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General News of Sunday, 23 August 2009

Source: GNA

Mac Manu slams factions in NPP

Peter Mac Manu, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Saturday slammed the Nana Akufo Addo and Alan Kyeremanten factions in the party and called for unity for victory in 2012.

"The Nana Addo and Alan Kyeremanten factions must desist from their divisive activities like spreading inimical anonymous text messages within the rank and file," he said.

He was speaking at the opening of the maiden National Delegates Convention of the party to vote on some 46 proposals for amendments in the party's constitution to allow wider grassroots participation in decision making and to foster unity.

The "attack" is said to be the first time the Chairman had openly admitted to and slammed factions in the party.

After eight years in government, with what was internationally hailed as the best good governance, political and economic stability record in the history of Ghana, the NPP lost power eight months ago to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr Mac Manu said the NPP did not lose power to the NDC but rather surrendered it to the NDC through divisive tendencies, resulting from the 17 persons seeking the presidential slot of the party at the last delegate's congress, the messy parliamentary primaries, and their ensuing factionalism in the party.

The event dubbed the "R" Convention 2009 was, therefore, intended to 'Reflect, Rebuild and Recapture' power in 2012. Some 1,450 delegates from the 230 constituencies would be voting behind closed door on the proposed amendments, which included the change of name of the party from New Patriotic Party to National Patriotic Party and a ceiling on the number of people who could contest for presidential and parliamentary slots.

Mr Mac Manu told delegates that nobody's interest and agenda was higher than that of the party's and added that the proposal for amendments was bigger than one person's agenda.

"The winner from this convention should not be Nana Addo faction or Alan Kyerematen faction, but the NPP," he said.

He said the proposed amendments were necessary for the common good of the rank and file, saying that any effort to make the people own the party and for that matter work diligently for the party should override all other considerations.

The Chairman urged members to stop pontificating and accept the blame for the 2008 election defeat and rather unite to take decision on the proposed amendments for victory in 2008.

Mr John Agyekum Kufour, former President of the country, said the world was looking up to the NPP to emerge from the convention as a united force ready to recapture power in 2012.

"The 'out' of this conference will demonstrate to the world whether we are ready to lead this country again and for that I urge us to bury our difference and emerge as one party," he said.

Mr Kufuor said he had heard that there was a Kufuor faction in the party, saying "I want to say here and now that I don't have a faction in the party - I am a full breed NPP and I do not intend to break away."

He said the party gave him the highest office of the land and assured the rank and file that as an elder statesman he would continue to speak to issues in the party and make his contribution to the unity, strength and victory of the party.

Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Minority Leader in Parliament said the record of the NPP government for the eight years of Kufuor's government, could not have made the party lose power to the NDC adding that the "17 gladiators" who sought the party's presidential slot for the 2008 elections destroyed the party's fortunes in the process.

"We surrendered to the NDC just like biblical Esau did to Jacob through our own mistakes," he said.

He said the parliamentary caucus had by consensus, accepted that the way forward for NPP was to uphold the proposed amendments, adding that to the extent that elections were won and lost at the polling stations, there was everything right with putting power in the hands of those who work at that level.

Mr Mensah-Bonsu urged party members to be weary of persons in the party seeking high office by paying huge monies to delegates and added that in politics high position means service and there was no way someone would pay to serve unless he or she had an exterior motive.

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