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Opinions of Thursday, 3 February 2011

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

An Open Letter to NPP: Concerning the Filing Fees.

Dear NPP members,

Before I proceed, I will like to ask the NEC to forgive me in advance for this critique. I humbly ask that they kindly forgive any remarks or opinions that might seem or sound unsavory, in the course of this letter. I believe in their wisdom but in this instance, silence would be the deadliest option. I pray that this critique is looked at in good faith, after all, the writer, their son, might not know what he is talking about.

Furthermore, to avoid stepping on toes and in light of the unchartered territory I have entered, as far as questioning the wisdom of our fathers; I offer two anecdotes, in ALLEGORICAL form ( or a parable), one philosophical, one historical to serve as examples to help illuminate the true state of our party. Becoming aware of the true state of things is the first and the most step in correcting the false state of things. And that is the sole purpose of this letter. For our party is slowly losing its democratic identity.

Finally pardon me for the use of allegory, in this case pseudo-allegory. I’m employing allegory because the elders at the village say that that is the safest way to broach an issue beyond one’s station. The elders say that it is also one of the best ways to remain circumspect and to maintain a respectable tone. Most important, it helps when one wants to say the ‘unsayable’ or is dealing with subjects that might be considered heresy.

Now, let us start with the philosophical one by reading a few lines from the ‘Divine’ Plato’s, The Republic.

Plato writes: ‘the constitutions based on a property assessment, in which the rich rule and the poor man has no share in ruling’….. ‘So when wealth and the wealthy are valued or honored….virtue and good people are valued less’. …..’Then, don’t they pass a law that is characteristic of an oligarchic constitution, one that establishes a wealth qualification’… and ‘proclaims that those whose property doesn’t reach the stated amount aren’t qualified to rule?’
‘.....And they praise and admire wealthy people and appoint them as rulers, while they dishonor the poor.’
Then a few lines later, he adds: ‘first of all, the very thing that defines it is one, for what would happen if someone were to choose the captains of the ships by the wealth, refusing to entrust the ship to a poor person even if he was a better captain?

‘Under this constitution, won’t the same person be farmers, money makers, and soldiers simultaneously? And do you think it is right?’

The above reading sums up, ALLEGORICALLY, where the party is veering towards right: an Oligarchy.

Now, the historical pseudo allegory;

In ‘The decline and fall of the Roman Empire’ Gibbon writes about how Augustus Caesar coerced the Romans into accepting dictatorship. The Civil war, started by Julius Caesar’s death was finally over. Augustus had emerged victorious. The Romans, releasing the defects of their State, gave a seemingly reluctant Augustus the mandate to fix the ills of the Republic. Gibbon writes that Augustus put on an Oscar worthy performance. Augustus went ahead and dismantled, little by little, the structures of the Republic, citing the hard times of the era, the endless quarrels and tensions and the consequences of the civil war; all the while lamenting over how unhappy and unwilling and regretful he was for withdrawing many of the freedoms and equalities they hither to, enjoyed; and that he was only doing so for the sake of the Republic.

Weary from the scars of the war that had claimed the lives of their imminent citizens and had been fought in every corner of the Roman world, the Romans were more than happy to go along with Augustus. By the time they realized, the people had been disenfranchised and Augustus had turned the 600 year old Republic into a Dictatorship; their most feared and hated constitution.

This, Gibbon writes, began the decline and fall of the Roman Empires.

Fellow NPP sympathizers, in a few paragraphs, the above pseudo ALLEGORIES ( or parable) depict the state of the party and the actions of the current NEC, respectively. But the days of property as the only qualification needed to partake in representative governments are long gone. The bastion of modern democracy, the United States dropped that practice a long time ago. Nor is the attempt to make the sitting MPs, representatives for life – the real reason behind the fess- a scenario that must not be discouraged. The era of the Politburo is also long gone. So why are we seeing these tendencies in our party? There is only one possible reason why leaders of a democratic organization would want to adopt oligarchic and dictatorial tactics: to consolidate their power within the organization at the expense of the main body, for reasons only known to them.
Fellow NPP members, I will conclude by reminding you of what Plato warns about one of the dangers of oligarchs. And as you read it, remember that we are in the midst of an election, a war so to speak, and have another looming: He writes....’oligarchs don’t probably aren’t able to fight a war, for they ‘d would be compelled to arm and use the majority, and so have a fear from them han the enemy or not use them and show up as true oligarchs. At the same time, they would be unwilling to pay mercenaries, because of their love of money.’
A word to the wise……A few words saved the speaker from a knock on the mouth.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Akwasi A.Afrifa Akoto