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Opinions of Monday, 20 April 2009

Columnist: Nuamah, Abdul Samiu

Hold Your Fire NPP And Unite

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

At the first UK branch meeting of the NPP after our party’s disgraceful election demise, the chairman opened the floor for all members to ‘free their mind’. He understood, being as adept as he is, that people were aggrieved and the only way we could overcome that was to allow us to mourn properly. The atmosphere was not very friendly. Everybody blaming somebody else but themselves. I can vividly remember one brilliant young man furiously attacking the chairman and ordering for the resignation of the national executive, but the chairman kept mute and allowed the young man to fire on. In fact that ‘mind freeing’ exercise was very necessary and really helpful. This process, I later found out, was replicated in other NPP branches and indeed in the media outlet. It is what political psychologist refer to as ventilation of grievances, a very important therapeutic method.

However, I believe it is time for all of us to get over it now and look at moving the party forward as we used in our campaign WE ARE MOVING FORWARD. Some people are still in a grieving mood which, I think would not augur well for the needed restructuring of the party and also to wrestle power back from the undeserving NDC. How long can we be in this mood? When are we going to stop apportioning blame and take up responsibilities in the Party? I do understand the frustrations and anger of members but we need to know when to halt, about-turn and forward-match. It is time we hold our fire and start looking at ourselves, what we can do to help bring our great party back to the seat of government. A bit of introspection is needed.

In the first four months into our defeat, a strong message has been sent to the leaders of our party, which I believe can not be clearer, and as clever and matured as they are, I hope they have understood the message and will forever learn from it. It is time we stop insulting them and accord them the needed respect, support and confidence since they are assets to the party and we will forever need them.

I recently listened to a programme on JOY FM, where two brilliant NPP youth were debating each other on what Kufuor did for the youth. My question is, do we need such debates now or ever at all? With Joy FM’s very large and sophisticated audience, wouldn’t it have been great if we had used such an opportunity to champion unity in the party and strategise for the next general election instead of wasting such opportunities when we get them? One wonders what at all the motive behind this debate is. Wouldn’t it have been much more beneficial if we had had this debate and address the issue when Kufuor was the president?

Another respectable but controversial young man, argued that the youth should not rise up to defend Kufuor. Why? Because he and his friends failed to secure appointment as DCE’s and ministers in Kufuor’s government. I don’t believe, as a committed party member. one can just judge Kufuor by that mediocre standard. A broader perspective of Kufuor’s contribution to the general development of the youth should be the measurement and not what he did for individuals. When Kufuor’s administration took over from that inert military-turned-civilian regime, there was a lot he needed to do to turn the tide of national economic decline. Therefore, we should appreciate the enormity of that challenge and understand that there was no way he could fulfil everything in his presidency. Indeed Kufuor’s achievement has granted his successor the luxury of appointing younger, albeit, questionable talent into his administration. Similarly If Nana had won, I am confident he would have had such luxury of appointment although with better qualified and much more competent people than we are currently witnessing.

We can all witness the paucity of quality of personnel in the NDC. This is evidenced by the confusion and difficulties they are currently experiencing in selecting their ministers and senior government officials. For the first time, I agreed with their founder when he recently confessed that the ministers and their deputies are at best mediocre. Alternatively in the NPP, we seem to be suffering from a glut of quality and competent men and women who can, at any given time, be ministers or indeed president. During the last presidential primaries we paraded 17 of these men, which although quite unfortunate, tells you we are not short of competent leadership. We should therefore respect these men and stop insulting them at the least opportunity.

I was overly excited when I read that Nana and Kufuor have met a couple of times to strategise for 2012 general election. Sources close to me also suggest that Alan and Nana have also had some meetings to plan for the future of our great party. It cannot be more brilliant than this! Why is it that members, especially those with access to the media, would not stand behind these great men to see the party back to power but rather propagate hatred and divisiveness amongst us. Knowing very well that regardless of whom you like and how well you despise the other, it is? It is Congress’ responsibility, not yours or mine, to choose the next flag bearer of the party. And when that is done, we will have no other choice than to support the chosen one. We therefore, tarnish these potential flag bearers at our own peril.

Some people are causing irreparable damage to the party from within by pretending to be party activist, which they are not. They write and talk to support one man, which is a great idea. However, they end up destroying the other, which I believe, should not be entertained and should be condemned outright. These people I believe are the enemies within and we should be mindful of them.

A good campaign is one that talks about ones own abilities and capabilities and not one that seeks to destroy the other. This was evidenced in the last NPP presidential primaries, where all the aspirants talked solely about THEIR capabilities and totally avoided disrespecting their colleagues. This is a practice members and supporters should emulate.

Within NDC’s first 100 days in power, Ghanaians have already missed the quality of leadership NPP brought to the nation. They yearn for the calmness, dignity, efficiency and effectiveness of government that they enjoyed under president Kufuor’s reign. Therefore I believe the chance of NPP bouncing back is very huge and very real. Its realisation however, depends on what we do towards its achievement and not what we failed to do previously. United We Stand Divided We ‘Fail’. Biakoye wie nkonim di.

A.S. Nuamah

NPP UK and Ireland branch