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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Columnist: Nyamekye, Kwabena

The NPP and its unfinished 2014 revolution

Anyone can see that there is a crises in the New Patriotic Party. There is a clash of iron wills and this is causing fault lines to emerge in the NPP. No matter how hard we try we cannot cover the cracks arising out of the recent meeting convened and chaired in the absence of the party Chairman and General Secretary. This meeting is just another landmark in the attempt to erode the authority of the leading party executives.

From the peak of its glory the NPP is slowly sinking in the image of the Ghanaian voter and in my view this is because the April 2014 revolution in Tamale was left unfinished. That was the revolution that swept Afoko and Agyapong to power. That was the revolution that told Nana Addo to stuff his list of persons he can or can’t work with and thus we the delegates should elect his preferred choices. That was the revolution that sought to reverse the trend towards the NPP becoming someone’s private property. It was successful as with joy, I saw how we elected elect Kwabena Agyapong and Paul Afoko to the key posts of General Secretary and Chairman respectively. There was a new dawn, for a true leader of his people must be able to work with anyone in his organization. If you can’t work with persons of similar ideology and background, how on earth can you work with all of Ghanaians, a country where at least 40% of the persons have a different ideology and background? Thus for me that list ended Nana Addo’s claim to lead us, for we need a leader who tolerates dissent, acknowledges difference and appreciates the role of alternative ideas. JA Kufuor after winning power offered positions to so many of those in opposing camps during his quest to be flag bearer – Christine Churcher, Grace Coleman, Courage Quashigah were all in Nana Addo’s camp yet all were given major posts in JAK’s government. JAK even built up constructive links with the CPP and this enabled us to win power in 2000.

The Tamale revolution was left incomplete. Sensing danger, Nana Addo’s faction adopted a new approach. This was the threat to re-form the United National Convention (UNC) of old inside our ranks and so destroy the UP tradition once more. No Nana No Vote was the cry! Don’t you dare elect any other flag bearer apart from Nana Addo lest a sizeable chunk of people stay home on Election Day thus guaranteeing an NDC victory. We delegates should have faced down this blackmail; we should have resisted this tyranny; we should have said away with this threat of treason against our great party. We did not do so and the majority of us let fear overcome us and we reversed our own revolution and planted Nana Addo back in our midst.

The consequences of our folly is now clear. From within, the authority of the Chairman and General Secretary are being challenged. True to his CPP roots and backed by another CPP man Freddie Blay, Nana Addo believes no one should question his authority in the NPP. Schooled in the principles of Marxism as he has admitted, he is at heart a centralist – all power should be concentrated in him. While Busia, Danquah, and Kufuor were just a first among equals, a belief that has ensured our longevity as no one person holds the party in his hands, Nana Addo feels he is above all in the party. Thus he can’t be questioned. He can’t be called to account. Not surprisingly no one has dared ask him what happened to the alliance between us and the CPP, an alliance that when it collapsed virtually sealed our fate in 2008? How come you lost in Wenchi in 2012 is a question never posed to him. What happened to the loss of the swing regions? Why did you lose votes in Ashanti and Eastern regions? What made you side-line JAK in the 2008 election? JAK had been round the country 4 times since 1996 asking to be elected president and on 3 of these occasions he had scored the most votes. Why ignore JAK and his wealth of experience? These questions were never asked of him and hence our sad and miserable plight.

Delegates, we made a huge mistake on the day we gave Nana Addo 95% of the vote. He now thinks the party is his back yard garden where he can go and pick pepper anytime he so chooses. If we wanted to give him all power then we should have voted the likes of Sir John as General Secretary for Sir John was the one who launched Nana Addo’s third bid to lead us. He was the one who 5 minutes after the election petition ended, stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and proclaimed Akuffo Addo as our flag bearer for the 2016 election. We cannot get rid of Sir John, Jake and others, yet elect Nana Addo flag bearer. We should have known that this was surely going to cause serious problems!

That unfinished revolution is now being played out within our ranks and we have nowhere to go. In the 2012 election, Nana Addo lost in Wenchi, one of the holy places of our struggle. That was when the party was at his beck and call. With the de-Addoization of the party machine, with the party out of his control, we won’t just lose the 2016 election, we won’t just suffer another defeat in Wenchi, I fear we will be defeated in Abuakwa where Danquah, the founder of our tradition hails from.

Delegates, next time, finish the revolution.