Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo
?The message from New Patriotic Party (NPP) members was along the lines: ?You, Nana Addo, remain our best chance for 2016, Ghanaians are telling us we should bring you back.?
?The message from Ghanaians who are not NPP members, including supporters of other political parties, can be summed up as: ?We have heard your message, we know who you are and what you stand for and we are ready to vote for you in our numbers in 2016.?
?In spite of all the disappointments of the last few years, I cannot ignore these calls, especially when, among those urging me to run, are those who admit to supporting my opponents in previous contests, whether within the NPP or in national elections?.With great humility, therefore I can announce that when the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready, God willing, to contest for the position of NPP presidential candidate for the 2016 general elections.?
These words from the March 20 declaration of intent by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo have sent shivers down the spine of the already spineless NDC.
The declaration, even though it is just of intent and yet to be auctioned, has already potentially set up another presidential house against Flagstaff House, and suddenly President John Mahama appears to be sitting on two different horses at the same time with each attempting to run away from his saddle in completely different directions.
The NDC are already running helter-skelter with conflicting messages.
Dr Tony Aidoo, NDC stalwart and an ambassador designate, has boldly asserted that the declaration of Nana Addo is a wake-up call for John Mahama. This warning from a member of his own government potentially makes John Mahama a sitting duck. It warns him that his time is up and there seems to be nothing that John Mahama can do about it now. With non-performing ministers of state around him and an economy that is sliding into recession with high budget deficit, rising inflation and bulging national debt, this wake-up call means their time is up.
The NDC rented press have as usual gone into their disingenuous overdrive with the age-old propaganda of Nana?s age. It is not about credibility of competence again. This time it is about age.
This is the same press that made nonsense a few years ago of the proven status of Prof Mills? health. Age which has benefited USA (Ronald Reagan), Liberia (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf), South Africa (Nelson Mandela) and many more has suddenly become the propaganda.
However this time the confused state of the NDC camp has not been helped by the fact. These rented press houses are not in agreement as to how to approach Akufo-Addo, let alone the anti-campaign.
The Insight Newspaper has broken ranks with them with a lead to the fact that the much used ?Akufo-Addo arrogance? is now a myth.
The same press house that led that charge against Nana Akufo-Addo even while he sojourned in UK has suddenly sought to make a complete U-turn from it earlier line of argument.
The President himself appears to have flown the flag for Akufo-Addo when a month ago he endorsed him with his unqualified support for the free SHS policy. The decision by the President to finally own up to their greatest fear they entertained in the 2012 elections has really set the stage for Nana Addo to take over in 2016.
Indeed the 2012 election was a straight forward referendum on whether or not Ghanaians preferred the Free SHS policy. Even though the elections were controversially decided for John Mahama, it is no secret that Ghanaians bought into the NPP Educational Policy. The NDC stayed in denial and wasted a great deal of public purse campaigning against it.
With the President?s SONA finally owning up to their own biggest propaganda, Akufo-Addo?s re-entry into the presidential race will ignite the big educational debate again and this time, it?s going to be one-sided as to who can do it better ? John Mahama or Akufo-Addo. The answer to this debate is a no brainer one.
Akufo-Addo?s experience, dedication, his quest for peace and justice and his stand and stature on corruption puts him heads and shoulders above any living politician in Ghana, having been declared as the most influential person in Ghana, and people requesting nomination for UN Nobel Peace Prize for him.
These credentials are being pitched against John Mahama?s indecisiveness in dealing with corruption, lack of leadership, poor economic performance, lack of good governance and his own personal litany of corruptive practices.
This is what is worrying the NDC that has also squandered their six years which they could have built on the gains made under President Kufuor.
The NDC?s inability to sustain the NHIS, Metro Mass a Transport, School Feeding Programme, Free Maternal Care, and many more social programmes they inherited as government means that they cannot be trusted with Free SHS.
The mess that the NDC has made of SADA from the Northern Development Authority suggests that they cannot be trusted in the North either.
With corruption mushrooming across the entire length and breadth of government as a result of NDC?s inability to use the Procurement Act, the stage is set for a candidate, who is incorruptible. Akufo-Addo?s credential as not being corrupt puts him in a position for Ghanaians to accept him unqualifiedly in 2016.
The NDC are really quaking by Nana?s decision to stand once more. We must also admit that it is not only NDC who are squirming here. There are some NPP stalwarts who are seething too. The likes Dr. Atta Kobina Kennedy, Dr. Konadu Apraku and a few others singing from the NDC hymn sheet on the age thing. They have sensed a knock on their own personal ambitions and will do everything to make it appear that the NPP is divided in ranks over this. The truth though is that they are the ones living with introspection and a sense of confusion. I personally wish Nana Akufo-Addo well and I am sure I am echoing the sentiments of millions of Ghanaians.
By Kwesi Atta-Krufi Hayford, London