Is the NPP’s “books politics” catching up with it?

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, December 13, 2013

Folks, I have been following closely the developments at the NPP front, particularly the exchanges going on between Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku and all those bent on retaining Akufo-Addo for Election 2016. Also on the sideline is the allegation against Dr. Amoako-Tufuor of destroying the NPP’s chances for Election 2016. Interesting exchanges that tell me how the tide is flowing in the camp of the elephants.

First things first. Dr. Apraku was Akufo-Addo’s campaign manager for Election 2008. Akufo-Addo lost the game. In the campaigns for Election 2012, Dr. Apraku didn’t participate as vigorously as he did in the previous ones. Some accused him of misappropriating (or embezzling funds provided for the 2008 elections, which he has denied).

Now, he is out in his element, pitting his political strength against that of Akufo-Addo and his followers. Of course, he had twice contested the flagbearership and lost. This time, he is geared up to attempt it again, but not without under-cutting Akufo-Addo whom he had supported previously.

His arguments are clear: that Akufo-Addo doesn’t have the magnetic pull (not attractive—whatever the word means) to attract floating voters, meaning that he can’t win elections without the backing of such voters. It is obvious that floating voters can swing the elections wherever they endorse a candidate. After all, they constitute a large proportion of the electorate. No one can win the elections without their goodwill.

Dr. Apraku claims that Akufo-Addo doesn’t have what it takes to grab the goodwill of these floating voters and must not be retained for Election 2016. Secondly, having failed twice already on account of his not being attractive to floating voters (or even not getting the nod of NPP functionaries not supporting him—remember the tongue wagging about the Kufuor and Kyerematen faction, principally the Asante factor?), it will be politically suicidal for the NPP to retain him for Election 2016. Or will the Asante and Akyem rivalry dim chances?

Apparently, Dr. Apraku is undercutting Akufo-Addo for his own good; but it is apparently clear that he is not capable of winning any Presidential elections himself. He doesn’t have the clout, even in the NPP, to be preferred. So, why is he at Akufo-Addo’s neck? Is he being pushed on by faceless anti-Akufo-Addo people in the NPP?

As the dust continues to thicken, those against Dr. Apraku have begun jumping on him, painting him as a “traitor” and wondering what his objective is. Former MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, P.C. Appiah-Ofori, has submitted that anybody not supporting Akufo-Addo’s candidacy must be “stupid”. Then a special aide to Akufo-Addo (Mustapha Hamid) says that Dr. Apraku’s logic is flawed.

A group within the NPP is also angry at Dr. Amoako-Tufuor’s insistence that Akufo-Addo be retained. The group sees him as destroying the NPP front with that dogged insistence. Are these people heading toward the precipice?

Well, so far, so intriguing. As these developments in the NPP gain grounds, we will continue to monitor them to see how they will pan out. Indeed, what is emerging is likely to develop into more trouble, especially if tempers flare up and people refuse to use their heads to comprehend issues properly.

Obviously, Akufo-Addo has already made up his mind to contest the flagbearership and, therefore, make a third attempt at the Presidency. He can’t see himself as a spent horse in the race, drawing inferences from the advanced ages at which others elsewhere got elected: Abdulai Wade of Senegal and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. But is he ignorant of the peculiar circumstances surrounding the politics of those countries? In Ghana, if “the there is not there, no one can force it to be there”. So does it seem for Akufo-Addo.

He is being politically cunning and playing hide-and-seek with his own party’s followers. His public utterances betray him. We know that he has already made up his mind to dig in even though deceiving the unwitting ones that he is on holiday in London, waiting for the “hand of God” to guide him toward his political future. Whom does he think he is deceiving?

Those preparing the ground for him will definitely lock horns with Dr. Apraku and others not ready to accept him as the flagbearer. Then, we will see how conflict-resolution is handled in the NPP cabal. In any case, even if Akufo-Addo sails through to bear the party’s flag for Election 2016, the very issues that caused his defeat at Elections 2008 and 2012 will rebound to doom him again, unless he proves that he has added value to himself.

Dr. Apraku is calling for a HUMBLE person to lead the NPP. Is Akufo-Addo that humble person? Even though it will take more than humility to win elections, there is much to ponder about the issues cropping up in the elephant family. I am enjoying it all.

I shall return…

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