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20.01.2006 General News

Editorial: NPP feel good spoiler – Anane Again

By Statesman

In our editorial of our special end of year edition, 2005 – A Year of Paradoxical Success and Failure, we wrote of 2005: “It has been stated without fear of challenge that the year 2005 will go down as President Kufuor's annus horribilis (horrible year)… It started very early in the year though. The presidential jittering against loud calls to bid farewell to one or two of his Ministers who had problems during the vetting, sent a wrong signal from which Government very nearly never recovered. It was a remarkable miscalculation by a man who had just won an election with an increased majority.”

We continued, “When newspapers, such as The Statesman and Accra Daily Mail call on the President to show decisive leadership and let the axe fall, it cannot be out of any particular mischief or dislike…”

The ADM of May 20, 2005 editorial had said: “We have nothing personal against you. In politics, it often happens that a particular politician becomes the fall guy. Sadly, providence has chosen you to be that guy in this 2nd term of the Kufuor Administration. Providence can also be wicked. Your loyalty and friendship to our president are impeccable. The best you can do for the president, in these circumstances, is to count your losses - and gains too - and quit.

”This way, you will maintain your self- respect, protect our president's honour and enhance the repute of our country. Please do this one noble thing for your self, your family, President Kufuor and Ghana: RESIGN! You are hurting them all with your continued stay in office.”

“That relationship” with Alexandra O'Brien, Dr Anane told the vetting committee, “regrettable as it may be, had its advantages for this country.” That statement, we are told, sent shockwaves through the corridors of the Central Intelligence Agency, where the lady had earlier implied she had some personal contacts. Our security sources say the CIA took the matter up and accordingly pursued the single parent American to find out whether she was in a position to divulge sensitive information to a Ghanaian official. But this, we are told, resulted inconclusively.

2005 had started with wonderful electoral victory news for the NPP. The feel good factor was high. By February, Richard Anane and a few others saw to the rapid erosion of that feel good factor. Again, 2006 started refreshingly well for the NPP. Successful conference; violence at NDC congress, triggering high profile resignations.

But, just as we prepare to enter the second month, up pops Dr Anane again. The Road Transport Minister is appearing before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to, politically, compete for bad publicity against the NDC, and to legally, defend charges of corruption and conflict of interest levelled against him.

The CHRAJ hearing centres on an alleged transfer of over $90,000 to Alexandria O'Brien, the American mother of his son Nicholas Anane.

Harona Esseku's timely resignation and the troubles in opposition camps might have had something to do with the knocking off of his scandal from the headlines.

Ghanaians must be grateful to CHRAJ for bring up the case. As many suspected there was probably more froth than Guinness in the O'Brien glass. The Minister has a good chance to put his detractors aside for good. He might also just attempt to knock off the NDC from the top spot of the BAD Publicity hit list. The strategists ought not to miss this simple but necessary evaluation exercise.