In September 1968, Mr Victor Owusu granted an interview to the now defunct Legon Observer. A leadership contest was emerging within the ranks of what became known as the Progress Party. Many were those who wanted to push Victor Owusu into the race.
These sensible and respectable words were captured in the Legon Observer interview; “I will not contest so long as Professor Busia intends to”.
Victor, contrary to all the speculations sown about him deferred to Professor Busia, for he believed him to be the man of the moment to win power for the Progress Party.
More importantly, he did not go about bad-mouthing Busia. He worked hard and diligently to ensure that he won handsomely.
I was numbered among the 17 aspirants who contested in the presidential primary of 2007. After the contest, I did not pick up my certificate to head back to the comforts of the Bank of New York or some other leading banks in America.
I stayed and contributed my quota in the hope of helping win Election 2008. Unfortunately, it did not happen.
I had come to understand and appreciate the fact that people in our party choose as their leader a person they deem to have served the party loyally over the years.
They want to see their would-be leader in the trenches with them, soiling his or her hands with them, offering encouragement, shoring up their spirits when it seems to fail and helping them solve their problems.
Our tradition saw those qualities in J.B. Danquah, Prof. K.A. Busia, Victor Owusu, Prof. Adu-Boahen, J. A. Kuffour and now Nana Akufo-Addo, each in their own time. This is their psychology and the trend is bound to continue.
There was yet another opportunity for me to contest in the August 2010 presidential primary. I opted out on the grounds that as long as Nana Akufo-Addo was in the race, I would not contest but rather join hands and help him win. Here are my reasons then and now. Any good politician must understand timing, moods and moments.
It is not simply throwing your hat in a race for the heck of it or to gain name recognition. There is a better use of money and time. The whole being of a political party is to secure power by winning during elections.
It cannot and must not be about a Boakye Agyarko or any other person for that matter, with an inordinate and unbridled ambition seeking to be President. Rather, it is about how the NPP collectively wins power in order to provide quality leadership for the people of Ghana.
What we must, therefore, do is to put our ears and all our other senses to the ground and listen to the mood and voice of the electorate in order, specifically, to see who that person of the moment is.
I did just that, and it was clear to me, as it still is today that it is Nana Akufo-Addo’s moment. Besides, he has shown himself to be totally devoted to the NPP, sees the party as a prized possession, serves it well, paid his dues many times over and was deserving, as he is still deserving.
The intensity of these sentiments is even stronger as we approach the upcoming primary. That is why a fellow contestant can publicly say that it will take a miracle to defeat Nana Addo.
Similarly, those of ill-intent agree that Nana Addo will win the primary for sure but they will never allow him to become president.
All of them are admitting to the fact that this is Nana Akufo-Addo’s moment, but for some reason, ‘they will put sand in his gari’.
It is clear to me and I am still firm in my belief that at the moment Nana Akufo-Addo represents our best change and foot-forward in winning 2016.
For those who are wont to point out his defect as obstacles to winning 2016, they should rather spend the time in close self-examination, remove the beam from their own eyes and not worry about the spec in someone else’s.
Certain, it is that Nana Akufo-Addo will win the NPP presidential primary, so for the love of party and country, their efforts should rather be directed towards helping Nana Akufo-Addo win for ALL OF US.
What is now happening inside the NPP is not surprising and is predictable. I will entreat all of us to go back and read the pamphlet, “Beware Nkatha – the sinister attempts to destroy the heritage of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah”.
It details the methods and mechanisms as to how two people used Kojo Botsio, Rev. Kweku Boateng, Buckman and John Tettehgah to destroy the CPP from within in order to ensure the emergence and supremacy of the NDC.
On the back cover of said pamphlet the following final appeal was made, “Clarion call to all Nkrumaist. Don’t be an ‘Nkatha’ hireling. Don’t sell the heritage of Nkrumah to Rawlings. Resist NCCN (sic: National Coordinating Committee of Nkrumaist) blood money. Preserve the honour and dignity of our leader”. Not surprisingly, the same strategy is now directed at the NPP.
The NDC sees its impending doom. It must, therefore, light a fuse inside the NPP so as to make us equally unattractive to the Ghanaian voter, who is then expected to turn its back on the NPP.
Their calculation is if the NPP can be made to lose the next elections, it puts us on the slippery slopes to disintegration.
They now have as ready instruments, a handful of central figures of yesterday (call them a clique) inside the NPP, and have put in their hands a licentious torch to destroy our party.
A nation in distress is now counting on the NPP. As I travel around the country, it is abundantly clear to me that the nation’s spirit is stressed.
Ghanaians are not sure whether they have a government, much less a government that cares about the welfare of its citizens.
Collectively, we are like a wounded deer listening with impending doom to the approaching footsteps of the hunter.
This nation has been put on the path of implosion, and we the fine ladies and gentlemen ostriches that we are have buried our heads in the sand in order not to see what is happening to our dear country.
Our fortunes have been cast to the sad winds moaning in the distance. Our response to this distress call must be loud and clear that we are ready and able to pull the nation out of its current distress and misery.
This certain response is what is being distorted by the current rumblings. For we learn from 1st Corinthians 14:8 that, “For if the trumpet produce an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle”.
While the CPP was unable to heed their clarion call, we in the NPP MUST and CAN. What our response calls for is a patient fortitude to ride this evil out with a sense of equanimity.
What we must all do is to seek the revival and strengthening of our national spirit, smoothing ruffled feathers, assuaging wounded sentiments and making our citizens feel and believe that this period of contrived turbulence shall also pass.
That in spite of the current noise and distractions from our purpose, we in the NPP and Ghana at large shall ride it out intact and in one piece. But as we ride it out, so must we also ride the renegades out of town.