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Opinions of Sunday, 2 February 2014

Columnist: WO 11 (RTD) Saani Mahama

Sinking Jake is clutching at straw

A sinking man they say will clutch at anything to stay afloat. That appears to be the situation facing the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) incumbent National Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey. He has suddenly found a harmless suggestion from Paul Afoko as his saving straw to latch at.

Apart from Kennedy Agyapong’s open campaign against Jake and the rest of the current National Executives, there is a ground swell at the polling station and constituency level against these executives particularly against Jake, Sir John and Fred Oware. Supporters of the party believe that these executives are responsible for the party’s defeat in the 2012 elections and have therefore vowed to show them the exit in the upcoming elections for national officers.

However, like most power drunk African politicians, Jake and his colleagues cannot see the shame that is coming and insist on pursuing their parochial and selfish interest of holding on to power at all cost. They are the ones who have been registering members of the party and issuing them with party cards that make them eligible to vote.(Interestingly, with their own private machines).

It is Jake and his colleagues who have been going round inaugurating the international branches of the NPP and psyching them up for the upcoming national elections. Jake and his colleagues set up the timetable and drew the ground rules for the elections. INDEED IT IS JAKE, WHO APPOINTED THE DIRECTOR FOR ELECTIONS OF THE PARTY, ONE MARTIN ADJEI MENSAH, who serves as SECRETARY to a National Elections Committee of the Party.

And so when recently one of the aspirants to the National Chairmanship position, Paul Afoko raised a very legitimate moral question about National Executives being Judges, Jury and Executioners in their own court, Jake found the straw he had been waiting for; he quickly latched at it and has made it the centre of his campaign. He even had the audacity to call on people to “learn the party’s constitution if they want to lead the party.”

Nobody has called for a constitutional amendment. And that clearly was not Paul Afoko’s call. Paul simply raised a moral question and anybody with any iota of morality and a sense of shame cannot fail to see that National Executives who are standing for re-elections cannot and should not be allowed to play any active roles in the run-up to these national elections.

It is as simple as that. But off course Jake and his colleagues have been blinded by their selfish interests. Jake and his team should concern themselves with the calls on them to render an account of their stewardship before they ask party supporters to re-elect them.

These are the more crucial issues that should concern them and not who is learning or not learning the Party’s constitution. By the way, if Jake understood the NPP’s Constitution then he would have known that National Officers are elected at a National Delegates Conference and nothing else. Maybe Jake is the one to learn the constitution.