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Politics | Jan 8, 2005

Aliu Takes It On the Chin

Ghanaian Chronicle

A Founding Member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Kofi Busia Acheapong, has waded into the growing debate over the tensions between Madam Hawa Yakubu the Iron lady of politics and His Excellency the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

He took on Mr. Ayisi Boateng one of the eight Ghanaians involved in the Soussoudis spy exchange scandal and lived in exile for over twenty years in Missouri, USA.Mr. Kofi Busia's riposte is reproduced below.

I heard the first rap on Joy Fm, and it was by spokesman for a so-called Northern Youth of the NPP - and wrongly put about by Daily Guide 931/12/04 issue) as the Association of the Northern Development - accusing Hawa Yakubu of peddling falsehood against the Veep.

Another smack came from one Mr. Ayisi Boateng - appearing in Daily Guide - accusing Hawa for looking into the eye of the Veep, among much else he catalogues. He goes on to describe her as having enthroned herself as the people's representative in parliament in 1992 - I have some difficult understanding what is meant by that.

Recently, in the Daily Guide (04/01/05 issue) a former diplomat and so-called "Die-Hard" supporter, Kwadwo Adu-Gyamfi called for Hawa's sack from NPP.

Fortunately, I am privileged to talk about what I saw during my travels to Bolga and Bawku for the NPP campaign. I have also had to do with the skill-acquisition workshops for women, providing in some instances, resource ladies to impart the skills.

I also, attended Hawa's press conference which was covered by the Daily Guide. I listened to the Morning Show Programme of Joy Fm, prior to the press conference. I am also a founding member of the NPP. I have found it necessary to state the forgoing with the view to contextualising issues raised by the aforementioned persons and others elsewhere.

To begin with: the said spokesman for the Northern Youth of the NPP, Sadique is in the camp of the renegade independent candidate. Curiously at the press conference organized by the so-called Northern Youth of the NPP at Bawku, spokesman Sadique confirms Veep's support to the party and condemned Hawa for not acknowledging such support.

Hawa on the other hand, on the Joy Fm programme, maintained she received no such support: if there was any support, it may have gone to this renegade group who confirm the Veep's support, and even to this, Hawa maintains she had no evidence except from the wider picture of the circumstantial emergence.

In any case, is this Sadique the same person who has been reported several times at Bawku Police Station for several threats on the life of Hawa throughout her campaign? I am pretty sure that Mr. Ayisi Boateng was not present at Hawa's press conference: neither did he listen to her Joy Fm interview, as both events dealt with separate matters.

Regrettably, Daily Guide, re-echoing Mr. Boateng' s general misconception about Hawa, did not make any attempt at correcting this impression, even, as Daily Guide covered the event.

The fact of it is that, Hawa on Joy FM categorically maintained that she had no evidence, and could not speculate about the Veep working against her.

All she could say was that, she did not get any support from him. Indeed, this issue came up at the instance of the Radio Host, who like many others is aware of the open disquiet between the Veep and Hawa, which, is being managed, on the quiet, to a truce And, honestly, some of us would have attributed political dishonesty to Hawa if she went to the odds to disclaim this disquiet, as it is public knowledge. It is sometimes impolitic to deny a public knowledge.

Unpleasant sometimes but C'est la vie. At her Press Conference held at the party headquarters, she dealt extensively and only on the shooting incidence on the day of Election, and nothing more. Even a regular newspaper review discussant like Alfred Ogbamey of Gye Nyame Concord was on Peace FM, trying to tear shreds on Hawa's conduct when he had not listened to her Interview and the Press Conference to churn out any object/analysis to listeners.

He lumped both events together and commended as fantastic, the retort from the Veep's office by Aremeyaw the day after. Mr. Adu-Gyamfi's call on the party to sack Hawa lacks any modicum of merit.

You see, when the Elephant stampedes, not only does the grass suffer, but it stands the risk of being pricked in the sole. Political suaveness demands that: when the media picks the "shadow" of a controversy to gnaw on, and is done with it, you do not go back to give the "meat" of that controversial matter - I'm, thus, guided not to delve deeper into some of the issues he raises in the Front Page banner: "SACK HAWA FROM NPP".

It is also apparent, that very-much-prejudiced Mr. Adu-Gyamfi has neither listened to the Radio interview nor the press conference, else he would not be saving what he is reported to have said.

He must know that, ECOWAS sittings take precedence over our Parliament. And, that is Hawa's main business in Nigeria if he wants to know what business she pursues there. It seems he does not even understand why Hawa keeps distributing sewing machines My Goodness! If he cares for the why: That is what happens at graduation ceremonies climaxing the Skill-Acquisition workshops for our womenfolk who come out having learned sewing, batik & dye, cosmetic production, weaving and some seed money to start a livelihood with.

In one of the biggest workshops held at Kumasi in September, the Veep graced the closing ceremony with over 1,500 women's participation. His Excellency the President has commended highly, these workshops for the women.

These workshops were not concentrated in the South. In fact, the first of these workshops were held at Bawku and Bolgatanga as far back as mid 2003 before it settled back in the South.

He goes on: "People like Hawa Yakubu, Dr. Yaw Boakye Akoto of Birim North Constituency and Yaw Amankwa of Okai Koi North are an apology to the dreams of the founding fathers of NPP".

Sorry to say, but it seems that the former diplomat has some difficulties "spotting the odd" of his well-chosen" list. Undeniably, whereas Hawa campaigned for the party against independent candidates in her Constituency and even beyond, stretching to other Constituencies in the south. the other two, in his list, went on as Independents campaigning against the party. That is the fact of the matter.

Frankly speaking, one need not further belabour these raps as they are somewhat distracting. We have just come from a generally successful election with violence determining winner in isolated Constituencies - This incidence of bloodletting must not be encouraged to find its way into the body politic of Ghana, and that, precisely, is the spotlight of Hawa's Press Conference.

And, it behoves all well-meaning party faithful to resolve to come together to work harder to redeem our recent woeful performance in the three Northern Regions in spite of painstaking efforts by many of the losing Candidates. The time to launch this resolve is to start picking the pieces together now.

In conclusion, I wish to resound the allusion, in H.E. the President's recent address, to the effect that political service was a thankless job, and while we all acknowledge this fact, he takes the singular opportunity to thank all past MPs and others whose contributions, in all facets, to our young democracy may not have been recognised in the years past -Hawa, among others, stands out with her remarkable contribution from the years 1992, 1996 through 2001 to date.

On several occasions she has single-handedly, had cause to defend the President and the Government on key international platforms where attempts have been made by our detractors to cast some doubt on the good governance of Ghana. Her absolute commitment to the party's cause is without a streak of doubt: her down-to-earth mind-set and forthrightness is fantastic, even as it may hurt sometimes; her loath of Democratic Vandalism occasioned on Dec. 7 at Bawku Central, is warranted and must be investigated if Ghana is to continue to make further remarkable strides to enhance her democracy and remain a beacon of it, especially, to women who aspire to go into politics in Africa.

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