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General News of Friday, 11 April 2014

Source: radioxyzonline.com

NPP election: It’s all about “personal” than party agenda - Tarzan

Prominent member of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, Dr Charles Wereko Brobby, says the “noises” that have preceded the party’s annual delegates’ conference betrays it’s penchant for pursuing personal rather than collective party agenda to forge forward.

“Alas and most unfortunately, the pre-congress noises are all familiar and go to confirm my fears that the NPP is still about the pursuit of personal agendas and not about the building a formidable power grabbing machinery.”

The party is choosing national leaders at the conference scheduled for the Northern regional capital, Tamale, on Saturday April 12, 2014.

There have been recriminations and vituperative attacks from the camps of some of the aspirants vying for various positions. A lot of the controversies have surrounded the Chairman, General Secretary and Women Organiser positions.

Dr Wereko Brobby, in an article expressed pessimism that anything will change after Saturday, irrespective of which crop of leaders is elected.

He said: ‘The Executive that emerges from Tamale will be “same same”, selected not because it is best capable of winning the 2016 elections, but on the basis of who supports individuals who want to become the Presidential Candidate.’

According to him, “in the pursuit of personal rather than collective interests, every little dirty trick that the NPP complained about in the conduct of the 2012 elections and the follow-up Supreme Court action, will be pulled to get perusal preferences elected, no matter whether fit for the purpose of managing a winning campaign come 2016.”

The former 2010 Chairman aspirant who is currently on a two-year suspension from the party said his experience puts him in a good position to “share my experiences and demonstrate why the delegates must wake up and put Ghana first by voting for those with the biggest potential and demonstrated capacity to wrest power from the NDC in 2016.”

He said during his 2010 campaign for the Chair slot, “there was not a single constituency where the discourse”, from the Delegates, “was about the needs of the people in the constituency.”

“Indeed, it was not even about the state of the party and how things could be done better to improve the chances of increasing the party’s standing and votes. It was all about ME. Moans about how they got nothing from the Kufuor Presidency. How DCEs, many of whom had allegedly been imposed, chopped ‘waawa’ with their personal cronies, etc.”

“At every stop, a litany of woes accompanied a long shopping list of the needs to get the constituency up and ready for battle. Offices closed down for unpaid rent; party vehicles sitting on blocks for lack of decent tyres or engine failures; survival support to those devoting their full time to the party; phone credit etc. Alas, many of these were real and live but the size of the bill was beyond the scale of the SADA ‘chop chop’ and beyond affordable by the entire party, let alone an individual hopeful.”

Dr Wereko Brobby wrote: “It turned out that the real reason for my gargantuan defeat , as the delegates confessed after the congress, was that they were given pieces of paper with a slate of names of people who one prospective Presidential Candidate professed he could work with. They had thus voted in a Pavlovian (knee-jerk) manner and not their conviction of my superior candidacy, fortified by the free breakfast served to 3000 delegates at “Auntie Xtie’s home on the day of Congress.”

Below is the full article

God chooses Leaders but People cast votes

The New Patriotic Party, Ghana’s alternative governing party, assembles in Tamale this weekend to elect a new National Executive Committee. The NPP, which styles itself as the biggest political party in the land, will choose the people that it hopes can stop yet another installment of “the STOLEN VERDICT” post-facto rationalisation and excuses for general election defeats.

Alas and most unfortunately, the pre-congress noises are all familiar and go to confirm my fears that the NPP is still about the pursuit of personal agendas and not about the building a formidable power grabbing machinery. The Executive that emerges from Tamale will be “same same”, selected not because it is best capable of winning the 2016 elections, but on the basis of who supports individuals who want to become the Presidential Candidate.

In the pursuit of personal rather than collective interests, every little dirty trick that the NPP complained about in the conduct of the 2012 elections and the follow=up Supreme Court action , will be pulled to get perusal preferences elected, no matter whether fit for the purpose of managing a winning campaign come 2016.

I am currently in suspended animation from the NPP. Therefore I will not be in Tamale. However, having contested for the position of Chairman in 2010, I am able to share my experiences and demonstrate why the delegates must wake up and put Ghana first by voting for those with the biggest potential and demonstrated capacity to wrest power from the NDC in 2016.

In 2010, I decided instead of assembling delegates in constituency clusters at selected nodal point, I would go to every single constituency to meet with the delegates. I was the first in NPP’s history to do this and I am happy to see that almost all this year’s contestants have become followers. I had two objectives; namely, to get a closer look at the NPP on the ground. and, to show respect by acting the custom that he who seeks favour from another must go to them instead of summoning them to nowhere land.

The campaign tour, dubbed: ADESERE KESEE (The Big Ask) was a fascinating revelation. The most revealing and troubling observation was that people are into politics not for the purpose of service to nation but as a route for the elimination of personal poverty. The second observation was that the content of our message mattered less than your perceived allegiance or otherwise to the ambition of individual prospective presidential candidates. The third and most shocking was that every little trick of stealing, manipulation and bribery would be deployed to corrupt the entire election process to serve individual interests, no matter how inimical the outcome was to NPP’s prospects at the general elections.

Without exception, there was not a single constituency where the discourse was bout the needs of the people in the constituency. Indeed, it was not even about the state of the party and how things could be done better to improve the chances of increasing the party’s standing and votes. It was all about ME. Moans about how they got nothing from the Kufuor Presidency. How DCEs, many of whom had allegedly been imposed, chopped ‘waawa’ with their personal cronies, etc.

At every stop, a litany of woes accompanied a long shopping list of the needs to get the constituency up and ready for battle. Offices closed down for unpaid rent; party vehicles sitting on blocks for lack of decent tyres or engine failures; survival support to those devoting their full time to the party; phone credit etc. Alas, many of these were real and live but the size of the bill was beyond the scale of the SADA ‘chop chop ‘ and beyond affordable by the entire party, let alone an individual hopeful.

My team decided to adopt a one size fits all solution and donated an amount of GHs 500 to every constituency everywhere. After thanking us profusely, the chair would inevitably ask the women leaders to see us off so the assembled could go into conclave to deliberate on the inspirational and transformational message I had brought. Well, this was code for “go away so we can share your money”.

As I waxed profusely about the dedication and commitment of a full-house of delegates in giving up their time on a Monday morning, the chairperson shoved me hard in the ribs and whispered, “Doc, the rule is that if you are not present, you don’t partake of the good news” (ASEMPA FM). The word out there is that you are delivering substance and everyone wants to be part of the good news”.

At every stop, the delegates were very pleased that they had been spared the wahala of trekking to a distant meeting point. They we happy that I had come to them, especially as my contribution would not be abated or indeed dissipated altogether by the transportation cost to the far away meeting point. The appreciation was genuine but the reward promised was patently “azaa.

Afram Plains was typical of what happened everywhere. “Doc, we are very impressed that you took a personal risk to cross the lake and come to us, instead of us having to always go to Nkawkaw. Added to your message, you have demonstrated your respect to us and recognised the importance of coming to our homes to ask for our vote. Please be assured that when the ballots are being counted at congress all the 32 of the two Afram Plains constituencies will be sure banker for you”.

The caveat followed immediately. “Doc, as you know, “Onyame na osi ohene” (It is God that chooses rulers). My quick and sharp riposte was “Eye Nokware, enso Onipa na eto aba” (What you say is very true, but it is you the delegates who will vote to manifest God’s choice). The sum total of this reassuring message herd everywhere was of 29 votes out of a total of over 4000 for Tarzan at the congress.

It turned out that the real reason for my gargantuan defeat , as the delegates confessed after the congress, was that they were given pieces of paper with a slate of names of people who one prospective Presidential Candidate professed he could work with. They had thus voted in a Pavlovian (knee-jerk) manner and not their conviction of my superior candidacy, fortified by the free breakfast served to 3000 delegates at “Auntie Xtie’s home on the day of Congress.

“What do you have for us” was the thank you message for the breakfast. My robust reply was “I have just given you a fulsome breakfast, with ‘tweapea’ (chewing stick) to boot”. For them, no matter what you did, if you did not put paper money into their pockets, you had done nothing to earn their votes.

The congress itself was a wow to behold. Having doled out GHS 5000 to become a candidate, Antwi Adjei failed to accredit my agents for the congress. This, in spite of the assurances given, right up to the morning of the congress. Copies of voters register were not provided to contestants ahead of the congress, or even at the congress itself. Overseas branches of the NPP mushroomed from the ashes of the former Soviet Union; Khakistan, Crimea, Ukraine, Oseikromtan. Kyebitan, Tolontan, etc. All of these were given voting rights and known and unknown people exercised their franchise through proxy votes, almost all in support of a particular candidacy.

In other words, all the sins of commission and omission which the NPP moaned bitterly about in the 2012 General Elections, including doling out money to delegates in queues to vote, were deployed at the 2012 Congress. All of this took place under the watch of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. How come then that those who gained and concurred with the customary pronouncement of “Free & Fair” and the cleanest ever, went on to lambast the same EC and accuse it of orchestrating the NPP’s loss.

The NPP lost the 2012 General Elections because it selected the wrong leaders for the task of wresting power. The people the party elected were what the folks of England describe as “Not capable of organising a piss-up in brewery” (that is they cannot get anybody drink even if the party is being held in a brewery).

Shamefully, many of these same people, who confessed that they were incapable of raising resources for the Tamale congress, now want to reap where they failed to sow, by asking to be put back at the helm of the NPP’s affairs. NO, NO, NO & NO. The delegates must reject them if the NPP is to have any sporting chance of winning Election 2016.

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