…Freddy Blay heads back to Parliament as Speake
Politics is show business for ugly people and Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament, is finding out that in the arena of power-lust, elephants can eat elephants.
In a bid to strengthen his stranglehold on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), President Nana Akufo-Addo has embarked on moves to use the party’s upcoming internal elections to plant his loyalists into executive positions in the party.
This chess game requires that Prof. Oquaye step down from the position of Speaker of Parliament as part of necessary collateral damage. In his place, President Akufo-Addo has penciled the NPP’s Acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay.
Mr. Blay, a hyena of a character, who fronted a palace coup that removed the NPP’s then substantive Chairman, Paul Afoko, in 2015, is lining up to accept the Speaker position as a negotiated compensation for his agreement not to run for the NPP’s National Chairman position in the party’s upcoming internal election.
President Akufo-Addo, who is busily moving things around in the background, brokered the agreement with Blay, in return for Blay not challenging Alhaji Abukari Abdul Rahman, alias Alhaji Short, the NPP’s current Upper West Regional Chairman, for the National Chairman position.
According to The Republic’s intelligence, Blay is just one of many wannabe NPP National Chairmen that Akufo-Addo has coerced with appointments to shoo them away from contesting Alhaji Short for the National Chairmanship position.
President Akufo-Addo’s investment in Alhaji Short is for very strategic reasons – the man is a loyalist of the President and also a good regional card that can be played against overt ambitions of Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia to succeed Akufo-Addo as Flagbearer of the NPP. The fact that Alhaji Short is of the same Northern extraction as Bawumia will be sold to NPP delegates as overcompensation when the time comes to elect a new flagbearer and Bawumia contemplates running.
As for Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, his fate as a Speaker who will not finish his term looks sealed, because so many things are conspiring against him. The main one is his health. Prof. Oquaye is seriously sick.
His protracted illness, which sources say is strangely not really understood by doctors, started in 2007 when he put himself out to contest for the flagbearership of the NPP. The sickness had led to him undergoing surgery, but since thence, Prof. Ocquaye has been continuously sick and spent most of his days frequenting laboratories and hospitals both home and abroad.
Lately, it is said that the sickness has become so severe that the effects are seen in his physique and movements even when he is on duty in Parliament.
Apart from that, Prof. Ocquaye is also seen as striking a discordant note in the NPP government’s tacit intent to legalize gay rights. While President Akufo-Addo recently indicated that if enough pressure is put on him he will legalize the gay life style, and the Inspector-General of Police has promised to protect the rights of the LGBT community, Prof. Oquaye has made it very clear that he is against the “queer” lifestyle.
The Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye has also been branded as being rash and presumptuous, as evidenced by the haste with which he endorsed President Donald Trump’s acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the national capital of Israel without first conferring with government.
In Parliament itself, the NPP Majority side is also said to be unhappy with Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye because his style tends to curtail the desire of the Majority to get away with many things in the House. The Speaker is also perceived to be too lenient with the Minority.
Interestingly, the same Majority side is also said to be disagreeable to attempts by Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, to have himself made successor to Prof. Mike Oquaye once the current Speaker is removed on health grounds.
According to sources, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is perceived to be too arrogant and full of himself. Additionally, he is said to have so many friends in the Minority and, therefore, perceived as being too cozy with members of the opposition.
Under the circumstances, therefore, Freddie Blay, the man who fronted the palace coup against Paul Afoko, is on cue to replace Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye as Speaker of Parliament. If indeed Prof. Mike Oquaye gives way to Freddie Blay, Blay would be coming to the Speaker job with an alleged scandalous past.
Steve Malory, the editor of the Africawatch Magazine, last year published a story in which he had detailed how Freddie Blay, while he was the Member of Parliament [MP] for Ellembele on the ticket of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), had impersonated former President John Mahama, who was then also an MP for Bole Bamboi.
According to Malory, a former NPP member, before John Mahama would become President, some members of the NPP had seen his potential and had therefore made moves to lure him away from Ghana. They had gotten a juicy job for Mahama that would make him relocate to the United Kingdom.
However, when the letter inviting John Mahama for the prerequisite job interview came, the Speaker of Parliament at the time had been out of town and the letter had landed on the desk of Freddie Blay, who was then a Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Blay, according to Malory, secretly kept the letter and traveled to London in the place of John Mahama to undergo the interview. However, he failed miserably and returned home secretly to lick his wounds.
This is the kind of baggage that Freddie Blay, who is also owner of the Daily Guide newspaper, would be bringing to the Speaker position, if he succeeds Prof. Mike Oquaye.
Meanwhile, it is not clear if the elderly Oquaye, whose son, Mike Oquaye, Jnr., is currently Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, is okay with the moves to remove him.
This is because he has been pivotal in the NPP, among others, leading wicked onslaughts against Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on behalf of the NPP. As a historian, Prof. Oquaye is known for his idiosyncratic presentation of Ghana’s history which always seeks to belittle the role of Nkrumah and elevates the role of J. B. Danquah, a founding philosopher of the NPP.
On a more personal level, Prof. Oquaye has also been a fierce loyalist of Nana Akufo-Addo and the Akyem faction of the NPP. Even while in opposition, Prof. Oquaye had used his gravitas in the NPP and the best of his negotiation skills to impress on people who had held grudges against Nana Akufo-Addo to forgive and forget.
It was in appreciation for his loyalty that President Akufo-Addo shepherded the NPP into making him Speaker of Parliament, while Nana had appointed his son, who had no experience whatsoever in diplomacy, as High Commissioner to India.
It is therefore shocking to many insiders that Prof. Oquaye has been earmarked for “chopping.”
But President Akufo-Addo, according to sources, really needs to restrain Freddie Blay from running for the National Chairmanship position in the interest of the long run. Apart from being a loyalist, Alhaji Short, as Chairman, will make it reasonable enough for NPP Conference delegates to ignore Vice-President Bawumia if he steps up to run for the Flagbearership of the NPP after Akufo-Addo.
The campaign slant against Bawumia would be that, the NPP cannot have a Northern Flagbearer and Northern Chairman at the same time.
Consequently, every person with some weight who had intended to run against Nana’s preferred Candidate for the National Chairmanship position in the party’s upcoming national executive elections is said to have been “bribed with position.” In the case of Freddie Blay, the asking price was the Speaker of Parliament position.
In addition to Alhaji Short, who has been lined up for the National Chairmanship position, President Akufo-Addo has other loyalists waiting to run for various positions in the party. They include John Boadu, current Acting General Secretary of the party, for the substantive General Secretary position, Sammy Awuku, the NPP’s current National Youth Organizer for the National Organizer position and Nana Boakye, alias Nana B, current Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, for the National Youth Organizer position.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey