Comment: So was the court all about shoring up Nana-Addo's popularity?

 For eight months the whole country and indeed the world had been gripped by the election petition initiated by the three petitioners from my party, the New Patriotic Party. The three petitioners leading the charge were Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the Party’s presidential candidate for the 2012 elections, his running mate, Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia and the party’s national Chairman, Jake Okanta Obetsebi Lamptey.

Throughout the gruelling eight months, party faithful kept with their leaders as their hopes and aspirations soared and ebbed in accordance with the rise and fall of the arguments of their legal team. In the end, the party did not get the result they expected as the nine Supreme Court judges ruled against us. Of course, all in the party were disappointed.
To the credit of Nana Addo, he immediately came out with a statement that helped soothe hurt feelings and calm tempers. But that is where it all ended. Barely a day after the end of the case and even as party members began to get their lives back to normalcy and ponder the way forward, what appears to be the real motive behind the whole court case seemed to have unravel.
In what appears to be a well orchestrated move, no less a person than the General Secretary of the party, Sir John, as he is popularly called, out of the blue came out with the pronouncement that Nana Addo should be retained as the party’s candidate for 2016 elections with Dr. Bawumia as his running mate, just as in 2012.
He warned that any attempt to choose any other person will spell doom for the party in the next elections. His reason? The popularity of the pair had been so enhanced by the court case as to make them the most popular politician in the country. Really?
To calls that Nana Addo who by 2016 will be 72 years will be ‘too old’ to run effectively for the high office of the presidency, Sir John had a ready answer: he pointed to the likes of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe who at almost 90 years has been in power for over 30 years and is one of the remaining last dictator’s in Africa.
He also refers to Senegal’s former President Abdul Wade who run for office when he was 74 and Israel’s Shimon Peres whose office is a ceremonial one and is now 90.
How amazing that NPP, a party that prides itself in being democratic and respects the rule of law should now be forming alliances with dictators and people with no respect for constitutionalism. Mugabe has broken every law in the books to entrench himself in power. Wade was booted out because he tried to tweak the constitution to enable him to run for a third term. Shimon’s position is a ceremonial one as pointed above and does not apply in our case.
By blinding referring to Mugabe and Wade in their bid to impose Akufo Addo on the party, are these over-zealous supporters inferring that should Nana Addo become president of Ghana in 2016, he will, like their new-found idols, change the nation’s constitution to entrench himself in power? How ridiculous!
Nana Addo himself has come to say that he is taken break from politics and will make his next move in politics known after the rest but some say in private, he encourages his supporters within the party to keep on touting his name.
These supporters go as far as saying: No Nana No Vote.’ Could this have been the real reason why we were all taken through this wild goose chase at the Supreme Court so no questions are asked as to how the NPP lost the 2012 elections?
The suspicion grows deeper when one considers that even though after the National Executive Council meeting last week a sort of roadmap was announced for elections at various levels within the party, no mention was made at dissolving campaign structures for the 2012 elections.
The obvious beneficiaries of this arrangement are Nana and the current executives of the party. They will still control the Finance Committee, the Operations Committee, the Fundraising Committee, the Logistics Committee, the Communication Committee, etc.
This simply means all funding will go to them just as they decide who goes on the media. It does certainly look as if Nana Addo has it all worked out for him in deed. No wonder his supporters can shout, ‘NO Nana Addo, No Vote.’ They might just as well add: ‘No Nana Addo, No NPP.’
By Abubakar H. Zakaria
Member, Asante Akim Central Constituency
New Patriotic Party (NPP)