Going by the sort of stereotypical bromide that litter his desultory propaganda piece titled “Why Akufo-Addo Does Not Support Freddie Blay” , I could swear that the name David Ackah-Miezah is uncontestably that of a diehard Nkrumaist.
But, curiously, the author of the afore-referenced article claims to be a New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist. And his unabashedly trenchant thesis is that the man who actually practicalized – I, of course, prefer the more rhetorically mellifluous version of “pragmatized” – the quintessential “UP Traditional Values,” namely, Mr. Freddie Blay, by ensuring that Nana Akufo-Addo realized his long-held ambition of succeeded to the Presidency, does not really belong in or to the mainstream membership of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired New Patriotic Party but, rather, it is Mr. Stephen Ntim, the perennial contender for the national chairmanship position of the New Patriotic Party, who deserves to be elected, hands-down, as it were, as the National Chairman of the NPP come the party's Delegates' Congress this coming July in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Capital.
The agitprop writer's one salient, albeit pedestrian, argument against the Acting Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party is that Mr. Blay was once a front-row stalwart of the Greenstreet-led rump-Convention People's Party (r-CPP) before crossing ideological divides into the New Patriotic Party. The fact of the matter is that Freddie Blay did not only cross over from the rump-CPP into the NPP, he did precisely that when it mattered the most.
And he did not become just another ordinary member of the NPP. Rather, the former Second-Speaker of Ghana's Parliament joined the vanguard ranks of the leadership of the NPP by quickly becoming the First-Vice Chairman of the then-opposition New Patriotic Party, and then involuntarily but boldly and studiously stepping up to the proverbial plate when the infamous Afoko Gang of diehard UP Traditionalists dastardly attempted to railroad the hard-fought and won Presidential ambitions and the glorious realization of the same of then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
As for the choice of Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye as Speaker of Parliament over Mr. Freddie Blay, who had allegedly expressed a strong interest in the same, by President Akufo-Addo, even a clinical idiot knows that it was squarely based on merit. The agitprop writer of the afore-referenced article only needs to read the academic and professional biographies of the two men in order to draw the most obvious conclusions.
Needless to say, it is purely on the basis of his creditably distinguished performance as Acting National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party who delivered victory to the now-President Akufo-Addo, on which Mr. Blay can and ought to be fairly judged, and not on the patently irrelevant question of who was the first among the present crop of contenders for the anchor's position of NPP's National Chairman to have joined the party, or who has spent more money ingratiating themselves with party stalwarts and movers-and-shakers or represented the party in several supposedly significant positions.
I choose not to invest much cranial capital in the downright nonsensical rhetoric about “Regional Balance,” when it comes to a discussion of the National Chairman's position in the New Patriotic Party; and so I shall gladly defer any major discussion of this subject to those better qualified to do the same.
Suffice it, however, for me to observe, at least in passing, that at the end of the day, what matters most is demonstrable competence and not sheer theory or non-merit-based Affirmative Action. In other words, selecting a candidate for the cardinal post of NPP's National Chairman must be coupled with proven merit or administrative competence on the part of the concerned candidate, and not merely because a candidate is an indigene or native of Region A or Region B.
As well, if Mr. Ackah-Miezah had conducted a modicum of decent background research on his subject of obloquy or abuse, he would have learned to his surprise, pleasantly or unpleasantly, that there was a Lawyer Blay in the twin-cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, together with Dr. J. B. Danquah and Mr. George Alfred “Paa” Grant, when the seminal sparks of what led to the establishment of the celebrated United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first modern political party in the erstwhile Gold Coast, was struck.
That was long before the Nkrumah-instigated United Party (UP), an exigent agglomeration of splinter opposition political parties forced to come together when then-Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah caused the legal proscription of political parties created or founded along ethnic or tribal lines, came into existence. Of course, it bears emphatically pointing out that the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party was also the offspring of the UGCC, whose first paid General-Secretary Nkrumah had been.
And the Lawyer Blay that we are talking about here, if memory serves me accurately, was either the uncle or granduncle of Mr. Freddie Blay. I bet the political pedigree or genealogy of Mr. Stephen Ntim, so far as the New Patriotic Party is concerned, is not as deeply rooted as that of the Editor-Publisher of the Daily Guide.
We need to also significantly and indelibly underscore the fact that it was dyed-in-the-wool UP Traditionalists and founding members of the New Patriotic Party that pulled tooth and nail to try to prevent Nana Akufo-Addo from ever becoming President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana. And so this arrant nonsense about Freddie Blay's heart and mind not being in synch with the mainstream spirit of the movers-and-shakers of the New Patriotic Party is unpardonably asinine and sheer poppycock. It is hogwash. Swill!
I am also not wading into the question of whether the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, had anything to do with the Atuguba-presided panel of Supreme Court jurists who adjudicated the 2012 Presidential Election Petition or not. I was not in Ghana then and have been out of the country for decades to be privy to any first-hand information pertaining to the issue raised. Likewise, how Freddie Blay and his wife, Gina, Ghana's current Ambassador to Germany, run their newspaper is the couple's own business. I have expressed my opinions to them in several of my columns in the past when I felt the need to do so. The preceding notwithstanding, irrationally and irresponsibly attempting to disparage the yeomanly contributions of Mr.
Blay, in favor of the candidacy of either Mr. Stephen Ntim or any other preferred candidate of any particular critic or personality over Mr. Blay will not was. The sort of criminally minded politics of personal destruction being indulged by Mr. Ackah-Miezah must promptly cease and cease forthwith.
by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor at Nassau Community College