It would be the height of deception for any group of people to think that the character of presidential aspirants is not an important issue to be discussed ahead of elections. That is why the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is troubled, having realised it has dug an electoral grave for itself by re-electing a flagbearer with a questionable character to lead it yet again into battle against the now-more-than-ever formidable National Democratic Party (NDC) for supremacy in the 2012 elections.
The NPP is obviously choking on the barrage of allegations of bad character that the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has been bombarded with over the years from both within his own political party and without. Faced with this stark reality, the opposition party is employing cleaver means of salvaging the ever plummeting image of its flagbearer.
Referred to by the NPP as personality attacks on its flagbearer, the never-ending questions being raised about the character of Nana Akufo-Addo appear to be the NPP’s biggest headache, even as the party prepares to come face to face once again in the 2012 elections.
A group calling itself the youth wing of the NPP on Tuesday at a press conference warned the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to stop its officials from personality attacks on their leaders, or else, they were ready to return fire for fire because “If insults are what they believe in, we are ready; we are waiting for them. We will meet them boot-for-boot.”
Addressing the press, spokesperson for the Young Patriots, John Kumah, fuming with rage, claimed the unprovoked attacks on the NPP flagbearer, must stop otherwise the NPP was ready to embark on an insulting spree as they had armed themselves adequately for open warfare with the NDC .
The NPP has since his nomination as the running mate of President Jerry John Rawlings in the 1996 elections, denigrated President John Evans Atta Mills, who politically appears to have an unblemished character, that favoured his election as president in 2008 and which appears to be his major strength ahead of 2012 as compared to NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo, who conspicuously is trying very hard to create a ‘Mr Nice’ image about himself.
It would be remembered that an NPP guru, Mr Kwame Mpianim, in the recent past vouched for the integrity of President Mills, saying he would any day put his hand in the fire for him as proof of his character that his integrity and incorruptibility is second to none.
With the NDC coming from that basis of strength, the NPP has decided to unleash a campaign strategy that is intended to foist the NDC’s ‘unblemished character’ campaign of President Mills in 2012.
The Catalyst has learnt that after several months of sleepless nights of deliberation, the opposition party has finally decided to brand legitimate questions about its flagbearer’s character as personality attacks on him. The NPP communicator’s, the paper has learnt, are to try very hard to convince the unsuspecting public that the relevant issues worthy of discussion ahead of the elections that are just one and half years away, should solely be about bread and barter.
As if insults and open attacks on high profile personalities in the NDC was not their stock in trade, the NPP youth exhibiting brazen hypocrisy, continued to point accusing fingers at the NDC saying “We believe in issues; we believe that we must improve in the welfare of Ghanaians but we will not sit back for them to insult us.” It was ‘The Statesman’ an NPP newspaper owned and published by Nana Akufo-Addo, of which current Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Mr Gabby Asare Ochere-Darko was editor that carried a front page banner describing then Candidate Mills as a poodle.
The veil threat by the NPP youth came as a surprise to many who, for a very long time, have been witnesses to an upsurge in attacks on the person of President Mills and other high-ups in the NDC by members of the NPP. It is not too clear as to whether the NPP has, by this threat, decided to change its insulting ways.
The NPP stood firmly behind one of its communicators in Kumasi, Adu Gyamfi, who insulted President Mills by describing him as a chimpanzee on Foxx FM a private radio station. The whole hierarchy of the party was up in arms against the police when this man who insulted the President was arrested before President Mills subsequently ordered his release.
The issue with Nana Akufo-Addo’s bad character and why he must not be given the chance ever to become the president of Ghana was a strong wave that emanated from his own party, the NPP. Apart from allegations of drug use, others have also described him as too arrogant and hot-headed for Ghana to the entrusted into his hands as President.
In a Chronicle report of Friday December 7, 2007, the paper said “Mr Michael Ampong, Campaign Coordinator for Mr Alan Kyeremanten says Ghana will be plunged into chaos should the New Patriotic Party (NPP delegates consider Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo for the flagbearership slot of the party and eventually elected president. According to him, the former Foreign Minister is arrogant, temperamental and hot-headed for the number one job of the land, the Presidency and therefore it will be suicidal for the NPP to parade him as its presidential candidate.”
Later, in 1998, just before the NPP flagbearership congress that first elected Nana Akufo-Addo as the party’s 2008 elections, the Publisher of the Chronicle and NPP parliamentary aspirant, Mr Kofi Coomson, referred to the NPP flagbearer as dangerous for the presidency and that it would be unsafe to make him president. According to Mr Coomson, “I cannot sleep easy with Nana Akufo-Addo as President. It’s not safe.”
Against this backdrop, the NPP’s claim that its flagbearer is under personality attacks from the NDC is nothing but a hoax designed to divert the attention of the Ghanaian public in general and the electorate in particular from the reality.
The Catalyst Newspaper