Let me expatiate…
I have taken some interest in the last seven (7) years of the political career of Mr. Akufo-Addo, the immediate past Presidential candidate of the leading opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana.
Leading up to every election, I hear at least one thing about him that seeks to either tarnish his image or derail his quest to becoming Ghana’s CEO. In 2007/2008, he was accused of being a drug baron/person. In 2012, it was to the effect that he was a violent person. Today in 2014, I am beginning to hear stuff like, he’s too old. These are the major ones. There have been others like he is too short, too bald, he caressed a lady in the studios, he made water by a mosque, he wore white to a funeral, he was giving his daughter in marriage to President Rawlings’ son, his daughter drove carelessly, he mismanaged the case of the killing of some Ghanaians in the Gambia, etc etc.. all reasons why he did not qualify for Ghana’s highest political office.
I shall speak to the major ones,but just before then, I am usually amazed at how ‘ordinary’ folks buy into such tags. I have heard even teenagers say stuff like ‘Akufo-Addo is proud’. I have heard others simply say, ‘I don’t like this man, he is arrogant’. On some occasions, I dare to ask them for proofs. I have never been given anything concrete save things akin to gut feeling, hearsay, plain lies and apocryphal tales. People, especially his main rivals, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have made huge political capital from each of these MAJOR accusations.
I have also noticed that usually, and to a large extent, these accusations fall flat after the elections. Take for example the matter of drugs, I recall the famous wikileaks. In those leaked cables, Mr. Akufo-Addo’s one-time comrade, Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jr. was reported to have said he witnessed his friend in a cloud of smoke one early morning. This was supposed to mean that Mr. Akufo Addo did marijuana. When pushed by the ‘benevolent dictator’, ace Journalist “Chairman General” Kwame Sefa Kayi to either confirm or deny that allegation, Mr. Pratt said something to the effect that he couldn’t recall saying that upon meeting with the expatriate. Now National Organizer of the NPP, Mr. John Boadu was incensed and pushed along with that quintessential host of the morning show Kokrokoo – none of them had either a denial or a confirmation, neither did we the listeners of that show that morning. Somehow, from then on, that Akufo-Addo vis-à-vis drugs matter subsided very significantly.
Leading up to 2012 General Elections, Nana Addo made a statement that was in bad taste to the average political Ghanaian ear – I refer to the infamous “All-Die-Be-Die” statement following a certain Atiwa by-election. That was distasteful in my opinion. NPP communicators tried and still try feverishly to defend that comment. It is a bad case period!
Well, the NDC ran very effectively with the spin on that blooper. It is the stretch that was put on it that got me smiling. Because he had said what he said, he was by that single point on the graph tagged ‘violent’. Then he uses a legal process to challenge the outcome of the 2012 polls, and that was for some a further proof of his very litigious persona.
The case ran for eight (8) months or so and afterwards the verdict was not in Nana’s favour. Minutes after the pronouncement, Nana Addo calls Mr. Mahama to congratulate him, announces his displeasure but acceptance of the verdict. Once again, the elections are over so the ‘he is a violent man’ tag saw a significant crumble. I do not hear that too often anymore. There is a new one – he is too old. I sit in my corner to see how the NDC would use this new one.
While I do my sitting and observing, I still ask, What is about Nana? I am still asking because I have noticed something I consider more telling, the behaviour of Nana’s very lieutenants after each election. On this score I speak of Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku and Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy.
These gentlemen were very integral to Nana’s last two campaigns. What baffles me is how these men either come forward to contest their immediate former ‘boss’ subsequently. In Dr. Kennedy’s case, I have found it quite difficult understanding how much time he had to write and publish his postmortem book, ‘Chasing The Elephant Into The Bush’. I keep wondering what he was doing during the campaigns and how much time he had to write. And why did he not sit with party leadership to clear the issues raised in his book? Is it also possible that Dr. Arthur Kennedy was not given a hearing? I do not know. A recent writeup by Dr. Kennedy tells me however that he has a problem with Nana. It is palpable. The doctor isn’t in Ghana, some mindless fellows besiege a press conference brandishing machetes and the ‘doc’ strongly believes that insane action inures to Akufo-Addo’s advantage. How did he come about that?
I think there’s something about Mr. Akufo-Addo that he and whoever manages him must take a long hard look at. Why is it that some of Nana Addo’s fellow workmen seem to rise against him post major polls? Why do people say damning things about him with no hard facts and get away with it? Why does Nana come so close but never makes it across the line at elections? Why do people easily believe whatever negatives they are told or hear of Mr. Akufo-Addo? Why do people simply seem to dislike Nana Addo (without concrete reasons)? Rather than be dismissive about whatever is said of him, there must be a deliberate work at knowing why and his team/handlers must tell themselves the naked plain truth and do what must be done. That’s my take.