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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Columnist: Herman Kwame Kumatsey

Let’s not break the party but break the eight

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Danquah-Dombo-Busia: A political tradition or a system for rotating presidential candidates among some selected ethnic groups?

Political enthusiasts never stop talking about 2024 and what it holds for the New Patriotic Party. The battle for who succeeds H.E. Akufo-Addo as the leader of the NPP has obviously begun with several groups being formed by party faithful in support of their favorite potential candidate.

These candidates may not be aware of these groups but the battle for the numbers has clearly begun on social media and sooner than later, the potential candidates’ attention will be drawn to the activities of these groups. I have followed the arguments put forward by the opposing groups and to be fair, both sides have some very good arguments. In spite of that, I have found one particular argument to be threatening to the future of our party.

In an attempt to tie the hands of the party, so to speak, one side has advanced very strongly a tribal/ethno-geographic argument that suggests that the NPP will surely lose the 2024 elections unless their preferred candidate is elected as the flagbearer of the party.

That agenda began right after the 2016 elections and it appears that it has gained some support among party faithful and sympathizers. They say that the NPP is a Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition and that looking at the Presidential candidates we have had and where (ethnicity/region) they came from, this should be Dombo’s time.

By “Dombo’s Time”, they mean that the flagbearership must be given to someone who comes from the north.
That agenda has gained some grounds in our party but there are some very important issues that have been ignored by party faithful and sympathizers.

If the party is to elect presidential candidates on a tacit rotational basis, fueled by ethno-geographical politics, among some three so-called factions, then would it be right for people to say that if the self-named Dombo faction gets their preferred candidate elected on the argument that they must come after the Danquahs, then the next candidate after him should come from self-named Busia faction and after them the self-named Danquah faction?

Does that mean that promising men and women in our party who do not belong to any of these ethno-geographical factions stand no chance of becoming presidential candidates for our party?

If this must be Dombo’s time and the next one Busia’s time and then Danquah’s time, the party will find itself in a vicious cycle that would be unfair to potential leaders who are Guan, Fante, Ga, Ewe, Nzema etc that do not have any ethnic or regional connection whatsoever to Danquah, Dombo or Busia.

I am a Guan from Okere and coming from a minority ethnic group, I abhor tribal politics with all my heart. Those who seek to gain an undue advantage by pulling a tribal card on their own party and creating the impression that if one of theirs is not elected as the next flagbearer of the party, the party is going to lose should know that what they’re doing is dangerous for the future of the party and will come back one day to haunt them.

In conclusion, the NPP has its own way of rewarding candidates and everyone must respect that. Political parties make politicians who they are. Political parties make people presidents. I am of the view that no man is all-important to the NPP and that party and government officials should have the humility to listen to the real concerns of party people and stop the blatant imposition of candidates on the party.

When the time comes and party faithful reward the man that must be rewarded, we will all support him to become President. After all, truly NPP supporters will always vote NPP and floating voters will look at important issues, the demeanor and the character of the person before voting and not trivial matters like who comes from where and who belongs to what faction. Factionalism will do us no good.

Long live the NPP.

Opinion by Henry Apau Tieku Gyansah