Ghana: The elephants are locking trunks

By IndepthAfrica
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Dec 19th, 2012
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By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Folks, the NPP’s “Concert Party” is turning ugly at this stage. Nerves are being strained to the breaking point and, if care is not taken, the situation in the party may take a sudden turn for the worse. There seems to be no common purpose in the elephant family nor is there any firm agreement among its main actors that the intended court action will be the solution to the party’s fast-fading public image.

Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby, the Tarzan, has stuck his neck out to point the party in a new direction, ruffling feathers in the process and pitting himself (and unknown others backing him) against the militant forces rallying behind Akufo-Addo to fight the Electoral Commission, the NDC, and the media at the Supreme Court.

The circus is agitated and the elephants are locking trunks to give the audience a rare sneak peek into the workings of their democratic culture. Some democrats they are!

Isn’t it very interesting that these so-called liberal democrats can’t accommodate each other’s views on how to fight a common battle to redeem their party’s image without spitting fire? Isn’t it very intriguing for them to be at each other’s throat just because they can’t tolerate any dissension from within? Just because one of them has gone out of his way to express opinions that threaten the status quo in the party?

Well, Wereko-Brobby has braved the storm and is calling for means other than the intended court action to fight the party’s cause. Even before his suggestion sinks, he is being trashed for daring to propose what confronts the hallmark of the “Mate me ho” culture.

The locking of trunks by these human elephants at this stage has given the “Concert Party” a new dose of zaniness. The Tarzan seems to be ill-prepared for the circus performance and wants to opt out, contrary to expectation.

The NPP claims it has incontrovertible evidence to prove that the EC inflated figures and is confident the Supreme Court will overturn the verdict in Akufo-Addo’s favour. But the Tarzan thinks otherwise. To him, the party will serve its purposes better if it lets sleeping dogs lie and pursues better options that will lead to its rebuilding and re-strategizing for Election 2016 and beyond.

According to him, the failure on the part of the party’s national leadership to map out strategies to effectively police the ballot caused their defeat. That is the painful truth that his opponents don’t want to be told. And for telling it as it is, he emerges as a threat to them to be silenced or weeded out ultimately if he continues to prick their balloon. They hate being poked where it hurts.

That is why four prominent members of the party (Nana Akomea, Fred Oware, Appiah-Ofori, and Kwabena Agyepong) have unreservedly jumped on him to set the stage for his flaying. Poor Tarzan.

But he may not be alone, which is what will worsen the wrangling and stretch the leaders’ patience taut while the party’s own fabric risks being torn. I can foresee where this confusion will lead them, and will not be surprised if they continue to hide behind lies and orchestrations to bamboozle their followers while devising exit strategies to save their own skin.

One may question why this caustic verbal attack on the Tarzan for merely suggesting the obviously reasonable course of action to take in order not to prolong the needless self-destruction and harming of the party’s image. He is merely suggesting that the party has more to gain by restraining itself. Yet, that opinion seems distasteful to those who know nothing but the self-destructive mode now in operation.

By deigning to tell them what they least prepared themselves to hear from within, the Tarzan has stepped on huge toes and is regarded as the party’s dirty linen to be washed in public. Appiah-Ofori (MP for Asikuma-Odobeng-Brakwa) has already torn his public image into shreds, questioning his intellectual ability and insulting him as someone whose “level of intelligence is very low.” For such an old man to descend into the gutter this way speaks volumes. The Tarzan soaks it up.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme on Monday, Appiah-Ofori described as unfortunate the position taken by Tarzan, adding that his (Wereko-Brobby’s) argument lacks logical reasoning. Thus, with that low Intelligence Quotient, “Wereko-Brobby must go back to school because I don’t expect someone like him with a doctorate degree to speak like this; I am very surprised” he opined.

His claim is that “no true NPP member will allow the will of the people to be subverted by some unscrupulous EC officials who are only concerned about their own well-being.”

What is Wereko-Brobby’s crime, if I may ask? Simple: expressing his opinion that the NPP lost the elections because its own organizers and polling agents did not do their duties diligently. He definitely set himself on a collision course and will be expected to outlive his welcome in the circus.

Let’s remember that Tarzan is no ordinary activist of the NPP but a founding member. Even though he broke away to form his own political party to contest the 2004 elections, he returned to the NPP fold and served under Kufuor as the Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority, where he went overboard in pursuing policies that led to his downfall.

Kufuor uplifted him again to preside over the celebration of Ghaha@50 only for him to be dragged before court by the Mills government but saved by the bell (Justice Marful-Sau freed him and Kwadwo Mpiani on technical grounds).

He has maintained a somehow low profile but is active in the workings of the NPP. For him to come out the way he did to express strong skepticism about the party’s chances of winning the court case against the EC suggests that he knows what is afoot. He is no stranger to controversy, though, and will have to brace himself up for the onslaught and consequences.

I suspect that moves will be made to deal with him the way those considered as errant in the party have been treated. I expect them to ostracize him as they did to Arthur Kennedy for daring to expose their weaknesses in his post-2008 elections book (Chasing the Elephant into the Bush). That is nothing strange because it is the modus operandi of those who hate to be shown the other side of the coin.

Already, some snippets of information have it that he is a mole within the party. Some gossipping fingers are already being pointed at him and his past relationship with the Rawlings government being cited to back allegations that he is not a fully committed Danquah-Busia adherent.

Otherwise, why would he work with Rawlings in the energy sector? At this time, some have found it expedient to cite him, forgetting that other high-ranking members of the NPP (including Kufuor and Konadu Apraku) had served under the Rawlings military government.

Raking the past now will be a good step toward dealing with the Tarzan, some opine. And trust them to use the only means they know: insults, intimidation, and outright bullying to cow him into submission. If those measures fail, they will move a notch higher to ostracize him as the black sheep among them.

Eventually, though, they will hit the snag that Wereko-Brobby is pointing them to now and throw up their arms in despair. They will then begin to behave as if an extra-terrestrial power has clogged their attempt to seek redress.

Trust them to advance arguments to get away with that flight into the transcendental. Once they decided before the elections to hide behind God to prosecute their political agenda, they won’t cease invoking him to explain their manouevres except to accept the fact that their defeat at the polls was an act of God.

They haven’t conceded defeat to President Mahama even though God didn’t answer their prayer and they know very well that they have hijacked the battle from the Lord and are fighting it themselves, all to no avail. For all they may care to know, the majority of Ghanaians have put the elections behind them and won’t be bothered how they treat each other. They will, however, relish the free “Concert Party” show.

Now that they are fighting among themselves, they will give us more to know about their true “Mate me ho” element. Good show, elephants. Fight on. There is no grass to suffer, but your own selves. Fight on!!

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