All The President Men

“…Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

 Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;

 Hands that the rod of empire might have sway’d

Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre..

Thomas Gray: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

MUCH INK WILL CONTINUE to be spilled (or in modern technological world without the use of ink, but facebook and internet: many megabytes will continue to be spread; many keyboards will continue to be worn) over the historically momentous devastation of the NDC by the NPP (171 – 104 MPs) and the demonstrably overwhelming votes of Nana Addo over John Dramani Mahama (5,716,026 to 4,713,277)

Analysts will not get exhausted doing what they are wont to do best: “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in your eyes?” (Matthew 21:42)

Dr Arthur Kennedy, the sulking politician’s book: “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush: The Politics of Complacency” might require a review, the title changing to “Retreat of the Elephant” which is the very title of Mark Elvin’s environmental book on China of some four thousand years ago.

Professor Atta Mills’s advocacy was ‘wonsesa mu’: ‘you must change’, simpliciter. Those who say ‘history repeats itself’ may note that Hans George Gadamer suggests that “History does not belong to us, we belong to it.”

J.J., Papa J, the owner of the NDC cannot be tamed with a rope tied round his neck, unlike what Asiedu Nketia (General Mosquito) thought. He yammers and booms: “The Mahama – led administration is no more attractive because the rank and file of the NDC have lost their integrity and confidence…just as we were bound to lose when President Mills was in office, fortunately God took him away and gave a new hope to this party…our general negativity, impunity, disrespect and corruption were taking us further and further downhill … I kept providing the warning … once again the uncouth and uncultured in our party and government chose to insult and disrespect some of us.” Sociologically, Hegel remarked that all facts and personages of great importance occur twice, but Karl Marx refined it by adding: “The first time as tragedy, the second as farce”.

When Robert Penn Warren wrote ‘All the King’s Men’ in 1946, he chose the title from the nursery rhyme: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, All the king’s horses and all the King’s men Could’nt put Humpty together again”. How could the King’s men put Humpty (an egg) together again? – Difficult to reconstruct and as Willie Stark notes: “One must go out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time”. But Kofi Adams, the National Coordinator of President John Mahama’s Campaign Team ‘reveals’ that the party’s Information Technology system set up to monitor the election results did not help the ruling party on the election day. “I think there was a systems failure!” The million – dollar question is: “How would the system have helped the results if it was functioning properly?” Is the suspicion that the Electoral Commission was in bed with the NDC not solidly founded? The truth must be told, because, as John Donne puts it, truth stands.

The Republican Party in the U.S. under President Richard Nixon was planning evil against the Democratic Party. It took two reporters of the Washington Post, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) to undertake the risky enterprise of exposing the 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex. It led to Nixon’s resignation. The title of the book was well chosen: “All the President’s Men”.

For the NDC, the advice from Barrack Obama is apposite: “History helps us to recognise the mistake that we’ve made and the dark corners of the human spirit that we need to guard against”.

With the return of the elephant, Nana Addo has shaken off the spell that the fatalistic doomsayers and false prophets said had been poured upon his family. Oh, adesa. J.B. Danquah, William Ofori Atta and Akufo Addo (three of the ‘Big Six’) will be jubilating and revelling in their graves. So too will Professor Adu Boahen and Obetstebi Lamptey. This should be comforting for the people who had been tagged as an inveterate opposition and disruptive, unprogressive group.

Nana Addo is reported to have started the ball rolling. He has whispered the names of some likely Ministers – the first was Alan Kyeremateng for Trade. Smart alecky. The message is that, after all, Nana is not vindictive. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Malcom tells Macduff: “Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell; though all things foul would wear the brows of grace, yet grace must still look so”. More names are being dropped: Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (Agriculture), Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng (Science and Technology), Isaac Asiamah (Youth and Sports), et cetera, la creme de la creme. Be careful.

Experience – yes; degrees and certificates – why not; but some people are suggesting throwing into the fray some of the unknown and unsung young men and women. Boys abre, oo. They are quick to cite the case of J. A. Kufour who at age 28 was a deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He knew how to ‘wash his hands’ –nonpareil in comparison to the acidic mouthed ‘babies with sharp teeth’ of the NDC.

You may remember Maria Feodorvna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III who saved a life by altering a death sentence. Alexander had written against one name: ‘Pardon Impossible, to send to Siberia’. Maria changed it to read: ‘Pardon, Impossible to send to Siberia’. The power of punctuation marks!

Remember the KNUST professors led by Dr Kwabena Boadu who took a risk, professionally, by galvanising support for NPP, because they saw that the NPP had the intellectual capability and policies to develop Ghana. They could not look on unconcerned while the country fell into an abyss. There were Kwesi Biney, Professor Ansu Kyeremeh and Kwame Gyasi – the veteran writers whose writings exposed the greed and corruption of the NDC regime.

Nor can we forget Bugri Naabu, Mohammed Awal and Adisa Dagomba who deflated the NDC’s ego and exposed their lies in the Zongos. Now the Zongos are NPP strongholds – yes, the name NPP originates from the North. To the North we will all go. All that some of the people need is the ‘human touch’. They do not pray to go home with a pay packet of GH¢25,000 per month (non – taxable) like President Mahama whose room – mate, Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo of Daily Graphic may go home with something less than 10% of the President’s. We may dry the ink and break the quill on NDC matters. If they decide to restructure the party, that should be their cup of tea. All we remember are: Ede bii keke; zu – za; Usain Bolt gesture; no abaaba se; or at best, the mundane and humdrum message of infrastructure (schools, hospitals, roads) with inflated prices charged by sole-sourced contractors.

Bravo, Chairman Wontumi, bravo Onipa -nua Ayisi, bravo Blay, bravo Kennedy Agyapong, bravo the man from NASA, bravo everybody who sacrificed their time, money and other resources to make the win possible. But remember Nana Addo’s warning: “For money, join another party”. Some people add: “Fair is foul and foul is fair…” Do not give up, the heart with ‘celestial fire’ will get a wooden forest to burn.

Africanus Owusu-Ansah