Ghana: Can the NPP fly without wings?
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Election 2012 has indeed exposed the underbelly of the NPP. A careful analysis of the situation reveals why the party’s leaders are so traumatized by their defeat and are expending energy hyping the sentiments of their followers, all in a vain attempt at forcing a river to flow upstream. I mock them.
They may not be shouting their odious “All-die-be-die” mantra anymore but they are finding it difficult to control the spirit behind that vain slogan. Hiding behind a so-called legal smokescreen, they are doing things and making inflammatory statements in pursuit of that agenda to make the country ungovernable. Behind the mask is the man, not so?
As part of their grand agenda, they have resorted to many rhetorical antics and theatricals that are better appreciated for their comic relief than any meaningful impact that they are meant to have on the political dynamics shaping our national life in this post-Election 2012 season.
For the records, let it be known that the rhetorical antics are manifesting at several levels: “great expectations” and high hopes for the outcome of the Supreme Court’s determination of their petition; recourse to scare-mongering (hammering on coups d’état); and exploiting the strike actions by public sector workers to sustain their anti-Mahama orchestrations.
To their dismay, though, the impending “Thriller in Manila” legal bout between Justice Kpegah and Akufo-Addo is threatening the stability of their own house of cards even as they dig in.
We isolate some of their orchestrations issues for analysis to suggest that the situation in the country isn’t novel or insurmountable, which is why their kind of politics is anachronistic. Anybody seeking to take undue advantage of the situation in the country for political leverage will be woefully disappointed and punished if need be.
To ratchet up hope in their crestfallen followers, they have begun introducing new angles, the most ridiculous one being the claim that a coup d’état is imminent. When retired Captain Budu Koomson first made that pronouncement, we took him on to discredit his claim.
Now, Hayford Atta-Krufi, the Chairman of the UK/Ireland branch of the NPP, has reinforced that scare-mongering. To him, “a coup d’état could be imminent in Ghana, if the John Mahama-led NDC government does not take steps to reverse the harsh conditions Ghanaians are going through.” (See http://politics.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201304/104282.php)
Why is it that it is only these NPP people who can see signs of an imminent coup d’état?
The desperation with which Atta-Krufi made this claim is obviously pronounced, but he needn’t go far to know the history behind coups d’état in Ghana. For his information, the cheapest coup was the one committed against the Progress Party government by General Acheampong whom Busia had put in charge of the military detachment at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation because of the paranoia that had gripped that government.
Under Kufuor, that coup mentality resurfaced but he was wise enough to rein in his own paranoia, which might have saved him from needless sleeplessness.
Let it be made known to Atta-Krufi and all others in the NPP thinking like him and Captain Koomson that it will be far easier for a military coup to be staged against an NPP government than it would be against an NDC administration. Don’t ask me why.
That is why this recourse to scare-mongering will not serve the NPP’s cause. They had better look for other issues with which to do politics. I have said it already that the challenges brought about by our democracy need to be tackled with democratic measures, not a military coup.
If a military coup is the NPP’s solution to these challenges, it will continue to deepen its woes. I am shocked that those who claim to be adherents of liberal democracy can’t see anything beyond their noses to know that a military coup is an anathema in a democracy. Do these NPP people really know the ebb and flow of contemporary politics?
I pity them for still clinging on to their time-worn “book politics”, which is why they will find it difficult to understand why they lost Election 2012 and will lose the next one for as long as they continue to live in a time warp.
Their strategy of going on street demonstrations in the country and outside aims at painting the government black and creating the impression that Ghana is on a slippery path of doom.
The pace-setting one they held in Washington DC passed off as a mere irritant for all that it turned out to be. No impact anywhere. So also are the rallies by the “Let My Vote Count Alliance.”
Not satisfied, they have moved their notoriety to London, where they intend to hold a demonstration of so-called “Ghanaians in the Diaspora” in the Belgravia Square in central London this Friday. These so-called “Ghanaians in the Diaspora” are nothing but NPP elements who are the public face of the notoriety that motivates their kind of politicking.
Their main reasons for the street demonstration, as explained by Hayford Atta-Krufi, the Chairman of the UK/Ireland branch of the NPP, are the “the unwarranted abuse of power and the massive corruption involving government officials”. Are these so-called events anything new in Ghanaian politics? Or are they occurring in Ghana only under the reign of President Mahama?
On the local scene, the NPP-oriented Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is also desperately bulldozing its way through to confront the police for being prevented from taking to the streets.
Obviously, harping on the claim that “Ghanaians are going through too much hardship,” these NPP elements see these street demonstrations as a weapon to use in their anti-Mahama manouevres. No doubt, they want to create an atmosphere of tension in the hope that they can cash in to implement the next phase of their agenda.
All these intrigues are emerging just before April 16 when the Supreme Court begins hearing their petition.
The Supreme Court’s Role
We can tell from the NPP leaders’ publicizing the contents of their affidavits a strong desire to create the impression that they are well poised to win the case. This self-fulfilling prophecy is rooted in their selfsame mentality of winning the elections “at all cost.” They approached Election 2012 with that mentality and lost but won’t accept defeat.
Now that the Supreme Court is set to begin hearing their petition, they have resorted to making public utterances to the effect that theirs is a win-win situation. It is a way to position themselves to confront the Supreme Court when their balloons of self-confidence and misplaced optimism burst again into smithereens of sharp disappointment.
That is why they have already revved up their engines and are attacking the Electoral Commission and its Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, declaring him as having lost credibility and that Ghanaians don’t respect them anymore. Who told them so?
Justice V.M.K. Dotse’s Mischief
To worsen the matter, comments by Justice Dotse to create the impression that Afari Gyan had something to hide, hence, his not showing up at the sittings of the Supreme Court are feeding into the NPP’s politics of mischief. Justice Dotse’s flippant statement in court, asking why Dr. Afari Gyan was not appearing in court is politically tainted, and he is warned to keep his political sentiments under wraps.
As would be expected, Afari-Gyan stood his grounds to make it clear that he will honour any invitation by the Justices of the Supreme Court if invited, describing as frivolous claims that he has gone into hiding to avoid any humiliation in court.
Indeed, I was really thrilled by Afari Gyan’s repartee, telling Justice Dotse what he needed to hear, which is that the Supreme Court chamber is not a cinema theatre for him to be at to watch any show. He has better official assignments to do than to idle about in the court room, watching the circus performance going on there.
And this retort hasn’t sat well with the NPP elements. In truth, Justice Dotse’s comment was uncalled-for and a clear betrayal of his sense of judgement. No wonder, he is still perceived as an NPP judge.
A reasonable politically neutral judge won’t stoop so low as to make such a pronouncement, especially when he knows that the EC’s lawyers are always in court to represent the Commission and that the substantive case haven’t even begun being heard to warrant the mandatory presence of Afari Gyan.
Why didn’t he ask President Mahama why he hasn’t’ been attending the court proceedings?
I salute Afari Gyan for telling Justice Dotse what he needed to hear and be advised to behave professionally.
A side issue that seems to be overshadowing this Supreme Court case comes up next for attention.
Justice Kpegah versus Akufo-Addo
Meantime, the suit filed by Justice Kpegah against Akufo-Addo has its own implications for the legal and political dynamics involving the NPP.
To the uninformed followers of Akufo-Addo, the under-currents may be too profound for comprehension. But those who comprehend issues properly know why Akufo-Addo himself has not been bold enough to react in any way.
In his suit, Justice Kpegah has asked Akufo-Addo to do two things:
i. To admit the fact that he is W.A.D Akufo-Addo—which Akufo-Addo admitted in his response. We are yet to know where Justice Kpegah wants to push him on that score; but quick inferences have it that there is something afoot to pin Akufo-Addo down on his use of different names. That is what we will wait for.
ii. To admit the fact that his junior partner in the Akufo-Addo-Prempeh law firm is not on the roll of lawyers in Ghana—which Akufo-Addo didn’t respond to in his motion. None of the 23 points constituting his defence mentions anything about that junior partner. We don’t know what Justice Kpegah intends to do about this silence, but the fact is that Edmund Osei Tutu Prempeh is not on the roll of lawyers (in good standing) of the Ghana Bar Association and the General Legal Council.
Bearing these facts in mind, we can tell that when the case begins being heard, Akufo-Addo will be further pushed to the wall. His motion for the case to be struck out is a clear attempt to run away from the reality that has so far unsettled him, especially within the context of the affidavits in support from the General Legal Council, signed by E. Bart-Plange Brew, to show that he had lost his qualifying and enrolment certificates but couldn’t approach the awarding institutions for a replacement. Why?
As the different fronts open up, we can begin to see why the NPP followers will be more desperate in their public posturing and pronouncements. So far, we have heard some shifting perspectives to suggest that the Supreme Court will call for a re-run of the Presidential elections and that considering the current unfavourable labour front and grumblings in the country, they are optimistic that the tide will favour Akufo-Addo.
Apparently, they have forgotten that a re-run of the elections wasn’t one of the reliefs sought by the NPP petitioners. So, will the Supreme Court take it upon itself to give them what they haven’t asked for, assuming at all that the case is determined in their favour?
I shall return…
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