Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia can peddle all the sophistry and scandalous mendacities he wants about the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s treatment of Ghanaian politicians of northern descent who vie for the presidency but, at the end of the day, the stark evidence of the neo-fascist treatment by the National Democratic Congress’ founding-father, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, will expose pathological liars and scheming opportunists like the NDC’s General-Secretary for what they truly are.
The fact of the matter is that whereas President John Agyekum-Kufuor twice appointed Alhaji Aliu Mahama, late, as his running-mate and substantive Vice-President of Ghana, President Rawlings shamelessly converted the presidency under his tenure into an Ewe and Fante diarchy, to speak much less about a monarchical dynasty (See “NPP Will Dump Bawumia like They Did Aliu – Asiedu-Nketia” Classfmonline.com/Ghanaweb.com 10/16/16).
Would Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, who is also popularly called General Mosquito, tell us that when President Rawlings physically and savagely beat up then-Vice-President Ekwow Nkensen-Arkaah, there were absolutely no qualified northerners in the National Democratic Congress to succeed to, or occupy, the Vice-Presidential slot on the NDC ticket? Needless to say, Chairman Rawlings would pick another ethnic Fante as his running-mate; and we are all well aware of the fact that Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills’ selection as President Rawlings’ second Vice-President was squarely based on sheer political opportunism than any genuine belief in the equality of all Ghanaian ethnic groups. And for the benefit of those who may not know this, the choices of Messrs. Arkaah and Atta-Mills as vice-presidents to Togbui Avaklasu, I, was squarely based on Chairman Rawlings’ at once strategic and devious attempt to split the majority Akan vote for his own personal and private benefit. And for the most part, the NDC’s founding patriarch was very successful in his gambit.
The real test here, of course, lies in the scandalous reaction with which the Rawlingses greeted the selection of the now-President John Dramani Mahama as the running-mate of then-Candidate John Evans Atta-Mills. Indeed, even as Mr. Asiedu-Nketia himself is officially on record as having bitterly observed, until Prof. Atta-Mills’ selection of Mr. Mahama as his running-mate for Election 2008, the National Democratic Congress was indisputably the private property of Chairman Rawlings and his wife Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings. And so it is downright grotesque and comical for the same Mr. Asiedu-Nketia to be telling the people of Tempane, in the Upper-East Region, and their NDC Member of Parliament, Mr. David Adakudugu, that the New Patriotic Party has absolutely no place for them as coequal citizens of the Democratic Republic of Ghana.
But even more significantly, it constitutes the very height of arrogance and abject condescension for Mr. Asiedu-Nketia to so cavalierly presume that, somehow, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana and three-time running-mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is rather too stolid or daft to fully appreciate his place and worth among the ranks of the front-row leadership of the New Patriotic Party. In other words, if any politician views Ghanaians of northern descent as “second-class citizens,” it is definitely Mr. Asiedu-Nketia and the rest of the NDC leadership, and not their counterparts in the New Patriotic Party.
On the other hand, the NPP has convincingly and credibly established itself as the most democratic and culturally diverse and inclusive postcolonial Ghanaian political party. It is neither a bloody “revolutionary” political juggernaut, the way the National Democratic Congress has become widely known, nor an Ewe-Fante monarchy falsely parading as a modern “democratic” political machine. To be certain, even as Mr. Asiedu-Nketia himself admitted not too long ago, the National Democratic Congress has yet to seriously learn about the operational dynamics of a modern political party. Now don’t get me wrong, many of us members, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party felt disconsolately aggrieved about the flagrant failure by President Kufuor to endorse his two-time running-mate for both the NPP’s presidential candidacy and the presidency of Ghana.
Still, with the latter said, the then-outgoing President Kufuor’s flabbergasting failure to give the nod to then-Vice-President Aliu Mahama entailed quite a bit of other political complications some remarkable aspects of which have already been extensively discussed in my previous columns on the subject. I therefore find it absolutely unnecessary to revisit this quite unpleasant recent-past event, more so when Vice-President Aliu Mahama is no longer with us to present a detailed version of his personal authoritative version of the aforesaid event.
Ultimately, however, what matters here is whether President Mahama, the so-called best political hope for Ghanaians of northern descent, has creditably acquitted himself, and not the mere fact of him having been selected as the NDC’s presidential candidate, purely by accident or default, as well as his being elected substantive President of Ghana. We must also significantly point out that at the most recent launching of the NDC’s 2016 electioneering campaign manifesto, ex-President Rawlings, who was present at the ceremony, could not even muster the good faith courage to raise the hand of his former protégé by way or even a pro-forma endorsement. And we are to believe, by the light of Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, that the National Democratic Congress is the “natural home” of northerners!
It is often said that the taste of the pudding lies in the eating of the same. In other words, has the presidency of Mr. Mahama rendered the overwhelming majority of northerners any more of first-class citizens than they were before? My dear reader, your guess is as good and valid as mine.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.