NPP BEFORE, NPP TODAY UNDER THE FLAGBEARERSHIP OF NANA ADDO DANQUAH AKUFO-ADDO
Never in the history of the United Party, UP tradition of what is now referred to by our leaders as Busia, Dombo, Danquah tradition have we suffered so much dissension, division and bad-blood-letting as we see today under the Flagbearership of the man who claimed by some as a longstanding political activist, decision-maker and frontline actor; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
We read about the early days of Ghana’s politics towards independence the yielding of Parliamentary Leadership of the 1956 Parliament by Chief S.D Dombo to Prof K.A Busia after the fusion of the various parties which were affected by the Discrimination Avoidance Act introduced by the CPP, namely; NLM, GCP, NPP, Islamic Party, Ga Shifo Mo Kpe, Togoland Congress Party.
Indeed the Northern Peoples Party’s leader Chief Dombo’s action showed great magnanimity towards NOT Busia, but the building of a strong opposition to Nkrumah and his CPP who were having a field’s day at elections since 1951 and also in Parliament. It was a great mark of great leadership quality.
In 1970, when the UP then turned Progress Party won the Parliamentary leadership of the House of Parliament under the new Constitution of 1969, we saw how the Busia led Parliament passed a legislation to allow the creation of Ceremonial President in the like of Westminster arrangement though not clothed with equal powers as the Queen of England at the time for the election of Justice Edward Akufo-Addo to be President.
We have witnessed again in 1979, how our leaders allowed rancour and vain leadership struggle to divide them for the CPP turned PNP to sponsor an unpopular candidate Dr Hilla Limann to overrun more popular candidates like Victor Owusu and William Ofori Atta to become the President of the Third Republic.
Under this Fourth Republic, we have been lucky to have managed our differences so well that despite the high profiled bitter contest of 1998 in Sunyani, Candidate J.A Kufuor who emerged as our flagbearer courted the support of other opposition parties to win the 2000 first and second round elections to become the second President of the Fourth Republic with an appreciated votes at the presidential level for the party and increased seats in Parliament that we occupied the Majority side of Parliament.
Today, our Party is suffering from self-inflicted crisis of; Disunity and Poor/No Leadership, Intolerance and Dictatorship, Lawlessness and Unconstitutionalism; abuse and Intimidation; violence and bloodletting; corruption, waste and cronyism; selectivity and discrimination; sycophancy and ego worship; selfishness and I-Don’t-Careism; as well as Press and Media gagging. How did we get here?
1. DISUNITY AND POOR LEADERSHIP
The party has been bedeviled for some time now with running internal squabbles which has led to fatal incidences which have gained front-page publications and widespread media discussion. In fact these unfortunate acrimonious circumstances have left a bitter or soar taste in the mouths of its numerous lovers, sympathizers and the general Ghanaian body polity. Its international image appears badly dented with unpleasant ramifications within its Diaspora branches.
For instance, the suspended general secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong had his car windscreen broken in the premises of the party by enraged vigilante group called ‘’Invisible Forces’’; a group identified as the party’s security agents. Their action was in reaction to an alleged attempt to dispense with their services to the party. All of these appear to have festered over time leaving a wide gulf of polarization amongst its ranks. The situation poses a great threat to the party’s resolve to unseat the ruling National Democratic Party which appears organized and very united.
2. INTOLERANCE AND DICTATORSHIP
The internecine tension begun prior to the party’s Tamale Delegates Conference during the filing of and the vetting of nominees for the national executive slots. This turbulent process also preceded a rancorous presidential contest. These events were characterized by negative campaigning and this was particularly pronounced with respect to the chairmanship and general secretary slots.
Every effort was made particularly at stopping Chairman Paul Afoko NOT to go beyond the picking of nomination forms to contest the Chairmanship of the Party for the only reason of suspicion that, Afoko would not favour Akufo-Addo; belonged to the non-existent J.A Kufuor faction who didn’t want Nana Addo to become president and was immature to be chairman.
Why a party that has long promoted the idea of pluralism in the expression of political ideas and always fought any kind of dictatorship be it civilian or military would allow this baseless assumption to simmer down and engulf its entirety can only be explained by Nana Addo and his clique of latter-day militants whose venom is only expressed at home but NOT outside our NPP borders.
Notwithstanding all their efforts, Chairman Afoko, Secretary Agyei Agyapong and a few others emerged winners despite the visible stiff opposition from the Akufo-Addo led militants. Having failed at Tamale, evil-minded as they are, they never went to rest.
3. LAWLESSNESS AND UNCONSTITUTIONALISM
The aspersions which had wide circulation were that, some nominees were pro-former president J.A Kufour and Mr. Kwadwo Alan Kyeremanteng and that its part of a grand agenda to deny Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the opportunity to ascend the highest office of the land. Some christened this as ‘’Agenda 2020’’ and indeed, chairman Afoko’s candidacy thereby came under strict scrutiny with his disqualification appearing evident on the basis of issues of drug dealings alleged against him. Eventually, this singular development raised the political temperature and nearly plunged the party’s front into intractable chaos.
Fast-forwarding, events took a different turn when in Tamale, the major protagonists against whom lots of negative campaigning went against, went on to win the elections. Following from this, an ominous change of the direction of the party’s administration set in. Now an overarching party structure as opposed to the status quo and the laizez faire approach to doing things as previously obtained.
The emphasis of the new wind of change was to break away from the past where individual and personal control held sway so as to enable the party assert itself for the good of all without having to succumb to anyone’s whims and caprices.
Nevertheless, regard for due process, constitutionalism and an overbearing institutional structure without appreciation of the process of devolution as well as respect for sub-unit structures has the tendency to compound the internal troubles; this situation appeared to have occurred and contributed to the palpable fatalities that rear their ugly heads in the party.
So they decided to get rid of them whether they won at congress or not. Surely they ready to apply ultra-vires means to throw away constitutionally mandated officers with collaboration from within the elected officers.
4. ABUSE AND INTIMIDATION
Insults, verbal abuse and intimidation were not left out the unholy wicked methods employed to achieve ends. The so called invisible forces also seized the party headquarters to block or stop the legitimate officers of the party from functioning or performing constitutional duties.
Perhaps over-exploring the principles of freedom of expression and free speech and candid independent opinion, some leading members of the party poured their hearts out on several vexed matters including what they termed a uni-polar power bloc control and grips of the party especially by the presidential candidate, “Dr”. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In an apparent distraught against this considered loud mouth vituperations, the party took arbitrary steps particularly at the regional levels to suspend a handful of supposed deviants upon receipts of petitions which rather flowed copiously like the river Jordan from all manner of party persons who particularly were enthusiastic about the cutting to size, those who were perceived to have overgrown their wings against the very much revered flagbearer.
At the national level, the National Council handed to Mr Paul Afoko an indefinite suspension consequent upon his alleged brother’s role in the murder of Alhaji Adams and Mr. Afoko’s own alleged posture preceding the incidence. Further, an ensuing tussles between the party’s general secretary and the national treasurer worsened matters.
5. VIOLENCE AND BLOODLETTING
Violence and bloodletting also came into their scheme of things. The scenario which played out and eventually led to the death of the party’s Upper West regional chairman (ACID BATHING), Alhaji Adams Mahama was a curious mirror of the lack of and disrespect for the sub-unit structure.
We saw how the Four-Wheeled vehicle of the General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong got vandalised at the Party headquarters. We saw how clashes between rival vigilante groups led to the State Security sending both the Police and Military under heavy arms. We witnessed how an aide to Chairman Afoko, Atuluk Ibrahim suffered an arm break and no one was arrested or dealt with despite the glaring existence of pointers.
A youngman at Asawase suffered death similar to Chairman Adams, all resulting from this same issue of “some people don’t want Nana to be President? Who has worked against the chances of Nana Addo to be president than the man himself?
6. CORRUPTION, WASTE AND CRONYSM
The loudest and self-pontificating “incorruptible Akufo-Addo” could show this claimed trait when he was put to test within the party which can at best be a micro-micro-microcosm of the entire Ghana. There came the bone of contention centered on alleged usurpation of authority as well as financial irregularity or indiscretion between the 1st National Vice Chairman, Rt. Hon Freddie Blay and Mr Abankwa Yeboah.
They both were accused by the General Secretary and others to have opened a bank account on behalf of the party without the former’s consent and authority of the chairman as required by the Party’s Constitution. They were alleged to have stashed some money into Ecobank Account which monies they withdrew and extravagantly spent on some bye-elections.
This situation escalated the internal feud. Many in the party have come to realize that all these proxy wars is about the control of resources the ‘cabals’ and the ‘political entrepreneurs’ within the party who only appear during campaign times over the years have behaved same. Many of our angry silent supporters traced the unfortunate intimidation, attacks and attempts to humiliate Afoko and Kwabena as being Nana Addo’s style of not willing to work with supposed Kufuor men. The evidence of which started from the days of Ohene Ntow as the General Secretary and Alhaji Moctar Bamba as the National Organizer who went through a similar hell situation under the same Akufo-Addo’s flagbearership.
Huge amounts raised towards bye-elections especially the Talensi one are yet to receive proper accounting. No wonder the Party is yet to present its audited accounts from the election to the EC as required by Law.
7. SELECTIVITY AND DISCRIMINATION
Many of the individuals to whom sanctions were meted out to, including the party’s 2nd Vice Chiraman, Mr Sammy Crabbe, Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey amongst several cited the Party’s National Council of Elders as having acted ultra-vires and over-stepping their borders of authority in arriving at swift and unpleasant decisions detrimental to party unity ,cohesiveness and a seamless front. Admittedly, the institutions which have been sighted for acting ultra-vires and over-stepping their mandate also included the Disciplinary Committee and the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Substantially, the role of the National Council of Elders is only an advisory one and is deficient legally of weeping sanctioning powers. Again, the Disciplinary Committee’s role is a delicate one and its powers have got to be exercised in a manner consistent with due process, conformity to ethical standards and circumspection. It is not to be disposed to an arbitrary and sweeping fault-finding and when it does so it has to act, then that action must be seen as even-handed.
To date, the sanction against chairman is an issue in court while the general secretary and others also have been out of their posts for the various perceived infractions or deviations. In the midst of all these sanctions, is it to be suggested that the party has been or shown consistency in dealing with all others thereafter for flouting due process and acting contrary to propriety? Doubtlessly, there are also lots of accusations, allegations and rumour against certain persons in the party which cases appears not excite the interest of the powers that be to attract the same measure of action as earlier meted out to others- KENNEDY AGYEPONG AND HIS ILKS. Is it the issue of “two legs bad, four legs good” of George O’wellian ‘Animal Farm’?
The argument points to the fact that, to a large extent, the council of elders as well as the disciplinary committee seemed to have slacked and has become bereft of the urgency to deal with errant elements in much proportionate and the same way it dealt expeditiously just upon the stroke of a petition.
8. SYCOPHANCY AND EGO WORSHIP
Dishearteningly, it is crystal clear that the parliamentary party has been infested and eaten up by the canker of polarizations and strives within its ranks as a minority. Although this specter is invisible outside of the august house to the eye of the public, internal whisperings points to a parliamentary party divided thereby raising issues about the structural cohesiveness and a minority party’s resolve to win and form the next government. It has exposed the party to ridicule and distrust by the electorates. The recent scuffle between the Manhyia North Member of Parliament, Hon Adu and the regional chairman is not only heart-rending but also senseless. It is an insult to the injury of the party.
In every well-functioning institution, there are bound to emerge conflicting individual or personal interest situations, but the overall institutional will cannot be short-changed. We must disagree to agree in a spirit of magnanimity.
The Manhyia conflict are assumed to be part of the symptoms of a fledgling internal discontent, disharmony and poor processes and procedure for addressing petty squabbles and internecine conflicts.
The Ablekuma west ‘Madam Ursula Owusu’s double album, klortey korle mafia against, Nii Noi, Tema west criminality currently going on against Carlos and many are not promoting our party in positive light and demotivating many party members. The youth have become highly disillusioned and disenchanted seeing their youth leaders becoming corrupt, amassing wealth and acquiring properties in opposition though have nothing to show where they made those monies. Where did they get these monies to buy these big cars and build these mansions one constituency organizer elicited this response but helplessly had no answer?
All the above issue has nothing in common but sycophancy, hypocrisy, and the ego worship of Akufo-Addo. If you won’t worship him, then you would surely be given a hurdle to jump. As we speak, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkora is still having challenges simply because he beat Naa Torshie, who was Nana Addo’s favourite.
9. SELFISHNESS AND “I-DON’T-CAREISM”
There is a crucial need to begin to re-examine our origins and the philosophy, self-sacrifices and self-denials which have sustained the party over the decades. In building institutional efficiency, there is of course the need to ensure propriety, truth, and respect for due process and building trust.
The synergy of the foregone and our institutional knowledge should drive our efforts. In our introspective examination, the party has it as an obligation to put premium on giving convincing ventilation to the regulations and rules which direct the course of our individual actions so as to put and enforce trust and confidence in and amongst all players. It must not be the case of arbitrariness against others and applause for infractions incurred by some others.
Indeed, the future of the party in playing a leading role within the landscape of our country politically, socially, and economically bequeathing a better legacy to our future generations would to a large extent depends upon the examples we are setting presently. A bad precedence is what our collective future shall be predicated on whiles deepening our enviable democratic drive, it is important that we give full meaning to the letter and spirit of our governing constitution and all universally acclaimed standards.
The question is, does Akufo-Addo care?
10. PRESS AND MEDIA GAGGING
Our friends in the Media have not been spared of this cancerous Akufo-Addo infliction of pain and disappointment in the NPP. Any media practitioner suspected to be fair and balanced in the tussle within the NPP is branded an enemy and they would do everything possible to either tarnish his or her image or even seek their dismissal.
The List needs no mention but the evidence is clear.
It needs to be emphasized that opinions vary on the case being pursued by Mr. Afoko against the party’s decision to suspend him. It is suggested that whatever decision is given by the courts, the National Council and all other bodies within the party’s structure allow for concession across the divide to avert further worsening or protraction of this awful situation staring all in the face.
The question of the day on the lips of many Ghanaians is, can a party in crisis-bleeding profusely save a so-called nation in crisis? As3m s3b3.
Charles McCarthy NPP /GhanaPoliticsOnline.com