By Larry-Alans Dogbey
The leopard, it is said, never changes its spot. So, true to form, the twice-defeated candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, given an international platform to evaluate his country, went flying the Akyem flag, instead of the National flag.
“Our illustrious chairperson, Lord Paul Boateng of Akyem & Wembley, respected Ghanaian Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Prof. Danso-Boafo…” entered Nana Addo from whistle-blow when given the platform.
But the former NPP flagbearer, who was accused by some NPP insiders for allowing an Akyem Abuakwa Mafia, mostly cousins and nephews to cocoon him to the discomfort of many party members, including Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, was not done yet. Hear him again:
“To complete the protocol, let me use this occasion also to congratulate publicly (albeit belatedly) our chairperson for his membership of the famous British House of Lords. It is a fitting tribute to a distinguished career in British politics. As a fellow Akyem, I am happy to note that he is flying the flag in that August Body. More grease to your elbow, your Lordship,” he announced without reference to the country Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo, was speaking at a symposium organised by the Royal African Society and the Centre for African Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London, at the Brunei Suit in London, last Monday, March 3, 2014.
Two days after the speech, he left for Ghana to begin the preparations for his third and perhaps last attempt at the presidency.
It was on the theme; “Ghana, 57 Years After 1957: Recalibrating the Course of Progress” and was chaired by ex-Labour Party Parliamentarian, who is now in the British House of Lords, Lord Paul Boateng.
Present were Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Prof. Danso-Boafo, Dr. Michael Amoah and Vice-President of Teneo Holdings, Manji Cheto.
The beauty of the occasion and his undoubtedly brilliant speech, was marred by Nana Addo’s tribal remark, which has successively been his Achilles’ heels at his attempt at the Presidency.
For instance, after the 2008 Presidential Elections, Nana Addo’s Director of Communication, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, wrote a book entitled “Chasing The Elephant Into The Bush: The Politics of Complacency” in which Nana Addo was portrayed as inward-looking, when it comes to dealing with those working
for him to become president.
The book, revealed a group in the NPP called “The Kyebi Mafia” operating solely for Nana Addo, but not in the interest of the party and Ghana.
Dr. Kennedy, mentioned Nana Asante Bediatuo, Ken Ofori-Atta, Edward Akufo-Addo alias Bumpty, Nana Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, who in particular was described as hardworking “….but he was sometimes very difficult to get along with” adding, “he offended people with casual abandon and seemed to rub many people the wrong way”.
The book did not mention other Akyems guys who were working for Nana Addo at the time. They include Amfo Kwakye and Kofi Dokyi Ampaw alias “Kofi 1234”, both of whom had separately spent time in jail over narcotic drug related cases in the UK and US, respectively. Nana Akomea and Samuel Atta Akyea were also omitted from the book.
But come the 20012 Presidential Election campaign, he made another tribal gaffe during a NPP meeting in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, when he made the “Yen Akanfo/All-Die-Be-die” speech, asking the Akan-speaking people in the NPP, to remain resolute and not show cowardice at the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Kennedy Agyapong, was later to follow with an ethnocentric comment, asking Gas and Voltarians to be attacked by Akan-speaking people, for attacking Ursula Gifty Owusu, presently the NPP MP for Ablekuma West in the Greater Accra Region, who had gone into the Makola Market to insult Gas, whilst campaigning for Nana Addo.
At the Royal African Society symposium last Monday, the twice-defeated Presidential Candidate said, currently the Ghana cedi has been competing with Manchester United coach, David Moyes, in being the “butt of many jokes”.
“Currently, the cedi, Ghana’s currency, has been competing with David Moyes, the Manchester United coach, in being the butt of many jokes. In response, the Central Bank recently announced a series of controversial exchange control measures to save the cedi”, said Nana Addo.
He said, beyond the need for Ghana’s economy to be managed by a competent team, the structural weakness of the economy must be fixed to keep the currency predictably stable.
“We must re-imagine what Ghana can be like in the 21st century and re-dedicate ourselves to building that new Ghana”, he stated.
According to the former Attorney General, “our country has everything it needs to progress”.
He said: “Ghana is ready and so must its leaders be. I am confident that the future for Ghana is brighter than the dream of 1957 and I know that this century is the era of our manifestation.”
“There is a lot that is right about Ghana and about us, as Ghanaians. We are enjoying the longest period of stability since 1957. We are a democratic nation with a God-fearing people proud of their freedoms. Our country is rich in human and mineral resources” he observed.
Nana Addo stated, “We can draw on a significant number of educated, hardworking and enterprising people, both at home and abroad. Ours is a nation with a positive international image on a continent that is finally but slowly being taken seriously. We are hailed as a model of democracy and stability in our region. We have a young, dynamic population ready to define their own destiny. What they want are the opportunities to grow and make it happen”.
He stressed that “we must re-imagine what Ghana can be like in the 21st century and re-dedicate ourselves to building that new Ghana. We can build a United Ghana even in a fiercely competitive democratic environment”. Adding “A Ghana where there is tolerance and mutual respect for divergent views, where religious freedom is stoutly championed, a Ghana where politicians do not exploit our ethnic differences for electoral gains. A Ghana where rules are obeyed by both leaders and the led.”