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General News of Monday, 15 August 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Mahama is not qualified to talk about party unity - NPP rebuts

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says President John Dramani Mahama is the last person from whom to take lessons about building and maintaining unity within the rank and file of a political party.

Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson for the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the President is not qualified to talk about disunity in the NPP considering his own party, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC's) history of internal wrangling dating back to its founding days.

“Well, I don’t understand what he meant by unifying everybody behind Nana Addo, but when it comes to the NDC, the treatment they meted out to Obed Asamoah, Frances Asiam and Bede Zeden at the Koforidua Congress is a mark of intolerance,” he told Joynews’ Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng, Monday whilst reacting to the President's attack on the NPP.

President Mahama targeted the Standard Bearer of the NPP when he accused the party of having an “Olympic gold medal in insults” at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium during the launch of the NDC 2016 campaign.

According to him, the intolerance in the NPP has worsened to the point that persons who disagree with Mr Akufo-Addo are either suspended or cowed into silence.

This, he believes is a hallmark of a political party that has little or no lesson to teach about national unity.

The suspension of the National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko, and the General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong for allegedly trying to undermine the fortunes of Mr Akufo-Addo in the upcoming election has been a case in point.

Also, the manner in which party stalwarts such as Nyaho Tamakloe, as well as a US-based Arthur Kennedy, are criticised by some faithful of the NPP is cited as some of the things being condoned in the party by the NPP leader.

But reacting to the President’s comment, Mr Hamid said the NDC is rather the party that has a history of disunity and intolerance.

He said the way the NDC bastardised former First Lady and wife of the founder of the party, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, stands in judgement of the NDC's intolerance.

Mustapha Hamid also referred to physical attacks and the humiliation of Dr. Obed Asamoah, Bede Ziedeng and Frances Asiam who broke away from the NDC to form the Democratic Freedom Party. Before this, he said Mr. Goosie Tano had also broken away from the NDC to form the New Reform Party. The list, he said, is completed by Mrs. Rawlings who also founded the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Touching on the suspension of Messrs Afoko and Agyei, he said the party only punished them for misdemeanour and this has nothing to do with their dissenting views within the party.

Meanwhile, a senior political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Aminu Dramani, said the absence of unity in a political party should not be used to judge which party will do well in the upcoming general election.

He said each of the two leading political parties namely the NDC and the NPP has experienced one internal squabble after the other, adding, what counts is efforts put in place to extinguish such problems.

He believes “Each of these two parties is struggling to get the nod from the electorates coming December and therefore I don’t think that any party will want division to continue to this time.”