The Afoko Magic And The Kyerematen Mirage

I personally backed the right of Mr. Paul Afoko to gun for the chairmanship of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), when it eerily and disturbingly appeared that some undemocratic elements among the top ranks of the party membership with an axe to grind with the Upper-East native, wanted the man summarily bumped off the NPP national chairmanship column on the ballot and the entire electoral process altogether.

I was also convinced that granted this well-deserved opportunity, Mr. Afoko was bound to clinch the topmost administrative position of the NPP because there were too many southern-descended candidates ranged against him.

Mr. Afoko had also done the most savvy thing by intensely focusing his energy on several regions outside of the southern-half of the country where his popularity seemed to be commanding, such as the three northern regions, the Volta and Brong-Ahafo regions.

And as I knowingly confided to my good friend Felix Otoo, the hardworking vice-president of one of the Bronx, New York, branches of Citibank, the NPP chairmanship votes were likely to be split among the three other candidates running against Mr. Afoko.

I also added that in the certain event of the foregoing scenario coming to pass, and I clearly did not envisage any other credible alternative, Mr. Afoko’s victory was guaranteed hands down, as New Yorkers are wont to say.

Unlike Mr. Ebenezer Hagan who, until the publication of his wound-licking post-election massacre missive captioned “The Morning After the Night: Why I Am Worried for NPP” I had never known or heard of, I don’t remember Mr. Afoko’s pulling of any ethno-tribal levers in order to unduly clinch his hard-fought victory.

But, of course, this is also primarily because I am not on the proverbial ground of the action, as it were, and have not been for a dozen years.

Nonetheless, I have fairly closely followed events on the ground well enough, almost as if the very thread of my life depends on the same.

And in a real sense, it does. For as a first-generation “American-African,” the more linguistically rhythmic term of “African-American” being exclusively reserved for diaspora Africans with at least a century or more ancestral presence here in the United States, my identity and esteem, as perceived by many an American-born citizen, irrespective of race, are inextricably intertwined with the fortunes and global image and reputation of the Democratic Republic of Ghana.

Well, what I want to add, by way of critical commentary on the sweet and sweaty victory of Mr. Afoko’s is that whatever might have unsavorily appeared in the minds of his most ardent rivals and inveterate opponents within the New Patriotic Party as amounting to the reckless and mischievous playing of the “tribal card,” was largely forced on the man. And the latter was done in the form of a purportedly credible “confidential letter” that viciously sought to preempt the candidacy of Mr. Afoko for the NPP national chairmanship.

In essence, the “tribally coded” battle clearly appears to have been taken to the man Afoko for reasons best known to his detractors. And so it is inexcusably absurd for disappointed NPP-ites like Mr. Hagan to now claim, ex-post-facto, that Mr. Afoko mischievously played the victim. To be certain, it takes only a clinical cretin not to recognize the grim and stark fact that Mr. Afoko was flagrantly victimized. Even as recently as the eve of the polling event that facilitated the legitimate actualization of his NPP national chairmanship dream, some of his internal detractors had knvishly resorted to tagging the man to beat as a sexual pervert of gay/homosexual orientation. Fortunately for the victim, this, too, did not wash.

Now, it behooves the NPP’s National Chairman-Elect to conduct himself and the affairs of the party above board. He needs to publicly apologize for the eleventh-hour memo that he wrote to the party’s National Election Committee, that allegedly sought to disqualify Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia from exercising their inalienable democratic franchise at the just-concluded Tamale delegates’ conference of the NPP, and quickly get himself to work.

But that the Tamale delegates’ electoral confab was a ringing referendum on the leadership caliber and/or competence of outgoing National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey can be scarcely gainsaid. Even so, I don’t recognize the imminent enhancement in the fortunes of Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen. Which is very different from saying that the man’s chances of clinching the NPP’s presidential nomination for Election 2016 have been totally scuttled or eviscerated.

Rather, the critical questions to ask are logically as follow: How does any levelheaded and conscientious party stalwart vote for or bring him-/herself to vigorously campaign for a man who vigorously campaigned for Nana Akufo-Addo by his conspicuous and total absence from the hustings in the lead-up to Election 2012?

And then, also, how does a civically responsible party member bat for a man who selfishly and abruptly abandoned the ship called “NPP-2008,” primarily because a fellow party stalwart had fairly and squarely taken the proverbial wind out of his sails or masts? Go figure!

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