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Opinions of Friday, 12 November 2010

Columnist: Akosomo, Kwadwo Nyantakyi

NPP Will Win 2012 Election Without Sweat ...

... With United Front

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is in line to win the 2012 general elections if it does not repeat mistakes of the past. The good news is that, the discontent that arose just after the primaries is dying down and with the renewed energy and enthusiasm, what is needed now to ensure victory in 2012 is solid unity amongst party activists and all the presidential contestants. The 1979 near miss must be avoided.
Even though Dr K.A.Busia’s government was short lived, provisions were laid down for a successor. Busia allowed leadership aspirants to shine beside him. There were many qualified successors when his party was overthrown. Busia stalwarts like Victor Owusu, William Ofori Atta (Paa Willie), J.H Mensah, and R.R Amponsah, and so on were all ready to lead Ghana during the 1979 General Elections. The unfortunate testament is that, chaos resulted as political figures vied for Flag-Bearership of the party during the 1979 general elections. The leadership struggle caused consternation in the party resulting in great disappointment in the 1979 general elections.

Had Progress Party which had then changed its moniker to Popular Front Party (PFP) been united, the 1979 elections would have been cake walk for the Danquah/Busia tradition, instead leadership struggle marred the party’s organization, eventually dividing the party into two main enemy territories.
PFP approached the 1979 general elections with divided front; the very popular Mr. Victor Owusu led PFP while the highly revered Paa Willie, supported by General Akwasi Amankwah Afrifa led United National Convention (UNC) against an unknown Dr Hilla Limann. When the ban on politics was lifted in 1979, the few Nkrumaists grouped under the Peoples National Party (PNP.) Most Nkrumah stalwarts Like Botsio, Ako Agyei and controversial Krobo Adusei were still disqualified due to corruption and plunder of the nation in the Nkrumah government. At that time the most popular figure and one most had tipped to lead Nkrumaists to the elections was Alhaji Imoro Egala. Egala was however disqualified by SMC 2 from running for political office. Egala therefore sponsored the candidacy of Dr Limann, then little known civil servant for the presidency.

It must be noted that Ghanaians went to polls in 1979 with confusion, frustration and reluctance. No wonder only 40 % of registered voters voted in the 1979 election. People’s National Party (PNP) which was renegade of CPP and led by Limann was still in shambles after Nkrumah’s overthrow, were still able to win with comfortable margin. Check Record of 1979 General Election:


Number Of Registered Electors 5,022,092
Valid Voters 1,770, 379
Dr Hilla Limann PNP 645,080 71
Mr Victor Owusu PFP 541,659 42
Mr William Ofori Atta UNC 310,062 13
Colonel Frank Bernasko ACP 69,052 10
Dr Bilson TFP 31,887 -
Dr R.P. Baffour Independent 16,165 1
140 Total

At present, NPP is far ahead in preparation ahead of the 2012 General Election, while NDC struggles to find their Presidential Candidate for 2012. Therefore, New Patriotic Party‘s (NPP) would win the 2012 general elections as NDC is in turmoil. Rawlings, the main boulevard of NDC following would not want to see Atta Mills in the helm of the party in the 2012 elections. Without Rawlings there will be no NDC. Therefore, NDC is in trouble as Rawling and his wife continue to wrestling the leadership of the party from Atta Mills. It is a known fact that Mills unwillingness to succumb to illogical militant ideas of Rawlings has caused a seismic rift in NDC party, which is unlikely to heal prior to the next elections. Attempts to repair this will certainly be uphill battle as derogatory and demeaning utterances has created hatred and anarchy in the party. NPP should capitalize on this hitch and hit NDC where it hurts.

Nana Akuffo Addo-Danquah the Flag-Bearer should learn from Victor Owusu’s mistakes. Arrogance and complacency caused Victor Owusu’s defeat. Victor should have been able to bring all apposing sides together, especially UNC. Shunning UNC to compete in the 1979 election was a game changer right there. Politics of inclusion should have been the order to bring splinter groups to the playing field. Clinton defeated Al Gore in the primaries, yet realized he could not make it without him. What about Obama and Hillary? Victor should have known that a house divided against itself would not stand.

Nana should learn from the best and not repeat the same mistakes like Victor Owusu. Instead of ownership there should be power sharing. Instead of wrangling, bitterness and power struggle, there should be unity, patience and tolerance. Incendiary speeches cause irreparable damage and must be avoided by party members.

Nana must bring all contestants: Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Alan Kyeremateng, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Aliu Mahama, Jake Obestsebi-Lamtey, Mike Acqyaye, Dan Botwe, Agyei Bawua, Kofi Konadu Appraku, Boakye Agyarko, Kwabena Agyapong, Arthur Kennedy, Papa Owusu-Ankamah, Felix Owusu-Agyapong, Kwabena Frimpong Boateng and Yaw Sarfo Marfo to the playing field, to form a united front, that will make campaigns a mere formality. Bring all hands on deck, let stakeholders feel they are part of the fight and victory would not be far fetched.

Kwadwo Nyantakyi Akosomo