Akufo-Addo Will Not Sideline Kufuor!

Kwame Okoampa Ahoofe Jr. Ph.D.When the Assin-North’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament warns Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo against the tempting tendency to sideline former President John Agyekum-Kufuor in his campaign agenda, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong could not be more dead-on accurate in his cautionary observation, except for the patently factual redundancy of the same.

Asia 728x90

In other words, just as well as any politically savvy citizen and, perhaps, even more than many a major Ghanaian politician, Nana Akufo-Addo poignantly appreciates the great, functional significance of President Kufuor both to the political fortunes of the 2008 NPP flagbearer and those of the Danquah-Busia ideological camp in general (See “Ken Agyapong: Akufo-Addo Cannot Win 2012 Elections Without Kufuor” Peacefmonline.com 4/22/10).

Still, the Assin-North MP would have been even more accurate and effective if Mr. Agyapong had similarly reminded the party faithful and the Ghanaian electorate at large that, indeed, it was remarkably the unstinted and dedicated support and loyalty of Nana Akufo-Addo in both Election 2000 and Election 2004 that enabled then-Candidate J. A. Kufuor to soundly trounce his main political opponent, the now-President John Evans Atta-Mills.

In other words, our convicted and verifiable contention here is that all successful politicking is inextricably predicated upon the coordinated efforts of all and sundry ideological bedfellows.

Even so, Mr. Agyapong appears to be refreshingly astute enough to recognize the glaring fact that no particular individual, however significant, can presume to reverse the tide of providential assignation or destiny. Thus alluding to the much-rumoured “Kufuorian” bias in favour of Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Nana Akufo-Addo’s widely regarded closest rival, Mr. Agyapong observes: “If Kufuor supports Alan, so what? Everybody, every human being has a preference and choice. So if Kufuor’s preference is Alan, big deal. Move on! As a politician, prove to him that hey, without you, I’ll still be the leader of this party and one day, I’ll be President of this country. I believe Nana has this kind of confidence.” In fact, it was with the foregoing quote in view that I originally captioned this article as follows: “Ken Agyapong Is Constructively Contradictory.”

Mr. Agyapong is also dead-on accurate that Nana Akufo-Addo has absolutely no choice but to effectively campaign on the generally admirable administrative track-record of Mr. Kufuor. He, however, would have been even more accurate if Mr. Agyapong had, once again, highlighted the unmistakable fact that, indeed, when it comes to assessing the achievements of the New Patriotic Party during the eight years that the latter held the reins of governance, the practical role of Uncle Kufuor could be fairly accurately likened to that of a symphonic and/or an orchestral maestro. It is only when the foregoing has been duly recognized that the Danquah-Busia camp can then be reckoned as a formidable force in the political firmament of Fourth-Republican Ghana. So far, it heart-wrenchingly appears that like periods before, Ghanaian politics continues to revolve around petty cliques and personality cults.

To be sure, for this writer, his allegedly staunch support for Mr. Kyerematen, a “distant” relative of mine, ought to constitute the least bit among the worries of the rank-and-file NPP membership. What was actually stunning in the lead-up to Election 2008, though, was then-President Kufuor’s bewildering inability/unwillingness to either overtly or even covertly/obliquely endorse to closest functional and official lieutenant, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, a man who appears to have fairly well acquitted himself administratively enough for the former president to have comfortably had him by his side for nearly a decade. It was, to be certain, this evidently capricious demeanour that put the proverbial monkey wrench into the mix for the NPP vis-à-vis Election 2008.

For many a northern-Ghanaian voter/elector, such clearly bewildering noncommittal stance on the part of then-President Kufuor against his vice firmly confirmed what had been grimly suspected all along: that, indeed, his seemingly astute and/or even foresighted selection of Mr. Mahama as his running-mate was a veritably insulting act of tokenism. Needless to say, the preceding eerily symbolized the proverbial handwriting on the wall – which was the avoidable fact that whoever won the mandate of the party delegates had an uphill battle to negotiate Up-North.

To his credit, however, Mr. Kufuor likely based his unwillingness to endorse Mr. Mahama partly on the ex-vice president’s lack of remarkable electoral support in his presumed stronghold of the North. Then also, matters were not rendered any easier by the raging Yendi Skin Affair, in which the former vice-president has been irately fingered as a key player and passionate partisan. The better choice/alternative, it goes without saying, ought to have envisaged Mr. Kufuor offloading his right-hand man in the lead-up to Election 2004 by selecting a more winsome candidate from Up-North.

Ultimately, what is at stake in Election 2012 regards whether Ghana will continue to truck down the primrose path of the sort of vigilantism shamelessly and unconscionably pursued by the Rawlings and Mills-led National Democratic Congress, or the salubrious brand of civil and democratic liberty represented by the Danquah-Busia-inspired New Patriotic Party. The choice is ours to make; and, needless to say, we cannot fail our children, grandchildren and posterity.

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), the pro-democracy policy think tank, and the author of 21 books, including “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Atumpan Publications/Lulu.com, 2008).

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.

The opinions expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of AfricaNewsAnalysis.