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Opinions of Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Columnist: Asare-Donkoh, Frankie

Open letter to Akufo-Addo.doc

14th September, 2015
OPEN LETTER TO:

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo
Presidential Candidate
NPP
Accra


Dear Nana Addo,

Need to Work with Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong

As you and your advisers continue to deliberate on the current impasse in your party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), I wish to bring to your notice the danger in the call by your party’s Council of Elders to impeach or suspend party chairman, Paul Afoko.

No matter how concerned the C.K Tedam-led Council of Elders might be, it appears it has failed to calculate the political cost of its action to you and the NPP in the 2016 parliamentary and presidential elections.

I don’t need to emphasise the crucial role ethnicity plays in politics all over the world. In our Ghanaian context the place of ethnicity is even highlighted a number of times in constitutional provisions in an euphemistic manner by calling for regional balance in appointments and other considerations. The NPP Council of Elders cannot therefore refuse to realise the danger in its call which would immediately alienate the Northern sector of the country from the party as Afoko is the first person to chair the party, which has been described in certain quarters as an Akan party.

In my estimation, the NPP Council of Elders might have overlooked the reason why you chose your running mate from the North, otherwise one is at a loss as to why it is calling for the suspension of Paul Afoko until after the 2016 election.

You must consider the fact that Paul Afoko’s mandate at the congress which elected him chairman was overwhelming and anyone who discounts his support base across the country would be doing a great mistake and a big damage to your election fortunes in 2016.

Let me also respectfully remind you that Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, was one of the very young men with whom people like the late Prof Adu Boahen, your good self and a few others showed bravery and stood against the injustices and the ‘culture of silence’ of the 1980s and early 1990s, when many of today’s so-called political gurus enjoying the democratic political environment had either ran away or kept mute over what was happening.

Agyapong is therefore one of the current NPP crop of leaders whose loyalty to democratic party political practice and to you in particularly cannot be swept under the carpet. Didn’t Agyapong serve loyally in your campaign team in a previous election campaign? The votes he had at the last congress which won him the General Secretary of the NPP attest to this his support base and loyalty to the NPP.

At this crucial stage of your third attempt as flagbearer of the NPP with the view of winning the 2016 presidential election, if you allow the call by the NPP Council of Elders to suspend Afoko and subsequently Agyapong from their positions to materialise, you might as well forget about 2016 because with their suspension the party would face severe organisational, administrative, and other problems which would lead to you and the NPP losing the 2016 election even before it is held. The suspension of Afoko would lead to massive votes loss not only in the Northern and Zongo communities but in several other areas.

I wish to call on you to urgently resolve amicably any tensions between Afoko and Agyapong on the one hand, and other executives on the other, before you start your full campaign which should involve all key players in the party.

The call by the NPP Council of Elders is destructive and counter-productive. As the body which is supposed to resolve problems in the party, its current stand on the party chairman is very unfortunate and a clear recipe for chaos and the NPP’s electoral defeat in 2016.

As the flagbearer of the NPP, you have a bigger personal stake in the 2016 elections and you therefore need to apply effective strategies which would unite the entire party to support you in your campaign.

The NPP Council of Elders, in my view has miscalculated the electoral costs of its action and you must resist any attempts to suspend Afoko and Agyapong if you want a focussed election campaign.

Dear Nana, I’m sure you might have noticed how your ‘Arise and Build’ tour which should have had massive media reportage, was completely clouded and dwarfed by the incessant media battle by NPP leaders who should have known better. If you don’t take an immediate action to stamp your authority on the NPP executive and other senior members, your campaigned would suffer the same fate.

Nana, you must also be wary of some of the people around you who are only telling you sweet words for their personal interests, and rather quickly get a broad-based campaign team in place to spearhead your campaign.

Sincerely yours,



Dr Frankie Asare-Donkoh
(Political Scientist & Media and Communication Consultant)
fasado@hotmail.com