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Opinions of Saturday, 10 July 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NPP now seeing the light

By: Kwabena Amankwah

It is clear from the current development in the New Patriotic Party that both the top echelons and proletariat have now realized the need to behave and speak in a manner that will not be inimical to the party’s determination to ensure the needed unity and cohesion required to dislodge the non-performing, uninspiring and confused Mills-led National Democratic Congress government from power in 2012.

Oh yes, but for the fact that the Kennedy Agyapongs and Kofi Jumahs are seeing the light the party will not be enjoying the present atmosphere of relative peace and calmness, especially with just a month to the crucial Congress to elect our presidential candidate.

Just as I joined others to vehemently condemn them for what many party people and even outsiders considered as irresponsible utterances that appeared to be tearing the party apart a couple of months ago, I think it is just fair to now pat them on the back for putting the brakes on the trigger for some time now.

Apostle urges them to maintain their strong holds on the trigger, and only pull it towards the camp of the NDC after the August 7 congress – that is what all genuine party members who are yearning for the party’s return to the corridors of party in 2012 expect from them and their ilk.

Indeed, the Boakye Agyarkos and Kwabena Agyapongs who are leading the campaigns of the two leading contenders for the party’s presidential nomination also deserve some commendation for ensuring an appreciable level of decency and decorum in the competition.

All in all, I think the high level of decency and tolerance, political maturity and civility exhibited by the five presidential aspirants have contributed tremendously towards the current healthy development in the competition.

This is all that leadership is about – moving people along the path you want them to go. It does not make sense for a leader to claim to be decent and tolerant in his activities and utterances if he cannot carry his followers along the same path.

There may be some uncontrollable situations so long as political lunatics exist in any party, but the onus rests on the one who wants to lead to work out effective measures to keep his followers in check, in order not to destroy the very party on whose back he would ride to achieve his political ambition.

Oh yes, as we are witnessing in the NDC, it is useless for President Mills to continue to “bear” the title “Asomdwehene” once he has failed to convince Ghanaians that he has what it takes to ensure peace in his own party.

Behaving in a responsible manner directed towards party unity is what the rank and file of the party always want to see of the top echelons, and not the conflict-ridden and impertinent utterances that appeared to be creeping into the party in the recent past, and gave many party supporters and sympathizers restless nights.

With this kind of development at the higher level, one would only expect those in the constituencies and polling stations who out of sheer fanaticism often want to behave as if they were more catholic than the Pope to spare the party the needless fights that take place at those levels.

Let us understand that the prevalence of relative peace and unity in the NPP at the moment is a source of great joy to majority of the electorate who are determined to support our party to sweep the inept NDC government into the limbo of forgotten things in 2012.

Reactions from many people in the country when the confusion in the party appeared to have reached a crescendo a couple of months ago offered a clear indication that majority of the people do not expect the NPP to be in turmoil.

The NPP indeed represents the hope and aspiration of the electorate, especially the floating voters who for reasons they cannot explain decided to reject the party in 2008, instead of renewing our mandate to ensure unbroken implementation of our sound policies that held massive hope for the nation.

What they expect is a solidly united party that will come out of the August 7 Congress with the people’s choice as the presidential candidate, determined to move heaven and earth to win the 2012 elections and help restore hope to the suffering masses who have been deceived and totally disappointed by the Mills government.

Ghanaians are indeed yearning for the return of the NPP to lead them to the political Promised Land because they are convinced the Prof Mills-led NDC government does not have what it takes to deliver the so-called “BETTER GHANA” promise.

And that is why Apostle expects members of the NPP fraternity to remain under the light and work towards durable unity and cohesion to ensure a successful return to power. It is only a political toddler and of course someone who does not have the interest of the NPP at heart who will not work towards unity in the party. That is a sine qua non for the party’s victory in the 2012 elections.

Let Alan struggle to win the flagbearership slot or let us give it to Nana Addo out of goodwill and fail to unite and see what the end results will be. Each of them will need the other to win the general election which is the ultimate and of course the heart desire of every genuine NPP member.

That is why I would want to urge them and their key campaigners to help ensure a successful Congress that will be conducted in an atmosphere of harmony devoid of intimations and harassment.

It is true that it is humanly impossible to have a congress that will record 100 per cent absence of harassment and intimation, but let’s us all help to minimize it, especially those of us who are absolutely convinced that our candidate will carry the day.

Whether the party will enjoy the unity required for effective campaign towards the victory 2012 agenda or not will largely depend on the outcome of the August 7 congress and its aftermath.

Let’s not create platforms for people to stand on to “resign” from the party for us to waste previous time to deal with the consequences. I hope we have not forgotten the fact that Mr Alan Kyerematen “resigned” from the party at that crucial period in 2008 because of “harassment” of his supporters.

And for those who care to know, that unhealthy development was identified as one of the major factors that contributed to our party’s defeat in the 2008 elections.

It is now becoming crystal clear that the NPP is seeing the light, with members at all levels ready to avoid utterances and activities that create needless tension in the party.

While Apostle pats the back of our party activists for their current comportment, I urge them to sustain the current development from now to August 7, and even beyond, for that kind of attitude is what we need to achieve our dream of staging a successful comeback to the corridors of power in 2012.

Kwabena Amankwah is a former TESCON-UCC Secretary and former Campaign Correspondent, “Akufo-Addo for President ‘08”. amaskwabena@yahoo.com. 0244-217504.