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Opinions of Monday, 2 November 2015

Columnist: Alhassan, Mohammed

NPP delegates to blame for internal wranglings

Many were the warnings from leading members of the NPP to delegates of the New Patriotic Party who were about to cast their ballots to elect a new crop of leaders to steer the affairs of the party from 2014. Two particular names were always mentioned, and delegates were urged not to complicate matters for the NPP in 2016 by voting for Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong.

Vote for anybody but these two, was the clarion call by NPP big wigs who for years have come to know the true character of the various contestants.

Even me, from my little corner in Builsa South, foresaw and predicted what would happen if the NPP voted for my own relative, Paul Awentami Afoko. See the link below – (

However, NPP delegates did not listen. They allowed themselves to be wooed by the promise of 275 pickups for every constituency and a New Plan for Power. They allowed themselves to be deceived by the sweet sound of professionalism, and they eventually allowed themselves to be influenced by money on Election Day.

Yes, in as much as the delegates had noble intentions of ensuring that the two factions within the NPP were brought together to work hard for an NPP victory, there is an old proverb which states that 'a leopard cannot change its spots'. People who have an innate hatred for Akufo-Addo cannot, all of a sudden, be thought of as wanting the best for Akufo-Addo. Whatever they can do to fight him and ensure that he loses the 2016 election, they will do, and that is what they have done.

The NPP has seen glimpses, from May 2014 till date, of the cost of their mistakes in Tamale. Instead of prosecuting a campaign against the NDC, some people within the NPP, led by, now suspended Chairman, Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong, are only concerned in prosecuting an agenda against Akufo-Addo.

And rightly so, some NPP members have lost hope of victory in 2016. Disappointed voters who cast their ballots for Mahama, and have regretted doing so are not so sure what do to do now – the easier choice for then now is to stay away from voting centres in 2016.

It is not too late to remedy this unfortunate situation. The onus now lies on NPP polling station executives, constituency executives, regional executives and parliamentary candidates to right the wrongs of May 2014 and work hard to return the NPP to power.

A small minority may want to keep the narrative firmly locked on NPP and its internal wranglings in the next 12 months, but it is incumbent on us, the overwhelming majority in the party, not to heed to the request of a disgruntled few who want to side-track the party and our quest for power in 2016.

It is not going to be an easy battle, because moles within the NPP who have been tasked by their paymasters from the NDC to scuttle the party's chances of victory will not relent.

As Elizabeth Ohene rightly put it: sad as the NPP's internal wranglings are, we are still the party Ghanaians want to see in government after the 2016 general elections. The pressure is on the ruling NDC government to justify why it should be re-elected in 2016 and not the NPP to defend itself as the credible alternative.

Let us remind Ghanaians about how their lives have been destroyed under President Mahama and the NDC's Better Ghana Agenda over the last 7 years. Let us remind Ghanaians how the NDC astronomically increased the price of petroleum products when they promised to reduce the prices drastically. Let us remind Ghanaians about the lie the NDC peddled in 2008 about the introduction of the one-time health insurance premium.

Let us remind Ghanaians how Ghana's public debt has ballooned from GH¢9.5 billion to GH¢94.5 billion in just 7 years with nothing to show for it, but a gloomy future for upcoming generations. Let us remind Ghanaians about how Mahama blew GH¢8.7 billion alone in 2012 in his desperate bit to become President in 2012, leaving us with all the economic problems we are facing now and which have led us going for an IMF bailout. Let us remind Ghanaians how Mahama and his government have destroyed our lives and our businesses with dumsor. Let us remind Ghanaians how cash and carry has returned in the healthcare delivery sector. Let us remind Ghanaians about how worse off they have become under Mahama.

There is so much going on for us in the NPP, and so much we can capitalise on to win the 2016 election. Let us not be distracted from the main goal of winning the 2016 election. If we remain focussed on campaigning, visiting every hut and house and giving the electorate our message of hope, victory in 2016 will surely be ours.

Like Nana Akufo-Addo said, the mandate is to mobilise the majority of Ghanaians for an NPP victory in 2016. That should be our focus and we are capable of doing so.

Mohammed Alhassan

NPP Member

Builsa South Constituency