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Opinions of Saturday, 31 October 2015

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

NPP must end squabbles to gain strength

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Current scuffles within the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is worrisome to Ghanaians especially notable figures, members and sympathizers of the party with some people in and out of the party unsure of continued potency of the party going forward . Of late things look dire for the NPP , however on paper the party is still rated very high by many Ghanaians with the ‘die hard’ members of the party hopeful that the party would live up to expectation in the coming days . The pedigree of the leader of the party Nana Akufo Addo is unquestionably high, yet some people feel that he would face a tough task in fighting his way to power in 2016, yes some people say he has a lot to do to win votes from some disillusioned members and sympathizers of the party and from floating voters who are getting confused day in day out. Well meaning Ghanaians who are sympathetic towards the NPP and its leader are calling on the flag bearer of the party Nana Akufo Addo and other leading figures of the party such former President John Kufuor to continue intervening to find solution to the problems of the party. Otherwise, if care is not taken there are fears that what happened to Popular Front Party (PFP) the NPPs predecessor in 1979 when Hilla Limann of People National Party defeated late Victor Owusu is likely to happen again. In those days the front of the party was divided between late Paa Willie who broke away to form the United National Convention from Victor Owusu’s Popular Front Party PFP. It was all due to struggle for leadership. Currently due to this ‘childlike’ behavior the NPP is divided between those who support Paul Afoko who has been suspended and the rest of the party under the acting chairmanship of Mr. Freddy Blay. Although the public has been informed that the chairman of the party Paul Afoko has been suspended he still holds himself as chairman of the party threatening that he would go to court to challenge the action taken to suspend him saying the step is unlawful. But I dare say that he i is wrong especially when his suspension was effected by the NPPs disciplinary committee with the advice of the council of elders of the party. Mr. Afoko must know that his refusal to accept the order of the party leadership would amount to fighting the entire party but he ought to know that one cannot fight the entire party all by himself. yet Mr. Afoko is busily going round official and unofficial circles presenting himself as chairman of the party. His supporters have been jumping from one radio station to the other to justify why he should be allowed to remain as chairman of the party. Much as he has some supporters within and outside the party , for the tie being , it is advisable for him to restrain himself by staying away from activities of the party at top level. The leadership of the party on the other hand have a duty to find a lasting solution to the problems within the party early enough to begin campaigns next year. All the parties in the conflict must move away from their entrenched positions to work with each other in harmony. Hired thugs must not be used to attack cars and the persons of opponents in the party. Serial callers and unknown personal assistants of some officials within the party must also not be used to hurl insults on opponents within the party on radios. If these steps are taken the party would be in a position to stand on its own two feet with a united front to be able to prosecute a campaign come 2016. For while struggling with each other it is likely that they might be too weak to face their political opponents in December 2016. What the NPP must bear in mind that ‘you cannot eat your cake and have it’





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