Shame on the Akufo-Addo Detractors!

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Dubiously credentialed flunkies of his political rivals went into spin-overdrive in the wake of the widely reported tiff between the 2008 New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate and some executives of the party in the Upper-East region. One go-fer, writing haltingly under the rather presumptuous caption of “Nana Addo Must Eschew His Perceive [sic] Arrogance Or Be Ready To Be Eschewed By Politics” (See 6/28/10), for example, even went to the criminally outrageous extent of claiming that Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice had asserted that “any goat” could be a coordinator of his presidential campaign.

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Such mendacity is not the least bit surprising, since the culprit has for several months been rabidly campaigning against Nana Akufo-Addo, almost as if the chief-architect of the legal instrument that repealed the at once notorious and odious Criminal Libel Law has committed a crime either directly against the culprit himself or his family, friends and associates. Indeed, so intemperate and vitriolic has the tenor of his tirades assumed that the levelheaded NPP supporter and/or sympathizer is left wondering whether this woebegone fellow is not in the pay of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Anyway, the article which carried the alleged impasse between Nana Akufo-Addo and some of the Upper-East regional executives of the NPP had clearly noted that the candidate’s ire was roiled only when the concerned executives gratuitously and capriciously attempted to impose their own preferred choice of “Regional Coordinator” on the Akufo-Addo Campaign” (See “Nana Akufo-Addo Reject [sic] Calls For An Apology” 6/28/10).

Earlier on, at a general courtesy meeting with the Upper-East regional executives of the NPP, “to thank them for allowing him [campaign access to] the region and also to ask for their cooperation,” Ghana’s former Foreign Minister is reported to have formally introduced his regional campaign- coordinator designee to the executives some of whom, for unspecified reasons, promptly rejected the designee.

And on the latter score must also be noted the fact that until August 7 when the NPP delegates’ congress elects the party’s flagbearer for Election 2012, the Akufo-Addo Campaign largely remains the semi-private preserve of the candidate’s. Once he, hopefully, is chosen as the NPP presidential candidate, however, the Akufo-Addo Campaign would then be immediately transformed into the collective campaign machinery of party faithful and executives at large, at which stage any decision regarding the choice of an Upper-East regional coordinator for the Akufo-Addo Campaign effectively becomes a collaborative effort.

The foregoing appears to be precisely where the aspirant and the Upper-East’s regional executives of the NPP procedurally diverge.

Nonetheless, for those possessed of a salutary long-term memory bank, there is an aspect to the recent history of the Upper-East region that may not be legitimately deemed to be very pleasant to the former Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa South. And the latter, of course, has something to do with events culminating in the 2007 NPP delegates’ conference during which a denizen of the Upper-East region was reportedly manhandled for what was then conflictingly described as mischievous and illegal trading of votes on the congressional floor, at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana.

In other words, our quite constructive contention here is that once every bit of the proverbial puzzle has been meticulously put in place, Nana Akufo-Addo’s seemingly unflattering use of the ruminant image of a goat, vis-à-vis the selection of his Upper-East regional coordinator, becomes far less outrageous than it initially appears.

But, of course, we hardly expected those rabidly sworn to politically and personally orchestrating the destruction of Nana Akufo-Addo from within party ranks to meaningfully contextualize this otherwise quite minor, albeit not altogether otiose, controversy.

Needless to say, there clearly appears to exist a shade of mutual suspicion between the Akufo-Addo Campaign and the Upper-East regional executives of the NPP that needs to be promptly resolved for the collective benefit of both the party and the destiny of our beloved nation at large. We must also remember the fact that in an agrarian economy and culture such as Ghana’s, the idiomatic use of zoological imagery is more often the rule than the exception.

Even so, it would not be totally out of place and context for both sides to amicably acknowledge the fact that they may, each, have unnecessarily overreacted to an otherwise mutually beneficial confabulation. Maybe not the traditional proffering of apologies is needed here but, perhaps, the symbolic exchange of gifts as tokens of goodwill and mutual respect and accommodation.

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 the author of 21 books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (, 2005).


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.