Politics of Monday, 28 October 2013
It is a common cliche especially by political pundits that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party has taken less pragmatic steps to address the rift between the Ashantis and Akyems in their party.
The rift between the two ethnic factions is considered by members of the party to be the reason they have been in opposition since 2008 till date.
Ex-Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, observed during an interaction with some NPP members that the ethnic divide was a cardinal reason why Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, an Akyem, lost his 2008 presidential race because the Ashantis did not support his bid. This same divide, according to him, did not inure to the benefit of Professor Mike Ocquaye in his desire to chair the NPP because he wasn’t aligned to any of the above ethnic groups.
“Professor Mike Ocquaye was on his way to winning the chairmanship and then somebody said put the break on it, we are going to put Harona Esseku there, and that was it, finished, and Professor Mike Ocquaye’s dreams were dashed”, he said.
But General Secretary for the New Patriotic Party, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie thinks otherwise. He believes that rift has long been dead and buried.
In an interview with Okay FM, he dismissed claims that the Asantes in the party refused to support the presidential bid of Nana Akufo Addo because he is an Akyem. According to him, reliable statistics show that the 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP enjoyed massive support from the Ashantis when he needed them most.
He again stated that the NPP wasn’t an Akan based party, but one that gave fair opportunities to non Akan members to perform. Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie added if there is a party to tag as a tribal party, then it has to do with the NDC.
His reason for saying so was that since the inception of the party, they have always elected a Voltarian as their National Chairman as against the NPP’s rotation policy.