Former President John Agyekum-Kufuor is perfectly accurate to observe that it was utterly embarrassing and rather untimely for the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate for Election 2008 to have headed for the courts to bitterly complain about voting irregularities, while the national electoral process was still underway (See “Akufo-Addo Embarrassed Me – Kufuor” Ghanaweb.com 7/10/11).
Generally, such embarrassment was further compounded by the fact that it was the New Patriotic Party that held the reins of governance, and thus had all the coercive powers of the state at its disposal to ensure that electoral activities both followed the laid-down protocol and were smoothly run. On this score, for instance, President Kufuor could have ordered the deployment of ample numbers of soldiers and police personnel to those parts of the country, particularly the Volta Region, that had been known to be perennially hostile to members and supporters of the New Patriotic Party, in order to both drastically reduce the remarkable spate of violence and intimidation, such as occurred in the Abutia constituency where Dr. Sammy Ohene, Head of the University of Ghana’s Psychiatry Department, was brutally mauled by NDC thugs to the extent of losing sight in one eye.
And, needless to say, had he wanted to guarantee a drastic reduction in such incidents of well-orchestrated mayhem, Mr. Kufuor could readily have done so, even as he admirably did to stem the internecine hostilities in Anloga. Also, to have Messrs. Kojo Tsikata, Mills and Mahama appear on the originally published National Merit Honors List with Akufo-Addo’s name gapingly absent, until Prof. Mike O’Quaye caustically carpeted Osu Castle, was rather devastating beyond either moral repair or psychical recovery.
Furthermore, almost every key player in the NPP was of the view that having been allegedly partial towards the campaign of one particular candidate in the run-up to the party’s delegates’ convention, which significantly provoked most of the presidential aspirants to punitively gang up against that “favorite presidential nephew,” Mr. Kufuor later found it visibly and morally uncomfortable to go all-out on the campaign trail for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the former president kept being angrily peppered with questions of credibility and loyalty and had to spend a considerable amount of time and energy fending off inexorable bands of inside critics and detractors.
What is most significant right now, going into Election 2012, is the need for the NPP constabulary to vigorously sell the progressive agenda of the party to the Ghanaian electorate without appearing to take things for granted, in terms of the difference that Ghanaians may have noticed in the quality of their lives under President Kufuor, as sharply and grimly opposed to the welter of untold misery visited upon them by the Mills-led National Democratic Congress, and particularly how an Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party government intends to both restore such gains, which have been lost by the NDC, and introduce other quality-of-life enhancements.
To-date, Akufo-Addo has fully laid out how he intends to revamp the steadily crumbling basic educational system, in terms of curricular and infrastructural development, as well as teacher-education and investment. The NPP presidential candidate for Election 2012 has also embarked on a nationwide “Listening Tour,” even while former President Rawlings and his wife inexorably threatened to derail the, admittedly, lackluster Mills-Mahama government by ensuring that Tarkwa-Atta became a one-term president.
As Americans are wont to say, what is important now is for a unified and cohesive New Patriotic Party to fearlessly wrest power from the gangster-like Rawlings posse back into the hands of those ordinary Ghanaians to whom democratic power properly belongs. And here also must be highlighted the fact that proto-socialism of the kind blindly advocated by the NDC and the rump-Convention People’s Party is decidedly passé and no longer practiced by any civilized nation in the world.
As for the apportionment of blame, as New Yorkers are wont to say, there is more than enough to go round and then some. In sum, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with periodically assessing our strengths and weaknesses as both individuals and an ideological collective, that which is of overriding importance at this material moment is the need to effectively articulate a poignant policy agenda that is Afrocentric and Ghana-centered, rather than STX-centered, or a pathological policy of neocolonial dependency as the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress have been advocating and pushing since January 2009.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).