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Opinions of Thursday, 20 January 2022

Columnist: Kwabena Nyamekye

When the soup is cold: Recent developments in the contest for NPP leadership

Back in the late 1980s, gallant members of the Danquah-Busia tradition were battling the forces of authoritarian rule. The true NPP faithful came from far and wide knowing full well the risks to their businesses, the threat to personal liberty etc.

However, Joseph Boakye Danquah and Kofi Abrefa Busia had laid out principles that their disciples had clung to for decades and had pressed to have these principles shape Ghana.

Thus true followers of this great tradition (not the latter-day arrivals from the Nkrumahist tradition) rose to the challenge, met in secret, plotted the return to democracy and constitutional rule.

However, ideas alone are not enough – the tradition worked towards forming a political party and erecting physical structures to house the party and provide a focal point and machinery for members of this glorious tradition to congregate and press their agenda.

These were not easy times and anyone who associated with the Danquah-Busia forces risked political persecution as the heavy hand of the PNDC was still hovering over our political terrain. The years have passed but we still remember the calls to boycott the business, the assault on Dr Safu-Adu’s pharmacy and other direct attacks on the Danquah-Busia old hands.

Into this cauldron of uncertainty stepped seasoned veterans such as Mr. Odoi Sykes, and the younger ones that included Alan Kyerematen who had the Danquah-Busia principles embedded deep in their hearts and minds.

It was these heroic soldiers of ours who worked to build party structures, exposed flaws in the national voting process to ensure fairness, traversed the country to raise the Danquah-Busia flag and keep our spirits flying in the darkest moments when the tradition felt it could never win state power.

In those days the soup was hot boiling at more than 10,000 degrees Celsius in a kitchen where few feared to tread. A few days back Mr. Kyerematen was told that his time to lead was over. We wonder where these gentlemen were when the Kyerematen-led Young Executives Forum of the NPP in 1992 was at the forefront of the struggle?

Did they pay towards acquiring a premise for the Party in its early years? Did they risk their personal and financial security by signing the founding document of the NPP or were they hunkered down in their cozy well-paid jobs hoping for a series of NPP defeats so the PNC and CPP could feast on the elephant’s dead body?
The answer to these questions is no.
Obviously, the soup is now cold.