By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, August 5, 2016
Folks, it is often said that a chicken that will turn into a cockerel is noticed the very first day that it is hatched (thanks to the legendary novelist, Chinua Achebe). And why a cockerel and not a hen?
For the answer, turn to the late Colonel Joseph Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) of the former Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), who gave prominence to the status of the cockerel (Be careful not to use COCK instead, which may be offensive in American English, which explains why “rooster” is preferred).
Why Mobutu Sese Seko? The meaning is simple: “The only untiring cock among the hens!!” as he explained it himself. And he was untiring among the hens until prostate cancer did him in!!
Why am I going this distance? I am doing so to suggest that Nature has endowed us (human beings) with assets that we are expected to recognize and use to tackle the existential problems facing humanity. That is why every human being is endowed with talents to be identified, developed, and exploited.
Those who know what their talents are and develop them become geniuses. They concentrate on one specific talent out of the whole lot and do not spread themselves so thin as the Jack of all trades and master of none!!
This introduction aims at putting Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the founder, leader, and sole financier of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) on the spotlight for a good reason as we continue to tease out the salient aspects of Ghanaian politics in our time.
He has a rich history when it comes to business. That explains why he has risen to become what he is today. I got to know in the heady days of his work with the Deloitte and Touche company, even as the fracas over the probe into his dealings with Dr. William Adda (former CEO of the State Enterprises Commission). He still maintains that he was exonerated. None of my business.
Then, when he chose to do partisan politics, I monitored goings-on in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem constituency, where he represented the political party of his liking and lost the first bid to be in Parliament.
I remember all that happened, especially how the voters of Anlo extraction (mostly fisherfolks) operating in the vicinity of his Coconut Grove resort in Elmina got infuriated at derogatory comments reaching that Dr. Nduom had accused them of defaecating indiscriminately in the area to spoil his business. They lined up to vote massively against him, which gave Dr. Attoh Quarshie the landslide victory. Oh, how I relish those days!!
Then, Dr. Nduom swung into action to win voter support to be in Parliament only to sell the CPP out to the NPP and become a bed-fellow of the morbid political foes, the NPP under Kufuor. Whatever happened all along is now history, but it is still fresh in the memories of those who will easily cite Dr. Nduom and Freddie Blay as concrete examples of political sell-outs!!
So much for the tortuous political path being walked by Dr. Nduom. My interest now lies in why he thinks that he can play his successes in the business field as a trump card to win elections and become Ghana’s president. I have read many news reports about his boasts that he could translate his successes in the business world into a monumental political accomplishment to uplift Ghana if voted into office.
He has said it himself that his acumen for business is an asset that can be easily turned into a political abracadabra for Ghana’s good. (Don’t I smell a Donald Trump here?). Enough of that boast already!! Governance needs more than a business acumen because running a country is not the same as running a business. Can he not see the difference? I am more than intrigued by his failure to separate the oranges from the apples.
Considering how much he has invested in his wild goose chase for the presidency, I am tempted to wonder whether he really knows how Ghanaian politics is done or is to be done at all. Can he not go back to analyze the outcome of the elections in which he participated to know where he stands and will stand in future?
I hear he has chosen his running mate in the person of former Miss Ghana Brigitte Dzogbenuku, who has been quick to say that she left the NPP to be with Dr. Nduom because she believes in “change” and that all that she did with the NPP-affiliate (“OccupyGhana”) hasn’t given her the kind of leverage that her partnering Dr. Nduom for Election 2016 will.
I find it difficult to rationalize issues here, especially when I consider the potential of the NPP and the PPP in terms of opposition to the incumbent and voter support). How many voters will support Dr. Nduom and his “one-man-show” concert party enactments in the PPP as against whatever Akufo-Addo and his NPP will put up? The outcome of Elections 2008 and 2012 should tell Dr. Nduom that when it comes to challenging the incumbent, the NPP is streets ahead of him.
More pointedly, should it not have occurred to Dr. Nduom at this time that having allowed himself to be emasculated by the NPP and having played himself into the hands of the very anti-Nkrumahist elements that he served in the era of Kufuor, he has no standing anymore, whether he inflates himself as a pro-Nkrumahist or not?
Has Dr. Nduom paused to ask himself why the other pro-Nkrumahist parties don’t even mention him when they are considering measures for a merger, even if they are themselves confused about the political situation in which their waywardness has landed them?
There is a lot to talk about as far as Dr. Nduom’s situation is concerned. I have engaged him before (I still have his e-mails to me on that score) and will continue to do so just to let him know that the odds stacked against him are enormous. That is why he shouldn’t continue wasting his money, time, and energy to attempt forcing a river to flow upstream in his favour.
Claiming that his choice of the former Miss Ghana underscores his love for the fairer sex’s participation in Ghanaian politics is bogus. What has this Brigitte Dzogbenuku done to prove that she is politically savvy or even appropriate for what Dr. Nduom is imposing on her? Being a “beauty queen” is nothing to brag about because “beauty” is a matter of perception (as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and is a gift given by Nature that no mortal human being has any hand in fashioning or overturning. In a more pointed proverbial sense, it is said that a beautiful woman never stays with one man. What do we learn from that adage, especially if the status of Brigitte Dzogbenuku is her only asset?).
When Dr. Nduom went for Miss Eva Lokko for Election 2012, we laughed him to scorn as a politically misguided “busy-body” because at the time, Miss Lokko had become so objectionable as a public figure that no serious politician would associate with to prevail over voters. She had incurred so much contempt at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as to be declared a liquidated property. She couldn’t manage that small establishment.
How, then, would a politician seeking the high office of the presidency take her on board as his running mate? No wonder that she fetched scorn and not votes for Dr. Nduom. Whys has he run away from her when Akufo-Addo is moving on with Dr. Bawumia for a third flop and the NDC went with the late Mills for three times, and President Mahama is going with Amissah-Arthur? What is Brigitte Dzogbenuku that Ms. Lokko is not? Too much flip-flopping already!! Has Dr. Nduom learnt any useful lesson from that mis-step with Ms. Lokko? No!! His going for Brigitte Dzogbenuku as such!! So, why should he waste so much time, money, and energy doing so? Is it because he has too much money and too little to do?: May be!!
If Dr. Nduom were any serious politician, he should have known by now that his PPP is not known anywhere beyond his small enclave, where he splashes money and attracts media coverage with his self-adulation. I wish the Electoral Commission were serious enough to ban political parties of this sort that cannot fulfill the requirements of the national Constitution. How many Ghanaians know of the PPP and this Dr. Nduom outside the vile media bombastic verbiage?
I have a lot more to say, but will end it here to tell Dr. Nduom that he isn’t going anywhere. His talk of the 2016 elections going into a run-off can be anything. If it does, it won’t have anything to do with his PPP. It will have to do with those that matter; and Dr. Nduom isn’t one of them. So, why should he continue to waste his time, money, and energy fouling our air? A successful business man he may call himself but a politician he is not. Election 2016 is for politicians, not businessmen/women. Is Dr. Nduom listening?
Before he does anything at all to worsen his standing, let him explain to us how come that he would encroach on the land belonging to the Komenda Sugar Factory (GHASEL, as established by the Great Osagyefo) in the pursuit of his ambition to establish a university in that part of Ghana and why he was vehemently opposed to the reactivation of that industry by President Mahama. Such a character is carrying a heavy baggage that weighs him down the political drain. Such self-acquisitive characters are Ghana’s bane to be feared, especially when they attempt translating their success into something so weird as seeking political office. Their success, our woes!!
I shall return…
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