Politics of Thursday, 8 November 2007

Source: Accra Mail

NPP Vetting Running Into Problems

The ruling New Patriotic Party is going through the paroxysms of succession. The prognosis so far does not look like it would be a normal birth - or rebirth.

Yesterday, the vetting exercise could not come on. It was the turn of the Vice President. But due to circumstances beyond the control of the committee, members could not convene to vet the No 2 man of the republic, Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who had duly presented himself a little before the appointed time of 3.00pm for the vetting.

It must be heart-breaking for sympathetic observers and supporters who can see the NPP almost handing power over to the NDC due to one bungling act after the other in its succession programme.

In the pecking order of Ghana's constitution, the Vice President is second only to the president and protocol wise the NPP should have been more circumspect in handling that office than what it has so far been purveying. Yesterday's no show was an absence of interface between party and executive.

ADM has information that yesterday's sitting could not come on because the chairman of the committee had more important assignments to see to and therefore called for a postponement of the Vice President's vetting. But more worrying is the fact that the committee does not have any procedure where the absence of the chairman cannot hold up proceedings. But even more insidious is the lack of unity of purpose.

Party insiders are quite scathing about this development because as some one put it to ADM, "each of them has his or her own agenda". That perhaps is why and how the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana can be treated with what amounts to contempt by a subordinate institution.

But as Yaw Asamoah of the Vice President's office put it yesterday, the onus is now on the party and the vetting committee to get things back on track and impart to it what gravitas it can muster.

The Vice President himself was gracious yesterday when he spoke of his love for his party and country and optimistically said the seeming confusion would blow over and things would get back to normal.

Viewed against the background of Mr. Alan Kyeremanten's complaint, this exercise may yet work its way into, well, into credibility problems.