By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The recent infighting between the two main factions of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has roots going back to the Nkrumah era; and interestingly, the conflict was not between the disciples of any two modern-day politicians but actually between two of the country’s most powerful monarchs. Not too long ago, one of the descendants of one of the monarchs who, by the way, was my favorite traditional ruler while growing up cynically sought to justify the fact that his granduncle had constructively and opportunely chucked politics to the winds by wisely acceding to work with then-President Kwame Nkrumah to better the quality of life of his people. I couldn’t help guffawing, because the same descendant went around giving hypocritical lectures in Accra in the wake of the 2012 presidential-election crisis, talking about the imperative need for “traditional ‘yenntie’ politicians” like himself to peacefully intervene in our national affairs.

Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor
Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor

The reality of the fact, however, is that it was the very king in oblique reference here who had staunchly championed the formation of the Baafuor Akoto-led National Liberation Movement (NLM) which seminally morphed, together with the Busia-led Ghana Congress Party (GCP) and the Dombo-led Northern People’s Party (the original NPP), to form the United Party (UP). But we need to also quickly point out that the UP was a tactical and strategic move aimed at preventing President Nkrumah from summarily and unilaterally declaring Ghana a one-party state. The latter, of course, would happen shortly after a mischievous President Nkrumah abrogated the Westminter system of accountable governance and opted for the Executive Presidential system that enabled an increasingly dictatorial Prime Minister Nkrumah to effectively emasculate Ghana’s parliamentary system.

The deleterious impact of 1960’s thoroughly rigged presidential election continues to be felt today. In essence, the clearly ill-advised decision of the aforementioned Ghanaian monarch to expediently acquiesce to the Nkrumah-led dictatorship of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) marked the greatest and most tragic betrayal of Ghana’s constitutional democracy since precolonial times. And it was this primitively self-serving act of flagrant betrayal that created the present high level of distrust between the country’s two most prominent and powerful Akan sub-ethnic polities. Those who adamantly refuse to confront the truth of historical reality, including President John Agyekum-Kufuor, naturally find it more palatable and convenient to pretend that the current “internecine” conflict between the Kufuor and Akufo-Addo factions of the New Patriotic Party began in 1979, and has seminal polarity around the respective personalities of Messrs. William “Paa Wille” Ofori-Atta and Victor Owusu. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Personally, I prefer to designate the Akufo-Addo faction as the Adu-Boahen faction, because whatever commissions and/or omissions that could be aptly attributed to Nana Akufo-Addo had everything to do with Mr. Kufuor’s attempt to politically, and perhaps also personally, undermine the stature and significance of Prof. Albert A. Adu-Boahen in the foundation and development of the New Patriotic Party. And on the latter note ought to be pointedly observed that his remarkable political achievements notwithstanding, when it comes to a roll-call of Ghana’s most distinguished and erudite statesmen and women, Prof. Adu-Boahen, like Dr. J. B. Danquah, has a few peers on the country’s political landscape.

We have always been aware of the fact that left to his own personal devices alone, that is Mr. Kufuor’s, Nana Akufo-Addo would never have even been elected a one-time Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, let alone a three-time candidate of the most progressive and dynamic political party in Fourth-Republican Ghana. The good news here, though, is that many a well-meaning member, supporter and sympathizer of the New Patriotic Party, cross-ethnically, has a diametrically opposite viewpoint from Mr. Kufuor and his minions. This column, by the way, was directly inspired by a brief news item captioned “Kufuor Sacked a Minister for Supporting Akufo-Addo – Ephson” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 5/28/15).

In the afore-referenced article, the Editor-Publisher of the Dispatch newspaper, Mr. Ben Ephson, alleges that in the lead-up to the 2008 Presidential Election, the then-President Kufuor expelled a member of his cabinet because the unnamed cabinet appointee had dared to express his democratic right by supporting the candidacy of Mr. Kufuor’s own former Justice and Foreign Affairs Minister, instead of “loyally” endorsing and canvassing for Candidate Alan Kyerematen. Well, Mr. Kufuor needs to come clean on this allegation; likewise, the unnamed minister who was allegedly dismissed by President Kufuor for backing Akufo-Addo ought to come forward, in order to facilitate the finding of a definitive solution to the current crisis rocking the party.

Indeed, about the period that ex-President Kufuor is alleged to have expelled one of his ministers for backing the presidential candidacy of Nana Akufo-Addo, a former Ghana Embassy media attache from Brong-Ahafo, stationed in Washington, DC – he had just left his post – would report to me, wholly unsolicited, that President Kufuor was trolling the streets of Sunyani shedding wads of US Dollars and admonishing NPP supporters, sympathizers and eligible voters not to vote for Nana Akufo-Add. That media attache, who shall remain anonymous, recently lost his father, a sad but a quite blessed event (for the deceased had chalked more 80 years) that was widely publicized by the Ghanaian media. He would shortly be brought up on trumped up charges of embezzlement and tossed out of NPP-USA by, you gessed it, the Edweso (Ejisu) Boys!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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