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Opinions of Monday, 3 June 2013

Columnist: Abubakari, Shuk

We are seeing a worrying pattern of intolerance within NPP

NPP vs Wereko-Brobbey Crisis: We are seeing a worrying pattern of intolerance within NPP

The controversy trailing Dr. Wereko-Brobbey war of words with NPP party loyalists and leaders since he publicly condemned its decision to protest the election of John Mahama at the Supreme Court continues to rage on.Dr. Wereko-Brobbey aka Tarzan, in a series of articles has criticised the leadership of the party for pursuing the election petition to the detriment of the chances of the party in the next elections.

In his latest piece, *On The Face of the Pink Sheets or At the Heart of the Matter*: he described the party's principal witness for the election petition, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, as “confused and clueless.”

But in a rebuttal on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme, the general secretary of NPP Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John said Wereko Brobbey’s comment is “baseless and illogical”. He further intimated that, the former Ghana@50 Secretariat boss is an opportunist who reaped where he did not sow. He alleged that Dr. Wereko-Brobbey enjoyed the fruits of other people’s labour in the Kufuor government even though he (Wereko-Brobbey) formed his party after losing the NPP primaries ahead of the 2000 elections.Meanwhile, Anthony Abayifa Karbo in an interview with Citi News described Dr. Wereko Brobbey as “NDC mole” priding himself as a leading member of the NPP.The former Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party went further and warned Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey to desist from making uncharitable comments about the party and its star witness in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition or face their wrath.“If Wereko Brobbey decides he is no more interested in the party and has joined another party or is working for another President he can go ahead and leave us alone.”

Anthony Karbo fumed, “We the grass root members are fed up with the likes of Wereko Brobbey and by this notice we are sending a very strong indication to him to stay out of our issues and stay out of our party or else we will deal with him mercilessly.”Another member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ken Kuranchie, speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis program, The Big Issue, stated that, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s actions are born out of spite for the party for denying him the campaign manager position in the 2012 election. “He [Wereko-Brobbey] is peeved, so this is payback time. He is paying the people back because they did not give him the top job available without going through an election.”To cap it all, it is now widely reported that, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey has been suspended by the NPP National Executive Committee for “breached certain sections of the NPP Constitution.” If this suspension is indeed true, then, I will suggest that, NPP has little or no respect for democracy and freedom of speech within it ranks.The reaction or over-reaction towards Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s actions has also shown that the NPP and it National Executive Committee either do not know the thinking of Dr. Wereko-Brobbey or have chosen to engage in downright lies in other to ‘jettison him off’ the NPP. The NPP leadership and the various youth groups are frittering away from a very unique opportunity to show Ghanaians that the party can tolerate critics like Dr Wereko-Brobbey with facts not threat. It is time the NPP as a Democratic Party starts to live by the very principle that founded it.We all need to remember that, the same Dr. Bawumia, who was the 2012 Vice Presidential candidate in the last general election, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday May 8, 2013 during cross examination by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata that: “I’m not seeking votes to be annulled to become Vice President”, and that: “We are seeking for this country’s democracy to be put in its proper place..”. This famous rebuttal of Tsikata shows that, Dr Bawumia trust in democracy and respect that every Ghanaian be allow the freedom to speak freely and independently for collective progress and development of all sections of Ghana and will continue to do so. It also shows ‘on the face of supreme court’ Dr Bawumia’s willingness to work harmoniously with all NPP members irrespective of their position on this election petition.

But it is now clear that, Dr Bawumia’s statement will not be worth the saliva from which it is uttered, that in the NPP, words do not carry their exact meanings and that the NPP National Executive Committee together with the youth wings (The Karbos) and their General secretary (Sir John) do not respect Dr Bawumia’s famous statement enough to know that he will be appalled by their attacks and the suspension of Dr Wereko-Brobbey.When viewed in the context of similar blistering verbal attacks heaped on Dr Arthur Kennedy and others for their dissenting views in the past, one can see a growing and worrying pattern of intolerance within the NPP. This is sad, because without tolerance, NPP will have no credibility as the ‘defenders of democracy in Ghana’, and without credibility, the NPP cannot lead this country successfully.The NPP as a democratic party should be tolerant of dissenting views and must strive to represent all including the few renegades, and must descend from being the party of intolerance to the party for all Ghanaians and not the party of a faction of the Akufo-Addo.Any suspension of Dr Wereko-Brobbey will be cementing the NPP petition’s unenviable reputation as the most divisive act in the history of the NPP.

*Shuk Abubakar*Abushuk2000@yahoo.com