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Feature Article of Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Columnist: Annor, Joe

RE: Is the NPP really Asante, and Asante truly NPP?

… Michael Bokor and his delusional writings

Very often, the many articles that Dr Michael Bokor frequently submit to Ghanaweb are full of delusions, deliberately put together to diabolically distort facts and tarnish the image of other people that have different political views from him. Dr Bokor, who writes mainly to promote NDC, attacks opposition people and NDC members that dare to criticise anything wrong with the party. In 2009 in particular, he frequently attacked President Kufuor, but praised Presidents Mills and Rawlings. However, when President Rawlings started criticising President Mills’ Government, Dr Bokor started attacking President Rawlings and his family, and the attack became very intense, when Nana Konadu Rawlings decided to contest President Mills as the NDC presidential candidate. It appears that any objective person who reads his articles, will notice how bias he is. For the purpose of my paper, I will discuss some examples from two of Dr Bokor’s articles to highlight the point that I am discussing. Just last week, two of the articles that Dr Bokor wrote are the following:

1. As The NPP Knocks On The Doors Of The Supreme Court…

2. Is the NPP really Asante, and Asante truly NPP?

In the first article, Dr Bokor stated among other things that:

1. the NDC Government “… could be more than ready to pit itself against the Supreme Court if its verdict is skewed in favour of the NPP.”

2. “… if the Supreme Court favours Akufo-Addo, many new developments will make the country ungovernable. The majority that voted for the President will definitely react vigorously in ways that are too frightening to imagine now. In effect, a huge fire will be lit by any such decision.”

3. “”… Or that President Mahama should just step down for Akufo-Addo to take his place? Undeniablly, with what majority support in Parliament or even in the 8 regions that voted against him? The country will definitely become ungovernable in that event. I don’t think that’s what anybody wants.”

It is very astonishing to read these sorts of statements coming from someone who calls himself a philosophical doctor. I cannot understand how an intellectual with a PhD degree would make such preposterous statements. Firstly, why does Dr Bokor expects NDC to pit itself against the Supreme Court if its verdict is skewed in favour of the NPP? Does he recognise that such a situation will not be healthy for our democracy?

What is the Supreme Court there for, it is there to decide matters brought before it. Our electoral laws enshrined in the constitution make it clear how someone who believes that he is cheated should seek redress. It is on this premises that Akuffo Addo and NPP believing that they have been cheated, are seeking redress at the Supreme Court. It is therefore up to the Supreme Court to determine whether Akuffo Addo’s claims are valid or not, and make a ruling on that basis. I really find the statements by some people accusing Akuffo Addo and others for taking this path, preposterous. Whether Akuffo Addo’s claim is right or wrong, Ghanaians have to thank God that unlike other countries, they have decided to use legal means instead of doing something that will compromise the security of Ghana. In fact, the leadership of NPP have admonished their members not to engage in any form of vandalism. For instance, Nana Akomea has specifically warned that they will not shield any member that will engage in vandalism. Similarly, Mr Appiah Minka has gone further to advise the party members not to engage in demonstrations but only support the court action. In my view, instead of people condemning NPP, they should rather praise them for choosing the right path to make their case, irrespective of whether their claims are considered legitimate or not, as that is something that the Supreme Court has to decide. Therefore, if we believe in democracy and rule of law, then we have to respect each of the three arms of government, parliament, executive and judiciary. It is only when judiciary in particular is respected that our democracy will flourish. Really, the judiciary forms the cornerstone of the principle of separation of powers. Therefore, whatever our political affiliation, we should not make careless statements that may endanger our growing democracy. It is against this background that I find statements being made by some people to be very reckless.

I also find it very childish when people like Bokor uses the number of regions that NDC and NPP won respectively, to make arguments about who should rule the country. While it is true that the more regions that the party wins, the easier it is for it to win the elections, it is imperative to mention that the number of regions that a party wins itself does not determine who wins the elections or not. Therefore, those who argue along those lines are either being mischievous or ignorant. As far as one winning the presidential elections is concerned, the total number of electorates that votes for a candidate is the sole determinant and not the regions the candidate wins. The regions that one wins will be important factor, if all the regions have equal number of voters, but since some regions have more population than others, the regional counts is not that essential. For instance, it could have been possible for Akuffo Addo to win the elections if he had won Greater Accra and not Eastern Region, by the same margin he won Eastern Region, because the population in Greater Accra is significantly large. Even in terms of the parliamentarian, the constituencies are used to determine the winner and not the number of regions. So I see the argument about the regions won or lost to be simplistic and mischievous. There is nowhere in the electoral laws that state that the number of regions won should be used to determine the outcome of the elections. Therefore, people like Dr Bokor who argues along that line are either ignorant or being mischievous.

In the second article mentioned above, Dr Bokor wrote among others that: I am not alone. Others have raised arguments to suggest that by its very nature and composition, the NPP is Akan-based. They are right in several senses. The party has always been dominated by the Asante-Akyim bigwigs; and the government it formed to rule from January 7, 2001 to January 7, 2009 had a huge presence of those with Akan roots. Indeed, Kufuor packed his government with those of Akan extraction to the disadvantage of the other ethnicities. Furthermore, he over-zealously projected the Asantehene above all other paramount chiefs and gave juicy appointments to members of his close family, political, and ethnic networks. When public outcry against his style of governance, largely skewed by cronyism and ethnicity, he justified it by telling us when composing his Cabinet that he didn’t find anybody from the Upper West Region worthy of being included in that Cabinet.”

Again, I find these types of remarks to be very dishonest. Those who accuse Kuffour of appointing more Akans as ministers should just skim through the the list of the current NDC ministers and they would recognise that to a significant degree, the same situation is happening, as persons from Volta, the three Northern and Central Regions dominate the ministerial list. Despite that the Upper West Region having one of the least population in Ghana, it has more ministers than Ashanti Region, which has approximately one fifth of Ghana’s population. In fact, only two ministers come from Bono Ahafo and it is even debatable if Hon Collin Dauda, because of his Zongo extraction, should be considered as full Bono Ahafo representative, for the purpose of this consideration. It appears the situation for the Deputy Ministers is even worse as everyone knows where Ablakwas and etc come from. To me this is not surprise, because I do not expect NDC to appoint people who are basically not party members as ministers and that was the same thing that Kuffour did. Yet, the dishonest people deliberately ignore this basic fact and make irrational argument and accusation out of it. In summary, it will serve us good if Dr Bokor and others will be honest and identify the underlying cause of why the NPP or NDC concentrate the appointment of their ministers in specific regions, instead of Dr Boko picking and choosing how he sees them in order to condemn others, but remain silent about the same situation that NDC is also doing. Clearly, when Kuffour made the statement that he did not find anybody to appoint from Upper West Region, he did not mean that there could not be any qualified person there, but he considered those persons such as Allan Bagbin to be NDC people and therefore, he could not appoint them. This was the reason why he appointed some independent MPs from the North as ministers and deputy ministers. This is a basic fact which any honest and intelligent person should know, but because of politics, we distort the truth.

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