Is Kufuor the bugbear for Akufo-Addo? (Part III)

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Folks, we know that the NPP emerged from the efforts of the late Atakora-Gyimah of Nkokoa-Buoho in Offinso and some Asante academics at the KNUST, not to talk about the tacit support given them by traditional rulers and the so-called Men-of-God who found the Rawlings Movement as a scourge. The Danquah-Busia Club (DBC) was established as its incubator, and it did a good work in the Kumasi area, bringing together all those who would spearhead the struggle to nurture it into the full-fledged political party that it has been since Rawlings lifted the ban on partisan politics on May 18, 1992. A lot of history exists here but we won’t tell it all now, even if we scratch the surface to substantiate our claim that all is not well in the NPP on account of the chasm between Kufuor and Akufo-Addo.

The material crust here is that the conversion of the DBC into the NPP gave the Danquah-Busiasts the clout that they had been looking for to redeem themselves. Unfortunately, their dismal performance in the 1992 Presidential elections and consequent ill-thought-of boycott of the Parliamentary elections turned them against each other. The late Adu Boahen faded into oblivion when Kufuor took centre-stage against the gnashing of teeth by Akufo-Addo. About-face toward internal crisis!!

When pressurized, Kufuor gave Akufo-Addo a place of honour in his administration, making him the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the hope that all the hype about his legal prowess would be brought down to bear on the legal aspects of governance. Instead of leading the legal/judicial arm of government to improve governance, Akufo-Addo narrowed everything down to persecution of Rawlings and his followers deemed by the NPP as a scourge. In the process, he failed to live up to expectation (Do you recall the damning outcome of the case against Tsatsu Tsikata over the Fast Track Courts?. In any case, what has become of those politically motivated courts today?).

As if he had been set up by Kufuor, he played himself into the tight corner and lost the bid. Kufuor’s decision to divest him of that portfolio added more fuel to what had already existed to prove that they couldn’t be on the same page for the good of the NPP or the governance of Ghana to sustain the NPP in power. Oil and water cannot mix, folks!!

Shifting Akufo-Addo to the Foreign Affairs Ministry was Kufuor’s attempt at sizing up Akufo-Addo for another round in the NPP’s game of wits. There again, Akufo-Addo failed to register any beneficial impact as he held himself up as a “Presidential” material to annoy Kufuor. It wasn’t surprising that when the floodgates were opened for the choice of Kufuor’s replacement, Akufo-Addo stood out as a promontory to be noticed and cut to size. Out of the 19 contestants, he fought his way through to lead the NPP to Election 2008. Kufuor looked on with much amusement, knowing deep down him what disaster awaited the NPP.

All the public posturing and jamboree sessions that characterized the “kangaroo dance” motivating the political mobilization efforts of the party ended up in smoke. Kufuor participated in the electioneering campaign, if even grudgingly because he was more focused on enjoying his life in retirement. Nothing seemed to be working well for the NPP, clearly because the Presidential candidate being marketed did not have the appeal to turn the scale in the NPP’s favour.

Can we forget how Kufuor sidelined Akufo-Addo in the choice of recipients of the national awards to the extent of including the NDC’s Atta Mills (who abjectly repudiated that gesture) while brushing aside Akufo-Addo? Only persistent pleadings from within the NPP camp turned the scale in Akufo-Addo’s favour for him to be honoured. What for remains a mystery!!

What had happened hitherto was complicated but understandable if placed in context. The NPP’s delegates conference to elect Akufo-Addo for Election 2008 was marred by nasty events that would set the stage for the very problem that has dogged the NPP to date and will cripple Akufo-Addo at Election 2016 and beyond. It is nothing but factionalism in the NPP on account of the very seed of discord sown many years ago. No need to flog this dead horse because the origin of factionalism in the NPP is common knowledge.

We know of a Kufuor camp (manifesting in Alan Kyerematen and those supporting him, including Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong, and Sammy Crabbe, among others, whose suspension is the main bug eating the NPP) and an Akufo-Addo camp (made up mostly of his close relatives known as the “Akyem Mafia” and others who think that they cannot bite the finger feeding them yet bare their teeth at those with divergent views on how the affairs of the NPP should be managed to make the party appealing to voters). Talk about the kingdom of wise men without any fool to rule them!!

Intriguingly, Kufuor hasn’t openly come out to dissociate himself from all those claiming to be his followers in that fratricidal political warfare. He hasn’t denied or confirmed the existence of such factionalism either. Neither has Akufo-Addo done so. In all honesty, then, we can say that these two prominent NPP figures seem to be playing hide-and-seek while massaging the feelings of their followers that all is well in the NPP. They are working at cross-purposes. Those of us who have dealt with them all these years know it for a fact that the very canker that is destroying them and making it impossible for them to be on the same page to outdo the NDC is factionalism. Let them stew in their own politics of deception. Who cares, for as long as it will keep them in the political wilderness?

I shall return…

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