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Press Review of Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

EDITORIAL: This is Dangerous, NPP

Somewhere last week, The Daily Graphic quoted the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP council of elders, Akenten Appiah Menka as saying that only five of the 18 presidential aspirants of the NPP were marketable and that at the appropriate time he would come out with the names.

Since this alleged statement by the Statesman, many Ghanaians have come out to express their views on this vexatious subject. In an interview with The Chronicle, which we published yesterday, the National Treasurer of the Ghana Timber Association (GTA), Mr Isaac Kofi Nketiah called on the national executives of the NPP to bring Mr Appiah Menka to order before he ruins the party.

Mr Nketiah contended that any attempt by him (Appiah Menka) to disclose the names of those he considers to be marketable would lead to a split of the party. To Nketiah, those aspirants that were not seen as marketable should have been stopped in the early stages and not wait till this time when most of them have spent a lot of money on their campaigns before coming out with the comment.

The Chronicle reckons Mr Nketiah has made a logical argument that must be looked at by the national executives of the party. Appiah Menka as an elder of the party has every right to express his views but we believe it will be suicidal for him to name particular candidates as people who are marketable.

Fortunately, he has not done that, yet.

The NPP, as a party that believes in democracy should not buy into this idea. We are happy that the General Secretary of the NPP has already come out to state that they, the executives, have not met to take a decision to settle on only five aspirants.

The NPP delegates themselves know the candidates who are marketable and those who are not. They should, therefore, be allowed to choose the best among the lot. It will absolutely be wrong for anybody to decide for them.

Appiah Menka would have received support from the public, especially, his own party people had he raised this issue immediately the candidates started declaring their intention to contest the slot. To wait for them to throw so much into their campaigns before asking them to withdraw will, in the opinion of The Chronicle, be very unfair.

The Chronicle is concerned about this issue because we have the right as a media house to ensure that democracy flourishes in the country. Certainly, what Appiah Menka is suggesting is undemocratic and no democracy-loving person would accept that. When former President Rawlings made the "Swedru Declaration," the current leading members of the NPP were the very people who made so much noise about it. It would, therefore, be a sign of hypocrisy if these same people try to stop people from aspiring to become presidents of Ghana.

We should not forget that the delegates are not going to vote based on their own assessment. They would surely be listening to the kind of candidates the voting public wants, so they should be left alone and allowed to do their own selection.