Party Adverts declare Bring Money “…To Take Back Our Country From These People”
The worms of tribalism, which have eaten deep into the fabric of the largest opposition group, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have refused to die, and despite being widely bashed and largely condemned, the Akan-speaking elements within the party, still hold the view that, they own the birthright to the country called Ghana, therefore, must be in-charge.
This is the basic conclusion one draws after listening to the NPP-Nana Addo advertisement in the media captioned “Donate for Change” or ‘Yebi Ma’ launched by the 72-year old flagbearer to solicit for money from party sympathizers and supporters of his presidential ambition through the purchase of mobile phone recharge scratch cards.
The adverts being used to solicit for funds are heavily laden with plainly divisive and ethnocentric jabs with reference to “our country” and “these people”.
The audio, played only on Akan-speaking radio stations, says among others in impeccable Twi Language, “Ghana wo aho hiehie mu, mo ma yen yenaa yibi mmoa na yen gye ye man seise aa” to wit, Ghana is in distress, so let us all donate to take back our country now”.
The advert which has an English version, also played on selected English radio stations, continues that even if supporters donate GHC1, “se wo ye one Cedi dakro koraa, eb3 boa ma yen apamu nkrofuo yi”, meaning “a meager amount of GHC1, will help the NPP to sack these people……”
Surprisingly, the advertisement has the endorsement of the NPP flagbearer with his voice urging party faithful and other well-wishers, to contribute generously for a change, which will make him the President of Ghana.
Since its inception few weeks ago, the words in the audio, have caught the attention of a cross section of Ghanaians, who are wondering if the NPP, could not have chosen a better wording, instead of the plain divisive and ethnocentric jabs used to solicit for funds.
The audio which is being aired on Akan-speaking radio stations such as Accra-based, Peace FM, brings to mind similar hate campaigns employed years ago, against ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, when he stood for election in 1992 after 11 years as a military dictator.
Flt. Lt. Rawlings who had attended Achimota School, and had served in the Ghana Armed Forces, was particularly never accepted as a Ghanaian by the Dankwah-Busia-Dombo Tradition, as they saw him as someone who did not have the birthright to lead this country.
Although, this group was aware Mr. Rawlings’ biological mother came from the Volta Region of Ghana, and was fathered by a Scottish, he was still looked down upon backed by a vicious campaign not to be elected as President of Ghana.
So fixated was the NPP with the idea of winning election that they ignored the fact that, Mr. Rawlings’ had a father, but derogatorily called him, “son of an Ewe prostitute and a bastard”. They even made a campaign song entitled “Ashawo Ba” which was sang at rally grounds to the delight of many leading members of the party, including then flagbearer Prof. Albert Adu- Boahene.
He was indeed, taken to court for not being a Ghanaian, but a foreigner. He was defended by Lawyer Albert Bosomtwi-Sam.
Mr. Rawlings who is now worshiped by the NPP, was and is still married to an Ashanti lady; Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, was told at the time “Akonta Ye Gye Ye Mman”, to wit “our brother in-law, we are taken back our country”. NPP draws majority of its electoral votes from the Ashanti Region.
The NPP, is indeed seen as an assembly of Akans, mainly Akyems and Ashantis from the Eastern and Ashanti Regions. Since its inception, the party has had a history of having flagbearers, who are only from Akan-speaking areas namely, Prof. Albert Adu Boahene, John Agyekum Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo.
Ahead of the 2012 presidential and parliamentary polls, utterances by Nana Addo, the party’s flagbearer and those of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, who declared war on Gas and Ewes, put many voters of that party off.
Another gaffe happened last year, when a former Minister of Finance, Yaw Osafo Marfo, in a secret party meeting in the Eastern Regional capital Koforidua, preached ethnic supremacy by saying people from regions with the most natural resources, should be the ones that should have the right to govern the country.
Nana Addo, endorsed the comment by Osafo-Maafo, saying what he said was an economic reality.