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30.09.2005 Feature Article

"Nkwasea Ka" The NPP Is Not For Sale?

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I have been compelled to write this article out of the despicable moves being perpetrated by certain functionaries of the NPP. If for nothing at all, Ghana stands to gain when there is fairness, conviction and unquestionable loyalty to the various political parties and ideologies they represent within our present democratic dispensation. That the ruling New Patriotic Party seems to be headed in the direction of parties on the slide into oblivion is not the point: what is at stake is the deliberate hypocritical inclination to overlook the creeping moneytocracy that serves the interest of a few at the expense of the majority. This article seeks to discuss the form, significance and implications of the worrisome trend that many a social commentator and political activist has overlooked for reasons of personal expediency. Form Not too long ago, a candidate alleged to be gunning for the chairmanship of the ruling NPP garnered eye-raising resources and ferried three (3) persons each from all the two hundred and thirty (230) constituencies of Ghana to Kumasi ostensibly for his campaign launch. The cost of such an expedition can only be imagined as this candidate is alleged to have paid the transport, hotel and miscellenous bills of the 'delegates'. Of course no one can argue against the modus operandi of any ambitious individual if it does not flout both party and electoral laws of the state. Nevertheless, it borders on the lunacy for such wanton display of resources to be made at a time when many are seeking ways of supporting the government to deliver on its promises. It has become fashionable these days for party activists and loyalists to maximize their returns anytime a contest is up, for they continuously repeat the popular refrain 'why not? These people would turn their backs on us once they get power so let us make the best out of them now'. Of course such statements would emanate if monies are being thrown around and if party positions appear to be the preserve of the moneybags.

Besides, isn't it true that functionaries turn their backs on their supporters once they have achieved their ambitions? Have functionaries not stated that they owe nobody a farthing because they paid all their dues to their supporters in the run up to primaries?

It has thus become fashionable, though to all intent and purposes an unwritten code, for aspirants and delegates to form a seamless web of anti-democratic practices that would ironically underpin a democratic environment for the purposes of promoting national development. Clearly, this is anathema to democracy and yet the stakeholders are paying little or not attention to this dangerous development.

The example cited above is described as bordering on the lunacy as a result of a deliberate refusal to spend money wisely or a grand deception by advisers to milk an 'innocent' aspirant dry. How can someone in his right senses ferry approximately 700 people just to launch a campaign, knowing very well that less than half of the number would even qualify to attend congress, given that no primaries have been held to elect them as delegates to the national congress? Why has the same candidate made it his duty to append his name on every piece of paper he donates to constituency offices of the party? Does this presuppose that right from the start, such people had a hidden agenda? And yet, the party office that they currently occupy is in dire financial straits. Significance Nothing has attracted the opprobium of party loyalists than the rubbing of the salt into the wounds of wounded activists than the statement that was made on Peace FM on Thursday August 25 to the effect that “Nkwasea Ka” would not be paid. In all sincerity, no one would be willing to pay what amounts to foolish debt but we live in a country where people, especially party activists are sensitive to the words used by their leaders and especially aspirants. Did the utterer of those words mean that from the National Chairman to the gatemen at the Kokomlemle headquarters, all those who use the telephone at the party office made useless calls? What is “nkwasea ka” about the bill? If the largest party in Ghana today cannot make calls, including foreign calls to its branch offices scattered nationally and internationally, does it even merit being called a serious party?

But the significance of the statement also lies in its damaging effect on the utterer for this writer humbly submits that it has spelt the death knell of the utterer's aspirations. He is not the beginning and the end of the party, especially in the light of the fact that unlike him, the true NPP people know those who stood by them in the dark days. Today, he has been made rich by the party and he actually has the effrontery to utter such vile words on the very people who made it possible for him to be positioned to receive the largesse that is being flaunted in our faces. Can any one imagine what the NPP or any other party for that matter would have looked like if every contributer inscribed his/her name on every donation made to the party? Where were the non-payers of “nkwasea ka” when the founding members were contributing to buy the party headquarters? How much did they pay when the NPP was saddled with the Concordia debt? When people were selling their houses to finance the party in the heady days between 1992 and 2000, where were they? What about those who lost their limbs, lives and loved ones due to their unfliching support of the party? Should Kwame Pianim, who came out of jail and paid ¢5million in 1992 to top up payment for the party headquarters have his name written on the party headquarters?

What about Appiah-Menka, J.A. Addison and the rest whose business interests were subjected to official blacklisting; should they demand that their names be put on statuettes in the party office? Should B.J Da Rocha, Ala Adjetey and Odoi-Sykes be carved into the headrest of the Chairman's seat in the party conference room? Afterall what is good for the goose must necessarily hold true for the gander. Gradually and unfortunately, some latter day converts are sowing the seeds of the party's demise by their ill-advised acts of power seeking, for their display of political immaturity and signs of intolerance are the very things that rile the rank and file no end. Proof of this can be found in the refrain that used to make the rounds to the effect that the NPP was made up of a bunch of arrogant people. If that sort of person should emerge as national chairman, I honestly shudder to imagine what would become of the party in the run up to the 2008 elections. In anycase, is the utterer of those despicable words not part of those who used the facility and thereby incurred the debt? Or he is saying he hardly neither visits the office nor uses the facility? That in itself should send signals as to the kind of chairman he would be if, God forbid, he makes it to that exalted office.

Far more significant is the silence of those at the helm of both party and government to rein in these modern day 'loose canons'. Is it because they are themselves guilty of such acts and therefore cannot call one of their own to order? Why have our council of elders and national council kept mute over these developments? Is there a deliberate attempt to allow the said candidate to self-destruct? What would that imply for the NPP? O that a 'kanawu' like Kwame Donkor Fordwour or R.R Amponsah would 'do their thing' again. Where are the men and women? Rosemary Ekwam, where are you in these trubulent time? Implications It is very likely that the dynamics of internal politics of the NPP would drastically change during the upcoming National Delegates Congress when a new path would be charted for the party. There is a growing move for the party to “go back to the basics”, which translates into a preference for the known old faces to take up the mantle of leadership as the party makes a bid to retain power in the 2008 elections. If the adherents of the “back to the basics” approach hold sway, then the non-payers of 'nkwasea ka' and their collboraters would be consigned to the dustbin of political oblivion for in all truth, the NPP IS NOT FOR SALE: it has been, and shall remain the only party that is not owned by any one person, afterall, most of the founding members all paid an equal amount, the receipts of which are there to be seen by those who care to know. Some have argued that the party could split simply because those who cannot have their way would break away. To all such thinkers, this writer would simply point to Wereko-Brobby and the late

Innusah: the NPP does not care a hoot for disloyal and overly ambitious people. We shall sing along in unison to the popular chorus “good riddance to bad rubbish” and gird our loins to ensure what we do best: confront a challenge and deploy our collective energies to eject the good people of Ghana from the clutches of poverty.

There used to be a time when party activists, even at the peril of their lives would troop to every event organized by the party out of sheer love and conviction. Fortunately, the actions and inactions of some of these latter day converts who have been lucky enough to occupy positions of trust have informed our thinking that we simply have to retake our party. We shall do that with unrestricted and unstoppable determination. As for the money, they can continue splashing it around. We shall chop that well and rightly so for if our individual and collective consciences could not be bought by those who would not come to power for the next 30years, how dare a few “too known” latter day converts think they can do what the mighty umbrella failed to do? We wait for our day with bated breath while serving notice for the umpteenth time: THE NPP IS NOT FOR SALE Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.