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The Greatest Mistake   
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Hello!!!!! Readers – I am very sure that after the monumental fiasco in Tamale, many are wondering about my reaction, my state of mind, my attitude and so on.

In view of experiences I have had in the past I forced myself into a quarantine, absolute silence, refusing as diplomatically as I could to talk to anybody in the media.

And so thankfully after almost two weeks and I am wondering whether this is the appropriate time to break my silence.

What is there to talk about?

Nothing much, really because the whole congress was beamed live on television so viewers saw what happened, and you know, watching a programme on television is far better than being physically present – because your vision is limited whereas the television cameras take you across the entire spectrum showing you wherever there is action.

But let me preface this article with some very interesting story.

The year was 1982, the month was May; early days. I was dressed fully as a young infantry army officer, and in town, I saw this young extraordinarily very attractive bimbo standing there, apparently waiting for somebody.

I was instantly transfixed with the over powering rays of Jove, and I wanted to go near her, but I was scared – the look on her face brooked no jokes so I checked myself.

But reader, what is this – is she not a girl? After all the only thing she can say is YES or NO, and she will not be the first either way – the greatest mistake in life is TO DO NOTHING – go forth and see what will happen.

So, I boldly went forth – fully dressed as a soldier, opened discussions with her, and then one plus one became two, three and so on, until 24 months later she became the daughter of my father in law !!!!!!!!

From that day I took it as an article of faith in life, boldly written in my office, facing me all the time, that THE GREATEST MISTAKE IS TO DO NOTHING !!!!!!!!!

Yes, reader, get up and try the idea in your head – you may fail, you may win – but what if you did not try?

You are sick? See a doctor – the greatest mistake is to do nothing. You want a job? Go to town, make that phone call, check on that man – the greatest mistake is to do nothing.

NPP elections are coming up – I am a lawyer and former MP and former Minister – why not try to contest – which position – National Chairman? No. too big for me. 1st Vice Chairman? No – not exciting. How about General Secretary?

Yeah – that looks good. With the persistent gaffes of incumbent Sir John, the position looks ready for grabs. Try it – the greatest mistake is to do nothing.

With this mindset I pulled in the screws, I set up a campaign secretariat and I hit the road – I visited each of the 275 constituencies, I visited all those who matter in the NPP hierarchy and it was encouragement all through.

As I went up and down from constituency to constituency my mental state shifted from hope to despair, and again hope to despair – listening to what delegates were telling me, I noticed that only God would let me win because at the human level my chances looked grim.

But, Captain, the greatest mistake is to do nothing so push on, and on at least try to finish the race. Let it not be said that you chickened out.

Far back in my days at Achimota School, throughout the seven years that I was there, we had this regular CROSS COUNTRY competition, which was compulsory for all boys – reader, ask any former student of Achimota School – ENDURANCE – we are trained NOT to give up, no matter the challenges – go forward……………the greatest mistake is to do nothing…………keep going.

Readers will be shocked to hear that one of the reasons why I was selected to be sent for training in Sandhurst UK from Ghana Military Academy was that from day one when I entered the Ghana Military Academy in Teshie I became the cross country steeple chase champion.

The instructors were baffled – who is this law graduate who runs like a horse?

So reader, scared but confident I left Accra on Thursday evening in a four car convoy for Tamale to attend the congress.

Well, let me say you know what happened there so I will keep quiet but let me relate some Congress blues.

Two nights before congress, Tamale was virtually taken hostage by NPP – policemen everywhere, and NPP youth all over, in state of merriment.

At one point in the street, some girls and boys of NPP were just dancing to Daddy Lumba beats when from nowhere a taxi pulled up and gunmen came out and sprayed bullets into the youths, wounding 10 of them very seriously.

They were rushed to the hospital and two of them had to undergo immediate surgery. One of them was so seriously wounded that I am sure by now he is dead.

When I arrived in Tamale on Friday my Campaign team advised that I should make political mountain of this dastardly attack.

With a large entourage of over 50, I stormed the Regional Police Headquarters where the Regional Commander and the Director General Operations from Headquarters in Accra all received me and assured me that everything was being done to ensure total security.

I then left in a bombastic manner to the Regional Hospital where I visited the wounded NPP youth and honestly reader my nerves went numb when I saw the innocent youth with bullets in their legs, blood oozing regularly – for what offence – just because they are NPP members!!!

I then held a press conference and spewed forth Venom, that we of the NPP will not tolerate any jokes from any quarter.

Well, well, well, reader, the game is over, and I am back in my law offices at Asylum Down, Accra.

First of all I want to congratulate all those who won, our National Chairman Paul Afoko, 1st Vice Worsemao Blay (my senior at Legon) and 2nd Vice Sammy Crabble.

I congratulate the one who gave me a sound thrashing – Kwabena Agyepong to take the General Secretary chair, and all the others. I wish them well, and may they have a successful reign. I trust and pray that under their leadership NPP will win power 2016.

One very interesting feature of the whole experience is the national tour – reader, this campaign took me to every part of Ghana – I went everywhere – I had breakfast in NANDOM, and I slept in ZEBILLA, eating in KPEDZE and lunch in ASANKRAGWA – reader, Ghana, our motherland is a priceless wonderful gift from God to us.

I have lost the contest to become General Secretary of the NPP but the priceless very rich experience of visiting every corner of Ghana is embedded in my personality…………. this is the SIXTH time that I have covered every part of Ghana – once as Deputy Minister for Local Government; another sortie as the Deputy Minister for Interior; then twice as Flagbearer Aspirant for the New Patriotic Party, then once as contestant for General Secretary in 2010 and now this time also.

You know, reader, one interesting aspect of the whole exercise is that can you imagine running around in a far off place like NAPKANDURI, sorting out food problems, medical and so on…………then you hear that there is fire in Makola Market in Accra or there is some bribery allegation involving WOYOME……..who is he?

I had a driver who always told me that “Captain the problems of Hohoe have nothing to do with the people of Ellembelle.

Oh yes, it was joy being on the campaign trail, meeting delegates who will smile fully at you, and then ignore you completely when they are voting – that is the beauty of democracy.

I am grateful to all – those who voted for me and those who did not; those who gave me financial support, hotel accommodation, free food and everybody. At least when the history of NPP comes to be written, it will be said that I was among those who contested for General Secretary. Those readers who may be laughing that I lost, which position have you ever contested?

Of course I must say the biggest thank you to those very five extremely talented gentlemen who constituted my campaign secretariat – Dajinga, Zac, Justice, Bashiru, Sule, Diawuo, Asare, Godwin and Selina – God bless you all. It was a joy working with you – Bel Miro, Kennedy, Fred, Obaadaben, Lateef, Agyemang – may God richly bless you.

But let me sign off with an extraordinary statement. It appears to me that Almighty God had a small difficulty – while I was fasting and praying that I should win, my numerous court clients were also praying that I should lose so that I will have time to defend them in Court!!!!!!!!!!

Perhaps it would be better to listen favourably to so many clients and for now ignore the prayer of Captain…….very well.

If truly I am waiting for the Lord as I always sing, then surely, Ghana would hear of me, again…….how soon, in what shape or form, I tell you, I have not the slightest idea.

After all, we are all CLAY in the hands of our Maker. To Him, Almighty God, be all the Glory.

Source: Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

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