The original caption of this column was “Let Nii Noi Nortey Stew in His Own Brine,” where “brine,” of course, is more New Yorkese than the basic traditional sense of the term. I vividly remember the impasse between Messrs. Philip Addison and Nii Noi Nortey in the Korle-Klottey Constituency of Accra-Central. I wrote several pieces of articles pleading for sanity, if the then-main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was to have a fighting chance against Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, the eldest daughter of Ghana’s longest-reigning strongman, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, who wanted to mischievously use the Korle-Klottey parliamentary seat to create the long-speculated Rawlings dynasty.
At first, I was of the sincere belief that Mr. Addison, having literally played a larger-than-life role in the Akufo-Addo-led 2012 Presidential-Election Petition, and having acquitted himself so admirably and creditably, was only causing an unnecessary diminution of his stature as a potential presidential attorney. Of course, here, I obviously had in mind the virtual certainty of Mr. Addison’s assumption of the cardinal cabinet portfolio of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under the fast-looming Akufo-Addo presidency.
Mr. Nortey, as the New Patriotic Party’s constituency chairman, had clearly taken undue advantage of his position to clinch the party’s parliamentary candidacy under circumstances that many party insiders and avid observers deemed to have woefully lacked a viable test of credibility. But both men proved to be equally too pigheaded to allow sanity to reign. There was a third aggrieved candidate and a bit of a longshot who sensibly decided to drop out of the race. The courts would eventually rule in favor of Mr. Addison. In the opinion of the former Korle-Klottey NPP’s constituency chairman, there clearly appeared to be a deftly orchestrated conspiracy by some legal lights to stack the proverbial deck of cards against him. Against the advice of many of the party’s heavyweights, Mr. Nortey, very sure of winning the Korle-Klottey seat, decided to strike out and go solo. And as already predicted well ahead of the general election, the Korle-Klottey parliamentary seat would comfortably fall into the bloody laps of Dr. Zanetor Rawlings. No windfall could have come at a cheaper, albeit indescribably delectable, price.
And now, having impulsively and, some may even say, quixotically, gambled all his bargaining chips so frivolously away and woken up in the middle of the night from a nightmare on a growling stomach, Mr. Nortey has decided to swallow his pride and do what many a famished political opportunist does best: go down on all fours and plead his way back into the good graces of the party’s fold and the favor of the very party stalwarts, whose advice his overweening pride had misled him into riding roughshod over. You see, Mr. Nortey was cocksure of winning the Korle-Klottey parliamentary seat, just as much as he was certain of then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s not having a proverbial Chinaman’s chance of a shot at the 2016 presidential election.
Now that all his missile tests have proven themselves to be without any fizzes and sparks, the man wants to slyly test the “Go-And-Sin-No-More” soft spots of Nana Akufo-Addo and those party heavyweights – including former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, Messrs. Anthony Karbo, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, and Mustapha Hamid – whose words had not been worth a farthing in the lead-up to Election 2016. He says that he is not on the lookout for any instant favors. And he may be absolutely right because there is absolutely none to dole out presently; besides, there are too many empty plates than the quantity of jolof-rice to pass around the dinner table. Then also, Mr. Nortey may already have learned from his high school science class, that Nature abhors a vacuum, just as air has always been known to jealously occupy space.
Which simply means that once he decided to go solo and independent, the good angels of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition promptly deleted his name from the Book of the Scions of the Property-Owning Democracy. He has literally burned all the bridges back to his former New Patriotic Party heritage. For he darn well knows that he is still entitled to his inalienable right to disengage from the party of the Giant Pachyderm, just as he did in the lead-up to the 2016 general election.
What Mr. Nii Noi Nortey is not entitled to, of course, is the right to be readmitted into the Elephant Party on the strength of his thoroughly deleted past record or his deftly staged present script of canine humility. Matters are also not the least bit helped by the man’s adamant insistence that he was, after all, righteous in his former cause and still is. And so what is there, by way of an apology, to be either accepted or disregarded? One would rather the deceased got content with his newfound abode in the political graveyard.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
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