NPP Gingered Up For 2024?

Feature Article NPP Gingered Up For 2024?
JUN 9, 2022 LISTEN

Politics: the art of using euphemisms, lies, emotionalism and fear-mongering to dupe average people into accepting – or even demanding -their own enslavement.

Larken RoseBERNARD ANTWI BOASIAKO (alias Wontumi) is not everybody's man-and he knows it. If he did not know, the campaign leading to the last election which he won should have given him the cue.

When we were young, we used to play with words: “Bo-boaster, capa-capacity, I -let them say: he who wishes my downfall shall never prosper. “And Wontumi, besides being garrulous, was also a boaster. He would boastfully display some gold bars and tell the whole world how rich he was. At a point in time, when the Chelsea football club was up for sale, he sought to buy this English football club. (There had been pressure by the UK government to seize the assets of high-value individuals with links to Russian President, Vladimir Putin following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Roman Abramovic, the club owner, had noted: “… I have, therefore, taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners …” Abramovic wanted £3 billion ($3.93 billion). Turkish businessman, Mushin Bayrak, Red Bird Capital partners, Michael Rubin and Swiss-US backed consortium led by Todd Boehly (the preferred bidder) put in bids.

Of course, Wontumi must be rich in the Ghanaian context: he has an FM radio station based in Kumasi and a TV station also based in Kumasi, though the street leading to his residence at Atasomanso is a disaster. Is it his job to fix roads and streets, some would ask.

But he had his lovers! He always had people around him. As a 46-year-old man, he had command over the youth, especially TESCON members who did not care how their fathers and mothers had built the NPP. Baafour Akoto, Appiah Menka, … He himself would say he would make a million dollars in a day from mining and owns over 100 houses in Kumasi, having built his first 25 bedroom house when he was only 22 years old.

An alumnus of the prestigious Prempeh College, (where the iconic President Kufuor had attended), he was not as brilliant as he was dapper, spruce and debonair. Beautiful ladies would be bewitched by his swagger (well-dressed and well groomed).

The campaign leading to the election at Baba Yara Stadium on 28th May, 2022 was titanic and Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah (COKA) gave Wontumi a run for his money. The Ashanti Region, the “political citadel” of the NPP was awash with “change”. It was as if it was a done deal for COKA. Nearly all the FM stations, save Wontumi's own, appeared to back COKA. The message was simply: change from “one-man show”. But Wontumi's must have spent a fortune on bill-boards-pictures of a smiling, handsome young man with a diastema (gap in the front teeth), spread at 10-metre intervals along some roads and streets all over Ashanti's giant bill billboards and the words: “It is a movement stronger than apartheid” (whatever that means!). In contrast, the other four contestants displayed isolated billboards, with defaced (ghost-like) billboards of Robert Asare-Bediako, few scattered billboards for Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi, Kofi Adum-Bawuah, and, of course, that of COKA.

In our childhood days, we had a game: a fight between two boys with arms folded, one leg raised hitting each other with the shoulder, to see who fell down. The cheer-leaders would sing: “Amo-Charlie, Charlie waa-waa; yenni ahooden a yempem Charlie”. Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, had a tough time cooling heated minds, especially over Obuasi West, Fomena and TESCON which were not allowed to vote. Wontumi 464, COKA 306, Asare-Bediako 20, Aduomi 9 and Bawuah 3, the E.C. representatives finally declared.

One of the contestants, Kofi Adum-Bawuah, petitioned the National Executive Council: “Some candidates were allowed to drive bullion vans filled with money into the stadium to distribute to delegates and corrupt their minds and for that matter, the massive vote-buying from the delegates on election grounds… I seek your humble (?) office to form a committee of enquiry under Article 3(D)(I) to inquire into this, for the discipline and indictment if necessary of the perpetrators, so that future elections of officials of our Great Elephant party will (not?) suffer this unfortunate fate that I suffered…” Kofi Adum-Bawuah who failed miserably in his campaign and won less than 1% of the votes ended his 9-paragraphed petition: “I will be looking forward to seeing some action on this request within seven days after which I will take it that internal avenues have been exhausted and then will advise myself.” Some people are asking whether Kofi Adum-Bawuah is “serious” after his lack-luster showing winning less than 1 per cent vote!

It was heart-warming to see Wontumi inviting all the contestants to a breakfast meeting at a hotel. His speech was reconciliatory and progressive: bring all your ideas on board, let's fight together to break the eight (8) – after all, ese-ne-keterema mpo ko. We wish Nsenkyire, the best of the times. It's all a family affair, and the future could be bright.

Now, all the 16 regions have elected their executives. Out of the 16, twelve chairmen retained their positions – Antwi-Boasiako, Ashanti; Kwame Baffoe aka Abronye, Bono; Divine Otoo Agorhom, Greater Accra; Nurudeen Fuseini, North East; Anthony Namoo Upper East: Kwabena Owusu Sekyere, Ahafo; Mohammed Adam Bantima Simba, Northern; Iddrisu Sulemana, Savanna; Makafui Woanya, Volta; Evans Yaw Dapaah, Oti; Sanbaye B. Kangberee, Upper West; Ibrahim Baba Bukari, Bono East; Benjamin Armah, Western North; Jeff Konadu Addo, Eastern; Francis Ndede Siah, Western Region; Robert Kutin Jnr, Central (the incumbent who won 237 votes with his closest rival, with Joseph Kobina Essibu trailing with 195 votes).

The next round of NPP elections is scheduled to take place on 14th July, 2022. We wish all the contestants success. The NPP wishes to “break the eight”. That is, break the tradition of allowing one party the presidential two-terms of four years per term. Much will depend on hard work.

In Animal Farm by George Orwell, the only thing everyone feared was the return of Jones. To dispel all questions, Squealer would ask, “Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back? “-And Napoleon and others would work harder. So, would NPP work harder to ensure that they keep NDC at bay.

Breaking the 8? Check what Obed Asamoah, former NDC Chairman said at the 43rd anniversary of June 4th Revolution: “Today, I want to tell you (NDC members) that you should not be frightened by people who talk about breaking the 8. They cannot break the 8 even if they bring ghosts to vote for them… The NPP know they have lost the election… so, 2024 election is for the NDC and there is no way we can lose the election. “At the forum, Zanetor Rawlings, first daughter of Jerry John Rawlings, remarked that “the ills that brought the June 4 have reared their ugly heads again, seeking to benefit a few while the rest of the citizenry lived in abject poverty.” We are all waiting with bated breath to see where the pendulum will fall.

Africanus Owusu-Ansah

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