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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Early Congress Will Deepen Apathy in the NPP

Early Congress Will Deepen Apathy in the NPP - Katakyie

Although, no post moterm of the 2012 general elections has been undertaken by the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), it seems to me that there is a general consensus among the Jake-led team that some of our own members worked against the NPP to win power. In view of this, suggestions have come up that there should be an early congress to elect the party's flagbearer before other national executive elections.

On the contrary, a statement was issued by the Deputy Gen. Secretary of the NPP, Mr. Abdulai Fuhlanba that, two rumours have been debunked by the National National Executive Committee of our beloved party. As to why the committee considered those issues as rumour, it is imperative for one Bryan Acheampong, the Spokesperson of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, to educate the mass followers of the NPP. For, this man had spoken on several radio stations and issued statements to the effect that; proposals had been put forward for the consideration of NPP MPs to go unopposed, and also the party to have early congress to elect a flagbearer. Based on the above, it is difficult to establish the basis of the so-called rumour, especially in the face of the executives' determination to extend their mandate and impose a candidate on the party.

For instance, if one takes a look at the state of the NPP today, it is clear that there is no sense of urgency on the part of the leadership to do a post moterm of the 2012 general elections. They are rather interested in "Thank you tours", and making "sycophantic endorsements" of their preferred candidates. This action by the national leadership has given room for people to raise questions on their neutrality, integrity, and competence. The failure of the National Chairman, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to condemn some members of his team against divisive utterances is a case in point.

Honestly, the actions and inactions of the Jake-led team after the Supreme Court's infamous verdict cannot be described as best. This is because, the NPP is now in state of suspicion, confusion, and division. But, if we fail to point out their mistakes for correction and rather adopt silence because of fear of political victimisation, the end result would leave the party in opposition and innocent Ghanaians would become the ultimate sufferers.

For me, the sudden call for early congress to elect a flagbearer is diabolical. The proposal is covered with a blanket of ulterior motive by the proponents, as most of them want to secure their executive position. The argument that the flagbearer could supervise the election of other executives who would be committed to his cause during the presidential and parliamentary elections is untenable.

Indeed, if the above argument was to hold any water, why then should the NPP waste further resources in conducting elections at the national, regional, constituency, and polling stations? Wouldn't it be prudent for the flagbearer to choose his own people to occupy such positions? And if that happens, can the NPP brand itself as a democratic party? Also, if that happens, how would the leadership convince those wrongly perceived to be working against the presidential candidate to pull their weight? Seriously, if the current NPP leadership truly believes apathy exists in the party, the only way to deal with it is to build consensus with all factions. Holding polling station elections either first or last cannot solve the problem of apathy, because election in any form is still classified as an election, because there is bound to be losers and winners. The solution then lies with how the two - victors and losers could be brought together for party's common good.

For nearly ten (10) months since the last elections, the Jake-led administration is adamant in doing a post moterm of the party's painful defeat. It therefore beggars belief how these same leadership is accusing some polling station executives of doing a bad job. Again, how did the party leadership come to the conclusion that NPP MPs were cash strap after the parliamentary primaries? If you demand GHC 16,000 from a parliamentary aspirant during primaries, how do you expect the candidate to find the needed resources for the actual parliamentary election? Were we not told that part of the GHC16,000 paid by each aspirant would be devoted for the national elections? What then happened, if I may ask? Again, what is so wrong with the much-touted NPP electoral reforms that took place in 2009? Wouldn't it be better for those electoral reforms to pass through at least, two election cycles for proper assessment to be made?

Wonders keep happening because human beings continue to exist. Was the NPP not the first to kick against Rawlings' Swedru Declaration in 2000? Is the NPP not constantly speaking against corrupt practices of the Mahama-led NDC government? Why then can't the NPP clean its house first before efforts are made to clean that of the NDC?

I'd rather urge the current NPP leadership to learn some personal traits from my role model, His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor. They should look at how he managed to work with Nana Akufo-Addo not only as the Attorney-General, but also a Foreign Minister for almost two terms, in spite of their fieriest contest in 1998. Sidelining other NPP members perceived to belong to other blocs/factions cannot win us political power. The NPP should rather concentrate on building consensus within the party, if even the leadership intends to present Akufo-Addo for the 3rd consecutive time. Their modus operandi to perpetuate themselves in power and impose Nana Addo on the party is wrong. If it is true that elections are actually won at the polling stations, then it is imperative to start any NPP election at that level. It is thus important for all those who profess to love the NPP to vie for positions at the 26,002 polling stations, and stop the scramble for power at the regional national levels.

This is my opinion and I stand by it!

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

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri (Free SHS Ambassador) Official blog: (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 0202471070 : 0264931361 : 0547851100