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Opinions of Thursday, 4 March 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NPP Fails To To Heed Apostle's Caution

By Kwabena Amankwah

Former TESCON-UCC Secretary

0244-217504

amaskwabena@yahoo.com

“It will grief my heart so much if delegates to our party’s congress over the weekend should allow adverse selection to have its way, make a mistake, reject John Boadu and vote for any other person as the National Organizer of the party. That is why I am writing to sound that caution to all of us, who so much desire victory for our party in 2012.” (Kwabena Amankwah, Daily Searchlight, Friday 26, 2010)

It had always been dangerous for the church in the biblical times to ignore cautions from the apostles. This was because it could lead to catastrophic consequences, especially when the concerned Apostle would want to feel vindicated, and so prayed in that direction in view of the rejection of his caution.

This would ordinarily be the case if Chief Apostle placed his individual interest above the collective interest of the New Patriotic Party. I cautioned my people not to reject John Boadu as the National Organizer of the party because he was the best among the aspirants. I also cautioned them against the rejection of the entire old executive, for the sake of institutional memory.

But the delegates ignored my cautions, and voted MASSIVELY for Alhaji Moctar Bamba. I salute the strong man who has remained a good friend to me since I first met him about six years ago in the Brong-Ahafo Region. He can count on my total and unalloyed support in the pursuit of every agenda that will promote the cause of our party.

Again, the delegates conspired and managed to kick out all the old executives, not even sparing the young, dynamic party activist that is highly commended for his competence and commitment to duty.

We have gone for MILITANCY, which is not a bad thing at all. Let’s exploit Alhaji’s militancy well for it to produce positive outcome for the party. As a good NPP Apostle, that is my prayer, and I expect it to be yours too.

I think what the delegates did to placate Apostle’s “anger” (let me rather use disappointment) was the election of Jake Obestebi-Lamptey as the Chairman of the party. I thank my people for heeding that exhortation. By your humility to heed my caution, I invoke the ad infinitum mercies of God over our party, and beseech thee to give us victory in 2012. AMEN!

Apostle has another concern. The delegates humbled me so much, so this time around I won’t caution; I will plead. Here is my plea: appoint one or two of the “sacked” old executives to some of the deputy positions to cater for the much-trumpeted institutional memory. We all know who the first person to be considered for appointment should be – let’s do the right thing for the sake of our party.

I salute Jake and his team of competent people for their victory. To Stephen Ntim and the others who could not make it, I say take heart and better luck next time. Apostle also lost because his candidate, who had the best message, with undoubted competence and suitability, also could not make it. But, what can we do? We can’t do anything than to accept the decision of the kingmakers; they know the direction they want the party to go.

What is the way forward now? I think both the victors and the vanquished have to celebrate the highly SUCCESSFUL conference, put the past behind us, and work assiduously in unity to return our party to power in 2012.

We need to avoid any public utterance that will create a negative image for the party, and further deepen the current factionalism. Let’s not forget that the flagbearership contest has started in full swing. The stakes are higher here, so let’s all be careful and put the party’s interest above our parochial interest.

Jake, where are you? I hope you will lend me your attention. I was really touched by your extension of the olive branch to Mr Ntim and the others, as well as the interest they represent. Who says those who lost do not represent an interest in the party? Oh! But the good thing is that they all agree the party’s interest comes first.

Apostle was deeply touched because Jake emphasized his determination to work with the vanquished at the Wesley Cathedral in Kumasi, where I don’t expect him to be insincere. Well said, sir. Let’s see it translated into action. We don’t want to see it as mere rhetoric.

Talking about the House of the Lord reminds me of how we forsook God after we had won the 2004 elections. It was the Lord who spoke in 2000, you remember the inspirational “AWURADE KASA” song, to bring us from our thirty years’ sojourn in the political wilderness. We were appreciative, and so thanked our God for that. We are just like the people of Israel.

We failed to thank God after the 2004 victory, and those of us who practice Christianity believe that contributed to our loss in 2008. “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.” (Revelation 2: 4-5). This sums up the point Apostle wants to make in his sermon.

I expect Jake to lead the NPP effectively, trusting God and doing what is acceptable in the sight of our Maker. Let the Christians, Muslims and Traditionalists in the party always seek the face of God for the party in truth and holiness, and, “Isha Allah”, God (Allah) will see us through in 2008.

Everything points to the fact that we are returning to the corridors of power in 2012. But, we need to work harder. God helps those who help themselves. That is our belief. Jake should lead his team to engineer all the strategies required to win the elections; I know you are capable of doing that – that was why I supported and openly campaigned for you, even though you do not know me in person. Mr Ntim knows me because I started active politics in his home Region.

We have reposed our confidence in you. We expect you to do the right thing. We expect you to deliver the goods. We won’t accept anything other than effective delivery. Be warned that even though Apostle is tinier than his political father, his pen is mightier than your heavy body.

Remember if we had been favourably disposed towards the internal criticisms engineered by some individuals and newspapers like the collapsed Statesman we would have been occupying the Jubilee House.

You and your winning team must be prepared for sustained, persistent internal criticisms. But, be assured Apostle will not choose the Arthur K approach. This means you have to create the opportunity for party activists to bring our views and ideas for consideration, all towards the victory 2012 agenda.

Open your doors, and arms, if you have the means, to party activists. That will contribute to enhancing the efficiency of your chairmanship. Come to the level of the masses of the party. Through no fault of yours – and that is not bad, anyway – there is a cloud of elitism around you. Make conscious effort to be readily accessible to the rank and file of the party, as well as the masses.

What about the language barrier? Don’t think you are who you are and have achieved what you have achieved for the party with that deficiency, so it is not a problem. Politics is dynamic; the times have changed. You must change with the time.

Those of us who campaigned for you against Ntim were able to defend it, but, now that the contest is over, we have to say it as it is. That deficiency is not the best – you need to work on it. You must be able to at least speak some “broken” Ga. What about Twi? It is simple: you can easily learn it. Make the effort. One sentence a day will do. You can see Gabby Otchere-Darko for help.

I hope you will heed the exhortation of Apostle because you saw the difference between you and former President Kufuor when you spoke English to confuse the congregation at Wesley Methodist Church in Kumasi during the Thanksgiving service, and when the Gentle Giant edified the people with the language they cherish.

Oh! My people, Ayeeko from our “World Bank” for the wonderful thing that took place there. Let’s allow the spirit of the Kumasi Conference to guide us in whatever we do. If we all subsume our parochial interest under the broad interest of the party, think of the party first, and show genuine commitment to the cause of the party, we can surely return to the corridors of party in 2012.

The next questions Apostle will be seeking answers to include what next after Kumasi; who should find the resources to run the party; what the Kumasi congress means to Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan; what both need to do to promote their individual interest and the collective interest of the party; what former President Kufuor should do; the place of the youth in the party, and others.

Till I return again with answers to one of the above questions, stay blessed.