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Opinions of Saturday, 6 June 2015

Columnist: Blay-Miezah, Acka-Nyanzu

NPP heading for destruction: Kuffuor must halt his boys and save the party

It has been almost 8 years since the NPP lost power in 2008 after the traditions first ever 8 years rule that many have described as the best of possible times to live in Ghana under the leadership of President J. A. Kuffuor. After two failed attempts to regain power, the party risks being pushed into oblivion unless the former President himself takes step to save the party in a battle where his boys, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong have pitched themselves against the majority if not rest of the party.

While it might seem to the uninterested public that the dust is finally settling on the recent rumpus within the National Executives of the NPP, the party's diehard faithful's and keen observers can attest that things are not as well as they seem up there unless the Chairman and General Secretary resign. Statements from former President John Kuffuor and Flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo might have been necessary and indeed succeeded in reducing the antagonizing engagements in the media by party members but certainly not sufficient to permanently arrest the slip. The storm seems abating albeit for a short while. It is only a matter of time and the quest by the party to oust the two executives will resume with even greater intensity. The broad smiles and handshakes are all pretenses the party has become so used to since the arrival of these two national executives. They are empty symbolisms and mean nothing more than a sepulcher that hides their real intents.

A lot has happened that makes it practically untenable to have the two executives remain at post while the party prosecutes its 2016 campaign objectives. Even the communication emanating from the outfits of the two men after the flagbearer's address smacks of pure and well-orchestrated mischief that seems unlikely to end so long as the two remain at post. The mistrust in them that they are working against the candidate and the party's agenda 2016 has grown deeper that even if they act to mean well, it would be looked at with suspicions and rightly or wrongly misinterpreted. We have an election to win hence this is not the time to be entertaining or engaging persons whose conducts from day 1 betrays a compromised commitment to the agenda of the whole. Anyone in such a position who genuinely loves the party would have stepped aside and not stay put serving as a frustrating distraction to the team. There are several other roles they can play when they resign to enable us win but certainly not in their current capacities. They have simply lost the trust and confidence of the people who they are meant to lead. But the conduct of Paul Afoko and the Kwabena Agyapong says they are not prepared to resign. They are rather in the mood for a fruitless battle to needlessly weaken the party. Indeed I see their refusal to take the wise decision of resigning as a reinforcement of their perceived stance that they want the candidate and party to lose the 2016 elections. Since it is obvious they don't enjoy the support and confidence of the party, why do they insist that they will stay put if not to cause more destruction and disaffection for the 2016 project? How on earth can one insist on leading a people who say they no longer trust you to lead them?

The deep seated mistrust in this two is not one to be resolved overnight by press statements, conferences or broad smiles behind the cameras. Even the behind the scenes talks that will not result in the stepping down of the two will not restore the party's confidence in them. Some of us are aware of the numerous meetings and attempt at resolving the mistrust but again and again, the agreements have been betrayed and the conflicts take over. The next logical step is for the two to step aside else they jeopardize the party's main objective, to win power in 2016! The two men shouldn't assume that the rest of the party are not sophisticated enough to read between the lines and their body languages to appreciate what is happening and the source of these rifts. We are not blind neither are we deaf and so we are fully aware. It is absolute rubbish to conceive that Akufo-Addo will be intentionally causing these rifts to sabotage himself and his chances. To what gain if I may ask? He should be too politically matured to know that he won't be fourth time lucky if he leads the party into another defeat. He, better than anyone knows how lucky he is with the overwhelming endorsement and show of confidence in him by the party at his third attempt, why then will he work to waste it? This is no time for cosmetics or optical resolutions. We know where the problem comes from and how to resolve it. Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong are the problem. Let us be courageous to point it out and not shy away from doing what has to be done if the two men will not take the gentlemanly option to resign.

Whether myth or perception, the reality is that the people out there believe President Kuffuor is the only person the two top executives will listen to. This is obviously because both of them are well known to be his boys. President Kuffuor must impress upon his boys to step aside and save the party from a third consecutive electoral loss and indeed more losses in a long time to come after 2016. If these two men remain at post and the party loses the 2016 election, am afraid that will be the end of the NPP because the diehard Akufo-Addo supporters will rightly or wrongly believe that they have been sabotaged. It will be the birth of cyclical sabotages within the NPP.

The NPP finds itself in an unpleasant situation that calls for the intervention of a big heart like Kuffuor's. Fortunately, the former president is around and returns to Ghana this week. He must not hesitate to call his boys and impress upon them to do the honorable thing by resigning. This kind of strength can only be manifested by the former President and I trust his political experience make this move. The future of this party is more now in the hands of the tradition's only and ever president. It is not in the hands of Akufo-Addo who obviously doesn't seem to command any influence on Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong. We all know the two men draw their political life and existence from President Kuffuor. Since they insist on staying against the wishes of the party, then former President Kuffuor must have a say in it. Let the whole world know that indeed, President Kuffuor intervened to gentlemanly ease them out of office and they refused. I know they wouldn't dare bite the hands that has constantly fed them.

Acka-Nyanzu Blay-Miezah

Axim, Evalue-Gwira