Unknown to the many supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party heaping all the world’s accolades on the twice defeated Presidential Candidate on his appointment as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections, the voluntary association of 53 independent countries is said to be using the appointment to exert pressure on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take a ‘shower’ from active politics.
A source at the office of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, yesterday told The Al-Hajj that though heads of observer mission groups are normally past presidents and distinguished statesmen, Nana Akufo-Addo’s elevation was intended to persuade him to kiss goodbye to frontline politics and join the league of highly respected statesmen.
The source said considering the former Foreign Affairs Minister in the Kufuor administration’s experience and contributions to politics over the years, he has achieved a lot that must be safeguarded by encouraging him to stay away from partisan politics.
Though Nana Akufo-Addo has announced his intension to run for President for the third time, the source at the Commonwealth Secretariat told this paper that his appointment as leader of observer mission in the May 7, 2014 South African elections was part of the many juicy offers in the offing to entice the former Abuakwa South MP to voluntarily and honorably retire from active politics.
The Commonwealth last Tuesday announced that it had appointed Nana Akufo-Addo, Dorothy Pine-McLarty OJ, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica and Sheik Abdul Carimo Nordine Sau, who is the President of the National Elections Commission of Mozambique, as observer mission for the South African election.
The former Abuakwa South legislator who is to lead the team was expected to leave Ghana last night for South Africa’s national and provincial elections, which will last for two weeks.
Though the Akyem septuagenarian is not a former president and would not have made the list if the Commonwealth’s standard of selecting persons as head of observer missions was to be followed, Nana Akufo-Addo was nevertheless, appointed in his capacity as former Foreign Affairs Minister and not as opposition leader, our source disclosed.
However, some political analysts have also said that Commonwealth’s decision on Nana Akufo-Addo may not be unconnected to events of elections 2008 and 2012 where Ghana nearly went up in flames.
They extrapolate that the decision may be due to Commonwealth’s resolve to forestall such occurrence in future elections in the country, especially when Nana Akufo-Addo has made known his intension to run for President for the third time.