One quick fix to all NPP’s problems
Unprecedented is probably the best word that can most excellently describe the chaos that has characterized the affairs of the New Patriotic Party over the last two years since party members in their wisdom decided to hand over administration to a combination of ‘personalities’ from both the Alan Kyeremanteng and Akuffo Addo factions of the party.
What have we seen since? A protracted internal wrangling that has given the party more bad press than all the failures of the current administration put together.
Two lives snuffed out with the snap of fingers at the instance of an acid bath and knife stabs, as if human life doesn’t matter.
Bloody clashes at the party’s headquarters have made the premises a more important watch site for the country’s security agencies than Accra’s most dangerous criminal breeding neighbourhoods.
And bitter infightings – resolutions to which are usually explored in radio discussions and court room battles – that has kept NPP stories trending on social media and in the number one position in news bulletins on daily basis for all the bad reasons you can think of.
If I didn’t know better, I would have said the guys leading the NPP have absolutely no love for the party, nor do they have the party’s interest at heart. But I know better, that, virtually all of them except Acting Chairman Freddie Blay has tasted being a member of the party whilst it was in power, and life outside power, and understand President John Kufuor better than the rest of us when he says: “it’s better to be a cleaner in a party in power than General Secretary of a party in opposition.”
Can we blame the delegates who voted into leadership a mixture of the pro-Alan Kyeremanteng and pro-Akuffo Addo apparatchiks during the congress for this mess the party finds itself in today? Obviously not. I’m sure they had good intentions for the party and were convinced the two factions will find a common ground and work together. But they assumed wrongly that the factionalism was emerging as a result of a conflict of ideas, when in fact, an entrenched turf war for the soul of the NPP between the factions is rather what is fueling the ‘lightless’ heat that has already burnt the heart of the party.
Now, the NPP’s leadership, headed by former Convention Peoples Party’s parliamentarian Freddie Blay appears to have lost focus. Instead of working as a government in waiting, it is busy fishing out and suspending everyone who disagrees with them or criticizes them. It’s interesting that even after suspending Paul Afoko, his spokesperson Nana Yaw Osei, the regional and constituency executives who demonstrated in solidarity with Mr. Afoko, as well as Kwabena Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe, the violence and court room wrangling that continue to give the party a bad name rages. A signal, the way things have been is the way they may remain going into the November 7, 2016 elections.
It’s sad that one faction within the party can go on such a far reaching ‘riot’, devour anyone they perceive as suitable prey, viciously topple everyone in the other faction from leadership, and expect the result to be good fortune for the party. They forget the age old Arab saying which has been the guiding principle of many associations that have stood the test of time that “you cannot applaud with one hand.” Even the ‘ghost community’ seeks more members, but not the NPP of today.
Today Saturday 19th December, 2015, delegates are gathering in Sunyani for an extra ordinary congress to re-energise the party ahead of the polls. Good to hear the assurances from the party that they do not intend to pass a resolution to fully remove the suspended Chairman, General Secretary and Vice chairman. But let me suggest one quick fix to all the problems of disunity facing the party today. If there is any resolution the delegates should be passing at the congress, it should be a vote of no confidence in the rest of the party executives currently at the helm of affairs, from the acting chairman to the least person.
The trouble the party has faced over the last two years is not just a function of ‘having people within the party’s leadership supposedly working against the flagbearer.” If it was just that, I am sure the recent suspensions would have fixed it. It’s about leadership failure, mistrust among people who should be watching each other’s back, and poor judgment on the part of who ever mooted the idea that a bloc within the leadership must go to enhance the party’s chances of winning the next election. This is something they must all take responsibility for and make way. This congress probably provides the opportunity for the delegates to vote into office interim executives who can command the support of the various factions to steer the affairs of the party going into 2016.
The NPP doesn’t need a leadership that sees the best way to assert its power in displaying total intolerance and imposing a culture where no one sees evil about them, speaks evil about them nor question them for their deeds.
Every political party’s objective is to win political power. And the current leadership claims to be interested in political power too. But action speaks louder than words. The party is on the wrong path when its disciplinary committee and national executive council go on a hunt, tearing down anyone they disagree with. Breaking the party into ‘us’ and ‘them’, and pushing ‘them’ out through the window doesn’t enhance unity within the NPP. It brings defeat closer home.
I will end with these lessons for the NPP I have learnt watching the political terrain over the last few years, and I’m sure our folks in the NPP may also have learnt them on their own too. In politics, you don’t really need everybody ‘licking the boot’; what you need are people who can get the job done. In this game of numbers, never let people lose when everyone can win. May those who wield power in the NPP today learn to treat all with dignity and compassion, pursue justice, cherish life, and strive for peace.
To the ordinary party folks, defend your freedoms and protect your common interest.
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