…His Dirty Letter To Prof. Mills Over Cote d’Ivoire Comes Back To Haunt Him
It appears Karma is giving President Nana Akufo-Addo a taste of his own medicine, as a self-righteous letter that he wrote former President John Evans Atta Mills, over the Ivorian conflict in 2010, has come round to bite him.
Currently, Ghana’s Eastern neighbor, Togo, is in upheaval as President Faure Gnassingbe uses the gendarmerie and the military to crack down on protest against his family’s 50-year hegemonic rule over that country.
In the wake of some six people dying and scores being injured, silence on the issue by President Akufo-Addo has led to an uncomfortable throwback to December 2010, when selfsame Akufo-Addo faulted the late President Mills for similarly posing aloofness over conflict in Ghana’s Western neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire.
In the heat of the conflict that ousted former President Laurent Gbagbo and instated Alassane Ouattara, Nana Akufo-Addo, who was then the opposition leader, acted on his touted credential as a human rights champion and wrote a letter urging President Mills to intervene.
The 20th December 2010 letter, which was punctuated with unsavory remarks, mocked President Mills for praying too much, when according to the letter, he should be acting in Ivory Coast at the time.
“The nation has noted with approval the call by His Excellency the President, Prof J. E. A. Mills, for Ghanaians to pray for peace in La Cote D’Ivoire. Much as most of us Ghanaians believe in the efficacy of prayer, prayer cannot be a replacement of or substitute for an active policy of Ghanaian diplomacy and engagement. It is said that heaven helps those who help themselves,” the letter mocked.
The letter also sought to lecture President Mills on the danger that the Ivorian conflict posed to Ghana as it warned that a spillover of the fighting itself, was possible, even as a refugee burden was inevitable.
“Conflict and instability in La Cote D’Ivoire pose a threat not only to the peace and stability of West Africa, but also to Ghana’s national security. Ghana shares a 700km border with La Cote D’Ivoire and our nation is an obvious haven for refugees from La Cote D’Ivoire. Already, with the renewed tension, stories are being told of scores of Ivoirians pouring into the neighbouring states of Liberia and Guinea. Our nation will have to bear the additional burden on our infrastructure, of increased transit traffic in our ports and roads as traffic of goods normally destined for La Cote D’Ivoire are diverted through Ghana. There are many ties of kinship among the peoples who live on both sides of our common border,” Akufo-Addo’s had letter said.
It had added for good measure, “These are some of the reasons why Ghana cannot afford to stand by and watch helplessly as La Cote D’Ivoire is plunged into another cycle of bloodshed, conflict and division.”
Interestingly, all the issues that Akufo-Addo raised in the December 20, 2010 letter, as reasons for President Mills to intervene in the Ivorian conflict, are today present in Togo. Togolese, especially those who have family ties in Ghana, have begun coming back to Ghana. And yet, the same Akufo-Addo, who wrote to urge Mills to intervene in Ivory Coast in 2010, appears unconcerned over Togo.
With his occupancy of the Presidency now affording him the opportunity to use high level state power to help Ghana’s neighbour resolve her internal conflict the way he proposed for Mills to do in Cote d’Ivoire, President Akufo-Addo is gallivanting around the world rather than intervening in Togo.
Akufo-Addo returned from a visit to Equatorial Guinea two days ago.
The nonchalance of the President has since led to the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, making a direct call on him to intervene in Togo.
Hon. Ablakwa’s call has since been adlibbed by Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, an International Relations expert.
Amidst President Akufo-Addo’s vote with his feet on the Togo issue, some observers have not failed to guess that President Akufo-Addo’s nonchalance may be due to his dislike for former President Kufuor, with whom he had a fierce rivalry in the NPP.
President Kufuor is father-in-law to Faure Gnassingbe, as he is married to Kufuor’s daughter, Nana Ama Kufuor.
The marriage, which had happened in 2005 when Kufuor was President in Ghana and Faure had just been shoved into the Presidency by Togo’s military to succeed his dead father, dictator, Gnassingbe Eyadema, was seen as nothing but Kufuor’s move to consolidate power in West Africa.
Dotted with disgrace, the marriage had seen Nana Ama Kufuor, a royal of Ashanti, joining in matrimony with Faure, who already had eight wives at the time.
The polygamous arrangement had meant that Nana Ama Kufuor was going to be step-mom to 11 children that Faure already had.
The Ashanti royal family, to which Kufuor belongs, is said to have been unhappy of the marriage, but President Kufuor, who was good friends with the Gnassingbe dictator family of Togo, had overlooked the unwholesomeness of the union.
Observers at the time had seen the whole thing as President Kufuor acting on a power-lust to consolidate his rule in Ghana, which he feared former President Rawlings could topple at anytime.
As the Gnassingbes were unfriendly with Rawlings, the betrothal and eventual marry-off of Nana Ama Kufuor to Faure appeared to be a statement to Rawlings, a two-time successful coup-maker, that if he allowed his itchy fingers to pick up guns against the Kufuor regime, help would come from Togo.
Though Akufo-Addo was Kufuor’s Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time and stood to gain from the security insurance from Togo, Kufuor’s chess game was unfavorable to his own Presidential ambition, as Kufuor had been grooming Alan Kyeremanten to succeed him 2008.
It is against this backdrop that many observers today see President Akufo-Addo’s nonchalance towards Faure Gnassingbe’s difficulties in Togo as deliberate, especially so when Akufo-Addo has now become bosom friends with former President Rawlings, a determined enemy of Kufuor’s.
However, President Akufo-Addo’s opportunity to savour pleasure from watching Kufuor’s son-in-law suffer a possible overthrow is encumbered by a banana peel that he laid for himself in 2010.
When late President Mills was faced with a similar challenge in Cote d’Ivoire, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, then leader of the NPP in opposition, wrote to the President demanding interventionism.
His position on Ivory Coast in 2010 puts him under pressure to walk his own talk in respect of Togo, in 2017.
Below is the full letter Akufo-Addo wrote to Mills in 2010.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Akufo-Addo Urges President Mills To Show Leadership In Ivorian Political Impasse
The nation has noted with approval the call by His Excellency the President, Prof J. E. A. Mills, for Ghanaians to pray for peace in La Cote D’Ivoire. Much as most of us Ghanaians believe in the efficacy of prayer, prayer cannot be a replacement of or substitute for an active policy of Ghanaian diplomacy and engagement. It is said that heaven helps those who help themselves.
His Excellency the President’s good relations with former President Laurent Gbagbo are well known. The President is respectfully urged to use his good offices to intervene with former President Gbagbo to ensure that the will of the Ivorian people is respected and that the position of the international community, as expressed by the position of ECOWAS at a meeting at which His Excellency the President was present, the Africa Union, the European Union, the United States Government and the United Nations Security Council, is respected.
Everything should be done to avoid the spectre of La Cote D’Ivoire descending into the status of a rogue state whose leaders act in defiance of domestic and international law. Bloodshed and chaos should not be the price for an individual seeking to remain in office at all cost.
Former President J. A. Kufuor got involved in the resolution of the Ivorian crisis at its very beginning and helped broker the peace that prevented La Cote D’Ivoire descending into full scale civil war. President Mills should get equally involved so that former President Laurent Gbagbo exits peacefully from power to spare La Cote D’Ivoire another bout of conflict and confusion. The Ivorian people deserve better.
An anxious Ghanaian nation awaits the leadership of its President.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Stan Adotey