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Opinions of Saturday, 9 May 2015

Columnist: Nyamekye, Kwabena

Afoko and Agyapong – resign and watch the NPP go to hell at top speed!

Kwabena Nyamekye

A few days back a Nana Addo stalwart claimed that the party machine should not play a role in Nana Addo’s campaign to be president in 2016. As silly as this suggestion is, it sums up the attitude of the pro-Nana Addo faction in the NPP. They think they are above everyone and can win without the support of the machine that put our great party on the road to victory in 2000. Of course this approach will ensure another miserable defeat. Even when the party was present Nana Addo lost the 2012 election in Wenchi to President Mahama, our great leader Busia’s hometown. Without the party, he will probably lose in Abuakwa where our other great leader Danquah hails from. Both of you, Afoko and Agyapong will be blamed for this even though you will not have been part of the campaign as proposed by the Nana Addo faction. With the two of you as scapegoats, the history of our tradition will be written to favour the worst flag bearer we have had the misfortune to elect by planting the blame on your shoulders. So to avoid this claim of sabotage, best thing to do is to hand back the party to a Chairman and General Secretary amenable to the Akuffo Addo faction.

The new Chairman and General Secretary are likely to bow and crawl in front of the Akuffo Addo faction, refusing to tell them the hard facts of how to win an election. It seems that this flag bearer needs people to do his bidding and nothing else. He does not need people to tell him how to go forward in his campaign. If he and his faction did not need JA Kufuor in 2008, then surely they do not need the two of you in 2016. That they will lose Eastern region (I hear this is possible) and that they will oversee the shrinking of votes in Ashanti is something that the party richly deserves.

So hand in your notices, leave the party headquarters, sit back in your houses and watch the fireworks. The NPP will once again become the playground for the Akuffo Addo faction who, as has been the practice will proceed to act in am manner that ensures defeat. My prediction is that between now and 2016 any aspirant for a parliamentary seat who does not go round saying he worships the flag bearer will be disqualified or will lose the primary contest. This will of course divide the constituencies as the defeated candidates will feel that the weight of the party was used against them. Already we see a sign of things to come that are a repeat of the past. The insults rained on Honourable Isaac Osei, and the finding of people to unseat Addai-Nimoh reminds me of 2008 and the attacks on the constituencies which ensured we lost our majority as seats like Bekwai fell to independents. I always say had we respected local interests and not tried to manipulate constituency outcomes and had we also kept the CPP close to our chests, going into the runoff the NDC will have had 111 seats (they will not have captured the 3 CPP seats) and we will have had 112 seats (as our 4 independents will have remained in the party) . With that narrow margin and with our 3 CPP alliance seats, our lead in the first round will have given us victory in the second round.

NPP needs one big bonfire to cleanse it for good of the Nana Addo faction. They are divisive. Hooting at JAK in 2005, accusing everyone of making them lose in 2008 and 2012, they need to suffer one final slap in the face. The more votes they acquire at Congress the more votes they lose at the national election thus burying any notion that your internal popularity is a sure bet for national victory. In 1999 Mills got 100% in the NDC primaries as no one challenged him yet we floored him with a united party, a flag bearer prepared to work the grass roots and an effective machine. Our flag bearer then got about 60% of the delegates vote and yet took us to national glory. Our current flag bearer keeps scoring higher than 60% and yet we still sit in opposition holding useless press conferences that no one listens to and giving talks about the woes of the borrowing from the World Bank. For the information of all, my aunt in Kenyasi hopes to have a savings account with World Bank when they finally open a local Branch! So much for its importance in persuading Ghanaians to elect anyone as president!

Organization on the ground, engaging with the people, listening to them, explaining how you can improve their lives is what will bring victory as the voters will identify with you and develop a bond with you. When people like you they give you gifts and a vote is a gift. This is what Jerry Rawlings was good at; this is what JAK did; this is what Mills did while for us our candidate visits Abuja as if he is president in waiting.

Chairman and General Secretary, if the NPP does not want your vital organizational services and its members are happy to undermine you then tell them you are off. Resign and watch the Party burn in hell in the fire of confusion that will see His Excellency President Mahama back in Jubilee House in 2017.