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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

NPP's Internal Wrangling - My Perspective

Election, they say, is all about numbers. Therefore, as a political party in opposition, it is expected that, any action or decision made by the party leadership attracts new people into our fold. The question then is; would the decision by NEC to suspend some national officers seriously achieve this particular purpose and help the NPP dislodge the NDC from government, come November 2016? This is the mystery that needs to be unravelled.

Observing closely from afar, one could see millions of party supporters express delight by the decision. To such people, it is a bold one because, apart from instilling discipline in the party, it will also give the NPP the needed peace to go into Election 2016. It is further argued that, the decision would portray the NPP as a disciplined political party that would not spare any individual, be it a party member or non-party member when given the opportunity to govern the country in future.

Admittedly, there are also thousands of NPP supporters, if not millions, who disagree with the decision, because the timing vis-a-vis the evidence provided to kick the officers out was not the best. Such people are of the view that, the NPP might lose the votes of not only the suspended officers and their families, but also those who follow them. Besides, the decision would portray the NPP as a party that is intolerant to opposing views, and therefore, could infringe upon the rights and liberty of Ghanaians when given the mandate. Thus, it would be politically unwise to vote out an incompetent government and usher in the one that cannot assure the people of their security and fundamental human rights.

Now, let's play the devil's advocate here. Assuming without admitting that, NEC was right, how many votes would the suspensions attract from non-NPP members or floaters? And would the new attractions outnumber those who are seriously against the decision, and therefore might not vote for the NPP at all? Again, how have the rural communities, who command the highest votes in elections, received this decision by NEC? I think this is a political exercise that needs to be undertaken and probably the aftermath of Election 2016 would justify or otherwise of the NEC decision.

Personally, I think no matter how unbecoming the activities of the elected officials could be, there should have been a better way to handle the problem than what has been done so far - suspensions of top officers, including some Constituency Chairpersons, and incurring the wrath of their followers. But, there is also great lesson to be learned from the suspensions looking out how the party structures were followed. It shows that, no individual NPP member is bigger than the party, and that whoever portrays himself as the Okwonkwo of 'Things Fall Apart' does so at his own peril. Once a flag-bearer has been elected, especially with 94% endorsement, it is imperative we give him the maximum respect and support in all his endeavours. If the suspended officials show remorse, I think it would better to accept them so that, together, we can work for victory. To err, they say, is human.

Currently, there is no doubt our public image as party has been dented, and those of us who have been working in the villages to solicit votes for Nana Addo will attest to this basic fact. The NEC decision is somehow making our work very difficult, because the view out there is that, we are shooting ourselves in the foot, and this could negatively affect the faith and confidence the masses already have for our party.

It's against this background that, I call on party faithful not to lose hope, but rather control our charged emotions. We must note that these happenings are not uncommon among political parties. It shall definitely be well. Yes, the party has fallen, but what is important now is our ability to rise from the fall. We cannot cry over a spilled milk. Let's make the masses understand that, the basic challenge facing Ghana is the toxic mixture of incompetence and corruption perpetuated by the Mahama-led NDC government and not the suspensions. Let's trust Nana Akufo-Addo; let's support him with all our resources - energy, finance, morale; and let's go out there to campaign vigorously for him until he wins the presidential elections. For, it is only when we able to do this that we can profess to love the party - NPP, and not any particular individual. Katakyie and his Patriotic Ambassadors for Peace (PAP) are already doing that. What are you waiting for, fellow patriot?

God bless Ghana! God bless Nana Addo!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri
0202471070 // 0547851100 // 0264931361