By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
When he decided to temporarily put his presidential primary candidacy campaign bid for the 2016 presidential election on hold, while he studiously and protectively monitored the ongoing limited voters’ registration exercise, sponsored by the Electoral Commission (EC), his arch-rivals in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) published a criminally impersonated article alleging such suspension to have been prompted by the ill-health of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The latter had then just concluded the first leg of his campaign in Wa, the Upper-West’s regional capital.
And then shortly thereafter, the largely AWOL and twice quitter from the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen, was also widely reported to be monitoring the limited registration of eligible first-time voters for Election 2016. Maybe this is the sheaf of prospective voters that Mr. Kyerematen has been erroneously and mischievously characterizing as his especial stronghold or preserve of “floating voters.” Interestingly, nobody questioned why this man who has never seriously run for any significant elective office, other than internal party presidential primaries, had suddenly become the pontiff of the voters’ register.
To the best of my knowledge, nobody has publicly accused the man popularly nicknamed Alan Cash of luridly indulging in cheap political expediency. And neither has anybody publicly wondered why Mr. Cash never monitored the voters’ register during the last two electoral seasons. In sum, it quizzically appears as if Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to monitor the 2016 voters’ register is being perceived by a different set of standards altogether. And significantly, this is not altogether such a bad thing. The fact of the matter is that whether his most ardent political opponents and arch-rivals like it or not, Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice is a pace-setter of enviable stature.
Even political rivals who would have the electorate perceive Nana Akufo-Addo as being jaded and unelectable, the third time around, can still not help but take a cue from the foresighted leadership of the man. Some have even claimed that statesmanship comes to the man almost as naturally as the human intake of oxygen. I, on the other hand, prefer to let you, my dear reader, do most of the talking and sizing.
At any rate, the reason for writing this piece is the decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to also take a cue from the 2008 and 2012 New Patriotic Party presidential candidate, by suspending all electioneering campaign activities in the lead-up to the party’s October congress, until the limited voters’ registration exercise has concluded on August 13. What is fascinating about the NDC decision, released in a statement signed by General-Secretary Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, regards the apparent fear inspired in the key operatives of the NDC by the studied vigilance, this time around, of Nana Akufo-Addo.
And on the preceding score must also be recalled the fact that in the wake of the shocking declaration of then-Transitional President John Dramani Mahama as winner of Election 2012, by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia publicly stated on a talk-radio program that it was the total lack of vigilance on the part of NPP polling agents, as well as other NPP-affiliated election officials, that had largely determined that the photo-finish outcome of the election results would be called in favor of Mr. Mahama.