can say without a shred of doubt that, the most successful living individual within the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, today, is undoubtedly, John Agyekum Kufuor. This is the person, under whose flagbearership the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition was able to break the shackles of opposition politics to emerge winners in the 2000 general elections, after 30years in the political wilderness.
Here, I would liken the legacy of President Kufuor to that of Princess Diana. Princess Diana, who was the wife of Prince Charles, was subjected to a barrage of unfair criticisms by some elements in the British society because of his love affair with Dodi Fayed, the son of multi-millionaire Mohammed Al Fayed (the former owner of the famous Harrods). As a result, Princess Diana would have been stripped of the title of a Queen if her then estranged husband, Prince Charles, had become the King of England.
But, Princess Diana said eventhough she had been stripped of that title; she will continue to be “the Queen of hearts” of the British people. I was in Britain when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in France and I must say here that the level of out-pouring of grief across the length and breath of that nation, and, the world over, was amazingly mind-boggling.
Kufuor is today, being torn apart by some elements within his own party, but, his personal attributes of authentic peace and humility coupled with novelties as NHIS, NYEP, LEAP, MMT, capitation grant, school feeding programme, free natal care, highest cocoa production since independence, the relative stability of the cedi for six consecutive years and the construction of one-time mythological Mallam-Yamoransa road (which had been mentioned in every budget statement since the days of Don-Diego d’Azambuja),shall forever be remembered by the good people of this nation.
Also, the Tamale, Sekondi and Cape-Coast sports stadia, weaning us off the IMF, procurement of vehicles for the police within 3months of assuming office, continuos supply of crude oil even when the price was at an all-time high of $147 and the repeal of the obnoxious criminal libel law (which a one-time Attorney General said it will be repealed over his dead body),will continue to be excellent campaign tools for the NPP for a very long time, considering the chaotic manner the affairs of state is currently being carried out by the ideas-bereft Atta-Mills administration.
Indeed, John Agyekum Kufuor is worthy of a complete chapter in the contemporary politics of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, in particular, and, on the Ghanaian political scene, in general. I therefore wonder why some elements within the NPP, have once again, put on this ‘over-sized-cloak’ of complacency that is making them think that the party can regain political power, with ease, in 2012 by demonizing Kufuor and doing away with his legacy. ‘Asem beba debi’!!!.
Author: Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
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