COMMENT: Kwabena, I strongly Disagree With You On Nana

After the results of the run-off presidential elections were declared, some of us felt our defeat too bitter a pill to swallow. We had sat on tenterhooks while waiting for the results. Eventually, when they were released, we found it too difficult to come to terms with the fact that, indeed we had lost the battle. This was a battle we all thought we had it all wrapped up in our kitty. But complacency on our part brought about a reversal in our fortune. When sanity eventually returned, I decided to embark on consultations with some high ranking members of the party with a view to analyzing events that led to our defeat and come up with appropriate measures to prevent a re-occurrence in the near future. Some leading members of the party readily agreed to receive me. Among such personalities who gladly welcomed me into their homes and offices was Mr. Kwabena Agyepong. My discussion with Kwabena Agyepong: I had gone to discuss the way forward with another youth activist of our great tradition. It centred on a lot of things. But one thing that reverberated throughout the lengthy discussion was that the youth must be allowed to play an effective role in the party. Kwabena spent so much time articulating his views on the subject so much so that when we left his office, my colleague and I were agreed on one thing - that Kwabena Agyepong would like to have a second attempt at the flag-bearership and he was preparing the ground for that. I exchange ideas with party men and women all over the country. I had forgotten all about my discussions with the former Press Secretary to the President until a colleague called to inform me that he had spotted Kwabena Agyepong and Alan Kyerematen doing their rounds in the Northern parts of the country. It was then that the import of the discussions dawned on me. He wanted to go in for a much younger person. The choice of Alan therefore falls within his political permutations and I do not begrudge him on his choice. Kwabena's effusions on NET 2/ Oman FM : The day in question was Friday, 5th February, 2010 and the discussants were the Honourable Kennedy Agyepong, the Honourable Balado Manu and Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, former Press Secretary to the former President. The discussions were going on in a lively manner as the three of them threw gibes and banter at one another. The so-called factionalism in the NPP which I personally believe would evaporate after the flag-bearer had been chosen was the subject being discussed. It was Kwabena's turn and he let out his pent-up feelings. He said that nobody could hush him up in the party. Yes, it is true nobody can hush him up. And so it is with all of us. Kwabena let his emotions get the better part of him when he threw the bombshell and it was as if a knife was being used to slice off the outer covering of my heart. He alleged that some actions and inaction on the part of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo had not gone down well with him, Kwabena Agyepong and "majority" of party supporters. His grudge was that Nana has been presenting himself as if he was the leader of the party, but which he is not. A much more serious allegation was to follow. He alleged that after the late Professor Adu Boahene had lost the Presidential Elections to Rawlings, it was Nana who told the late Professor to stop parading himself as the leader of the party, a situation which the late Professor acquiesced to. Immediately, something told me that my fellow kukrudite was treading on dangerous grounds. It also dawned on me that Kwabena was becoming more personal in his criticism of the former flag-bearer of the party. At that stage, I felt the accusation was a blow below the belt and that it should not be allowed to go unchallenged. Posers for Kwabena Agyepong: If my fellow kukrudite can answer the following posers, a lot of party men and sympathizers will be very grateful to him. Who and who were present when Nana told Professor Adu-Boahene to stop parading himself as the leader of the party? Was that brought to the notice of the party's leadership? How was it resolved? If indeed, there was any such encounter, why should the onus be on Nana to be the arrowhead of those who were opposed to the late Professor "coveting" the position of party leadership? We need answers to all these questions to really know what transpired between Nana and the late Adu Boahene, if indeed any such thing took place. You see, the allegation, if allowed to go unsubstantiated and unchallenged has the potential of portraying Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a very bad light before the public. Nana did not even contest the flagbearership of the party with the late Professor Adu-Boahene. Why should he be the one to confront the late Professor to desist from parading himself as the leader of the party? And as is always with Nana, he threw his weight behind the Presidential ambition of the late Adu Boahene. And by the way, can Kwabena, please educate us on some of the actions of Professor Adu Boahene which made him look as if he was the de-facto leader of the party? Obviously, there might have been some form of agitation. But I cannot say for sure. But if there was any such thing, why single out Nana as the person who told the learned late Professor to shut up? Nana might not even have been part of the agitators, if indeed there was any. From the way Kwabena Agyepong was making those wild allegations, it seems there are more to it than meet the eye. He knows a lot of what transpired and he must be bold enough to tell us the whole truth, nothing but the truth. It will then give those of us, the discerning members to dissect the story and make our own informed judgement. Aside that, I do not think those wild and frivolous allegations hold water and so should be thrown into the nearest waste basket. And why bring up this matter now, if indeed any such incident took place? He could have brought it up at the time he was one of the contenders for the party�s flag-bearership with Nana. And as Kwabena Agyepong himself alleged that Nana told Adu Boahene to hush up, couldn�t he have told Nana the same thing on the quiet side? Does he have to bring up this matter on air? What if these wild allegations are later found out to be untrue, what remedies will he use to assuage the feelings of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo? Time to speak up: I am using this medium to call on all those holding party's positions at that time to tell us what they know about this matter, if indeed there was any. Their stony silence will not help matters. Qualities that make Nana tick: My next question to my fellow kukrudite is this. What action has Nana taken which can be interpreted as coming from the leader of the party? Nana is imbued with such democratic credentials that he will not do anything which is not in consonance with the party's constitution. He has not single-handedly taken any decision purported to have been done in the name of the party without authorization. People will say, what about the Press Conference at the Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Hall? My response is that Nana did so in response to pressure and agitations from the rank and file of party supporters to do something about the seemingly lack of vision and co-ordination on the part of the ruling government. And even here, he did so with the consent of the party leadership. People see in Nana some unique qualities which make him the rallying point or pivot of the New Patriotic Party at that time. The Party had lost an election which supporters found very difficult to come to terms with. The party leadership was in disarray. A vacuum had been created which must not be allowed to remain so for long. Numerous party supporters were being hounded from their jobs. Others were harassed, persecuted and some were even killed. Agbogbloshie had become a no go-area for sympathizers of the NPP. There was no official protection for party men and women from any of the State Security Services. Unauthorized seizure of private vehicles, toilets and lorry stations by unaccredited "officials" had become the order of the day. The nation was gradually receding to the State of Nature where life was short, nasty and brutish. Who was to speak up? Men had become women. Nana steeled himself for such a daunting task by coming out to break the culture of silence which the NDC was preparing to subject Ghanaians to the second time. At that singular hour in the nation's political history we needed a man of timber and calibre,a fearless and dogged fighter, a political juggernaut carved in the mould of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo to take the battle to the backyard of the NDC. That singular act of statesmanship at that critical part of the nation's history shattered the myth of invincibility that had sorroundered the wielding of absolute power by the National Democratic Congress. At the time Nana came out to condemn the atrocities being perpetrated by the NDC against Ghanaians and to tell the Government to fix the economy if indeed it was broke as alleged by the Government, the apparatchiks of the NDC had so much infused fear into the masses that most people dared not speak up their minds. Under such a circumstance, what could Nana do? Was he to remain silent as those who had supported his bid were being harassed and beaten up? He could not remain unruffled. He had to act and very fast too. That is exactly what any top party guru should do in such a situation. It will interest you to know that such acts of vandalism and indiscipline were brought to the minimum immediately after Nana had made the whole world realize the hoax in the NDC "I Care for You" slogan. Even here, I will ask Kwabena Agyepong to ask for a copy of Nana's Address to find out whether he delivered the address in his capacity as the ex-flag bearer or the leader of the party. Nana�s return from his trip abroad: The large crop of teeming party supporters who went to the airport to welcome him back shows how much the people believe in him. Arrangements to give a fitting welcome to Nana were facilitated by party men and women in their individual capacities. Of course, the leadership provided some form of logistics, and I see nothing wrong with that. All over the world, there have been recorded cases of defeated candidates whose personal aura is enough to move the masses to act beyond reasonable thinking. And Nana is one of such people. Just in close by Togo, supporters of Gilchrist Olympio give him a hearty welcome anytime he returns from any of his trips abroad. The late Benazir Bhutto while returning to Pakistan after sojourning abroad for many years since her overthrow was given a hearty welcome by her party supporters. Mills, before becoming the NDC Presidential candidates granted numerous interviews and issued statements on the state of the nation. Conclusion: The truth of the matter is that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is simply irresistible and the media cannot do without him. He is news and anything he does is given wide publicity. But this does not mean that he has arrogated to himself the leadership position of the New Patriotic Party. He is an individual who also has the right to make his own personal views on matters which affect the country. If this is what has attracted the wrath and ire of Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, I will advise him to �cool off� for as he Kwabena himself said on the same programme where he made those wild allegations, nobody can prevent Nana from speaking on matters that affect both the party and the nation.