Feature Article of Friday, 28 August 2009
Columnist: Sayibu, Akilu
In an address to delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at its extraordinary delegates conference at the Trade fair centre in Accra, former president J.A.Kufour was reported to have said that, “He did not belong to any faction in respect of proposals to amend the constitution of the NPP”(Joyfm news of 22/08/09).
Since that statement something has honestly being agitating and bothering my mind as to whether the former president made that statement with deep seated sincerity.
Before Mr Kufour addressed the delegates on the 22ndAugust, 2009. His official spokes person Mr Frank Agyekum was heard in an interview on Joyfm saying that, in the opinion of the former president the current constitution of the NPP did not need any changes.
It must be explained that, Mr Agyekum was granted that interview because they were growing allegations to the effect that, Mr Kufour was against any amendment to widen and expand the electoral college of the party.
That rumour was spreading because, the Alan Kyeremanteng’s faction which is circumstantially believed to have been set up by former president Kufour was against any expansion of the electoral college of the NPP this was evidence when one of the chaps of Alan Kyeremanteng’s was booed, jeered, and allegedly assaulted at the conference when he attempted to articulate that position.
One of the reasons why the NPP went to opposition was because of dishonesty and insincerity on the party of certain gurus of the party. If the party is now out of government and continuing with this dishonesty then they should forget of coming to power in 2012 and beyong.
Let us call a spade a spade and not a fork! There were factions in NPP and there are still factions in NPP any member of the NPP including the former president has a faction and I will explain.
Currently there are three factions in NPP. The Nana Addo faction, The Aliu Mahama faction, and the Kufour/Alan Kyeremanteng’s faction.
The Nana Addo’s faction is made up of those who think that, he contributed immensely to the current democratic dispensation. His over three decades experience in the political history of Ghana, his fight for human rights through the numerous demonstrations in the country notably the Kumi Preko and his fight for freedom of expression in the country through the statesman of which I was once a staff are some of the reasons that the Nana Addo faction always tables as to why he should not only be the right person for the NPP but by extension Ghana.
The second faction is the Aliu Mahama faction. This faction is made up of persons who believes that, Aliu Mahama as vice president of the republic of Ghana distinguished himself so well and has also learnt a lot on the job in terms of running the country having acted as president on countless occasions, and should therefore be allowed to not only lead the NPP but also mother Ghana. Members of the Aliu Mahama faction also think that, he demystifies the notion that, the NPP was an Akan Party.
The third faction is what I will call the Kufour/Alan’s faction. This faction is made up of loyalist of former president Kufour who think that, having served the NPP and led it to power in 2000 and also served as president of Ghana for eight years, he should have a say in not only who leads the party on whose ticket he was president but also who becomes even an officer of the party. These categories of people are doing this through Alan Kyeremanteng. It must be added that, this faction before the 2008 elections was made up mostly of District, metropolitan, and Municipal chief executives who it was alleged were given strict orders to campaign for Alan or forfeit their positions.
It must be recalled that, those District, Municipal, and Metropolitan chief Executives who were seen to be opposed to this directive by the former president were given the sack weeks to the Elections. To me not only does the former president belongs to a faction in the NPP, he set up one and that is the Alan Kyeremanteng’s faction.
On the substantive issue of the various amendments there really was nothing wrong with it. What was wrong was a few ‘Demi gods’ choosing for the party its presidential candidate. This was so very irritating at times. I have always opined that, fewer delegates to choose who leads the party was as divisive just as over 17 persons contesting just for a single position in the name of democracy.
The days of the ‘Demi gods’ are over! With the expansion of the electorate college of the NPP I wonder how a candidate can camp all the delegates in a hotel. I wonder if even there is a house or hotel in Ghana to camp over hundred thousand delegates.
The principle of ‘We feeling’ will now be in the party the days when a few people betrothed to themselves the criminal title of kingmakers is over. It is my wish that, the electoral college be expanded further so that, in five years time every card bearing member of the NPP can vote to chose who leads it.
When I was monitoring the speeches one theme that runned through them was UNITY. They can never be unity in the party in the face of dishonesty and insincerity from not only the leadership of the party but from ordinary members. There are factions in the party and every member of the party has a faction. If this is admitted then unity in the NPP would have being in sight.
Akilu Sayibu, UK. Email:Akilu.firstname.lastname@example.org