There is no doubt that the NPP has gone into political damage control mode, in the wake of the recent WikiLeaks revelations which seem to confirm what Ghanaians have been already in the know thanks NPP aspirants to the much-coveted position of the flag-bearer of their party, a couple of years ago. What I have found to be very pathetic is the way they are going about it and the kind of things they are saying of late about this scandal. It is increasingly sounding as if they are at the end of their wits. This is not just the issue of simple denial, but how they go about it.
Why is it “not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did not do in the past”, as the ex-President is admonishing? I wonder if the ex-President really intended to ask us to judge Nana Akufo-Addo by his future rather than the usual evaluation of personal records of excellence, mediocrity, criminal past, and, or experience. This is news. Of course, I know of jobs where background and experience might not be necessary, but certainly not the office of the President! It really makes me wonder if he intends to be taken seriously.
Akufo-Addo has never been his bosom friend, even though Mr. Kufuor might have met him at a few funerals and meetings over a period of forty years. They were not class mates. Not the same age group, where you might say they passed time together, chased “bottoms” together, and played with each other, growing up. Perhaps this explains why ex-President Kufuor seems to be equivocating or even stammering as he comes to Nana Addo’s defence, over an issue which, if true, he would obviously know nothing about:
“Former President John Agyekum Kufuor yesterday stated categorically that he had never seen Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, smoking or drinking alcohol.”
According to the Statesman,
“Former President Kufuor who, who was speaking on Tema based Adom FM, said even though he had known Nana Akufo-Addo for over 40 years, he had never seen him taking any narcotic drugs, as his detractors would want the whole world to believe.”
What someone close to the ex-President ought to draw his attention to is the fact that the Ghana Police can also testify that they have known him since he was a child of ex-President Edward Akufo-Addo, and had never seen him smoke or drink, but that would not mean he never smoked or drunk, nor used drugs. You see, people are very clever. They hide these things, sometimes even from friends. The fact that you don’t see it does not mean that it does not happen. That is why most people escape from being caught. So what Kufuor was saying must have sounded very hollow even in his own ears, if he was listening to himself whilst talking.
I was equally taken a bit aback by the phrase “as his detractors would want the whole world to believe”. Who might these “detractors” be, ex-President Kufuor? Were these so-called “detractors” responsible for these apparently “very wicked leaks” under discussion? In the first place, what is funny about the wikileaks is that the original information was not even meant for the world to see, let alone believe! Who would want the world to believe that, the “detractors” of Akufo-Addo were behind these leakages? Now, here is a very funny man, if you are looking for one! How remotely possible could Julian Assange be a detractor of Akufo-Addo? Ha
Those behind the Wikileaks did not even know that Nana Akufo-Addo exists. And it is very interesting to observe that Kwesi mentioned the wee smoking in order to defend Nana and not to accuse him. Perhaps, it is also important to point out once more, that it is not even as though Mr. Kwesi Pratt was out there attacking Nana Akufo-Addo and trying to undermine him. In fact, a careful reading of the document gives the unmistakable impression that Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. was even going out of his way to be fair to Nana Akufo-Addo:
3. (C) Pratt said that he has a long-standing personal goes back at least two decades. He felt that Akufo-Addo had because of the high-level positions he has held within the Kufuor administration, but that he was in fact much cleaner than most of those around him. Pratt has been a virulent critic of corruption in the Kufuor government, which he labeled as ‘astronomical” and “an affront to all Ghanaians.” grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils.” relationship with both Akufo-Addo and John Atta-Mills that been unfairly tarnished by the assumption of corruption and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that The amounts of money being pocketed by public officials had grown exponentially, he said, because of the discovery of oil and the ever-increasing narcotics trade, but he posited that Akufo-Addo, in his role as Foreign Minister in the second Kufuor administration, did not share in the spoils.”
Apart from ex-President Kufuor who needs to defend his own record, I don’t see any “detractor” here! After speaking his mind and defending Akufo-Addo concerning the corruption allegations, Kwesi Pratt even went ahead to defend him of the serious charges of cocaine addiction:
“¶3…When questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo’s own cocaine habit, Pratt admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate’s drug use, but that it was not cocaine. “Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana,” Pratt said, “and I’m telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made.”
It is therefore very much in evidence that even in what seems like the marijuana smoking scandal, it seems to have been chipped in, in order to fend off the more serious allegation of cocaine addiction. This is why Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., remains unassailable in this story. This is why Kwesi Pratt is more credible than President Kufuor, if indeed, as the paper says,”He was commenting on the recent Wikileaks report on the leaked US diplomatic cables which captured alleged, among other things, claims by some people, including Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper that Nana Akufo-Addo used to smoke marijuana.”
I find the following observation of former President Kufuor a bit strange:
“Mr Kufuor noted that it was not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did not do in the past, adding that Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past.”
With all due respect, is the President suggesting this for all of us or only an exceptional treatment for Nana Akufo-Addo? If so, does he not think it would have been wiser to have also explained why we are all judged by our past actions rather than our intentions for the future but not Akufo-Addo? Would he be saying this if he were to be proud of Akufo-Addo’s past? Why is it not appropriate to base our judgement on what Akufo-Addo “did or did not do in the past”? It is ridiculous to admonish us that “Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past.” Are we to judge him with the things he is going to do in the future? This is a good one! This is new, fresh and original!
The reason why he is making this bizarre request for us to forget about the past is not far-fetched:
“Former President Kufuor urged the electorate to support Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid to become the next president of the country by voting massively for the NPP presidential candidate in next year’s general election.”
The only problem is that he provided no reason for that specific request! Even if we must forget about his past, we would still need a reason to vote for him, wouldn’t we? What is President Kufuor trying to tell us? Methinks I understand his predicament. In the Akan language there is the expression, “oretotow paapaa do”. It literally means “he is throwing it, one on top of the other”. Where “it” can be anything from plain nonsense to unintelligent and stupid lies. It happens often when people are caught red-handed in an embarrassing situation and do not know exactly what to say.
A classic example is that of Count Dracula. Count Dracula was reported to have told a lady who wondered why she could not see him in her dressing mirror, even though Dracula was standing right behind her and trying to fondle her, as she is looking in the mirror. “I am not feeling quite well” was the excuse Dracula provided as the reason why he could not be seen in the mirror!
This has been a classic one in its own rights until ex-President Kufuor’s latest quote that it is “not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did not do in the past”! If he thinks Ghanaians voted for him because of the things he was going to do in the future and not based on his past records, then God help us! We are going to judge Akufo-Addo by what he did or did not do in the past. We shall judge him by what he smoked or did not smoke in the past! We shall judge him by what he sniffed or did not sniff in the past.
I find it stranger still that the Statesman even thought it fit to publish this. How desperate could they be? Is this not a hell-fire sign that the Akufo-Addo camp is fully aware that the campaign is going well at all? Is this not an indirect admission that Akufo-Addo has something to hide from us concerning his past? Is the President suggesting that Akufo-Addo’s past is nothing to write home about? Why should we forget it when he is asking us to make him the most important citizen of the land, who can make decisions that can make a difference between whether we live or die?
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro