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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

Who Is The Leader Of The New Patriotic Party?

The death of Adams Mahama (May his soul rest in perfect peace) the Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP has further exposed two of the many cracks in the NPP. They are the leadership crisis and the misuse of mandate. Let’s be serious for once and ask a very important question. Who is the Leader of the New Patriotic Party as you read this article? Is it President Kuffour, Nana Akufo-Addo, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong or Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority leader in Parliament? And where does the bugs stop if there are cracks in the party and the center cannot hold? Does it stop with the Leader of the party or someone else? These are very important questions that Ghanaians should have answers.
Since the death of Adams Mahama, there have been several calls by those “supposed to know better” and “prominent” members of the NPP for the resignation of party Chairman, Paul Afoko and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong whilst the Leader of the party remains at post. The reason for the resignation is that the actions and inactions of these two gentlemen will help the party to lose the 2016 elections, thereby paving the way for a successful Agenda 2020. No solid evidence have so far been given by anybody in the party. The call for resignation is based purely on speculations and mistrust. Meanwhile, the Leader of the party attended an unnecessary meeting called for by the Vice Chairman without the consent of both the party Chairman and the General Secretary. The tension that arose out of this useless meeting has still not been resolved and an innocent man has lost his precious life. Where does the bugs stop and who should resign under these circumstances? The Leader or who?
Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, a political Scientist at KNUST is reported to have said on Starfmonline on May 22, that and I quote, “what is happening in the party is not good for any political party. Any party that cannot win power should not be in business. Right now Kuffour has to take an active role in the party. In the past, it looks as if he was too aloof, he stood aside and allowed things to go on” Dr. Amoako Baah is one of the few people who initiated the call for resignation of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong because he thinks their leadership skills will not help the party win power in 2016.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul was also on Asempa FM on May 21 had this to say referring to the leadership of the party. “If people have conscience they should be resigning; we have already sacrificed Adams and we should not allow anyone to die again.” He continued to say that the NPP which prides itself on being a party of democrats needs “serious cleansing”
A founding member of the NPP, Mr. George Ayisi Boateng has also called on both Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong to resign. This is how he is quoted on on May 22 referring to Afoko and Agyapong, “If I were one of them and with conscirnce, I would have resigned. There are too many question marks surrounding the death” He continued to say “What courage will they gather to go to the three northern regions to campaign? I have called for their resignation and it is for the party to decide”
So when you read the statement by Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, he sees President Kuffour to be the current Leader of the NPP who should “take active role in the party” He doesn’t see Nana Akufo-Addo as the Leader of the party who rather should take active role in the party. Dr. Amoako Baah accuse President Kuffour of standing “aside and allowed things to go on” in the party. He doesn’t see Nana Akufo-Addo as the Leader of the party who stood aside and allowed things to go on in the party. Let me remind you that because somebody stood aside and allowed things to go on in the NPP, somebody (Adams Mahama) is dead and now President Kuffour is being blamed for that. Nana Akufo-Addo, the Leader of the party has got nothing to do with it. No one can blame Nana Addo for the mess in the party and he is walking around free of charge. People like Dr Amoako Baah should be put to house arrest so he can stop talking because the more he talks, the more he annoys some of us. Does he not know what happened to President Kuffour, Dr Wireko Brobbey and the rest when they attempted to take an active role in the NPP? Let Dr. Baah know that H.E. John Kuffour was a President of Ghana so he can’t be a fool.
When you read Dominic Nitiwul statement, he is also suggesting that ‘people of conscience” in the leadership positions of the NPP should resign. He did not mention any names but was quick to add that the party needs “serious cleansing” This means from the flag bearer of the party, to the party leadership at the headquarters, and to the party leadership in parliament who have conscience should resign. This is what Nitiwul calls “serious cleansing” and I agree 100% with him. In other words, those NPP leaders who will be in their positions come 2016 don’t have conscience and Ghanaians should not vote for them. Ghanaians don’t want people who don’t have conscience to be ruling them. In short, you can’t be President or a leader if you don’t have conscience to see what is going on and resign. To put it in simple terms, people in leadership positions in the NPP who have conscience should resign because they can’t sacrifice anymore lives. One live is more than enough. Please let us not do politics with this. Let us start the “serious cleansing” right now and call for the resignation of all people without conscience.
And when you listen to Mr. Ayisi Boateng, he doesn’t even know who the leader of the party is and whose name will be on the ballot paper in 2016. He suggests that Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong cannot go to the Northern region to campaign because ‘there are too many questions surrounding the death of Adams Mahama. When somebody’s husband, father and brother is dead and the family is mourning and in deed grief, Ayisi Boateng is talking of who will have the courage to campaign in the north. By the way, how many votes is Ayisi Boateng expecting from the north if Paul Afoko is still under house arrest and the burning issues have not yet been resolved? Ayisi Boateng is talking about “question marks surrounding the death” of Adams Mahama? What about Nana Akufo-Addo? Who is he in the party and what role did he play to answer all the “surrounding question marks? Since Nana attended that unnecessary meeting that was called by the Vice President, has he ever addressed the tension that mounted out of that meeting? When Afoko and Agyapong went to Upper East and a junior officer of the party attempted to stop their meeting, did Nana address the surrounding question marks? Does Nana not know that since Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong were elected as Chairman and General Secretary respectively, they have never seen peace in the party? Has Nana addressed any of those “surrounding question marks? What is Ayisi Boateng talking about ‘surrounding question marks?’ Can Nana Akufo-Addo explain the surrounding question marks when he travelled to Europe last week for important party activities without his party Chairman or General Secretary? Can he explain the surrounding question marks why he buried his Regional Chairman without his party Chairman and General Secretary? If Nana Akufo-Addo could not answer all the “surrounding question marks” leading to the death of Adams Mahama, he is not a courageous and visionary leader and he is not fit to be a President.
By the way, why should Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong be blamed for the answers to “surrounding question marks?” Why can’t Nana Akufo-Addo be made to be responsible at least for once? Was it not Nana Addo who lost the 2008 elections and it was blamed on President Kuffour? Was it not Nana Addo who lost the 2012 elections and it was blamed on Alan Kyeremanten and Dr. Afari-Gyan? Was it not Nana Addo who lost the Supreme Court case and it was blamed on Justice Atuguba? When the NPP took Ghana to the Supreme Court on the election petition, didn’t the NPP folks hailed Nana Addo as a brave leader who took Dr. Afari-Gyan on? Why can’t the NPP see Nana Akufo-Addo as their true Leader so that whether good or bad, they can hold him responsible? When things are good, Nana is their Leader but when things are bad, Nana is not their leader. This is slowly killing the NPP into the 2016 elections.
What will the NPP lose if they ask Nana Akufo-Addo to resign now from the party? They may only lose the 2016 and 2020 elections but that will be good for them in the long term. They will come back stronger, peaceful and more united to contest the 2024 elections. I believe so long as Nana Akufo-Addo remains the Leader of the NPP, they will lose elections, after elections, and after elections that will go beyond 2040. When the Nigerian authorities realized that the hierarchy of their Football Association was the problem, they sacked them, faced a 2-year ban from FIFA but they came back 4 years or so to win the African Cup.
If I were a member of the NPP, I will not just push this article and all the opinions by Dr. Arthur Kennedy away, but I will start to ask myself certain questions and will begin a process of holding Nana Akufo-Addo responsible for his Leadership styles in the NPP. This way instead of saying “Yegye Yeman” meaning we want our country back, you will begin to say “Yegye Yen Party” meaning we want our party back. NPP has been in the bush for far too long under Nana Akufo-Addo. The time has come to sack him from the party for the peace of the party and the moving forward of the country. My word to the wise….

Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Friends of John Dramani Mahama (USA Chapter)