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06.09.2009 Feature Article

Nana Addo's contribution to his own defeat

Nana Akufo-AddoNana Akufo-Addo
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After I wrote a rejoinder stating what ex-president Kufour did to get Nana Akuffo Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to opposition, I received lots of emails from readers who felt that, in as much as the points I raised were valid and true there was the very urgent need for me to look at the other side of the coin as well. The other side of the coin was what I thought Nana Addo too did that contributed towards his defeat in the 2008 elections. What must be explained is that, my write- up was a reaction to comments ex-president Kufour made to the effect that, he was not responsible for the defeat of Nana Addo and the NPP in an interview on Kweku-one-on-one which was published in the Daily Guide and later on myjoyonline. On that occasion my response was the most appropriate response to make. I did explain that, ex-president Kufour was partially responsible for the defeat of Nana Addo and the NPP in the election I was very emphatic on this. I went ahead to state my reasons. Nonetheless I have accepted to state in my opinion what I thought accounted for the defeat of Nana Akuffo Addo in the elections of 2008. My emphasis here will be on what Nana did that accounted for his defeat. What ever reasons I will give should be taken as another person expressing his views on an issue others could have other reasons though. What must be explained is that, though this is not the time to apportion blame and I am not blaming anybody I however think that it is an excellent time to say what went wrong so that measures could be put in place to avoid the omissions of the 2008 before 2012. One thing is clear if NPP had won the elections everybody would have rushed to share in the victory. The reverse should also be true. Everybody in the NPP from the polling station chairmen to the constituency executives across to the national executives, Infact every member of the party accounted for the defeat of the NPP in the 2008 elections. But on this occasion the thesis will what I thought Nana Akuffo Addo did that accounted for his downfall. Firstly, Nana Addo was portrayed as a very arrogant candidate who also surrounded himself with arrogant people by the National Democratic Congress (NDC). In my opinion Nana and the NPP did not do much to dispel that perception than the NDC did to present Attah Mills as a humble and God fearing person. The fact that that perception was not successfully erased affected his fortunes in the election. Another thing that affected Nana Addo was the allegation that he was a cocaine addict and that it was dangerous to put the destiny of mother Ghana into the hands of a drug user. It is my view that very much was not done to counter that allegation. The NPP and Nana Addo needed to take practical action by dragging those who were openly making the allegations to court to clear his name and to have the court prevent them from making such damaging allegations against him if they were unable to prove it in court. I am still at sea as to why nobody was dragged to court over these blatant allegations that hinged on the personality of Nana Addo and had a replica effects on his presidential ambitions and the NPP. What was also used against Nana Addo was that, he was seen to be conducting himself and making utterances that seem the presidency of Ghana was for his ancestors and he was therefore the only one in the whole of the world who was most qualified to rule Ghana. Chronicling what his grandfather, father, mum, aunts, and uncles did for Ghana was not enough a campaign message. He needed to be called to order and be told that, the presidency of Ghana was not to be attained through ancestral links. This was not a case of succession to a skin or stool of a traditional jurisdiction. No wonder it was used against him in the elections. What also affected Nana Addo was that his campaign dwelled so much on the achievements of the NPP administration for eight years and did very less about his own personal achievements to the overall development and progress of mother Ghana. What appeared to be gaining currency was the over trumpeting role Nana Addo played in the Alliance for change demonstration and the Kume preko demonstrations. This did not make much impact at all. Some were also of the view that, Nana Addo 'Eastenized' his campaign by stocking it with persons from the Eastern region who were thought to be driving the campaign of the NPP rather than the official campaign team of the party this was seen to have brought about some confusion some of the time between Nana Addo and what was widely described as the Eastern block. This was seen to have affected the party in the elections. A further issue was that, the NPP and Nana Addo thought the election was a mere formality and saw December 7 2008. ,as just a day for the Electoral Commission of Ghana to perform its statutory role of conducting elections in preparations towards Nana Addo's inauguration on January 7, 2009. As to whether that amazing confidence of the NPP and Nana Addo was something to go now belongs to history. What in my opinion also affected the performance of Nana Addo's ambition to become president of Ghana is what I will call some very strange decisions. I still remember that, when Mahamoud Bawumia was to be send to the northern region to be introduced to the chiefs, opinion leaders, and other religious leaders, the only northerner who has being vice president for eight years in the history of Ghana under the ticket of the NPP his excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama was sidelined. Instead it was persons who could not even speak the northern languages who were at the forefront doing the introduction of Bawumia to the chiefs and religious leaders. No wonder that visit was a flop and when the then vice-president his Excellency Alhaji Aliu Mahama was brought to the fore it was too little too late. I am not pretending about the peculiarities inherent in the politics in the northern region but the NPP have also had its die hard supporters. It must be stated that, supporters and sympathisers of Alhaji Aliu Mahama who were angry over this strange occurrence stayed away from the campagn in some cases in the Northern region and this could be said to have denied Nana Addo some votes. Infact the appointment of Bawumia as the running mate of Nana Addo was in itself unattractive to the fortunes of the NPP. The protestations that characterised that nomination were all over the place in Ghana for all to see. I must say I am yet to fathom why he was made Nana Addo's running mate in the first place. Maybe his rather very impressive academic achievements which I salute was what was given consideration more that the facts on the ground. Nana should be the one who should bear all the blames for his choice of a running mate who was unable to give the NPP a single parliamentary vote from his own district and constituency. Those who wrote to me asking me to be fair to ex-president Kufour by also telling readers what Nana Akuffo Addo also did to facilitate his defeat in the December 2008 elections, this is your answer.

Akilu Sayibu, UK [email protected]

Akilu Sayibu
Akilu Sayibu, © 2009

The author has 192 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AkiluSayibuUK

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