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General News of Monday, 18 December 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

NPP must learn from history not to fail again - Akufo-Addo

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) ended its extraordinary national delegates congress in Kumasi on Sunday, with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo advising the members of the party to avoid rivalry for positions to prevent the party from failing.

He told the members to be guided by Ghana’s recent political history, which was replete with intra-party fights, especially among leading members of party in government, for various positions and said that situation made the parties lose power very easily.

The extraordinary national delegates conference was held to consider some constitutional amendment proposals submitted by party members.

There were some disagreements over some of the proposals.

The NPP-USA branch, for instance, kicked against the proposal to disqualify persons with dual citizenship from contesting any party position.

By the end of the congress, proposals for Members of Parliament (MPs) to appoint constituency executives, party members with dual citizenship to be disqualified from contesting any party position and flag bearers of the party to be considered as leaders of the party were withdrawn.

President Nana Akufo-Addo took members of the party at the congress down memory lane and recounted the causes of the changes in power in the Fourth Republic, saying they included in-fighting among members of the ruling party, a situation which made it easier for the opposition to win power.

On all the three occasions when opposition parties had beaten ruling parties in 2000, 2008 and 2016, he said, the victory was made easier for the opposition party because of in-fighting.

One main contributory factor that made the victory easier for the opposition, the President said, was the breakdown of relations among metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), MPs of the ruling party and constituency chairmen.



He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also cashed in on divisions in the NPP in 2008 when 17 people contested the presidential primary of the NPP.

He said the in-fighting in the NDC among the Rawlings, Mahama and Mills elements in the NDC in 2016 also contributed to make it easier for the NPP to win the general election.

The President commended the National Council of the party for passing a resolution that banned MMDCEs from contesting parliamentary primaries unless they stepped down three years before parliamentary primaries.

The decision, he said, was underpinned by the fact that such jostling for positions by MMDCEs could disturb them from focusing on their jobs and the work of the party at the grass roots.

Government

President Nana Akufo-Addo said although the party had chalked up some great strides in the areas of instituting free SHS, reviving the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and injecting momentum, resources and attention into agriculture in the country through the popular Planting for Food and Jobs programme, all had not been rosy.

He mentioned issues with the Delta and the Invisible forces and the tension among members of the party for job opportunities as some of the challenges that the government had to deal with.

He said the road for the government had not been easy, mainly because the NDC bequeathed a bankrupt economy to the NPP.

However, the President said, given the ingenuity of his team of ministers, the foundation was gradually being laid for an economic take-off and urged the party members to remain united and confident because their government was on the right path.

Calm

He asked the members to remain calm, noting that the race was not a sprint but a cross-country and a marathon and that the party would breast the tape at the end and not at the beginning.