By Nana Akyea Mensah
Over the past couple of years, watching the countless spins and puerile campaign initiatives by Nana Akufo-Addo and his cheer-leaders, I have had the occasion to be reminded of Sir Walter Scott's “children” who “build statues of snow and weep to see them melt.” One feature of these bands of Akufo-Addo followers that is very difficult to get used to, is the fact that they are equally as noisy when they are building their statues as is their wailing, when these also begin to melt. This article is intended to bring the noise down to acceptable decibels. One of the most notorious of the Akufo-Addo “wailers”, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., a typical Akyem town-crier, whose “talents” include the ability to wail exactly like a baby, is under focus.
In the lead up to the 2008 general elections, it was pathetic to see Okoampa-Ahoofe taking a free-ride on the Akufo-Addo campaign-hype of “one-touch” victory, even though the NPP flag-bearer had been left in no doubt by Professor Larry Gibson concerning his own chances of winning against the then NDC candidate, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills. Thanks to the revelations in Dr. Arthur Kennedy's book, “Chasing the elephant into the bush”, we now know that even as Akufo-Addo was stubbornly refusing to concede defeat to the winning candidate, as expected of any decent politician, Akufo-Addo was already aware he stood no chance of winning the race in the first place!
The prognosis of his impending defeat did not stop him from using “one-touch” as his campaign slogan. It did not stop him from refusing to concede his obvious defeat. Akufo-Addo is therefore, himself, the spider at the centre of the yarn of lies being spun by the “wailers” around him, like Okoampa-Ahoofe. Akufo-Addo therefore needs to be dealt with in his own right, except that one of his wailers has developed some Dutch courage to disturb the peace of late, hence this focus on Okoampa-Ahoofe together with his uncle. Out of sheer desperation, and realization that Akufo-Addo is increasingly becoming the under-dog in the race, they are busy preparing the grounds to subvert the will of the people against their inevitable defeat at the 2012 polls.
I think two articles written by Okoampa-Ahoofe epitomize the phenomenon. In the first article, The Tribal Question: Why Akufo-Addo Must Handily Win the Ewe, Okoampa predicts a massive win for his uncle in the Volta Region in these terms, “Anyway, we know that Nana Akufo-Addo will handily win the Ewe vote in Election 2008, because the New Patriotic Party Presidential Candidate has guts and mettle for the fearless pursuit of unfettered democratic culture, whereas the nauseatingly timid Prof. Atta-Mills has always toadied up to the orgiastic butchery and immitigable savagery of the Dzelukope Mafia.” (See: The Tribal Question: Why Akufo-Addo Must Handily Win the Ewe, By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., ModernGhana.com, Featured Articles, 9 October 2008).
In the second article, Okoampa-Ahoofe is busily instructing the winning candidate and President-elect, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, to concede defeat to his losing uncle! See: “Atta-Mills Must Concede Defeat!” By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., ModernGhana.com, Featured Articles, 31 December 2008. So there is nothing new about these wailers, and their “all-die-be-die” because “someone is desperate to cheat us” nonsense. The Busia-Danquah fraternity have never lost an election without crying foul. This they did, even when their own colonial Britain was overseeing the 1951 elections, jailing Nkrumah during the campaigns and financing them!
Try to find out how the Accra Sports stadium came into being, and you would be learning something about how the colonialists financed Danquah's initiative to use sports to attract the teaming Accra youth rallying behind Kwame Nkrumah They even cried foul after the 1951 elections when their own colonial patrons were in charge and had an obvious preference to them than to Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP!
Before the 2008 elections, even Akufo-Addo's own private pollsters predicted an Atta-Mills victory. The attempts to stem the tide with the Rawlings' Hitlist hoax only worsened matters, as President Mills emerged not only victorious but also to be “his own man”. On the other hand, Akufo-Addo's popularity, insufficient as it was in 2008, has been on the wane, as a result of reckless statements and a series of drug-related scandals and allegations.
As though that were not enough, his own lieutenants are at each others' throats. Herbert Krapa fights Otchere-Darko, Okoampa fights Ochere-Darko and Krapa, Otchere-darko fights Okoampa and Herbert Krapa. Even within the inner-circle of the so-called “Victory 2012 Campaign”, the constant strategic repositioning and jostling for power and attention has led to a complete breakdown of teamwork. It is even worse with the NPP as a party. Today, despite the obvious low-profile, the “Agenda 2016” is almost becoming a household word. The funniest thing about Okoampa-Ahoofe is that he even helped in putting words to the fundamental logic that has now developed into the full-blown “Agenda 2016”:
"...the fact that the timing of his premiership had far more to do with the widely perceived success of the suggested candidate than either his own proven managerial skills or his perceived ability to readily reach out to his internal political opponents..." - Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame. See: NPP Needs Functional structures and statesmen, not self-centered politicians, Ghanaweb, Feature Article of Thursday, 11 February 2010, Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame.
I take the contrary position. It is rather not only Akufo-Addo's “perceived inability to readily reach out to his internal political opponents”, coupled with “the timing of his [President Mills] premiership”, but also his inability to effectively respond to the allegations of substance abuse, perceived arrogance, a repetitive and intrusive sense of ideological and moral bankruptcy that exude from his discourses, that make Akufo-Addo the under-dog in this race in which President Mills is clearly the front-runner. It is therefore a ridiculously disingenuous mischief to begin to cry foul even before the vote as to call for bloodshed. I shall be discussing this in detail later on, but first, let's go back to the quotation from Okoampa above, and try to come to terms with it.
What Okoampa is saying in simple English, is that President Mills defeated Akufo-Addo, or the NDC defeated the NPP simply because the NPP had been in power for eight years, and Ghanaians were tired of them and wanted change. For Okoampa, it had nothing to do with any innate ability of Candidate Mills who won, because it was all a matter of timing! And I think he is statistically correct. An NPP candidate who contests an NDC President after the eight-year term had expired, stands better chances of winning against an NDC candidate, and vice versa, as we saw after the end of the Rawlings' eight year term that ushered in President John Agyekum Kufour of the NPP. The same can be said of the eight year term of NPP President Kufour, that ushered in the NDC President Mills.
You would all recall the grievances we heard from strategic NPP power brokers in the Ashanti Region, which included well-connected candidates vying for powerful seats in the party, such as National Chairman, National Secretary, etc., who did not only feel aggrieved for having been cheated in the elections, but also felt aggrieved as regards the manner the party handled their grievances. Add to that melting pot, a shrewd and calculating Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, also from the Ashanti Region, who must have thought of such dazzling arithmetic of timing, long before the implications of that, in terms of the internal politics of the NPP, dawned upon Okoampa-Ahoofe.
Add to that, Okoampa's own incessant attacks on President Kufour, which I described as “a state of cognitive dissonance” in an article on that subject when out of the blue Okoampa came to the defence of President Kufour over the Gizelle Yajzi scandal:
“Are we now seeing in full display the long-awaited problem of THE CONGNITIVE DISSONANCE OF THE AKYEM MAFIA? I know Kufuor is now like "Asantrofi Anoma" to you people, and you people are yet to make up your minds whether to like him or hate him! The problem is you would want to use his records to win votes, but at the same time you want to distance yourselves from the numerous scandals! Now, all of a sudden you appear to put a brave face on it because of the obvious repercussions on the integrity of Mr. Akufo-Addo, who may have to position himself on this scandal if it continues to grow. An uncomfortable situation indeed, so by all means Kufour has to be innocent!” See: Gizelle Yajzi/Yadzi: Prikus Kufuorus Non Conscientum Habet! Feature Article of Wednesday, 25 August 2010, by Mensah, Nana Akyea.
Why so? Because, not long before this Okoampa had been on the back of President Kufour at the slightest pretext. It became so serious that I am sure many people tried to talk to him through various channels. For instance he complains that Otchere-Darko has forbidden him not to criticize a certain political enemy of Nana Akufo-Addo. He also reacts angrily to a wise counsel by Peter Owusu Boahene, in a rejoinder to Okampa's article, “Kufuor continues to campaign for Atta-Mills", to tone down his attacks on President Kufour and to plead for both Akyems and Ashantis to come together for the sake of Nana Addo, whom Okoampa also happens to support. The response from Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. to this appeal should explain to any doubting Thomases anywhere whether or not the Ashanti-Akyem divide in the NPP is a hoax as they say.
Under the title, "Comment: Did I Impress Your wife?" Okoampa charged:
"Man, are you good at spewing crap! All of a sudden, it is the fault of Owusu-Akyem Tenten Nana Kwame Okoampa-Agyeman! That I served as Local Government secretary under Rawlings when the judges you so much cared about went missing.
Yes, the Akyem-Mafia killed the judges!
Barima, ask those who went to secondary school with me: I was editing "The Mountaineer" when Kufuor was a Kwaku Baah lieutenant and B. B. Ofori was my genius Geography tutor!
In 1932, when the real Asante-Mafia ran my maternal grandfather, Rev. T. H. Sintim out of the Adum section of Kumasi and off his job as the first native-Ghanaian headteacher, for being criminally culpable of Akyem descent and heritage, as Justice Sarpong put it rather mildly a few days ago, Nana Yawbe Sintim-Aboagye was "acting high and mighty," as the expression is the exclusive behavioral preserve of Akyemfo.
Don't talk about Dr. Richard Anane now: I saw and read your large corpus of protest literature on Ghanaweb. Rather, let's talk about Mr. Osafo Maafo. Oh, no, no, no.... Why? Because he is only an
My friend, where were you when the Ejisu-Piranhas ran me out of NPP-USA because I had dared to call Uncle Kofi Diawuo his real name?
And where were you when my own father, the founding-libator of the Amansie Society of New York was banished because one of your royal Asante-Angels suddenly discovered that his tabooed Akyem identity was stalling the progress of the organization?
My friend, you are lucky you are spewing such guff tens of miles away; else, I would strangle you and face execution by lethal injection!" - Author: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Date: 2010-08-12 23:48:31 (See: Comment to: "RE: “Kufuor continues to campaign for Atta-Mills" Feature Article of Friday, 13 August 2010, by Columnist: Boahene, Peter Owusu).
A similar scene was repeated the first time Asamoah Boateng attempted to pay a visit to the Akufo-Addo Victory 2012 office in Accra. This time he was not called an Ejisu piranha. Asmaoh Boateng, everybody knows hails from Mankesim in the Central Region, yet they screamed “Agenda 2016!” Here is a story that speaks for itself:
“The New Patriotic Party (NPP), even in opposition, is a house divided against itself where factionalism has taken over sense of strategic reasoning DAYBREAK has gathered.
Reports say some key persons who campaigned for Alan Kyerematen are not been tolerated at the Ridge campaign office of Nana Akufo Addo on suspicion that they have a 2016 agenda rather than a 2012 agenda.
So nasty is the development that former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, who supported the Alan Kyerematen flag-bearer bid, was recently booed, insulted and hooted at the front gate of the Nima residence of Nana Akufo Addo by some of his security details at the entrance.
Not only did they rain insults on Asamaoh Boateng but he was warned to leave the place and never return if he does not want to suffer a broken jaw. Some journalists who witnessed the nasty scene feared that the former Minister would be assaulted and they went to his rescue until an aide of Nana Addo intervened and whisked Asabee into the compound. The attackers were not even given a verbal rebuke.” (See: “Nana Addo Snubs Alan Boys” Ghanaweb, General News of Thursday, 30 September 2010, Source: DAYBREAK)
My point about the wailers is that these are the very same people who will wail the most, when the results turn out to confirm their stupidities! I would go as far as to say that apart from the cocaine scandal and marijuana fumes “first thing in the morning!”, which have completely shattered any chances of breaking through the competitive nature of Ghana's elections, the “Agenda '16” is yet another formidable challenge capable of delivering a deadly defeat to his presidential ambitions. At this juncture, one may ask, “What is Agenda 2016?” and it shall be treated as a genuine question. I shall try and give some insight into that question in this “dufument”.
This is my first major “dufument” of Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., as we approach the 2012 electoral year, and he begins to churn out more nonsense, and playing the drum major in the drums of war in Ghana we shall have the time to explain that Nana Akufo-Addo chances of winning any elections were even brighter in 2008 than they are today. Independent predictions like UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit is predicting a slim victory for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), if the 2012 general elections were held today. This has sent the signals to the business community, effectively enhancing the authority and prestige of the man to deal with in the foreseeable future as far as Ghana is concerned.
This impression that President Mills is no lame duck administration probably explains some of the international curtsies and diplomatic strength the Mills Administration is enjoying currently. I was not surprised at the speed with which the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unanimously endorsed a limit of US$3.4 billion on non-concessional borrowing for Ghana, just as an example, to the utter shock and chagrin of Otchere-Darko and his friends, including Akufo-Addo. It is against this background that I wish to wonder aloud, just what does Akufo-Addo mean by all-die-be-die because, somehow, someone is determined to rig the elections to deny him of victory? Who born dog? Who dash frog coat?
You are even more unpopular than you were in 2008 when you lost. President Mills has even become more popular when it became apparent that he was not going to be a “poodle of Rawlings” as the Akufo-Addo camp had falsely predicted. He has the advantage of incumbency. He has a sounder academic background, and has displayed sound judgement in resisting Ghana being compelled into war with La Cote d'Ivoire, as Akufo-Addo and Okoampa and co stupidly insisted.
Akufo-Addo was not surprised that he lost the 2008 Presidential elections. He had already been warned about it by Professor Larry Gibson in advance! Yet he was able to pretend that he could have won if his "numerous" supporters in the Volta Region had been allowed to vote! I think there is no need to wait for Akufo-Addo to lose to find out whether or not he is going to accept the results. I think he is automatically going to cry foul, even though his chances this time are even slimmer than the last time around!
From their own admissions, the Akufo-Addo campaign is not going well at all. In his recent article, Gabby Asare, the author, who is also the Executive Director of the Akufo-Addo PR-team known as "the Danquah Institute" admits that the NDC deserves "some credit for even succeeding in putting the opposition on the defensive much of the time." See: "Negative Campaign In Ghana And Lessons From .....", Feature Article of Saturday, 8 October 2011, Otchere-Darko. So, how can a relatively unpopular candidate, doomed to lose to the incumbent, blame his obvious unpopularity and inevitable defeat to cheating? That is the million-dollar question!
Akufo-Addo's problems with the crucial Ashanti vote which can make or break is far from resolved. Apparently the "Agenda 2016" Team led by Kufour and Allan Cash is even more optimistic and better organized than the "Victory 2012" in the Ashanti Region. It is the group which controls the Ashanti Region that will decide the winner, and all the indications are that they do. And these are people who have their own agenda, “affectionately” called “Agenda 16” by Nana Akufo-Addo and the wailers.
Indeed, the only way Akufo-Addo can hope to win the election is through rigging, but there are even internal forces within the NPP which would sabotage that for the sake of the “Agenda 2016” so what is he talking about? Is it another way of preparing the grounds in order to refuse to concede his inevitable defeat as he did in 2008, after his so-called “one-touch” victory campaign? The only reason why he keeps shouting “all-die-be-die” is simply because he was overwhelmed by the scandal of drug abuse and enjoyed the distractions that this particular stupidity generated: “We Akans are not cowards!” Apart from counting on mercenaries who intend to be paid with our oil money, Akufo-Addo cannot even garner enough support to wage war on the will of the people and on our democracy!
Keep building your statues of snow, but wail not, and behave like adults when you see them melting! At the end of the day the NPP has more to lose from the "Agenda 2016" menace than the NDC has to lose from the Rawlingses threat. The percentage of constituency under Alan Cash's command is far greater than the percentage as demonstrated in their respective congresses where "President John Mills won the NDC's National Delegates' Congress in Sunyani by a whooping 96.09% as against Nana Konadu's 3.01%", whilst Nana Akufo-Addo obtained 78.89 per cent in his own party. Mr John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen polled 21,226 votes representing about 19.91 per cent. The dynamics do not bode well for the NPP, also because there is a frontal and direct contradiction between the Alan Cash "Agenda 2016" and the Akufo-Addo "Victory 2012".
"A wolf may eat a sheep now and then,
But thousands are killed by men,
An open foe may prove a curse,
But a pretended friend is worse"!
But thousands are killed by men,
An open foe may prove a curse,
But a pretended friend is worse"!
The NDC now has the "open foe" under control, but can the NPP say the same thing about their "pretended friends"? Whilst the Rawlingses are already talking of forming another political party, with preferably, the NDC logo, Akufo-Addo recently included Alan Kyeremanten in his campaign team, despite the visceral hatred of the Alan Cash "Agenda 2016" underground commandos. Alan Cash believes strongly that 2016 is his time, given to him by God himself. The Akufo-Addo "Victory 2012" is a threat to this "God-given" hope of Alan Cash, as Akufo-Addo could extend his political expiring date beyond 2012 to two terms ending in 2020, and making nonsense of the "Agenda 2016"!
Attention! There is a good reason why this is not in the public domain. This shall never be an operation that will be played out in the open. Both sides have come to the selfish conclusion that they need a strong façade of unity, whether 2012 or 2016, if they are to make any impact. Thus publicly they are friends! They have agreed to disagree. They tell each other, "if you are pretending to be a friend, we shall also pretend to be friends!" This is a house irrevocably divided against each other as the Ashanti Region is the strongest base of the party, the "Agenda 2016" which needs a defeat of Akufo-Addo, to spring into action, gives the NDC a fortuitous advantage even if the Rawlingses were to break away from the NDC.
As you can see, the title is a bit misleading for those who were expecting me to talk of “the wiki-weed problem” rather than Okoampa. That shall come later. I just want to emphasise the fact that Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe is just a tip of an iceberg. The only person who can do something about this problem is the stolid and indolent Akufo-Addo, who is quick to bring to order, the non-Akyem members of the party who fall out of line, such as the recent rebuke of the Honourable P.C. Ofori-Appiah over his remarks on Alan Kyeremanten. Even though several voices have been raised in the past and continue to be raised by both NPP sympathisers and opponents alike, Mr. Akufo-Addo has remained strangely silent when it comes to calling his Akyem cousins to order!
Whom is he deceiving other than his own bloody-self as more and more NPP sympathisers begin to feel frustrated and pissed off by this sinful silence? This is a call for the first non-tribal political election campaign in our history, and it will pay a lot if Akufo-Addo saw the light and started his own anti-tribal campaign of his own and call some of his lieutenants like Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., to order! It would be a very small thing in itself, but certainly a good beginning. After all, as Kwame Nkrumah puts it, even though Rome was not built in a day, the building of Rome was started in a day This, Nana Akufo-Addo can do by first withdrawing the obnoxious statement, “We Akans are not cowards!” Otherwise, don't wail blaming “Antwi” when the inevitable happens!
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"To all men of goodwill, organize, organize, organize! The struggle is
far from over! We prefer self-government in danger, to servitude in tranquillity!
Forward ever, backward never"!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.