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Opinions of Thursday, 20 January 2022

Columnist: Osofo Aberantee

NPP should remember the painful outcome of the PFP/UNC factions and learn a great lesson from it

The NPP will choose a new flagbearer to represent the party in election 2024 The NPP will choose a new flagbearer to represent the party in election 2024

There is a popular and common English adage that says, “Experience is the best teacher.” This means that any cautious individual pursuing success normally and at all times refers to his past, then looks carefully in front before leaping forward with the aim of landing on safer ground.

Many very successful people in life learn extensively from the events that occurred in history and apply the best side of it to their daily activities for a better outcome.

It is within this context that I wish to recall an unhealthy episode that occurred in the election of 1979. Let me point it to us that due to “egocentric” political gains in the struggle to become the president of Ghana, heated ideological friction erupted between the late Mr. Victor Owusu and late Mr. William Ofori Atta, all of the Progress Party.

The outcome was that the then Progress Party was broken down fatally into Victor Owusu’s Popular Front Party (PFP) and William Ofori Atta’s United National Convention (UNC).

This division of the Progress Party negatively affected them heavily in the June 1979 election, so neither of them, Victor Owusu nor William Ofori Atta won the 1979 presidential election. It rather assisted the People’s National Party (PNP) to win the election easily. Ironically, both the PFP and UNC could not achieve their “egocentric” political interest; they all lost to Dr. Hilla Limann.

And the arithmetic of the votes of many of the constituencies where Dr. Hilla Limann won was far lower than the total sum of the votes of both PFP and UNC. If they had agreed on one presidential candidate, they could have won the election with “cool chop.” After the election, I believe that both Victor Owusu and William Ofori Atta regretted it, but it was too late. This is the more reason why I wish all the flagbearer aspirants of New Patriotic Party (NPP) to tread cautiously.

Politicians, especially those of the NPP, should look back at the history of the Progress Party and grip firmly to the adage “Experience should be our best teacher,” because had I known is always at last.

Members of the NPP must know that 2024 is just “two steps” ahead. All the flagbearer aspirants of the party should enter into a meditational and pensive mood individually and make a patriotic decision for the main root Progress Party which has now evolved to become the New Patriotic Party. Never come to the conclusion that the ball should go to the corner instead of entering the goalposts for all to rejoice!!!

We all know that healthy competition with a genuine conscience is the best. A clean and open democratic contest, devoid of cheating, bribery and corruption should be the practice of all the aspirants.

It is alleged that for many of the political parties in Ghana, those who can pay higher bribes in their campaign win the primaries, though they might not be the actual and real choices of the masses. Dear aspirants, be aware that God is the ultimate Judge in every human endeavor, so you should accept the choice of nature and avoid any decision of breaking away from the nucleus, no matter how painful you are treated. No one should ever follow the “egocentric” interest of the late Victor Owusu and William Ofori Atta. If your decision causes Ghana to suffer in the long ran, then bear it in your mind that our future posterity will not take it easy with us.

It is worthy to note that all the flagbearer aspirants of NPP are “equally” qualified. Again, it is also very true that the qualities for successful leadership in Ghana are latent like a mirage unless the qualities are tested in practice.

His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is rated as one of the best presidents Ghana has ever had in terms of the implementations of good social interventions and his success could be attributed summarily to the corporate work of certain bigwigs in his government, including almost all the flagbearer aspirants, though some are more deeply involved than others.

Let it be pointed to all our current flagbearer aspirants that they should look forward critically before they leap, else any wrong action will land the NPP into the opposition again. Breaking the eight (8) should not just be a mere superficial slogan. A good strategy should be the party’s goal and I wish to suggest that the principle of intelligent dialoguing with the interest of the party should be the compromise. So how could the following underlying hypothetical issues be applicable as means of achieving peaceful political objectives?

• Could it not be possible for all the flagbearer aspirants to suspend their personal ambitions and seek what would be good for the party? Is it so difficult?

• Could it be tenable for all the members within the NEC to discard their individual secret support for their selected flagbearer aspirants and work among them (the flagbearer aspirants) to amicably agree on two, flagbearer and vice candidates? It is possible.

• Is it not feasible for some of the six aspirants to step down and throw their support on others, making the race so easy for the party?

• Is there anything like “brotherly democracy” which could be applied to agree on two unopposed candidates?

Factionalism is a dangerous political antidote; and it is adopted by only myopic stalwarts of a political party who have selfish national ambition. Those who go by factionalism do not wish well their political party; they are selfish with the wicked slogan: “for the ball to enter the goalposts, let it go to the corner.”

Many politicians do not want to be told the blunt fact that some flagbearer aspirants contesting in the primaries are doing so in order to gain just popularity; some are very sure and are aware that no matter how heavy they spend on the party electorates in their campaign, they will surely lose. There is no hope for them to win and I think such candidates should definitely step down.

It is interesting to note that within the political hierarchy, positions are not won by seniority, neither are they won by those who have fully paid their dues, but rather by those who are rated by the party members and Ghanaians as extraordinary competent. No wonder the opposition parties have started attacking some of the flagbearer aspirants of the NPP who are extraordinarily competent with good leadership qualities because they are scared and are afraid of them.

The NPP members who are young and did not see what happened in June 1979 should calm down and learn from history.
Please, you should all sit up and ponder into the future and fish out for the wiles of the devil; then evaluate as you revisit the harm that was done to the party in 1979 in order to make a patriotic decision for the party. And this goes for all patriotic flagbearer aspirants of the New Patriotic Party.

Again, NPP should remember the painful outcome of the PFP/UNC factions and learn a great lesson from it.

A word to the wise is enough!!!