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13.09.2015 Feature Article

Finally, Akufo-Addo Takes Charge

Finally, Akufo-Addo Takes Charge
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The decision by Nana Akufo-Addo to let General-Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong handle controversies surrounding the just-ended Korle-Klottey Constituency’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primary ought to be applauded (See “Nana Addo Rejects Addison’s Petition” / 8/5/15). From the beginning, it became increasingly clear that Mr. Philip Addison, the lead petitioner in this instance, was feeling too big for his breeches, as it were. As I observed in a previous column, having put himself into the national spotlight by acting as lead attorney for the 2012 New Patriotic Party’s Presidential-Election Petition, Mr. Addison ought not to have sunk so low as to battle dirtily in the local politics of Korle-Klottey, his residential status notwithstanding.

A friend called the other night and took issue with my line of argument. For him, it was precisely the woeful lack of caliber of citizens like Mr. Addison in our National Assembly that had caused the level and quality of parliamentary debates to be so poor and embarrassing. I quickly pointed out to my friend that the current parliament was so constitutionally hobbled that unless the next President of our Republic, hopefully Nana Akufo-Addo, promptly carried through with the constitutional review proposals tabled by the Aheto, or some such, Commission, any progressive, intelligent and self-respecting citizen who opts to serve in Parliament would be doing so with the clear understanding of finding him-/herself frustrated for the most part.

Appealing directly to the Presidential Candidate of the party that he had hoped to represent in parliament, from the Korle-Klottey Constituency, was not the right thing to do. Instead, were he savvy or serious, Mr. Addison would have first appealed to the Greater-Accra Regional Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party, since he appears to be having problems with Korle-Klottey’s district/constituency executives. Interestingly, I also have my own take on the acute desperation with which Mr. Addison has been fighting to get the Korle-Klottey primary election scrapped, so as to afford him the chance of possibly defeating Mr. Nii Noi Nortey, the landslide winner of last Sunday’s poll. And it is that when the candidate seems as desperate as “Lawyer Pink-Sheets,” he may well be eyeing something far beyond bringing well-needed development to the residents of Korle Klottey. Now, I don’t know what that “something” is; I am just speculating. And I have good reason for such speculation. I tend to believe that politics and public service are primarily about altruism. But looking at the Fourth Republican Ghanaian political landscape, one can envisage anything but altruism or sacrificial leadership.

I am also personally not inclined to believe that Mr. Addison has any great chance of having his way with Mr. Agyepong, the NPP’s General-Secretary. And such perception has absolutely nothing to do with whether I believe Mr. Agyepong is capable of being evenhanded with the ministration of justice vis-à-vis the Korle-Klottey controversy. Rather, it has everything to do with the fact that Mr. Addison spent more of the period leading up to Sunday’s parliamentary primary, and shortly thereafter, impugning the leadership competence, integrity and credibility of Mr. Agyepong. What I loudly and clearly understand Nana Akufo-Addo to be saying to Mr. Addison and his dissenting associates is that the Korle-Klottey parliamentary primary, as well as all the other NPP parliamentary primaries across the country, is over and done with. Now, it is time to put all our petty squabbles and contused egos behind us and fire ourselves up for an Election 2016 victory and, with the latter, the salutary reorientation and development of the country.

Indeed, Mr. Addison may have genuine concerns regarding the low turnout of voting delegates at Sunday’s primary, but that is a problem than can be readily and diplomatically resolved at both the local and regional executive levels of the party. Mr. Addison cannot in anyway facilely assume that all the candidates who either refused or failed to show up at Sunday’s polls would have cast their ballots for him. They also included delegates or electors in support of Mr. Adjei Tawiah, who polled only three votes behind Mr. Addison. Then also, a sizeable chunk of the delegates who decided not to participate in Sunday’s primary may well have voted for the winner.

All the same, of course, it is his right to refuse to support the 2016 electioneering campaign of Nii Noi Nortey, but Mr. Addison ought to bear in mind that tired but truthful maxim that: “What goes around comes around.” Barring the occurrence of an apocalyptic event that wipes all humans off the face of the Earth tomorrow or the day after, Sunday’s parliamentary primary or Election 2016 would not be the last of their kind in the country. There will be more elections to contest and win or lose. And Mr. Addison has the choice of either staying in for the long-haul and having the last laugh, or counting himself out and perennially regretting such ill-advised decision.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2015

The author has 5330 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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