“When you are at the top, be careful of the monster called PRIDE… at the bottom, be careful of the monster called BITTERNESS… on the way to the top, be careful of … GREED… on your way down, be careful of … DESPAIR…” - NELSON MANDELA (President of South Africa: 1994-1999)
ALL HAIL STEPHEN NTIM! All Hail Justin Frimpong Kodua! All hail NPP! It was a marathon event, the NPP conference at the Accra Sports Stadium on 16th July, 2022. Scheduled to start at 9:00am on Saturday, it was not until 3:00pm that prayers were said for the conference to begin.
As the delegation trickled in, some of the political bigwigs were subjected to interviews. Q. What caused the injunction on TESCON members? Kennedy Agyapong: “We hear there were two albums … those who put in an injunction on TESCON, when you win power, will you engage them to help you? Q. Are you going to resign? Dr. Ken Ofori Atta: I will not resign. It is almost like telling a father to resign from his children because he has changed his mind. There are times that decisions have to be made for the survival of a country…” Q: How do you see the elections moneycracy? Stephen Asamoah Boateng: “I've done my best to impress upon delegates to choose competent persons… if the delegates allow themselves to be induced by cash, money launderers or drug dealers could capture the party.”
The ground-work had been done, and the delegates were to choose the leaders. Antwi Boasiako (Wontumi), the Ashanti Regional Chairman, had seen J.B. Danquah, Busia and Dombo in a dream, and they had aided him to predict the winners of the election which included John Boadu as General Secretary. He had whipped the 15 Regional Chairmen to vote for John Boadu, but in the end, the position went to Justin Frimpong Koduah.
The speeches by the President, Nana Addo and the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia were directed at triggering a renewed love to hold the party together to break the 8. The conference theme was: “Holding Together, Working Together.”
There appeared to be the need to speed up things, to the extent that most “introductions” after Mr. Chairman, H.E. the President, would end up in “all protocols observed”! Sorry. Strict grammarians resorting to hypercorrection would ask: Do you know what protocol means? “How have the protocols been observed” in an introduction because some names could not be announced?
It was no surprise to political watchers that Nabia (Prince) Stephen Ayesu Ntim won the chairmanship diadem with an overwhelming 4,014 votes (73%) beating the other contestants: Stephen Asamoah Boateng 1010 votes (18%); Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah 294 votes (5%); Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi 101 (2%); Gifty Asantewa Ayeh (Daavi Ama) 44 (1%); Sammy Crabbe 32 (1%); Akwasi Osei Adjei 20 (0%). Ntim had on four previous occasions tried to clinch the position, but had failed. He remained steadfast, and this time round, he grabbed it to crown his 64th birthday celebrations.
On the General Secretary elections, this is what Kennedy Agyapong, Assin Central MP said: “If you are a party chairman and you stab your people underground, you cannot change their minds … Wontumi should cool down, he does not own the party… the fifteen chairmen have all been embarrassed.” Ben Ephson, the pollster had predicted a win for John Boadu in what Sam George (NDC) calls “Voodoo polls”.
The large crowd that followed John Boadu to the conference had dwindled to just two persons. Tacitus used to say: “This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.” The Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini's Foreign Minister (and son in law) Count Guleazzo Ciano, wrote in his diary: “Victory finds a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan”. And Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) used to say: “Success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan”. As you ride high, people would flock around you; you get swollen-headed, and then bump, you fall and all around you will “scatter”.
The question everybody is asking is: “How are the Regional Chairmen who openly opposed Justin Koduah going to work with him? JFK says: “The elections are now over and I have forgiven anybody that offended me during the heat of the campaign. Anyone that I unintentionally offended during the campaign period should also forgive and forget. All we need now as a political party is total unity and peace, so that we can strategise effectively and work to ensure that the eight-year reign of parties in political office is broken in 2024 … I have already spoken to my predecessors like John Boadu and Dan Botwe. I made them aware that I would not hesitate to consult them for advice and directions when it becomes appropriate.” We advise Koduah to get in touch with Kwesi Pratt and Nana Akomeah on this position.
Does anyone need any telling that the times are rough, and that the new officers are not going to find life easy? The signals are many. They have antecedents in the 2020 elections when they allowed the NDC to have free rein to split the parliamentary seats: 137+1 (NPP) and 137 (NDC); then the election of the Speaker of Parliament went to NDC's Alban Bagbin.
The grassroots are disgruntled. Don't listen to the praise-singers; listen to the political analysts. You can repair the damage. Some NPP members are threatening not to vote at the 2024 elections; some are threatening to leave the party. Why? Those they voted for are showing off. Pride, ostentation, arrogance… listen to Kwesi Pratt, even if you hate him: “Every political party has the sole aim of winning power so that they can run the affairs of the country. Currently, things are not going well under this government, and that's a fact. Ensure that things start getting better…” JFK says: “The Communication Team will surely be strengthened to start preaching about the “outstanding performance of the NPP” Good.
You have a flag-bearer to choose. Be open-minded and guide your party members to elect a “winnable” candidate. Do not show any bias towards or against any candidate. Remember, what happened to Honorable Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu? He had recommended a government of 19 ministers (as in 1961 with a population of 5 million), he remained Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. His constituents at Suame appeared not to have been enthused about his Mugabe reign, booed at him (go-away) and pelted him with sachet water. Who defends him?
Remember Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (Sir John) “Fear Delegates, not ghosts,” after he lost the General Secretary's election to Kwabena Adjei Agyapong in Tamale in 2014.
We may distinguish “loyalty” from “obstinate partisanship”. Whilst the former (loyalty) is not permanent, and can sway, the latter (obstinate partisanship) remains resolute-die-hard!