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Opinions of Thursday, 11 July 2013

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

NPP= Narrow Pretenders Party

: Act on the Ken Agyapong’s Tribe Baiting Imbroglio!

On Tuesday the 9th of July, Ghanaweb published a news report sourced from Joy Online. The title of the article read thus: NPP suspends Wereko-Brobbey for 2 years. Mr. Wereko Brobbey has been suspended for two years and summoned to write an apology to the party for making disparaging remarks. I hope he defies the party and calls its bluff. Shame on the NPP!! This must be interesting times for NPP. As one who defended the right of Sammy Awuku to comment on the Supreme Court actions or inactions, I find this action by the NPP as a wicked slap in the face. Here we are defending freedom of speech for all Ghanaians and the NPP arrogantly goes after one of its founders for speaking his mind about the party’s action or inaction? Where is the zero tolerance for tyranny and anti freedom of speech? Where did we go wrong? How can the NPP be so tone deaf?

The NPP all along has been throwing dust in our eyes about its credentials for democracy, freedom and the markets. Yet every corner you turn on this party tells a different story. Some of us who have done our home work see through the hype of a tradition that is intolerant and always wants to have its way. The actions of the NPP now are not significantly different from the Matemeho days. You either join the herd mentality and acquiesce to the sadomasochistic mindset or perish. This kind of myopia and tunnel vision has not served the party well and will continue to be a turnoff for some of us.

To the NPP, the benefits of following blindly are awesome and the cost of defying party dogma is too astronomical to even dare. Let me be very clear that criticizing the NPP is not an endorsement of any party. I don’t belong to any party in Ghana! At least not yet!! This write up is not a comparison of the NPP to any party. Instead, it is a review of the behavior of the NPP vis-à-vis its espoused actions and values. So please don’t come to me complaining about a lack of balance and all the other canards the NPP blowhards fortify their bag of tricks with.

By suspending Wereko Brobbey, the NPP admits that, the Supreme Court was not wrong in punishing Ken Kuranchie and Sammy Awuku for their opinions. Why then have we been hearing vitriol against the Supreme Court from key figures within the NPP? Why this phoniness, NPP? Where is the moral standing of the NPP in criticizing the Supreme Court? It is interesting to note Nana Addo’s silence on the actions of the Supreme Court. Of course it will be a tactical error for Nana Addo to stick his neck out against an intolerant and no nonsense Supreme Court. It is noteworthy that President Mahama has also not commented on the media witch hunt. Our leaders have no starch in their spine and continue to shirk responsibility. They take their followers for granted and only act when it suits their personal or self interest.

If the NPP is capable of taking swift action against Wereko Brobbey, why has the party refused to take swift action against Ken Agyapong? What does it take to make the case that what Ken Agyapong said was much more insulting, self injurious, dangerous, nation wrecking and overall tribe baiting than anything that Wereko Brobbey said. Is the NPP aware that Ken’s sick utterances may have shrunk their gains in the contested elections? Is the NPP so self-centered, arrogant and insensitive to tribe baiting as to ignore this brouhaha? What message is the NPP sending to those tribes that were subjected to the infantile vituperations of the sewer mouth and malignant narcissist called Ken Agyapong? If this action by the NPP disciplinary committee is not insulting to the tribes that were disrespected and maligned by Ken Agyapong, I don’t know what is.

The hypocrisy of the NPP explains why it has a narrow tribal base and is only capable of winning two regions out of ten in the general elections. If the NPP continues to refuse dealing with this critical and august issue, it must be punished by the electorate until it shows respect to the affected tribes. The NPP’s inaction is a clear endorsement of intolerance and tribal acrimony. It is not what you say but how you act that defines who you are. What needs to happen is an unqualified apology and an indefinite suspension of Ken Agyapong from the party. Nothing less will be satisfactory. This matter will not go away until the NPP acts swiftly. Does the NPP want us to believe that Ken Agyapong deserves no sanctions whatsoever for making those radioactive and scalding remarks? Come on!

My fellow Ghanaians, it was Martin Luther King who once opined that the true character of a person is observed when that person is in discomfort as opposed to lapping in comfort. This observation can easily be extrapolated to groups or organizations. It is clear that when push came to shove, Kufour shamefully supported Ken Agyapong by admonishing the NDC to stop using a sledgehammer to squish the alleged fly called Ken Agyapong. In addition, Nana Addo was missing in action. Finally, the whole NPP is missing in action. Putting party over country is something that the NPP is notorious for. The Leopard after all has not changed its spots. Can the NPP faithfuls explain why the NPP has failed to sanction Ken Agyapong for making those grating remarks? Where is the party’s moral compass? Where are the leaders? Is the party justifying Ken Agyapong’s actions? Not even a reprimand?

Now, we can safely conclude that the NPP did not act swiftly against foul mouth Ken Agyapong because it did not want to. It was surely not because it could not act. We now know that the NPP has a disciplinary committee that can bite when it wants to. I say shame on this kangaroo disciplinary committee that had the chutzpah to go after Wereko the founder but could not cut Ken the foul mouth Agyapong to size. I know the NPP can do better and I urge the independent and critical thinkers within the party to stand up for what is right. Like me, you may not like what Wekere-Brobbey says or does but you must defend his right to free speech. Shame on the NPP!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Affectionately dubbed the double edge sword and now tagged as Santrofi Anomaa)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think is hell---Harry Truman