He spent 8 protracted years on a Jihadist crusade maligning and character-assassinating the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, calling the latter all the names in the proverbial book, in mainstream American political parlance, including that of an irredeemably violent man who did not deserve to be afforded a shot at the Presidency, let alone govern the land. He even claimed to have become a “naturalized” ethnic Asante because not only had he been born in my ancestral homeland, but because he had also schooled there. Tweneboa-Kodua Secondary School, to be precise. He was also one of the 17 New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidates who fiercely vied to replace a wistful lame-duck President John Agyekum-Kufuor in the party’s 2007 Presidential Primary.
You see, so relatively and unprecedentedly well had the Manhyia and Atwima-Nwabiagya native done at the helm of the nation’s affairs that even clinical nincompoops like the inveterate Akufo-Addo hater and detractor, once the latter’s Presidential-Campaign Manager, by pure happenstance, one might add, had contested the Presidential Nomination of the New Patriotic Party. Legend has it that he had only been his own voter and, in retrospect, his own worst enemy as well. The facile presumption at the time was that the Agyekum-Kufuor government of the New Patriotic had performed so well that even if a dog or a flying bat were nominated the 2008 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, that nominee was apt to massively win the 2008 Presidential Election. Of course, a dozen, or so, years later, we are all the savvier for this teachable experience.
You see, the very notion that, somehow, if we all stop jockeying for the chance to succeed a lame-duck President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, either on behalf of ourselves or of our favorite Presidential Candidate and instead concentrate our efforts on building up a strong national economy, come the 2024 Presidential Election, any Presidential Nominee whom the party Kingmakers or Electors settle on would be able to handily defeat his/her most formidable challenger from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Not many of us avid students and watchers of the New Patriotic Party’s internal politics and political culture could so easily be fooled. You see, in the leadup to the 2008 Presidential Election, the greatest challenge of the NPP was not the question of whether Ghana’s economy had witnessed an exponential growth, the likes of which had never been experienced for at least a generation.
Rather, the greatest challenge was one of party discipline, that is, the ability of party strategists, if there were any, to let the overwhelming majority of the 17 paid-up candidates vying to replace the then-President John Agyekum-Kufuor come to the sobering commonsensical realization that at the very best, only one-half of a half-dozen of these largely also-run Kufuor-wannabes actually qualified to be seriously considered to be Presidential Candidacy Material, let alone accede to the substantive Presidency of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. In sum, going into the 2008 Presidential Election, an epically successful New Patriotic Party could clearly be envisaged to have become a veritable victim of its own successful governance track-record.
Then, there is also this jaded and trite and untenably asinine idea making the rounds that, somehow, to become well qualified to be nominated as the party’s ideal or fetching 2024 Presidential Nominee or Candidate of Choice, the nominee so selected or elected ought to have been in possession of a Party ID card prior to him/her being selected as the Presidential Running-Mate of the then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that is, the same personality that the virulent critic and avowed Akufo-Addo detractor claimed did not qualify to head up the party’s top ticket, let alone succeed to the Presidency. The obvious target of abuse or vitriol here, of course, is none other than Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, the three-time New Patriotic Party’s Vice-Presidential Candidate and two-term substantive Vice-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana.
Now, somebody needs to remind this sore loser and dumbass self-infatuated internal party detractor that long before he officially registered as a card-carrying bona fide member of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was a Deputy-Governor of our nation’s central treasury, the Bank of Ghana, who ably assisted Dr. Paul Acquah, the substantive Governor of the Bank of Ghana, at the time, to redenominate and thus functionally rationalize the hitherto completely valueless shinplaster that was our national legal tender, the Cedi, under the chaotic tenure of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings, to make it more valuable and transactionally worth at the very least the paper and metal on which both our Cedi notes and pesewa coins were etched and stamp-printed, respectively. There are, of course, other invaluable economy-boosting yeomanly services that Dr. Bawumia, a former Bretton-Woods (IMF-World Bank) associate, rendered the Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party, which the card-carrying self-proclaimed Akufo-Addo nemesis could scarcely fathom, let alone presume to trump.
The fact of the matter is that Vice-President Bawumia is no civic pedestrian who needed to acquire a party membership card before making himself relevant and useful to the development of the country. His above-board stature can simply not be reduced to that of an amateur or a disgruntled politician manqué. Anyway, not altogether surprisingly, the clinically addlebrained critic contradicts himself in a logical trap deviously rigged up to sabotage the credibility of his target of malediction but ends up, predictably, making a congenital buffoon out of himself, the way I have always known and recognized him to be. The trap comes in the form of the critic recalling the 1952 strategically savvy decision by the movers-and-shakers of US Republican Party (RP) to select the distinguished World War II war hero, General Dwight David Eisenhower, an Episcopalian convert to Presbyterianism, over Mr. Robert A. Taft, a party machine operative.
Now, whether General Eisenhower, whose Mitchell Field Airforce Base bungalow is located right behind my office building, rode on the political coattails of Mr. Taft, a legacy political operative, or not is well beside the point, nearly 70 years after the fact. What matters most, presently, is the incontrovertible historical fact that President Eisenhower, the man who made the landmark construction of the Akosombo Dam a material possibility, would go on to notch two landslide presidential-election victories. You see, the whiny plaints of losers do not good and winsome narratives make.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 17, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]