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Opinions of Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Columnist: Atta Kwaku Boadi

Akufo-Addo hasn’t seen anything yet

More of the Otikos and Bugri Naabus are yet to come, so if there is anything for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to do, then they must act fast before another embarrassment hits them.

In fact, what happened last week between the two leading members of the NPP, Otiko Afisa Djaba, who is the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Northern Regional Chairman of the party, Bugri Naabu, was just a tip of the iceberg.

Since that incident where the two were at each other’s throat I have heard many people calling them all kinds of names, to the extent that some people, including the minority Members in Parliament (MPs), have demanded, particularly the dismissal of the gender minister.

But why should the two be blamed?  If there is any blame, it should rather be placed at the doorsteps of the leader of the party who by the NPP’s constitution is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the party’s national executives.

Although the conduct of Bugri Naabu and Otiko Djaba was disgusting, distasteful and embarrassing to the ruling party and the country, if they had in the past been disciplined when they misconducted themselves, this would not have happened.

But because at that time it was not about the NPP, the party hierarchy did not see anything wrong with their comments.  Today, the tables have turned, so the NPP now sees something wrong with the comments by their ‘untouchable’ leaders.

What hasn’t Otiko Djaba said in the past about former President John Dramani, yet the NPP did nothing about that.  This is a woman who called the then sitting president a man with the devil’s heart, wicked and among all sorts of names.

And when she had the opportunity to retract those words and apologise when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament during her vetting, she refused and arrogantly stood on her grounds that she meant everything she said about former President Dramani Mahama.

The NPP communicators subsequently lauded her “foolish boldness” but little did they know that they were creating a monster for themselves.

If the party had cracked the whip at that time, probably Madam Otiko Djaba would not have opened her mouth too wide at this time to cause the country such a huge embarrassment.  As for Bugri Naabu, the least said about him the better.

He was everywhere in the run-up to the 2016 elections, fighting his own national executives, particularly those alleged to have been working against the then-candidate of the party Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He accused the suspended General Secretary of the party, Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, of being in bed with the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) without any shred of proof, yet he was not sanctioned or asked to apologise.

So it is with others like the party’s MP for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Kwame Ohene Agyapong, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman “Wontumi, and the Brong Ahafo Regional Youth Organiser of the party, Kwame Baffoe, also known as “Abronye DC.”

Their comments in the past and in recent times against some respectable persons in our society were very damaging, unpalatable and derogatory but the NPP hierarchy failed again to call them to order by sanctioning them.

The behaviour of these people is nothing but a disaster and that it is important that the party cracks the whip on them.  This is because indiscipline has no place in any democratic dispensation, and therefore must not be tolerated.

The NPP must know that they are no more in opposition where they can say whatever they like and get away with it.  The destiny of this country has been handed over to them to manage for the next four years, after which Ghanaians will review their performance through the ballot box.

So it is up to them, if they want their mandate to be renewed after their tenure, then the government must run this country as a business entity, and not like what we are currently witnessing.

I’m afraid anything short of this will spell doom for the party.

Already a majority of Ghanaians are not happy about how the government handled members of the pro-NPP vigilante groups who in the early days of the new government took the law into their own hands and terrorised innocent citizens for nothing just because their party is in power.