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Opinions of Sunday, 8 November 2015

Columnist: Nyamekye, Kwabena

Murder in Asawase – it is easy to understand

Kwabena Nyamekye

When JA Kufuor contested the NPP leadership position in 1992 he was up against Prof Adu Boahen Dr Dzane-Selby etc. Big-hitters in the party, kudos to them is that there was not a single hint of acrimony as the contest took off. When Prof Adu-Boahen won, he was congratulated and that was about it. Come 1995 there was another contest and this time JAK stunned the NPP by carrying the day. One of the factors that enabled this victory was that Prof Adu-Boahen had not created an atmosphere of hatred in the party, based on his view that he was the only one capable of becoming our candidate. Thus there was no rancour; no one accused the women’s organizer or the General-Secretary of being NDC spies in our midst. In this instance then it was ok for you to be our leader. We had a common goal and that was victory. In 1998 there was a sea-change in the tenor of the campaign. Upon the defeat of Nana Addo at Sunyani he immediately left the congress and headed back to Accra, leaving all the other candidates, JAK, Apraku, Malik Alhassan etc to stay behind and show party unity at a church service the following day. This was a warning sign that we failed to heed. Moreover, although it was well-known that BJ Da Rocha fancied Dr Selby as flag bearer there was no record of organized thugs descending on our headquarter with knives and sticks anytime he Da Rocha organized a press conference. We needed victory and that was all.

Fast forward to 2005 and a hooting brigade appears on the horizon at the Legon delegates conference – booing some of us felt the party should choose Stephen Ntim as chairman just to we can have a symbol of representation in the BA region. After this dastardly event, the gloves were off. Come 2008 the party campaign was an ostentatious display of self-entitlement. Big cars, bottled water and sexy girls with big bottoms in hot pants replaced the humble, low-level people-centred campaign that we ran in 2000. We went up against a formidably organized party that whipped us. With the defeat one would have thought our flag bearer was to be held accountable but his sycophants managed to shift focus away from him to you! The Danquah-Busia family of old, with its men and women of high intellect would have rubbished this; however Kofi Busia, SD Dombo, Jones Ofori-Atta, Da Rocha and others are no more and right now we are gripped by a mob that has worked out the importance of violence in bulling the party into submission.

Now look at the quality of our leadership – If you don’t vote for me my supporters will stay home on election day and we will thus ensure defeat (this is called No Nana No Vote!); I can’t work with the Chairman and General Secretary and so will terrorize them (this is forever going to be a problem as in effect the flag bearer now has a veto over the election of 2 key administrative officers of the party!) With this turn of events democracy is being killed slowly by the party that has championed constitutional rule since its leaders met and formed the UGCC all those years ago. If you hold a press conference and we don’t like it we will send our para-military forces there with cutlasses to disrupt the meeting. The silliest thing is being said by party leaders and that is Afoko and Agyapong are NDC moles. This this was the same allegation levelled against Henry Kokofu the sitting MP for Bantama and he lost his primaries contest. Now the stage is set. If you want to dislodge someone, accuse him of being NDC. There is no need to show any evidence; just accuse him and keep repeating the accusation until delegates start to believe.

How on earth did it come to this? Let us look at our most successful member’s track record as a unifier. HIs advantage was that the great sociologist Kofi Busia was his mentor and he imbibed him with qualities he had. Learn how to talk to people, arrogance and threats will give you short-term success but will result in long-term disaster; bring people together; respect our party structures etc. Not surprisingly JAK never said it was his turn to lead; he never said it was his destiny; he never said it was his birth right to be president. If you have these thoughts then anyone who has an opposing view to yours seems like a burglar trying to break into your house and rob you of what is yours by right and you will respond violently to protect your “property”.

A leader isn’t one who “speaks good English” as Komfo Anokye, in my books the greatest person to have lived in the territory called Ghana, will be a bad leader. A leader is a person who leads; shows how to bring people together; has an open-door policy for all and most importantly keeps his rivals close in the interest of party stability. JAK offered posts to the following who were campaigning for his rivals or who actually contested him at one time or the other: Major Quashigah; Dr. Apraku, JH Mensah; Nana Addo, Grace Coleman; Christine Churcher; Kwabena Agyapong; Malik Alhassan. The list is long. Kufuor could work with them and they projected themselves politically on the back of the wisdom Kofi Busia gave him. This why during our 8 years of government under Kufuor there was no division; no one accused senior members or MPs of being NDC; our President never said he could not work with some people and so we even worked with CPP members such as Nduom, Armah, Hagan and co. Our leader built bridges, JAK strengthened alliances; we soared to great heights; we laid the framework for a ground breaking social welfare revolution in Ghana; we did all that a government is supposed to do but then in December 2007 we elected a new flag bearer and we have fallen from our great heights into a sea of confusion, insults, seizing party offices, and now murder in Asawase.