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Date Published: 07/29/10

NPP Congress: Octopus Paul, like the Akonfem man is 360 degrees off the mark of accuracy Nana -a sure banker! By Daniel Danquah Damptey

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During the last African Cup of Nations, one man became the toast of Ghanaian fans when he accurately predicted the outcome of Ghana’s matches and in all cases, those matches went in favour of Ghana. He always used ‘akonfem’ (guinea fowl) to make his predictions. But in the final analysis when it mattered most, his prediction, though it went in favour of Ghana, the outcome of the match was different. Ghana lost the match and the akonfem man became the greatest enemy of Ghanaians. Nothing has been heard of him since.

The Ibos have a proverb which says “no matter how tall the iroko tree is, it must surely come down when the owner wants it”. Octopus Paul had made accurate predictions during the recently concluded world cup tournament in South Africa, just like the akonfem man. But I am one of the many people who feel that this time around, our ‘notorious predictor’ is 360 degrees off the mark of truth.

I therefore took it upon my self to conduct a personal opinion poll with some delegates and other staunch supporters of our great tradition and the responses I got gave credence is the notion that indeed, our octopus is ‘a hawk who has chosen a hen for wife’.

My search for truth and accuracy first took me to the city of Cape Coast where I interacted personally with some delegates. The impression I got was that the Central Region would overwhelmingly vote for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. The only constituency likely to fall to Allan is the Odobeng-Asikuma- Brakwa where there is a bitter struggle for control of the party between the current MP, P.C Appiah Ofori and the immediate past DCE, Mr Dormson. Appiah Ofori represents Nana’s interest whiles the former DCE represents the interest of Alan Kyerematen. At the moment, Alan’s faction controls more than 60% of the constituency executive. But with the expansion of the Electoral College, one cannot be very sure of the outcome of the election in the constituency. A very important impression I formed after my interaction with the delegates was that Alan has a well coordinated campaign team revolving around the personality of Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Information during the NPP regime, whiles Nana’s own has many different groups - all pursuing the same cause which has the election of Nana Akufo-Addo as the party’s flag bearer. I spoke to a member of one of the groups led team led by Nana Ato Dadzie, immediate past Regional Minister. He told me in no uncertain terms that that it is the way a child opens his hand that a piece of meat is given to him and that Nana has extended an open hand policy to all Ghanaians, both NPP and non party men and woman and that Nana would surely win. He said Alan has promised more jobs and cash to party members and questioned the rationale behind such promises. Why did we not receive such ‘largesse’ from him when we were in government? On the so-called lack of unity and cohesion among the various groups in Nana’s camp, Alhaji SeyBalla told me that they are working to get a united front before the Congress

“Nana is the favourite. Just mark my words”, he assured me.

In Accra, the message was clear. It was Nana all the way. An NPP aspirant who gave his name as Peter said that as a young activist who loves the party so much, he was in no doubt that Nana would surely carry the day.

He spoke loftily of all the aspiring flag bearers but came to the conclusion that it is only a castrated man who shudders at the sight of a woman. Nana is the obvious choice of the people.

Another activist, Joseph Adjei had the shock of his life when the group of which he was chairman decided to organize a float through the principal streets of Tabora, Alhaji, Israel and Lominava. Even though he was a staunch supporter of Nana, he decided to play the role of the unbiased umpire when he cautioned members of the group against wearing ‘T’ shirts of any of the aspirants. They told him in plain language that Nana is their man and it will be hypocritical and injustice of the highest order not to appear in Nana’s ‘T’ shirts.

I did not go to the Volta Region but made some calls to those who mattered most in connection with the election and my impression was that the Region will fall to Alan. Ashanti Region is solidly behind Nana. Several of the delegates spoke with nostalgia about the contributions Nana has made towards the strengthening of the party. A man who gave his name as Burger said he and his colleagues have decided to vote en masse for Nana because amongst the aspirants, “it was only Nana and his support base who made it possible for ‘mmoborowas’ like himself to become part of the king- making process. Nana Akufo-Addo and his men were all over the place appealing and convincing us to support the expansion of the Electoral College. On the other hand, Alan and his backers like Kwabena Agyepong, Kofi Jumah, Stephen Amoah and many others were moving from one radio station to the other campaigning to prevent those of us from becoming king makers. If it has become my lot to be one of the king makers, what do you expect me to do? I have to use my newly-gained power to prove to them that it does not pay to look down on those who are lest fortunate than they are. And for the likes of Isaac Osei, Frimpong Boateng and the so-called Evangelist Kodua, isn’t it time to tell them that it does not pay to sit on the fence? They decided not to take a position on the expansion of the Electoral College. But Nana stuck out his neck for it. The party needs principled men like him.”

Eastern Region is a sure bet for Nana even though the Regional Chairman has been trying his utmost through some “undercurrent” tactics to alter the station quo. Western will fall to Nana. Hear what one MP who would like to remain anonymous had to say: “My brother, we have put all the aspirants on the scale and even though they all have good credentials, we are convinced that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has the best chance of bringing back the NPP to power. There are no two ways about it. That is why almost the entire NPP Parliamentary Caucus is resolved in its decision to throw her weight behind him”. The Northern Region will vote overwhelmingly for Nana. So is the Upper West. Upper East is undecided, but one should not be surprised that the bandwagon effect of Nana’s impending victory will swing the Region to vote for him.

My contacts with some delegates in Brong Ahafo could not yield any fruitful results. Justina Owusu Banahene, Regional Women’s Organizer did not want to commit herself. She said one has to go to the field in order to find the realities on the ground. But one woman who describes herself as having fallen in love with Alan asked me if I believe in dreams. Of course, I responded in the affirmative. Then she said, “I dreamt Alan has been elected flag-bearer of the NPP. You either take or reject it”.

With the depth of information available to me, I will stick my neck and shout to all who care to listen that come August 7, 2010, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo will surely become flag bearer of the great Osono Tradition, thereby shattering the dreams and aspirations of all those banking the hopes on the prediction of Octopus Paul. After August 7, the Octopus of a ‘predictor’ like the Akonfem man would have no place in the history of this country for his ‘unpredictable predictions’.

And like what Justina Owusu Banahene, Brong Ahafo Regional Women’s Organizer said, the reality on the ground is that more than two thirds of the delegates are rooting and yearning for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to lead them in the titanic battle against the destroyers of our hard won freedom and looters of our national till..

Daniel Danquah Damptey (Daniel Danquah_damptey@yahoo.com)

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