A government appointee’s accusation of ethnocentrism against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo is an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians, Mustapha Hamid has said.
Haruna Attah, an NPP member who is now with the NDC has authored an article in which he claimed that Akufo-Addo has an ethnocentric conviction that no member of a minority ethnic group will ever lead the NPP.
Haruna Atta who has been appointed Ghana’s Ambassador to Namibia wrote:
“I do recollect very clearly, as if it happened only yesterday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo invited me to his office at Ridge near the offices of the Electoral Commission. I honoured the invitation, not knowing what to expect. The outcome was one of the most revealing encounters I have ever had with a Ghanaian politician. He raised a number of issues and concluded on my ‘support’ for the late Vice President. On that, this is what he told me.
“The words have been indelibly etched on my conscience: hHaruna, your support for Aliu was flawed. If you think our party will cede its Akan leadership, you are wrong.’ He went on to expatiate on the theme, but with my mind reeling at this blatant and brazen ethnocentricity, nothing else really mattered to me again. When I left, I confided in a few people, mainly family and friends, as witnesses.”
“I received all manner of suggestions on how to handle this “bombshell” and indeed one family member high up in the NPP even suggested that I take it up with President Kufuor”. “The frightening fundamental message was clear: No non-Akan should dream of leading the NPP as Presidential Candidate”.
Reacting to the article, Nana Akufo-Addo’s spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid, who is of Northern extraction himself, was emphatic that the piece is a fabrication.
“No such conversation has taken place and that is a simple fact” he stressed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.
He explained that it does not make sense that Akufo-Addo who had an election to win in 2008 would make comments that could divide his own party and scuttle his chances of becoming president.
He said it is inconceivable that Akufo-Addo who was seeking votes would tell a Northerner that Northerners cannot become flagbearer of the NPP.
He said it is a “height of foolhardiness” which an experienced diplomat like Akufo-Addo can never do.
He said Haruna Attah who has known the NPP flagbearer ought to credit Akufo-Addo with some level of intelligence.
Mustapha Hamid wondered why Haruna Atta who defected to the NDC about seven years ago would wait till now to make such accusations against the NPP leader.
According to him, the article betrays the panic mindset of the governing NDC which is now apprehensive about its chances in the 2016 general elections.
Mustapha believes that it is an attempt to turn the heat on the NPP after President John Mahama received public bashing for his ethnocentric comments while on the campaign in the Upper East and Upper West regions last week.
He explained that once the vice-president is just a step away from being president, Akufo-Addo would not choose a Northerner (Dr Mahamudu Bawumia) as his running-mate and still hold the view that a Northerner in the NPP cannot be president.
The spokesperson to the NPP Presidential candidate explained that Mahama’s own ascension to power after the death of a sitting president shows how important a vice-president position is.
John Mahama who was vice-president first became President following the death of President John Evans Atta Mills in July 2012.
“Mahama never contested presidential primaries in his life…but he is president by virtue of someone choosing him as a vice”
He said if there is any “unrepentant ethnocentric bigot” in this election, there is no doubt that it is President John Mahama.
He welcomed what he believes is the NDC’s desire to execute a campaign of bigotry but warned that with poverty and corruption staring Northerners especially, this strategy will not work.