Chasing the Elephant into the Bush: The Politics of Complacency by Arthur Kennedy is the most sizzling book in Ghana at this time. It has created a lot of controversy in the media with the leading stakeholders exchanging their views and criticism of the book. I have listened to many leading politicians commend the author, and assume the book has something to offer. From its publishers:
About the book
“CHASING THE ELEPHANT INTO THE BUSH” is an insider’s account of how the governing New Patriotic Party lost power in the closest elections in Africa’s history.
The writer believes that providing an accurate account will begin the process of correcting the rumours, lies and myths that are out there about the 2008 elections in Ghana.
Throughout, the book is liberally sprinkled with quotes and historical references that makes it very informative and interesting.
He begins with the state of the nation and the governing party as Ghana approached 2008.
He then takes the reader through the NPP primary and his own experiences as a losing candidate.
There is candid discussion of the rivalries in the campaign that undermined its effectiveness. He takes the reader inside meetings and quotes some of the key players at key moments in the campaign. There is candid discussion of the roles of the media, the security forces and civil society.
The identification of issues and their use in the campaign is discussed thoroughly.
While his sympathies are never in doubt, he is very objective and acknowledges the mistakes made by the campaign, the government and the party. He credits the NDC Campaign for doing certain things well.
Amongst these are the deployment of President Mills and former President Rawlings as well as Vice-President John Mahama.
He reveals the roles of key people, including the President, the Presidential candidate and powerful groups, like the “Kyebi Mafia”. He offers candid assessments of all the key players.
He suggests reasons for the NPP defeat and the way to recapture power.
This will be a very significant first cut and reference point for an account of the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana.
About the author
Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy is a Family Physician who has been involved Ghanaian politics for most of the last 25 years. In 1982, he led protests against the murder of three High Court judges and was dismissed by workers acting on the instructions of the government.
He was the President of the National Union of Ghana Students from 1983 to 1985 and led protests against the PNDC dictatorship led by former President Rawlings in the 1980’s. For his efforts, he was declared wanted by the military dictatorship for his alleged involvement in coups and had to be in exile both in 1983 and 1987. Both times, he was recognized by the United Nations as a refugee.
In 2008, he was an unsuccessful Presidential candidate for the nomination of the New Patriotic Party for the Presidency. He was named the Chairman of the Communication Committee of the NPP during the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary campaigns, which have been described as the closest elections in Africa’s history. During the campaign, he was the major speechwriter for the NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo and a major participant in many key events in the campaign. He travelled around the country extensively and interacted with many Ghanaians.
From this vantage point, Dr Kennedy takes readers behind the curtains into key meetings where decisions were made. He candidly discusses the roles of the key figures in the campaign and points out where mistakes were made. Towards the end, he offers suggestions on how the NPP can return to power in 2012.
Throughout his career, Dr Kennedy has written frequently on Ghana and Africa’s problems.
You may order for the book from Amazon.com using the link below: