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Opinions of Monday, 1 January 2007

Columnist: Antoh, S. G. Jnr.

RE: Is NPP Different From PFP Tradition?

I write in my capacity as an office holder of the P F P (National Youth Organizer of the P.O.Y.A.) as the youth wing was then known and wish to react to the opinion expressed by one Nana Kofi Amankwah based in the U.S.A. in The Ghanaian Chronicle of December 22 2006, page 5.

Under normal circumstances one shouldn’t bother himself or worry his head on the trash contained in the write up. But for the sake of those who think like him, as well as those who could be innocently deceived by the article, it is incumbent upon some of us to correct the wrong impressions created. I sincerely think that in the first place, the News Editor of the Chronicle shouldn’t have published such rubbish for his readers to consume.

The simple answer to his question is YES: the N.P.P. is different from the P.F.P. The leaders of the Danquah-Busia tradition having realized their mistakes and havoc, caused by the splitting of the tradition into two parties in the 1979 election, (i.e. the Popular Front Party (P.F.P.) and the United National Convention (U.N.C.) which enable the late Dr. Hilla Liman, of the P.N.P. to form a government) decided to mend our ways and behaviour by agreeing to come together under the banner of the New Patriotic Party, NPP.

None of the two parties should be blamed for the split. As a matter of fact, the Ghana Bar Association and the Christian Council of Ghana admonished the leadership of the two parties the P.F.P. and the U.N.C. to reconcile their differences but both took entrenched positions. Therefore who is to blame for the Danquah-Busia tradition losing the election of 1979? Having lost that election, adherents of the Danquah-Busia tradition learnt a great lesson and came to a gentleman’s agreement of ‘never again’.

In the latter years of the 1980s when J.J. Rawlings’ atrocities and human right violations were coming under increased local and international pressure, we formed the Danquah-Busia club as by then, it was impossible to form a political party. It was out of the Danquah-Busia Club that the now governing party, the New Patriotic Party was formed. It is significant to note that the first National Chairman was Lawyer B. J. Da Rocha a P.F.P. man and the party flag bearer in 1992 election was the eminent Professor Adu-Boahene, the man who broke the culture of silence in the Rawlings regime, and U.N.C. Parliamentary candidate for Ejisu-Juabeng. The 2nd N.P.P. chairman was Lawyer Peter Ala-Adjetey a U.N.C. parliamentary candidate for La. He was succeeded by Lawyer Odoi-Sykes a P.F.P Parliamentary candidate for Odoidoodoo who chaired the party as His Excellency President Kufuor swept to victory in the year 2000. What is wrong for Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo-Addo a U.N.C. man wanting to contest, as a presidential candidate of the N.P.P.? People like Kofi Amankwa should not be allowed to drive a wedge into the leadership of the party as he is so childishly trying to do.

Furthermore, his vague attacks on President Edward Akufo-Addo, Nana Addo Danquah-Akufo-Addo’s father, Nana’s Matrimonial uncle, Mr. William Ofori-Attah and Nana Akufo-Addo himself should be treated with the contempt it deserves. Just is known by students of agricultural science, there is “pure breed and cross breeding”. Hon. Nana Addo-Danquah Akuf- Addo is likened to the pure breed as his grand father Dr. J.B. Danquah the leader of the U.G.C.C. after whom he was named, provided the ideology of the Danquah-Busia tradition. Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo by dint of his family ties is hereditarily related to three brainy members of the ‘big six’. Perhaps, Nana Kofi Amankwah would also want to tell us what contribution his family has also made to Ghana’s socio-political and economic history.

I congratulate you for admitting that our tradition is built on freedom of expression. For that matter the leader of the U.G.C.C. Dr. J.B. Danquah alone did not impose our tradition or its underpinning ideology on the others which is a big credit to Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo. As you well know, within Ghanaian chieftaincy practices among others, elevation of stools and chiefs usually depended on rarities such as an act of bravery shown at a particular time and period. Without mincing words, it is widely known that when the going became tough for the democratic forces in Ghana during Flt. Lt. Rawlings’ regime, it was Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo, who together with others formed the Alliance for Change and led it as the spokesperson even to the peril of his life and resources, by which time you Nana Kofi Amankwah had vamoosed to the U.S.A. Your reasons for writing the article that has solicited this rejoinder is therefore strange to put it mildly.

Finally, I wish to state categorically that for some of us, Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo is the heir apparent to His Excellency John Agyekum Kufour as far as the Presidency of Ghana goes and we shall work assiduously to ensure that this happens in this lifetime, knowing what sort of shivers his name alone sends down the spine of our political opponents the NDC.

Yours faithfully,

S.G. Antoh JNR.

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