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Opinions of Monday, 23 March 2015

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Are we Really 'Fools and Idiots' as NPP Members?

It is surprising to note that the very people who put their resources - energy, time, finance as well as their lives at the expense of the formation and progress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) never showed any sign of arrogance and rudeness towards Ghanaians let alone Party members. Their objective was to see the NPP in government at all times, because they envisaged that the party had the capacity in terms of human capital to take Ghana to the next level of her socio-economic development. The likes of Atakora Gyimah, Prof. Adu Boahen, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Ala Adjetey - all of blessed memory respected not only the rules and regulations of the party, but also the entire membership and sympathisers. The same could be said about living legends such as His Excellency, former president Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyerematen, J.H. Mensah, Akenten Appiah-Menka, and many others whose names cannot be readily mentioned here because of time and space.

But, could the same scenario be described of today's calibre of NPP members? Unfortunately, the NPP is losing her democratic value of being a mass Democratic Party. The party has been hijacked by a few people just because they think they are the backbone of the party as far as financial matters are concerned. One person whose attitude and utterances are keeping millions of Ghanaians away from the party is the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Hon. Ken. Ohene Agyapong. It would be recalled that Ken, in an attempt to stop Nii Lamptey Vanderpuij's barbaric action against Akans and Asante's in particular prior to the 2012 general elections, caused a political blunder for the NPP by his infamous statement about Gas and Ewes. And as I write today, many Gas and Ewes have neither forgiven him nor the NPP. Against this background, one would have thought that Ken would learn some useful lessons from the embarrassment he went through, but this is not Ken. Agyapong.

Former presidents - Rawlings, Kufuor, and Mills have all had their fair shares of Ken. Agyepong's vituperations. At a point in time, he openly insulted the then sitting president, the late Prof. Mills, and it took him many months before he rendered an unqualified apology. Similarly, a serious allegation was leveled against former president Kufuor et al on Nana Addo's life prior to the NPP Congress last year, yet Ken could not prove it and ended there.

Admittedly, Hon. Ken Agyapong is a very resourceful and courageous person. Having been elected an MP for 3 consecutive times is no mean an achievement and his contribution to the NPP cannot be downplayed. But, the question is; how has the NPP benefitted politically from Ken Agyapong's contributions? A couple of weeks ago, Ken Agyapong, insulted all NPP members on a private television station. To him, every member of the NPP is a "fool" and "idiot" and that, the party itself is "bogus". Probably, Ken has not reflected on the entire membership of the party, else he would have had a second thought. This is a party that has Mr. J.A. Kufuor as former president, Nana Akufo-Addo as Flagbearer, Dr. Bawumia as running-mate, Paul Afoko as Chairman, and Kwabena Agyepong as Gen. Secretary. This is a party that has not less than 120 MPs, including Ken Agyapong in Parliament. Yet, Hon. Agyapong sees the over 4m party members and sympathisers as "fools and idiots". How many votes could such statements bring on the political table, if I may ask?

But, do you blame the man for his outbursts? For more than three weeks that Ken made that statement on private TV station, not a single member of the NPP has called for his head, an indication that the party is full of fools and idiots. Now, if Dr. Wireko Brobbey could be suspended for his harsh criticism on the party, if the likes of Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, Dr. Arthur Kennedy, Dr. Richard Anane, Kwame Pianim, Nana Ohene Ntow, Hilda Addo, and myself could be described as "evils" in the party just because we opposed the flag-bearship of Nana Addo for the 3rd consecutive time, why can't the same rule be applied to Ken Agyapong for going wrong? Again, why is Nana Addo silent on issues like this? The other time, it was Bugri Narbu on Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong and another time, it was Hajia Fati and her barbaric team against the Afoko-led National leadership at the party headquarters. In short, indiscipline has become the hallmark of the NPP and everybody is afraid to speak against it.

Indeed, I understand Ken's frustrations, especially on such secret recordings, but as an intellectual, politician, and accomplished business man living in a technological world, Ken should be the first to admit that such secret recordings are not uncommon. What party members therefore need to do is to be circumspect about their utterances, for that is what could make or unmake the NPP as far as Election 2016 is concerned. We need to make the NPP attractive to all manner of people and I don't think what Mr. Osarfo Marfo said at the NPP Eastern Regional Council of Elders meeting has the potential to do that. Why should Ken capitalize on the recording to insult the generality of Kukrudites?

For me, until the party leader, Nana Akufo-Addo comes out publicly to condemn such people in public, it would be difficult for him to get floating votes from those who vote based on such leadership credentials. Hon. Ken Agyapong must therefore be summoned to the NPP's Disciplinary Committee just like Dr. Wireko Brobbey. How could the same NPP members hail and admire Martin Amidu of NDC, but hate Arthur K and Co., if secret recordings and washing dirty linen were alien to partisan politics?

God bless Ghana! God the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri
0202471070 // 0547851100 // 0264931361