Sunday, November 25, 2012

“Akufo-Addo Subverts Ghanaian Interests At The IEA Debate!” - Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.

Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. takes the host of Radio Gold, Mr. Alhassan Shaibu Suhini, host of the famous Alhaji & Alhaji Show through an analysis of the essential bankruptcy that underlies the foreign policy postures of the presidential candidate of Ghana's opposition party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party, NPP at the Institute of Economic Affairs' recent Presidential debate at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra, Ghana. Transcript by the Office of The Odikro, Nana Akyea Mensah. Listen: ▶ KWESI PRATT ON THE IEA DEBATE NOV 2012 by Pan-Africanist International.
KWESI PRATT JNR.: “I feel so uncomfortable about the fact that the discussion of foreign policy was reduced to a discussion about our relationship with La Côte d'Ivoire. Because foreign policy is much, much, more broader! Much, much more broader than our relations with La Côte d'Ivoire. And yet Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo managed to reduce the whole discussion to our relations with La Côte d'Ivoire, and I felt it was hugely problematic.
I think that foreign policy issues are essentially about how to maximise our advantage in the comity of nations. Foreign policy is simply the appreciation of the fact that no country has everything it needs in terms of resources and so on. And therefore, it is important to relate to the rest of the world so that we can deal with the things that we are not capable of dealing, and so that we can also help others overcome problems which confront them, for which we have an advantage. That is the basis of foreign policy.
Again, I think that foreign policy ought to have ingredients. And if you look at Ghana's foreign policy from 1957, one of the key ingredients in Ghana's foreign policy has been international justice. The search for justice, the struggle to end exploitation, whether it is in the form of slavery, whether it is in the form of classical colonialism, or it is in the form of modern day neo-colonialism. And that is why Ghana has been firmly committed to the decolonisation process throughout the world. The element of international justice is key in foreign policy. And that was skipped.
Now with reference to La Côte d'Ivoire, I am surprised that anybody discussing the relations between Ghana and La Côte d'Ivoire could ignore the claim that our oil resources, or part of our oil resources belong to La Côte d'Ivoire! Over the last year or two, La Côte d'Ivoire has made all kinds of claims on Ghana's Jubilee Field, to the extent that the Ivorian National Petroleum Company issued a threat to the operators in the Jubilee Field to stop work or face the consequences.
Now, any Ghanaian with an interest in the protection of Ghana's resources and its utilization for the development of our people if he wants to comment about the relationship with La Côte d'Ivoire ought to focus some attention on the claims of the Ouattara Administration that part or all of our oil resources belong to them. Nana Akufo-Addo was not interested in that. His main interest was how to keep Ouattara in power. And as a Ghanaian, I am totally disgusted by this picture of a man who wants to be the President of the Republic of Ghana!
He is not interested in the Ivorian claims at all! But, you know what makes it worse? When Nana Akufo-Addo was asked how he would find resources to support his free Senior High School proposal, he said it would be revenue form the oil. Now, if that is the case, just in case La Côte d'Ivoire succeeded in claiming a substantial part of our oil resources, it would mean that the free SHS proposal have collapsed at birth. And yet Nana Akufo-Addo is not interested in protecting source of the resources he would use to fund the free SHS system that he has proposed. That is how serious he appears to be about the free SHS! The very source of funding, he is not interested in protecting, and I find that worrying.
My brother, it is interesting for us to go back into history. And it is interesting for us to go back into history because in this very instance, history will teach us why the New Patriotic Party and its Presidential candidate, is jumping over itself to have a collaborative relationship with the Ouattara Administration, even if it means subverting Ghana's interests. And I recommend very strongly that those who can, should try and read Mahoney's book, “JFK, Ordeal in Africa”. I think that portion starts from page 185 onwards. They should try and read that. Nkrumah's government suffered tremendously as a result of sabotage, planned and executed by the Danquah -Busia elements, with the full support of the Houphouët-Boigny government in La Côte d'Ivoire.
Throughout Nkrumah's reign, he never had a day of peace, as a result of the subversion of the Danquah-Busia elements and the reactionary neo-colonialist government of La Côte d'Ivoire, headed by Houphouët-Boigny, a government in which Ouattara served. A government in which Ouattara served!
Today, in Dansoman, lives a woman called Asantewa. And I am sure all of you know the story of Asantewa. Asantewa was a young school girl, Young Pioneer, for that matter, who went to the Accra Sports Stadium to participate in an activity that Nkrumah was to address. Danquah-Busia elements stormed the stadium with bombs in one of their terrorist activities, and Asantewa had one of her legs amputated. Today, you should see Asantewa. The other leg is so badly swollen, and up till today, Asantewa is in extreme pains. Those bombs came from La Côte d'Ivoire and other countries, but they came principally from La Côte d'Ivoire!
Again, it is important to go back into history and to learn. And Dr. Tony Aidoo mentioned that but Dr. Tony Aidoo did not mention the role played by La Côte d'Ivoire! Busia's government teamed up with La Côte d'Ivoire to subvert the aspirations of the African people with regards to toppling Apartheid, when the Organisation of African Unity, had come to the conclusion that Apartheid needed to be uprooted, and that one of the means of uprooting Apartheid was to isolate Apartheid and to impose sanctions on Apartheid.
The Danquah-Busia elements in Ghana and Houphouët-Boigny's government in La Côte d'Ivoire, decided to subvert the Organisation of African Unity, and opened up trade links and other diplomatic links with South Africa to the shame and horror of Africans everywhere in the world! So the collaboration did not begin today! It began a long time ago, working against the interests of the African people!
Now, you see a discussion of La Côte d'Ivoire crisis has been skewed in such a way as to create the impression that Laurent Gbagbo was some kind of monster who needed to be booted out of power. I totally disagree with any analysis like that, no matter where that analysis is coming from! Why? The electoral regulations of La Côte d'Ivoire, the Constitution of La Côte d'Ivoire, allowed any of the contesting parties to ask for a recount of the votes. In much the same way that Ghanaian electoral laws and the Constitution allow for a recount of votes. You understand what I am saying?
At the end of that election, the only demand made by the Gbagbo Administration was that the results should be recounted. And Gbagbo stated very clearly that if those results were recounted and he had lost, he was willing to leave power. So it was not a case of Gbagbo hanging on blindly to power. It was a case in which Gbagbo said, let us recount the ballots, in conformity with the Ivorian Constitution, in conformity with Ivorian electoral laws.
Alassane Ouattara said no! Daabi da! We will not allow the recount! If you don't leave office, we will bomb you to ras! And don't forget that before the elections, the rebels supporting Alassane Ouattara had been armed to the teeth, ready to shoot their way to power. That is what happened in La Côte d'Ivoire! Because Gbagbo insisted on the proper things being done, and Alassane Ouattara objected to the proper things being done, more than 3000 Ivorian citizens lost their lives! Many of them killed by rebels supporting Ouattara.
You should be reading reports of Human Rights Watch. You should be reading reports of Amnesty International. And since they love UN reports, you should be reading UN reports. In one day, the rebels supporting Ouattara killed more than 200 innocent Ivorians who were taking refuge in a church! Isn't it interesting that today Gbagbo is standing trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity? The wife has just been indicted also, and Alassane Ouattara is walking free! Isn't that interesting? That is justice! I am disgusted! Completely disgusted!
But Suhini, back to the point. Guillaume Soro was in Accra. Guillaume Soro was a Prime Minister, now he is the Speaker of the Ivorian Parliament. And Guillaume Soro said that the Ivorian government was eternally grateful to Professor Mills for helping to resolve the crisis of the Ivory coast. Guillaume Soro said if it was not for the wise counsel of Professor Mills, the Ivorian crisis could not have been resolved.
Guillaume Soro's visit was followed by a visit by President Ouattara. And President Ouattara made it clear that President Mills had played a key role in the resolution of the Ivorian conflict. I interviewed Laurent Gbagbo. And Laurent Gbagbo said that President Mills was one of the wisest leaders in Africa. Ouattara repeated that. The opponent of Laurent Gbagbo came to Accra and repeated that and said, look, President Mills was one of the wisest African leaders, and that without him, the crisis could not have been resolved.
Apparently, Nana Akufo-Addo did not listen to all of this. The man who was so interested in protecting Ivorian interests and so on, did not even listen to his mentor Ouattara, when Ouattara praised President Mills to this level, and went on to make the kind of statements he made at the IEA.
But my brother, listen to me and listen to me carefully. Nana Akufo-Addo claims to have read the UN report. I don't think he has read the UN report because anybody who has read the UN report would notice that the UN report was quoting from a French intelligence company! And indeed, some of the quotations were in quotation marks. Clearly indicating that the UN, whilst using the report, was distancing itself from the report. It was not adopting the report as its own. The fact that they were in quotation marks is clear. But Nana Akufo-Addo would have us believe that that report was a UN report!
There is something also which is interesting about that so-called UN report. One, it was leaked even before it had been presented to the UN for adoption, you understand what I am saying? So, is that what Nana Akufo-Addo is going to base his policy on? Leaked documents which do not have the stamp of approval and so on? Is that what he is going to base his foreign policy on? I wonder what Ghana will become! We will be moving towards a banana republic if this is going to be our attitude in foreign policy!
But, be that as it may. Nana Akufo-Addo, who has been a Foreign Minister before, should be familiar with the UN Charter and other regulations. The UN is estopped by its own Charter from carrying out espionage activities in member countries. So, the UN could not have sent secret agents quietly into Ghana to establish the things that the French company established. It is against the UN Charter!
Now, if the UN is violating its own Charter and operating as if it were a band of guerilla movement and so on, we expect Ghanaian people, especially those who want to be our President, to defend Ghana's interests, and not to insist that the UN should behave properly! Unfortunately, we have a man who wants to be President of Ghana, who is condoning the violation of the UN's own Charter. And I am worried about this development.
In any case, Radio France International had an interview with an Ivorian military officer, in charge of the area where the so-called rebels were supposed to have attacked from Ghana and so on. We published it in The Insight, I am sure you saw it, in which the officer stated clearly that there was no Ghanaian involvement, and that the territory which was described as being Ghanaian territory was indeed an Ivorian territory, and that the attack came from within La Côte d'Ivoire! A La Côte d'Ivoire army officer! Nana Akufo-Addo did not hear that. He does not want to hear that! He is interested in subverting Ghana's interests and so on. And I am so, so disgusted by this development!
Now, I can say more about La Côte d'Ivoire because for me, it represents a betrayal of Ghanaian interests. The posture taken by Akufo-Addo is a clear betrayal of Ghanaian interests! Now, why would any Presidential candidate betray his own country, and route for another country? Of course, there are so many rumours about the linkage between Nana Akufo-Addo and some of the people in La Côte d'Ivoire. Some of it have been published. I am not the one to repeat these allegations, but you see, this conduct at the IEA can only lend credence to some of those rumours!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Was Akufo-Addo Dismissed From Oxford University? Part Two,

Part Two, By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

I have a feeling that there is going to be an announcement soon, trying to do as much damage control as possible, over these latest revelations concerning the circumstances under which young Master William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left Oxford University in the 1962/63 academic year. About a year ago, James Kwabena Bomfe, popularly known as Kabila stated categorically:

“For a fact Nana Addo never went to Oxford; he never got admission or applied to go to Oxford. It is his father who went to Oxford”.
The paper also notes, “Kabila as Bomfe is popularly called, said that the NPP flag-bearer has refused to comment on the issue because he (Nana) is treating it with the contempt it deserves.”

Akufo Addo's contempt has expired because more and more Ghanaians are beginning to demand answers, with the revelation that indeed, “Mr William Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO was a member of the University (and of New College) during the 1962/63 academic year'.” [Why has Nana Akufo Addo omitted Oxford University from his Profile? -]

This is why I expect him to finally clear his throat and say something about it, or sink with it. I wouldn't bet too much on it though. The refusal to acknowledge defeat, fault, or apologize for some wrong-doing appears to be so much alien in Nana Akufo-Addo's nature to such an extent that no other person than his own cousin, Mr. Gabriel Asare Otchere-Darko, the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute had this to say about the reason why Nana Addo lost the 2008 Presidential elections:

"The political opponents of the Danquah-Dombo-Busiasts have always been better at saying, “Ghanaians don't need a president who is arrogant and looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them. One who feels their pain.” These words were successfully used against a man who for more than 30 years (more than any of his rivals in the 2008 contest) dedicated his time, money, energy and intellect to fighting for the cause of the masses – Nana Akufo-Addo, an Akyem aristocrat." (See: "Are Danquah-Busiasts Really Elitist?", by, Wednesday, 18 November 2009.)

One of the first steps Nana Addo took to dispel this perception of “arrogance” was to board “tro tro” bus from Nima Lorry Park to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle. But when it comes to heeding calls to withdraw ethnocentric statements, or statements inciting inter-ethnic conflict and calling for war, such as “all die be die”, he has been more than deaf! Not even when the Upper West branch of his own party felt offended by his use of “goats” in reference to them, did he bother to apologize!

As Joseph Conrad would have put it, “it will be very interesting for science” to see a humble Nana Akufo-Addo taking questions and throwing some light on this. The funny thing is that I know they are going to have to do it if they ever want to cross the bridge to the Presidency. That insurmountable bridge is to restore the confidence of Ghanaians who are asking so many questions, as to whether or not this is a man to be trusted! That is why I know they do not have a choice, but as usual, they will never respond until it is too late!

The latest appeal in town is: “Judge Not Akufo-Addo By His Past!" I can understand such appeals, if he comes clean with his past and does not lie about it in the present. All the excuses that mention names of famous politicians who either smoked and or inhaled the stuff, do not mean much, because, at least, all these politicians either confessed or lied about it publicly. They did not “treat it with the contempt that it deserves! So far the NPP strategy is to keep quiet about it and expect us not to judge him with his past! The issue is not one of his past. It is one of his present: can we trust a man who is lying about his past?

In fact, it was no other person than ex-President J. A Kufour, who actually made that observation for the first time:

"Mr Kufuor noted that it was not appropriate to judge people based on what they did or did not do in the past, adding that Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past."

With all due respect, is the President suggesting this for all of us or only an exceptional treatment for Nana Akufo-Addo? If so, does he not think it would have been wiser to have also explained why we are all judged by our past actions rather than our intentions for the future but not Akufo-Addo? Would he be saying this if he were to be proud of Akufo-Addo's past? Why is it not appropriate to base our judgement on what Akufo-Addo "did or did not do in the past"? It is ridiculous to admonish us that "Ghanaians should not judge Nana Akufo-Addo with things he is perceived to have done in the past." Are we to judge him with the things he is going to do in the future? This is a good one! This is new, fresh and original!

The reason why he is making this bizarre request for us to forget about the past is not far-fetched:

"Former President Kufuor urged the electorate to support Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid to become the next president of the country by voting massively for the NPP presidential candidate in next year’s general election." [ See: Kufuor: "Judge Not Akufo-Addo By His Past!" |]

The whole point is that maybe we are willing to forgive, but the main obstacle in our way is that it is difficult to forgive a liar who is still telling the same lie. This is why it is important for Akufo-Addo himself to clear the air. This is probably not as easy as a “tro tro” ride, but it might help to dispel perceptions of arrogance. Please Nana, come forward and clear the air, you have everything to win from this! Any prolonged silence will spell nothing but the end of your political career. It is entirely up to you, as your nephew, Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr, puts it, "A word to the wise can never be enough; else there would be no fools, to begin with!"

Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!

Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Why Was Akufo-Addo Dismissed From Oxford University?

Part One, By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

It is fitting and proper that Ghanaians want to know about the character and the integrity of any individual who offers himself for public office. Truth telling is fundamental in establishing trust. Massaging the details of one's past and telling lies by omission or commission erodes such a trust. It is for this reason that the issue of whether or not the NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's silence over his stint at Oxford University raises many an eye brow. I am writing this piece to call on Nana Akufo-Addo to come clean with Ghanaians and do the right thing by spilling the beans in order to urgently restore his own credibility.
I just read an interesting article by a conscientious Ghanaian who is also non-partisan, which brings into a sharp focus as to why Akufo-Addo has remained dead silence on his stint at Oxford University in the 1962/63 academic year. If Nana Akufo-Addo was betting on his ability to cover up such a juicy story in this information age, he better think again, and plan an appropriate damage control. An authoritative feature article by Mr. Kofi Ata, published 11 November 2012, has the title: “Why has Nana Akufo Addo omitted Oxford University from his Profile?”

“I can confirm on authority that, I submitted Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to Oxford University in January 2012 asking the university to confirm if Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo also known as Nana Akufo Addo was a student at the university. The university in a reply dated 27 January 2012 (Ref. FOI/2012/Jan), stated as follows: 'We have searched our records and the only published information that falls within the scope of your request is that Mr William Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO was a member of the University (and of New College) during the 1962/63 academic year'.” [Why has Nana Akufo Addo omitted Oxford University from his Profile? -]

Even though it has been an open secret that Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo did set his feet at Oxford as a student, the NPP has been adamant that Nana never went to Oxford. Mr. Ata checked with Oxford to find out the truth when Kabila categorically denied that Akufo-Addo had ever set foot at Oxford:

“He revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo was never a student at Oxford University as it is being alleged.
'For a fact Nana Addo never went to Oxford; he never got admission or applied to go to Oxford. It is his father who went to Oxford'. Kabila as Bomfe is popularly called, said that the NPP flag-bearer has refused to comment on the issue because he (Nana) is treating it with the contempt it deserves.” [Where is Nana Addo’s Oxford University record? Felix Kwakye quizzes |]

By the time of the IEA debate, Mr. Kofi Ata had been fully informed by the

that, yes, indeed, Akufo-Addo was enrolled at Oxford University “and of New College) during the 1962/63 academic year”. It must have come as a big surprise and quite curious that Akufo-Addo virtually mentioned all the schools he attended, including Primary school, but omitted his enrolment at Oxford University. Now, why would he want to hide that? Is he ashamed of the University? What is wrong with being at Oxford for a almost one academic year?

Akufo-Addo has carefully doctored all his records to toe a certain line. They all exclude mentioning his days in Oxford. Even Wikipedia stands unchallenged! I urge Mr. Ata to help in up-dating the information on wikipedia as they are based on facts. So far this is what we have there:

“Early life and education: ...Akufo-Addo received his primary education at the Government Boys School and later at the Rowe Road School (now Kinbu) both in Accra Central. He went on to England to study for his O Level and A Level examinations. Akufo-Addo returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at the Accra Academy before going to the University of Ghana in 1964 to read economics. After graduating as an economist, he went on to read Law in the UK and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971 and then the Ghana Bar in 1975.” [Nana Akufo-Addo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

The reason for this large-scale attempt at a cover-up is not far-fetched. Exactly a year ago, on Friday, 9th December 2011, in “Where is Nana Addo’s Oxford University record? Felix Kwakye quizzes” we read:

“A member of the communication team of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Felix Kwaye Ofosu has questioned the motive behind Nana Akufo-Addo’s exclusion of his academic credential at Oxford University from his curriculum vitae.
According to him, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag-bearer’s refusal to make public his academic performance in Oxford University gives credence to rumours that he (Nana) was sacked from the institution for smoking marijuana.”
The story of wee-smoking has been collaborated in several unrelated sources. The most famous of them all was from an old friend who in trying to defend him from more serious charges of cocaine abuse, admitted the lesser crime of marijuana smoking. This is what the Wikileaks say:

"¶3...When questioned about persistent rumors of Akufo-Addo's own cocaine habit, Pratt admitted that he had personal knowledge of the candidate's drug use, but that it was not cocaine. "Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana," Pratt said, "and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high. But I never saw him do cocaine, and I think that is just an assumption people made."

In another development, Dr. Kwesi Aning, another very respected security analyst who is head of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, and an NPP sympathiser, was quoted to have admitted that Akufo-Addo had used drugs in his younger days, but that was now "under control." He added cryptically that "you can check with German intelligence on that." Apparently, the only people unaware of this habit is the average Ghanaian voter. This is why we need Akufo-Addo to confirm that, indeed he was sacked from Oxford University, after being caught smoking wee, so that we will know what to do on the 6th of December, 2012. One thing is sure: his continued silence on this issue is no longer helpful, and he risks automatic rejection with the contempt that an arrogant, unrepentant and lying wee-smoker deserves!

Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Is The NPP Playing 419 With Ghanaians?


Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
In the General News column of Ghanaweb of Monday, 5 November 2012, I came across a mind-boggling experience in the form of a discredited lie that is being recycled in the same manner that dogs eat their vomit. The title of the story was “Come Clean Now! Sammy Awuku Dares Prez Mahama”,
Source: Ghanaian Observer. In fact I was half expecting the NPP Communications Directorate to distance themselves from the original story rather than attempting to recycle the same lie!

It is amazing, that rather than distancing itself from a completely discredited story, the Akufo-Addo Communications Directorate has rather chosen to literally flog a dead horse! This is mind blowing. In the first place, the original story was so stupidly put together, that it should have been easy for any self-respecting organization flag and to make sure not to be seen to be associated with. The original story has been withdrawn from the internet for the simple reason that it is a hoax and does not emanate from Reuters. This is what you get when you google:

Ghana Prez John Mills Was Poisoned, Reuters Reports, this is what you see:
“By request of Thomson Reuters we have removed this feature article in which a correspondent of Reuters is prominently cited. Reuters has not reported any of the information attributed to this reporter and also does not have the mentioned reporter working for their outfit.”

Indeed even after it has emerged that the whole story is a hoax planted as a news story by one Bruce Antoinete of the Reuters, or senior consultant in international relations Dept of Global Travel Journals Network. It now emerges there is no Brice Antoinette and there has never been a news release or report of any sort from Reuters. The “Dept of Global Travel Journals Network” does not exist.

These are dirty politics that we don't even expect the practitioners to own up. The story they had planted mentions names, gives dates, and purports to claim that President Mills intended to investigate his vice-President over suspected corrupt deals with the acquisition of 5 aircrafts including an Embraer 190 and hangar for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), and that it was because of this that he was poisoned!

The wicked hoax had been debunked completely as bunkums, now we have “the Deputy Director of Communications for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Sammy Awuku, [challenging] President John Dramani Mahama to come clean on the myriads of allegations of corruption hanging around his neck.” It is certainly a monumental surprise of the Campaign 2012 to read that:

“Speaking at a mini rally held at the Ablekuma North constituency in the Grater Accra Region, the NPP firebrand challenged the President to put to rest suggestions that his conduct in the acquisition of 5 aircrafts including an Embraer 190 and hangar for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) was so suspicious that the late President constituted a Presidential committee to investigate the current President.
'I find as rather interesting that while President Mahama is always quick to respond to policy prescriptions of Nana Akufo-Addo on any platform he mounts, President Mahama has decided to keep mute on allegations leveled against him by Mr. Martin Amidu.'”

This is really gutter politics and unbecoming of a political party vying for office. It is exactly the story that has been debunked that Mr. Samuel Awuku is quoting! If they are such inveterate liars what stories are they going to churn out once they are voted into office?

It is amazing whether these people think they are campaigning in so doing, and also whether or not they know whom they are campaigning for. The only possible explanation is that either we are dealing with a genuine fool, or he is an infiltrator into the Akufo-Addo Campaign hell-bent to destroy it. The amount of credibility destroyed by such an action is incalculable.

For example, this is an issue that had been thoroughly debated and settled as a stupid hoax, even on Ghanaweb. So it was very negatively received, to put it mildly! You can palpably feel the political energy and the revulsion that Mr. Samuel Awuku has brought to the NPP. They are campaigning as though they have no strategy!

The first thing they need to come to terms with is that most of the people who are going to vote are of sound mind. The second is that, about a third of the electorate have already made up their minds either to vote for the NPP or the NDC. The numbers are even, but there is another third who are outside both political parties, and who are equally of sound mind, and are in the process of making their mind.
The remaining days of the campaign ought to be directed to this third party, and you are not going to win them over with such obviously stupid and already debunked lies. What is more, the more the opposition is seen to be relying on fabricated stories as the basis of their campaign, the more unattractive they become to this group.

Furthermore, they begin to ask questions. If they naturally wonder, if the NPP has to resort to lies in order to accuse President Mahama of corruption, it has to be because they have nothing else against him, otherwise they would have used that! The logical effect of such political slime which fails to stick is to rather invest in the target, a halo of incorruptibility that did not exist before the slime! In other words, it backfires!

Today, thanks to Mr. Samuel Awuku, everyone knows the NPP has no serious charge of corruption against President Mahama apart from stupid and discredited lies. Everyone knows the NPP is peddling lies! Furthermore, everybody knows, including themselves, that they are the most corrupt bunch of politicians throughout Ghana's history. This wanton desperation to come to power “at all cost”, even by such ridiculous 419 scams is very dangerous to our democracy.

For me, it is reason enough to alert my fellow countrymen and women, especially the undecided voter, and conscientious citizens who do not want to be associated with such a sin and a great curse! Honest Ghanaians must speak up and denounce this campaign of lying blatantly, falsely accusing opponents of grave charges of murder and corruption all based on the figment of the imagination. I entreat honest Ghanaians not to even touch the NPP with a long pole!

The solution rests in the hands of the enlightened public opinion. People need to speak up against such thing for the NPP to mend their ways. A lie is an injury. It injures the judgement of the people. It is normal that the people do not take kindly to it. I would expect ordinary members and sympathisers of the party, who are experts in communications to urgently school the Akufu-Addo Communications Directorate about the consequences of such buffoonery in general. It always boomerangs. It has never done anyone any good! That is why it so amateurish and puerile!

Indeed, it is so disgusting that coming as it did from the Deputy Director of the Directorate, one wonders the scope and reach of this tendency within the leadership of the NPP, who are now busy selling promises of “free hostels for Kayayei!” “Free condoms!” Free SHS!” “Free Judgement debts!” One really begins to wonder if the NPP is not playing the sick lion doing everything at its disposal to deceive and then attack viciously, and loot left and right; once in power? Can you honestly trust such a party?

Forward Ever! Backwards Never! Long live Ghana!

Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

IEA Debate: Is Akufo-Addo Of A Sound Mind?

IEA Debate: Is Akufo-Addo Of A Sound Mind?

By Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

There is no doubt that the kind of people Akufo-Addo has chosen to surround him, speak a lot about the man. Same old story of “show me your friend...”! Thus it came came as no surprise to read a publication from the Akufo-Addo Communications Directorate claiming, “Akufo-Addo ‘whips’ PREZ Mahama at IEA debate”. The Akufo-Addo Communications team continue to commit blunder after blunder, to the apparent approval of Akufo-Addo himself. So, it is even more appropriate not to ask about the mental health of those working in the team, but the one who put them there and continues to applaud their sickening publications: Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo himself! Indeed, it is very manner and content of the presentation that even makes some of us seriously wonder if the old man is not suffering from some form of senile debility or something worse!

The wild claim that “Akufo-Addo ‘whips’ PREZ Mahama at IEA debate” is the most ridiculous damage control strategy they have managed to put up so far. It diminishes the disappearing credibility of the Akufo-Addo Communications Team as nothing but a time-wasting propaganda nuisance. It was so unnecessary, since the debate was not held in camera, and we all saw what happened. This type of propaganda is not only tedious and offensive, but makes us question even more intensely, the mental health of their boss, who apparently approves of it. A very frank and honest damage control would have done the trick in explaining away the abysmal failure of Akufo-Addo at the debate. It would not only have heightened their credibility, but also raised their own standards. We can tell who whipped who without such sugar-coated distortions that have no semblance to what actually took place!

Akufo-Addo's performance at the presidential debate organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Tamale once more sees him as an empty barrel that he has been all this while. Indeed some of us have been suggesting all along that judging from the level of decibels coming from that barrel that it ought to be empty indeed! The IEA debate came as a confirmation. This debate gave the Ghanaian voter the opportunity to see how the candidates presenting themselves for the high office are able to think on their feet, select salient points, compose, and deliver their messages within the time allotted to them. It is a sort of IQ test. It was not just to hear their policies, but their personal comportment, self-discipline, civility, firmness, and generosity of character. It thus serves as an insight into the mental acumen of the presenter.

In terms of personal organization of the time available, and control over information flow, Akufo-Addo was a disaster. He failed to compose his answers to fit into the time frame. There were questions such as the one on health, where he was asked to provide three main issues he would tackle, he only harped on the NHIS and could not fully answer the question. This is either a symptom of a low IQ, deafness, a lack of the ability to concentrate, a short attention span, senile debility, Alzheimer's disease, intoxication by alcohol, or high on marijuana, etc.,... Whatever it is, just as you would not trust a surgeon that is not sober to undertake a delicate life and death operation, or a drunk pilot from flying a commercial flight, the good people of Ghana cannot trust their destinies into the hands of a person who appears so mentally challenged as to even fail in his own self-presentation!

When you see NPP supporters praising a flag-bearer of another political party, instead of their own, then you know there is something deeply wrong. The earliest sign yet, that the NPP flag-bearer even failed to convince his own supporters, came from a rather unexpected source, whose damage control exercise saw him presenting the CPP's Abu Sakara as the winner of the debate. This rather generous vote to the CPP, coming from Akufo-Addo's staunchest of supporters such as Justice Sarpong of the Ghanaweb crowd, is a measure of how badly the NPP flag-bearer performed. The damage control was intended to attribute the winner to someone else before someone else gives it to President Mahama!

In terms of the paradoxes of the debate, the race was and has been clearly between the NDC with the NPP as the challenger, but it appears the performance of the CPP flag-bearer brought the winner of debate between the NDC flag-bearer and Dr. Abu Sakara of the CPP, with the NPP relegated to the third position. The debate ended with the two, President Mahama and Dr. Abu Sakara within the top bracket of winners and Nana Akufo-Addo and Hassan Ayariga struggling it out as to who must take the bottom position. Considering the weight of the CPP on the field, it can be safely argued that the NDC has emerged as a clear top-dog in this debate. The NPP would have made a big deal out of this. It is interesting to note that the NDC is not even taking advantage of it.

As a CPP man, I can only say I was proud of my candidate, even though I know the race is between the NPP and the NDC and my political sophistication helps me to look beyond my CPP nose! Thus the following is focused on the two candidates of the front-runner political parties. And what I see is not very pretty for Akufo-Addo. In terms of delivery Akufo-Addo was only able to beat Ayariga, but in terms of fundamental blunders and even sounding confused and actually looking so, Akufo-Addo has no challenger. He was even beaten by Mr. Ayariga on that score! This raises the fundamental question concerning the intellectual acumen, or even the mental health of the NPP's Presidential candidate. Like the Obama team, some of us were expecting some form of acknowledgement in order to restore their own credibility and to direct attention to a better chance next time, but they simply declared Akufo-Addo the winner!

Who do they think they are fooling apart from themselves? Akufo-Addo's fumbling began within the first two minutes given to each of the contestants introduce themselves. John Mahama gave an admirably succinct, refreshingly fluent, and impressive summary of himself, his work experience, motivations, and what that has led him to the podium, as the President of Ghana, and the flag-bearer of the NDC. Dr. Abu Sakara Forster also made good use of his time, and did justice to the subject. Mr. Hassan Ayariga was also good at presenting himself. His composition of his biography and motivations were organized and delivered within time. Everything was going on well until it came to the turn of Akufo-Addo. A greeting in Hausa, a relatively long and disproportionate discussion of his experiences in Tamale, the warm welcome that both he and his wife had received in Tamale, including how he enjoyed his work in Tamale, even before mentioning his name, as the two minutes allocated to him ticked off!

Little wonder he was the only Presidential candidate who had to be belled-off in the middle of his presentation. It is like a student who could not only finish an examination paper, but had also included in the unfinished work, a lot of irrelevant answers. Apart from Akufo-Addo, all the other Presidential candidates decently finished their presentations within the time alloted. You just need to take the confrontation over the NDPC as just one of the many inevitable instances, where you can see the wheat from the chaff. The use of the word "confused" to describe Mr. Akufo-Addo is apt. The President could even have been harsher, but a more appropriate word than "confused" is not easy to find, and remain diplomatic and as civil as possible. Nana Akufo-Addo plainly displayed he did not even know the laudable reasons behind the minds of the framers of our constitution.

It is clear that the over-politicization of the NDPC can spell nothing but disaster. It is not only a confused person who would take politics to where politics must not go, but also a person of an unsound mind. The question was very clear: “The 1992 constitution mandates the National Development Planning Commission to advice the President of the development Planning of the country among other things. The criticism is that the weakness of the commission is the reason for which every four years we take a different turn. What would you do to make the commission more effective?”

Even the PNC's Hassan Ayariga, despite all the buffoonery, understood the question and stated clearly the need for a non-partisan approach to ensure continuity of the National Development Plans irrespective of which party comes to power. Akufo-Addo said he was not going to wait for two years as stipulated in the constitution, before presenting the NPP development plans to Parliament. His diagnosis of the weakness facing the NDPC is to give it the highest level of political leadership. He wants his Vice-President to head it! This alone speaks volumes! People who say Mr. Ayariga needs to cut his teeth, are optimistic that the young man will learn as he prods on. But what do you say to an old man whose teeth has been cut and lost already, when he fumbles over issues in development continuity entrenched in our constitution? Refreshingly, all the three other Presidential candidates emphasised the need for continuity, except Akufo-Addo!

President Mahama's argument that the NPP’s position does not give room for imputation of ideas and policies from political parties and other interested groups to give the NDPC its national character and its plans binding on all is an A+++. Akufo-Addo scored a clear F here! In a highly competitive debate, you cannot commit such blunders and claim victory afterwards. President Mahama got this very well, both in content, style and delivery:

“Indeed I think that there is confusion in the mind of the NPP presidential candidate in the answer he gave. That is exactly the concern we have in this country: that when a political party leaves government the plans and visions that are instituted are thrown away. And so, if we assume that every four year cycle a government potentially could lose elections, it means every four years we will have a new national development planning framework. And that is why the CRC flagged that issue.”

President Mahama put up a superior performance to Nana Akufo-Addo who struggles for the bottom position with Ayariga! So it was a bit too much of an amateurish political spin to claim victory even when he had lost. Obama came out after he flunk the first debate with Romney. He admitted his mistake, and promised to do better the next time, which he did. Had he claimed victory the first time when he had clearly failed to perform, his second victory would not have been so spectacular. It is the duty of the Akufo-Addo Communications Directorate to be honest with the public, and not to be seen insulting their intelligence. One thing Akufo-Addo needs critically is honest feed-back. The type of sycophants who double as his communications team only tell him what they think he would like to hear. And that is obviously a problem. But in this particular case, if Akufo-Addo is himself of a sound mind, he does not need anyone to tell him that he failed miserably.

The very fact that he accepts what his communications team is saying, it tells a lot about how low his standards are. If he himself agrees with them that he won the debate, it will be a clear sign that we must keep wondering about the sanity of the man who wants to be a President of the Republic of Ghana. Even those of us, humble citizens of Ghana, who want to simply exercise our right to vote are required by the constitution to be of sound mind, so it is even unthinkable to imagine a member of Parliament who is of unsound mind, even though some of the utterances of Kennedy Agyapong are not so reassuring. One would have thought that the phenomenon would be impossible even at the level of a minister of state, but to see what I am seeing in someone who wants to be President, is alarming indeed! Are we safe?

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