“Watch out! You clever one Take care!
You crafty one Monkey was caught in a
trap Consider the fate of Rat Lizard has
lost his tail What may become of
Fox? … Yesterday was someone’s day Today
for someone else For whom will tomorrow be?
KOFI ANYIDOHO: FOR WHOM
I AM NO KOFI ANYIDOHO to be able to impeccably translate the local parlance into an English idiom; I am no Opanin Agyekum to linguistically transliterate the local phraseology into an English wordage; and I am no Kwesi Yankah to paraphrase the verbosity in the English version into simple, everyday English. So, dear reader, you may take my interpretation of the Twi proverb (Didi gya, ene muna na enam) as: “Ignoring others while you eat, makes others acrimonious” OR “Acerbity results from denial” OR something close to either of these.
Whilst thinking about the appropriateness or otherwise of the wording of the topic, let me state happily that the NPP Extraordinary National Conference last Sunday, went well. It was well – planned and well executed: food and drinks, including water, were well-served. It started on time and by 3:30pm, everything had come to an end.
Antwi Boasiako (a.k.a. Wontumi) NPP Chairman in the Ashanti Region chose to deliver his welcome address in impeccable English to prove a point that he attended one of the best schools in the country, Prempeh College (Amanfoo). The ‘book long’ people may fault him for asserting “All protocols observed” when “all protocols” had not been observed; indeed, he had just begun the “protocol”. Besides, critics who bastardised his pronunciation of ‘sundry’ as ‘sun – drai’ may note that in the second mention of the word, he corrected it to ‘sun – dri’.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the President of the Republic, was spot – on when he noted: “… Our race is not a sprint, it is a cross – country; it is a marathon race and we are going to win at the end, not just at the beginning”. The mood was hilarious and electrifying. Affable Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General, could not hide her dancing skills, but it was unlike the earlier Conference in Cape Coast, where even Dr Akoto Afriyie could not allow himself to be left out in the ‘competition’ in which it was clear Mrs Bawumia and Ursula Owusu cut a niche for themselves on the dais. There was business to do: amend the NPP CONSTITUTION: There were ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’ to the over 80 proposed amendments. In the end, the hard – working people in the Diaspora had their way. You cannot enjoy the ‘diasporan contributions’ and deny them opportunities to hold party offices. Three ‘controversial proposals’ which portended doom for the party were withdrawn. They were: Party members with dual citizenship to be disqualified from contesting for any party position; Members of Parliament to appoint constituency executives; the flagbearer to be considered as the leader of the party. The charge by the acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, to ensure that they resolved any lingering issue before they left the conference worked like magic.
For Mr Blay, the NPP could take a step closer to retaining power in 2020 general elections if the conference was conducted in a peaceful manner. That is exactly what happened. The party executives could fraternise with the grassroots, and everyone, that is, every member, felt satisfied – no stone – throwing, no water spilling, no intimidation, no unwarranted and unmeritorious harangue, tirade or diatribe.
In spite of this, Dr Amoako Baah, a Political Science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and an aspiring national chairman of the party had an ‘observation’ to make. “Petition, please, point of order…” He was permitted to talk: “The process that was used was wrong and unconstitutional. Article 18 of the NPP Constitution says delegates shall cast their votes.” He also criticised the use of English as the medium of communication, noting that many of the delegates were left befuddled by the methodology, or simply, process. In reaction, F.F. Anto, the first Vice – Chairman did not agree with Dr Baah. He was satisfied that the “intensity” of the “yea” or “nay” could tell where the two – thirds majority lay! And F.F. Anto was the chairman of the Constitutional amendment ad hoc committee. Let me greet F.F. with ‘Cocoa Day’. He understands it –the agony of University students under Kutu Acheampong! Many posters bedecked the Heroes’ Park: there were those that showed the people interested in party positions—Dr Amoako Baah, for National Chairman…, Antwi Boasiako and Asare Bediako for Regional Chairman…Owusu – Afriyie (Sir John) …, John Boadu, et al. But I did not see that of Mary Posch Oduro (a diasporan in Germany) whom I know to be lacing her boots for the position of National Treasurer.
But is everything well with NPP? One may recall the authorship of “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush: The Politics of Complacency”. Here was a fine NPP man, even an aspirant to the flagbearer-ship (of course, he obtained a ‘single’ one vote at the 2008 congress) who felt so peeved, so acrimonious and so he chose to oppose what he felt were the deviations from the democratic heritage of the party. You may call him Dr Arthur Kennedy. He ‘went to town’ and revealed so many NPP ‘secrets’ which he got to know as an ‘insider’! Someone said curiosity kills the cat; if that were so, satisfaction would resurrect it. An NPP member—very active, but penniless– who felt disgruntled, whined. To quote: “Why do the NPP hierarchy do these things to themselves? They look at faces: and if your face is not comely, they shove you aside. You should have contributed financially during the campaign and all such monies should have gone to the National Headquarters. For the eight years of being in the wilderness, some active members were contributing their widow’s mite to woo and entice other people – in their ‘small corners’. Besides, some contributed in other ways, outside the ‘money circle’ to put the NPP in winning ways. Who said money is everything? Unknown to the party hierarchy, some people lost their jobs under the NDC because they were perceived to belong to the NPP! So, if now the cake is being distributed, what is wrong in extending pieces to them? One person given so many jobs while others are ‘fallowing’. A lady whom everybody knew as a staunch member would not wear her party paraphernalia because when she showed her head for a DCE appointment, she was asked by an NPP Regional Chairman to produce a stated amount first. Ei!” End of quote.
It was tuneful for the NPP for two of the Deputy Chiefs of Staff to have been cleared of the allegation of corruption at the Flagstaff House. With their exoneration, Abu Jinapor and Asenso – Boakye can now breathe a whiff of relief. When the CID investigated the allegation made by Kwame Asare Obeng a.k.a. A Plus, against the two deputy Chiefs of Staff, they cleared them of any wrong doing. BUT…Maverick Kennedy Agyapong had also alleged that there were corrupt officials at the Flagstaff House. They may not be known to the President. And …The President can always boast of not having been corrupt, never to be corrupt. Can same be repeated by everyone else in government?
The Christmas air is blowing—it is ‘Joy to the world’ all over, and it will be uncharacteristic and uncharitable to ‘spoil the broth’, so we would not want to talk more. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. The Elephant has been brought back from the bush…Merry Christmas.