By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
To hear the desperate Kyerematen hireling tell it, you would think that in the lead-up to Election 2000 then-Candidate John Agyekum-Kufuor campaigned for the presidency all by himself. The fact of the matter is that a presidential primary-trounced Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo decided to stick it out with the man who had defeated him for the presidential nomination of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He did not cut himself off and ran, as New Yorkers are wont to say.
Unlike Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen, Nana Akufo-Addo did not resign from the NPP (not even once, much less twice) in order to seek audience and favor with the then-President Jerry John Rawlings. If anything at all, it is Mr. Kufuor who has a history of briefly trucking with Chairman Rawlings, not Nana Akufo-Addo. Well, no need to rake up the past; it serves no constructive purpose for those of us poised to clinching victory for the party with the most progressive ideology and the right kind of leadership acumen required to move Ghana into the Twenty-First centry, as well as rapidly and phenomenally improve the quality of life of the hardworking Ghanaian citizen.
Even as former President Kufuor personally attested not quite long ago, Information Communication Technology (ICT) is at such a high level of accessibility and usage because it was Nana Akufo-Addo who initialled the very first contractual agreement that brought the first state-of-the-art cellular phone company into the country. It was also the man whom the Kyerematen hirelings prefer to villify who drafted the Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law which has afforded Ghanaians the sort of unfettered freedom of speech which these unprincipled and unconscionable critics have blindly and recklessly capitalized upon to ruthless victimize and demonize President Kufuor’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
And so in a classical sense of the expression, Nana Akufo-Addo is a victim of his own success in ways that the Kyerematen frisbee catchers cannot even begin to fathom. Then also, it is rather criminally preposterous for anybody to fault Nana Akufo-Addo for either the flat refusal or the tactically “egregious” failure of the then-President Kufuor to endorse then-Vice President Aliu Mahama for the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidacy for Election 2008.
This tactical error may very well have cost Akufo-Addo the three northern regions. In fact, during the 2012 presidential election campaign, then-Transitional President John Dramani Mahama, himself a northerner of Gonja ethnicity, would capitalize on this Kufuor blunder to viciously imply that Akans, by and large, did not regard their northern-descended running-mates with the desired respect and seriousness.
“They [the Kabonga] see us as mere presidential spare tyres,” Mr. Mahama would caustically assert on the stumps. Could any Akan-descended NPP member, supporter or sympathizer in his/her right frame of mind honestly dispute the fact that this Kufuor faux-pas had remarkably contributed to the woeful inability of Nana Akufo-Addo to win a critical mass of the northern vote?
And just why would President Kufuor twice field Vice-President Aliu Mahama as his running-mate and then abruptly and unceremoniously abandon the man when it mattered most? In doing so, was President Kufuor really enhancing his NPP successor’s chances of maintaining the party’s grip on the so-called six regions that he had fought so hard to hold electoral sway over? And is this glaring act of mischief what Nana Akufo-Addo is obligated to apologize for, as one of the Quitman’s lapdogs is insisting?
But that Akufo-Addo has consistently retained the economically astute Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana, as his running-mate and one who is seriously being groomed for the presidency, is a ringing testimony to the avid desire of Nana Akufo-Addo to decisively correct this Kufuor-minted genuine northern distrust for both Akan and southern-born NPP presidential candidates.
The Kyerematen lapdogs also cannot conveniently and mischievously ignore the fact that in the wake of his 1998 loss of the party’s flagbearership to Mr. Kufuor, that Nana Akufo-Addo’s followers had been harshly antagonized by the Kufuor disciples in much the same way that Mr. Kyerematen and his followers were complaining about in the lead-up to Election 2008?
Well, the significant difference here is that unlike the far less mature and pathologically self-centered Alan Cash, as Mr. Kyerematen is popularly known, Nana Akufo-Addo had not thrown a tantrum and walked out and away to join cause with key NDC operatives. Instead, he had constructively swallowed his pride and worked even harder to ensure a resounding victory for both Candidate Kufuor and the New Patriotic Party as a whole. Could the same collaborative and yeomanly demeanor be said of Mr. Kyerematen? I seriously doubt it!