A great tide in history flows, and as it flows, it brings back great memories; – memories of the contradictory sides to a great man who can dance to different tunes of music at different times. I am referring to the Great Man of Destiny, an icon, a polyglot and a man, who many believe can pull the country out of its present doldrums and comatose state. The person I am referring to is none other than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He is such a practical politician who can take one step backwards in order to move two steps forward. Nana is the man who adopted a confrontational and head-on collision posture against Acheampong’s UNIGOV and the PNDC repressive regime, but shifted his stance when it came to the passage of the National Reconciliation Act.
A combination of the personalities of Diego Maradonna, Nelson Mandela, Boris Yeltsin and Indira Gandhi, Nana Akufo-Addo is an international statesman who can dribble a little to the left and a little to the right to create opportunities for his team to score great goals f. Unfortunately, Nana is one such politician who has greatly been misunderstood and maligned by others for no apparent reason but ignorance.
For the sake of party cohesion and the rumbling and character assassination going on in the NPP , I decided not to engage in what I know best – that of stating the positive credentials of Nana Akufo-Addo. But now that the impediment has been taken care of with the holding of the Ashanti Regional Congress of the party, I feel emboldened to do so.
We shall cross the bridge when we get there. I would like to use this opportunity to
encourage our teeming supporters to have confidence in the conflict resolution mechanism of our great tradition. A lot of party supporters are making a mountain out of a molehill in the supposedly dichotomy between supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo and that of Allan Kyeremanteng. Let me state that as long as we have a competition to choose the best flag-bearer of our party, people are bound to take sides. It is how best we are able to resolve the issues that come after the congress that maters. I am very optimistic that as soon as the flag-bearer ship issue is concluded, the situation will return to normalcy. In all contests there is bound to be acrimony, intense rivalry, scheming and under-current tactics. Call it what you like. We were all witnesses to events that preceded the selection of the U.S. Democratic Party Candidate for the Presidential Election. Clinton and Obama said some imprintable words to each other. But as soon as the issue was settled, Hilary came on board the campaign train of the party and helped Obama to clinch the coveted trophy, which was the Presidency. Obama too never forgot the contributions of Hilary and reciprocated her gesture by awarding her the plush portfolio of Secretary of State.
I know definitely for sure that in the unlikely event of the NDC winning the presidency the second time in succession (everything points out to the contrary) the party will embark on the vengeance mission of arresting many NPP top men and women. And so if supporters of various contestants on the ticket of the NPP will not shelve their sheath, we will have ourselves to blame. But as I have already stated, the NDC too has had its own share of bickering, in fighting and what have you in the run-up to their congress to select its presidential candidates. And as I speak, the intense rivalry still persists. But the party swept this issue under the carpet to fight the elections as one strong united party. But the issue has resurfaced after the party won the presidency. It also happened within the CPP. So, this is not peculiar to the NPP alone. And that is why I have stated that we shall cross the bridge when we get there. This is the assurance I am giving to party men and women.
Nana Kofi Amankwaa of New York: Of late, I have been reading stories and comments almost on weekly basis by someone who styles himself as Nana Kofi Amankwaah (NY). And in all his write-ups he makes disparaging comments about Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and those he perceives to be supporting his presidential ambition. The most astounding thing about the whole issue are the words he uses on top gurus of our party. He refers to distinguished members of our tradition like Jake Okanka Obetsebi Lamptey, Yaw Osafo Marfo, Sheik I.C.Quaye, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, Mr. Akenteng Appiah Menkah,and quite recently, Dr Amoako- Tuffuor as old crooks. And he always plays the ethnic card. He tries to deepen the so-called non-existing dichotomy (espoused by Ben Ephson) between Ashantis and Akims. Such a thing, I repeat is non-existing. It is a figment of imagination of detractors or our great tradition. For any thorough bred NPP member to accuse Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of cementing this non existing ethnic rivalry between these Akan tribes calls to question the loyalty and allegiance of such a person to our noble tradition.
The Asantehene, the Overlord of the Asante Kingdom is married to an Akim. So shame unto perpetrators of this vicious rumour. Nana’s support base cuts across all tribes. I have been associated with him for a long time . Not once has he shown an inclination of favouring one tribe over another. His marriage also speaks volume of how detribalized he is.
I am sounding a note of caution and warning to the so-called Nana Kofi Amankwaa that he will no longer be allowed to insult the man Ghanaians look up to as an Apostle of Peace and Love and whi is an inspiration to all who come in contact with and get away with it. I will take him on, boot for boot on every nasty thing he writes about Nana and his support base. Is this man a genuine member of the NPP? Or is he somebody else using that name and masquerading as an NPP activist? This is a challenge to the US Chapter of the NPP. Is he a registered member of the party? If he is, he should let the whole world know which of the branches he holds his membership? Nana Kofi Amankwaa, if you are what you claim to be, reveal your identity by showing up at any of the party’s branches or meetings in the U.S. .
Yaw Amankwaa, ex- Ashanti Regional Chairman: I was also deeply disturbed and much surprised to hear a damning, strange, bizarre, malicious and unsubstantiated allegations coming from the ex-chairman of Ashanti Region that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had said he could not and would not work with him(Yaw Amankwaa) if he was re-elected Regional Chairman. Is Nana so naive that he would make such a public statement which has the potential of affecting his electoral fortunes? Nana, as an individual might have his preference in the Regional Chairmanship race. He is human and we must concede him that right. It happens in all cases where there elections. But it will be politically suicidal to make that public statement that he would not work with Yaw Amankwaa if the people in the region decided that he was the best man for the job. I have cited the issue of Obama and Hilary, the bitterest of foes and need not dwell much on that
The Mantra of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo: At every point in time and in numerous interactive sessions I have had with him since he first made his intentions to contest the flagbearership of the NPP known, Nana has always indicated his resolve to unify the party and everything he does points out to that fact. His mantra has always been:” I cannot destroy something I have helped to nurture or build”. What other thing do detractors of Nana Akufo-Addo want to hear from him again?
What Nana said at Alisa Hotel on Tuesday, August 28, 2007. “If I am given the nod as the party’s flag-bearer, all party members will be treated alike, whether or not they voted for me. If the NPP is to be the party of national development, it has to be the party of national unity, with the unity coming out of itself and it must eschew religious, ethnic or regional divisions. If the NPP is to promote national reconciliation, it has to promote reconciliation within itself. We must guard against factionalism”.
Those were the exact words of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. And true to his words, as soon as he became the party’s flag bearer, he put in place measures to bring about reconciliation within the party. He brought on board all those who contested the flag-bearer ship race with him against strong advice from some concerned members of the party that it would be suicidal to do so. But Nana brushed aside all those misgivings. The unity of the party was what was paramount on his mind. After the end of the first round of voting, Nana put the man who had been his main challenger during the party’s Congress, Allan Kyeremanteng in charge of the campaign teams in both Ashanti and Volta Regions.
Does this action of Nana portray him as somebody who cannot work with somebody who is not on his side? A resounding no!
Evil and Falsehood cannot triumph over Virtue and Truth: I wish to state that all that have been going on are the evil machinations of a few members within our noble tradition who are hell-bent on derailing the forward movement process of our Great Party. We all have our preferences, no doubts about that. But that does now mean we show put forth falsehood in order to derail the chances of those we do not support.
What do these people, particularly the so-called Nana Kofi Amankwaa of New York and Yaw Amankwaa hope to gain by spreading such falsehood against the person of Nana Akufo-Addo? And what happens if Nana eventually is given the nod to lead the party in the 2012 Presidential Elections? Are they going to take back those ugly and vicious campaigns they launched against Nana Akufo Addo? How do they hope to go about that?Wouldn’t they have provided enough fuel and ammunition to our political rivals to take on our candidate?
Davis Opoku: As if that was enough,Davis Opoku who styled himself as spokesperson for a non existing concerned youth group within the party echoed the allegations made by Yaw Amankwaa, the then Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party. He ended his statement with the warning that, they the concerned youth of the party will not sit down unconcerned for self-seeking individuals to destroy the party in the pursuit of their parochial and selfish interests. That, I felt was uncalled for and hitting below the belt.
On thing people refuse or deliberately refuse to understand is that in modern day politics, a lot of strategies go into it. There are allignments and re-allignment of forces and political permutations. The political terrain is not static as a lot of uninformed people believe. In most cases, a group of party supporters would make a request to meet one aspirant. Any candidate worth his sauce will not deny them that opportunity. In such a situation, the candidate will find time out of busy schedule to meet the people. And in the case of the issue referred to by the ‘destooled’ regional chairman, Nana had attended a funeral and on his way back decided to grant the 15 Constituency Chairmen audience. What was Dr Amoako Tufuor’s crime if as the facilitator, the meeting was held in his house?s. There is no big deal about that. This was not the first time Nana has held meetings with Constituency Chairmen in the Region. He has been holding consultations and will continue to hold consultations with Regional Chairmen all over the Coiuntry in his efferts at building concensus in the party.
“Se wo amma wo yonko antwa annko a, wonso wontwa nkodu”. Translated literally, it means if you prevent your colleague from having a smooth sail to his/her destination, you will as well, never reach your own destination. I would like to state that in our desperate attempts to achieve our personal ambitions of ensuring that our preferred candidates become our party’s flag bearer, we must as individuals, not sidetrack the moral aspects that go with our campaign. We must not malign the name of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. We, as politicians owe the electorate that.
Nana, yenim wo firi tete: Nana has done a lot for the party. If we are not going to praise him, we should not denigrate his good name. Talk of party officials who visited and assisted NPP members who were arrested and tried for the disturbances that occurred at Gushiegu and its environs, and Nana’s name quickly comes to mind. I speak on authority that Nana played a yeoman’s role in getting our members acquitted and discharged on the various counts. Go and ask Nana Obiri Boahene, the lawyer who took up the case and he will tell you what Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo did for the boys in those difficult times.
A dogged fighter and a man of principles, there is always a feeling of deja vu whenever Nana makes appearance at any gathering. His chemistry is infectious and there is always a sense of oneness and uniformity of purpose with his presence.
A poser for you: Isn’t it intriguing that the avowed critic, Nana Kofi Amankwaa of New York, who has thrown caution and decency to the wind and also uses vulgar and imprintable names on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and those he perceives supporters bears the same surname with Yaw Amankwaa, the destooled chairman of Ashanti Region who was moving from one radio station to another to launch a campaign of calumny against the person (Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo), who by the Grace of God, Insha Allah will be elected the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party?
I mean no mischief. I am only curious!
And these two, Nana Kofi Amankwaa of New York and Yaw Amankwaa are strongly resolved in their desperate and devilish campaign to derail the forward moving campaign train of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. But the race is neither for the swift nor the strong. When the people speak, no amount of words can prevent the crossing of the Rubicon. Nana will surely win. Want to contradict me?
Daniel Danquah Damptey
E-mail address : – danieldanquah_damptey@ yahoo . com