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Opinions of Friday, 30 October 2015

Columnist: Kwadwo A. Baffour

The nonsense of leadership struggles in NPP must stop

Opinion Opinion

Leadership, in broad sense, is leading people from "here" to "there". This is sometimes done by influencing, inspiring and motivating people to follow the leader’s vision.

Leadership involves exemplary behavior and a determination to stay the course of action, regardless of challenges. These statements about leadership, however, do not seem to be part of the directional focus of the current leadership of our great party.

As an elected executive of the party, I am very worried, if not disappointed, by the current developments in the party, especially those concerning people in the highest executive positions (National Executives).

Our inability to handle the internal issues has the ultimate impact on the campaign of our Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, someone who was overwhelmingly endorsed as the right presidential candidate to represent our party in 2016.

There is no doubt that Nana Akufo-Addo will make a better President than HE John Mahama. The NPP can best govern this great nation than what the NDC is currently trying to do. However, we, as a party, are rather making this dream difficult to achieve.

Of much concern is the fact that key party functional bodies are being gradually drawn into internal conflicts among the executives. As a youth leader, and I speak for myself on this, I believe actions of people involved and how the issues have been handled have negative effects on the youth in the party. These developments have also blind-sided elders in the party. Soon, leadership of this great party will fall on the next generation who are watching the current crop of leaders.

Those at the helm of affairs today need to be aware that the state in which they leave the party when they retire, which might be sooner, has dire consequences on the future of the party and how its future leaders will have to lead.

There is a saying that ‘where there is humility, the young learns from the old and the old from the young.’ The leadership of this great party needs to know and manage their blind spots, as a team, to avoid conflicts and in-fighting. There is a serious need for self-awareness, which is gradually being overlooked due to self-deception by people in authority. Personal interests have now taken over our collective resolve to better the lives of Ghanaians.

We are failing, as a party, to prove our competence in dealing with our internal challenges. You do not give up or fight when faced with a challenge towards achieving a goal. Rather, you work together as a team to find solutions.

The application of knowledge and wisdom through continuous learning can overcome challenges. We have openly demonstrated our weakness in the area of management to Ghanaians by being unable to unite and build a formidable team of national executives after the congress in Tamale. Maybe we might have forgotten we had just elected new executives who needed a robust orientation on leadership and team development, evident by the disagreements and various role conflicts amongst the team. This has opened us up to various scandals and conflicts with executive members targeting each other.

We are gradually being infiltrated and surrounded by sycophants and scavengers full of greed. These suspicious individual seeking mindsets want to dominate the affairs of our party. It is sad to say though that some of these people are doing these things to protect their daily bread and future security by aligning and pledging their loyalty to people in authority.

Self-sacrificing love and dedication to the course of the party is what is expected from leaders! As a family, we need to give love for each other a chance to prevail over hatred. We need to identify the real problems in the party, be it through needs analysis and or through human performance improvement.

Our gaps need to be analyzed to be able to design and implement pertinent interventions to solve them. We are better and stronger than the picture we are currently giving the world.

Party followers and floating voters want to hear what we can do, how the government is failing the masses, why we should be given the opportunity to govern. They do not want to hear about the nonsensical struggle for control and divisions. They do not care about the clash of egos nor the airing of dirty laundry. I am humbled and appreciative of the fact that our grass-root polling station executives gave me the opportunity to serve as 1st Vice Chairman at Madina Constituency. I am always mindful of my actions and dealings, making sure I better represent the interests of the party and not my personal interests. Likewise, it is a privilege and opportunity given to our National executives and our Flagbearer to lead the party and to represent our interests. This opportunity should not be taken for granted.

The people who gave us their trust should be well respected through our behaviors and decisions. A certain level of decency and decorum is expected from the people in leadership. Also, it will be a very big mistake for people in current leadership to behave as if they are the only knowledge banks in the party. More specifically, people who carry themselves as special assistants and spokespersons, ranting on radio and TV, assuming the responsibilities of party executives.

Our communication protocol has been one of the weakest and poorest when compared to what other parties have. It is very disturbing to have party members who, by virtue of having the opportunity to engage with the media, make pronouncements as if they are party directives even before the party speaks. The communications directorate has been overtaken by people who want to be seen as authoritative figures in the party.

Every member now feels he or she can speak on key party issues for the fact that it will make him or her popular. This has gone unchecked, contributing to people hurriedly bringing party issues to the media. We should be channeling our energies in discussing national issues of importance and not internal power struggles. The party is silent on national issues of concern.

Even when journalists are exposing corruption and all other forms of cankers associated with the NDC government, we seem not to care to add our voice and to profess better solutions to solving these issues when given the opportunity.

In the run up to the 2008 elections, then-candidate Mills led a demonstration against NPP government's intention to privatize ADB even when he did not have the support of the staff there. We now have the staff and other stakeholders resisting the sale of the same bank and we are silent?

Our party seems lost in cases involving GYEEDA, SUBAH, SADA, and WOYOMEGATE, to mention a few. It is worrying when we are not concentrating on the NDC's poor performance but fighting ourselves.

The economy is hopeless, "dumsor" has crippled businesses, the government seems clueless and the NPP is not providing Ghanaians with viable alternatives.

Instead, it is fighting itself. This leadership nonsense is completely unacceptable and it must stop with immediate effect. The example party leaders are giving the youth is a very bad one. This has the potential of sowing long term divisions in this great party.

The NPP is becoming unpopular to floating voters. This is no secret. We all know, statistically, that we cannot win elections without the floating votes. We are not providing a better alternative and people are losing hope in us. It is a known fact that, if the current happenings in the party continue, the work of our hardworking polling station executives will be very difficult. This can cost us the elections in 2016.

Let us be reminded that the wake of our leadership, as we pass through this great party, will leave behind two things; Relationships and Results! Relationships are as important as results and they are part of the metrics of performance. The time has come for us to be united for victory 2016. We must bridge all the gaps in the party.

We need to make this great party attractive and appealing to Ghanaians. We have to work to win their confidence in us by closing our ranks and by presenting a united front.

Long live NPP! God bless Ghana!

Kwadwo A. Baffour
1st Vice Chairman
Madina Constituency