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Opinions of Saturday, 10 January 2009

Columnist: Amonu, Kofi

NPP Is In A Difficult Circumstance for Some Time To Come


I made it clear in my previous articles why the CPP and NDC are one and the same party so, henceforth, whether they merge or not, I will refer to them as NDCPP whenever I find it appropriate.

It is an undeniable fact that the NPP is a tribal party for the Asante-Akyem. As a tribal party, it has its merits and demerits, but the demerits outweigh the merits considerably. In the spirit of “Kum Apem A, Apem  Beba” (For every thousand that you defeat, there will be another thousand to face), the NPP will remain as one, whether as a ruling party or one  in opposition.. The other side of the coin is that it is difficult for them to present someone who does not come from the two tribes as its leader and a little squabble between the two factions can spell defeat for the party. In addition, the party has to act like a traditional family where, regrettably, democracy gives way to the Ghanaian tradition.

When Akufo-Addo lost the party leadership to Kufour in 2000, the unwritten traditional rule was that Akufo-Addo had to wait for his turn after Kufour, just as Nana publicly told Kyeremateng after the 2008 NPP presidential nomination that “you will be president after me”. When Kyeremateng resigned from the party and Kufour convinced him to change his mind, it was again implied by tradition that Kyeremateng has to wait for his turn. So, having had the assurances from Kufour and Akufo-Addo, as well as helping Nana in his campaign, Kyeremateng has a claim to the NPP leadership in 2012, although Akufo-Addo may refute this claim at his prerogative.

This is where the NPP gets between a rock and a hard place. If Akufo-Addo contests and defeats Kyeremateng in 2012, the Kyeremateng faction may vote for the NDCCP out of resentment, or refuse to vote altogether, with the explanation that the party has a soft spot for a perpetual loser. On the other hand, should Kyeremateng beat Akufo-Addo next time, Nana may quit with his followers to form his own party, as we have seen in the past. As at now, there is suggestion far and wide that Kufour wanted an Asante, not Akufo-Addo, to lead the party. So, the NPP loses with Kyeremateng as its leader, it loses with Akufo-Addo as it leader, and it gets even worse with a new leader all in all.


Yeeei, there is something else! If Rawlings does not overthrow or control Egya’ta, which is unlikely to happen, or he gives Egya’ta sound advises that we all see to be good for the nation, what will the NPP’s next campaign strategy be? Ghanaian politics is all about perception. If Egya’ta does well, Rawlings will be credited as doing good work backstage, and NDCPP will be strengthened. If he fumbles and Rawlings makes a boom speech, Egya’ta will be seen as being in control afterall, but making his own mistake.

It still gets worse for the NPP if the NDCPP presents John Mahama, Attah Mills’ vice, as its next presidential candidate. In this scenario, the NPP will definitely lose and possibly, remain in opposition for a long time, because the Rawlings’ supporters in the NDCCP will remain behind him and continue to grow with the addition of NPP defectors and independent voters. The NPP will be noted as the party that used Aliu Mahama for votes and later tossed him, while the NDCPP will be seen as a party for all Ghanaians because Rawlings stepped down and provide backing for Attah Mills to win, and Attah Mills gave way to his vice, John Mahama. When that happens, a better slogan for the NDCPP will be “Yeresesamu No, Na Yereko Yenim” (As we move forward, we change). I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

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