A Leopard they say can never change its spots. True to this adage, twice-failed presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s latest strategy to adopt a modest approach to attract former President Kufuor’s support for his possibly last presidential bid could not live with him longer when he did the unthinkable.
To the astonishment of many Ghanaians, the one-time Foreign Affairs Minister in former President John Kufuor’s government; in his usual self-importance audaciously announced that he and the most successful leader of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, Kufuor are co-equals.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who has watched on while his assigns harshly tongue-lash ex- president Kufuor for being the principal contributor to his defeat in the last two elections, has in recent times feigned respect for the former President.
Even in the midst of this hypocritical posture, his loyalists have not ceased the unhealthy attacks on the former president to the extent that, one Sylvester Mensah, who prides himself as Operations Managers of Concerned Crusaders of Nana Addo said but for the general outcry for change of government in 2000, Mr Kufuor would not have become president.
Sylvester Mensah, on Radio Gold last Friday and reacting to an obvious Alan Kyerematen supporter’s criticism of Nana Akufo Addo said
As if to depart from his new strategy of worshiping Kufuor in order to get the keys to the flag staff house at the zenith of his childhood ambition, the former Abuakwa South legislator, in a recent statement ostensibly, to deny a strain in his relations with his former boss, pompously equated himself to the ex-president.
Even though it is known globally that but for Mr. Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo would not have stepped his foot in any ministry as head and that, he is struggling to equal his former boss’ record even at an advance age of 73.
The Akyem Abuakwa septuagenarian side-stepped all courtesies an employee must show his boss when he said they are colleagues. “I am compelled to inform the public that President Kufuor and I remain in regular communication with each other, and I make it a point to visit him every week. Such actions cannot be suggestive of a fractured relationship between two colleagues.”
While evidence abound that Nana Akufo-Addo did nothing to stop his adherents from hurling damaging insults at Mr Kufuor for orchestrating his two defeats, he stated :
“In 2008, President Kufuor, when President of the Republic, supported fully my bid to become president of our country and gave me his unstinting assistance. Likewise, in 2012, the support I received from him was unflinching, as it was during the entire course of the now famous election petition. It remains my firm conviction that his two-term government, in which I had the privilege to serve as Attorney General and Foreign Minister, has been the best government this country has had, and I am proud to have been a member of it.
Never has there been a point in time where our former President has done anything detrimental to me, as a person, or to the party with me as its presidential candidate. As far as the 2016 election is concerned, President Kufuor has made it clear to all and sundry that he does not support any particular candidate and will work to help whoever emerges from the presidential primary as the party’s candidate.”
Kufuor is Party Spoiler
First to openly blame ex-president Kufuor after the 2008 for planning Nana Akufo-Addo’s defeat was his spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid.
Mustapha Hamid, who was ousted from Nana Akufo-Addo’s house after the 2008 elections only to resurface at the 2012 elections, in a lengthy and demeaning article in 2008 titled “Is it a question of judgment” accused Mr. Kufuor for deliberately taking certain decisions when he was president to block Nana Addo’s chances of becoming president.
Prior to this, Nana Akufo-Addo’s cousin who doubles as his spin- doctor and strategist, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darkoh in the run-up to the 2008 elections severally took swipe at then sitting President Kufuor on a live programs on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana for taking ill-informed decisions aimed at denying his “brother” the presidency.
It was widely reported in the media that President Kufuor, incensed by Gabby’s swipes told NPP chieftains who approached him for financial assistance on behalf of Nana Akufo-Addo’s campaign and angrily directed them to Gabby who by virtue of his cousin’s position as presidential candidate rose to prominence in the NPP scheme of things.
In all of the disparaging remarks and in some instances, outright insults on Mr. Kufuor sometimes trumpeted by even serial callers of the party in his camp; Nana Akufo Addo maintained his silence and was thought to have goaded them on to disgrace the former president.
More Attacks on Kufuor
As if that was not enough, Nana Akufo-Addo’s second defeat in the 2012 elections which he challenged in court but lost miserable became another platform for more attacks on Mr Kufuor and this time, Alan Kyerematen was added.
When the former president was invited to the investiture of President Mahama after the last presidential elections in January 2013, NPP notables led by Hopeson Adorye who is now the national coordinator for a group courting support for Nana Akufo-Addo’s third time bid, barricaded the home of the former president and attempted to prevent him from attending the national event.
His children received phone calls and messages threatening them for the sole reason that their father decided to attend a national event to the extent that an NPP serial caller based in Kumasi threatened they would throw shoes at the former president if he dare attends the program.
The then acerbic General Secretary of NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie a.k.a. Sir John never ceased to openly abuse Mr Kufuor describing him as a monster, all in the name of Akufo Addo.
The latest scathing attack on Mr. Kufuor came from one Obaa Yaa, who verbally abuse, accusing him for all the predicaments in the party.
According to the obvious Akufo-Addo loyalist, former President Kufuor came into politics with nothing but through their (party) support, he won political power and left power with unprecedented wealth only to turn his back to his party and candidate.
Reply from Kufuor’s Family
Getting irritated by the relentless attack on their father, the children of Mr Kufuor reportedly responded to those denigrating their father in a corresponding harsh tone.
Edward Kufuor, one of the sons of the former president was alleged to have told Obaa Yaa that, characters like her don’t deserve attention from any level-headed person, adding “she is not fit to even sit at my father’s hall. If characters like this walk around a presidential candidate’s corridors, then how can power reach the candidate?”
To consolidate Mr. Kufuor’s response, Nana Ama Kufuor, a daughter of the former president described the whole action as work of desperate bunch of hypocrites.
Enters Nana Akufo-Addo
While the back and forth was on with more damaging attacks on the former president, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a face-saving statement believed to have been authored by Mustapha Hamid who led the attack on Mr. Kufuor for plotting Nana Akufo-Addo’s defeat, stated:
“My attention has been drawn to ongoing media reportage and commentary being made by some members of the New Patriotic Party, and, unsurprisingly, by our political opponents to the effect there is a fractured relationship between President John Agyekum Kufuor and myself.
The allegations that are making the rounds include the fact that President Kufuor did not support my presidential bids in 2008 and in 2012, and is also not in support of my bid to lead the party into the 2016 general elections, amongst others.
I would like to place on record that these allegations, pointing to an unhealthy relationship between President Kufuor and myself, are false.”