The voting out of Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, alias “Sir John,” by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates at the party’s recent Tamale delegates’ conference, goes far beyond the question of whether or not Sir John had performed his job as General-Secretary creditably, for surely he had. (See “Fear Delegates, Not Ghosts – Sir John” Chronicle 4/15/14).
His problem was manifold. The first and that which many a stalwart hypocritical operative of the NPP would have swept under the proverbial rug, was the adamant refusal of Sir John to mischievously play the dirty politics of Asante-Akyem factionalism which some Asante-descended NPP operatives had become indulgent of, in the wake of Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to take a third shot at the flagbearership of the New Patriotic Party.
Recently, former President Kufuor was widely reported to have vehemently denied that any such factional division existed among the rank-and-file membership of the New Patriotic Party. One only has to read his Ivor Agyeman-Duah-authored biography, Between Faith and History, in order to better appreciate the ingrained nature of the problem, as well as give the lie to such vehement public denial.
We have also witnessed, predictably, the emergence from the proverbial woodwork of widely known supporters of Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen who, all along, pretended to be staunch supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo’s as well. It was always only a matter of time before their grotesque masks fell of the faces of these dyed-in-the-wool Asante nationalists. One of them, a “Bekwai Asakyiri Teamster,” even had the temerity to refer to supportive relatives of Nana Akufo-Addo’s as “The Akyem Mafia.” And then, all of a sudden, the same self-proclaimed “Okatakyie” (whatever such oversized accolade means) started discovering and listing a litany of the purported “weaknesses” of Nana Akufo-Addo that rendered the latter a less qualified presidential candidate than Alan Cash, the political petname of Mr. Kyerematen.
You see, I was born at Asante-Mampong, which is also my ancestral home; as well, my own now-late father, unbeknownst to him, was a full-blooded Asante of Dwaben-Asona stock, just as his Akyem-Asiakwa-born father had also been an Asante of Dwaben-Oyoko stock. So it couldn’t just be that this self-inflated “Okatakyie” could be either more “Agyeman” or an “Okatakyie” than Asiakwahene Kwame Okoampa-Agyeman (as well as Adwuamponghene), a direct descendant of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu I. Or could he?
Anyway, the other Sir John problem was the fact that the man had become so comfortable with his job, as NPP General-Secretary, that he soon totally forgot the fact that comfy or not, the job of NPP Chief Scribe was still a borrowed robe which had to be returned for periodic inspection and, if found to have been kept with dignified circumspection, returned for another “safe-keeping tour.” My unflappable contention here is that party delegates have a poetic rhythm to their actions that cannot be lightly brushed off as being merely tantamount to whimsical viciousness – you may call it “Schadenfreude.” And so sarcastically comparing their mindset to that of the Leveller, or Odomankoma (Odomankonamnom) Owuo, is grossly off-tangent and inexcusable.
Indeed, when he started exchanging rhetorical blows with Nana Akomea, I warned Sir John to be diplomatic and thick-skinned. I am quite certain that many of the delegates heard and heeded the same. What everybody seems to be touting and about which Sir John ought to be royally proud, is the fact that the Legon-trained lawyer went down in the Tamale delegates’ poll with a quite decent count, unlike Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey who had to be, literally, carted off in stitches on a gurney, thoroughly punch-drunk and virtually comatose.