RE: STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO “THE CHRONICLE” REPORT ON REASONS WHY NPP LOST 2008 ELECTIONS
3RD February, 2009
My attention has been drawn to a report in your esteemed paper “THE CHRONICLE” on the above in today's issue.
While your reporter, Bismarck Bebli called to help me clarify a radio report, he ended up distorting my view far beyond what the radio report had alleged. In the interview, he quotes me as making statements that I flatly did not make. The extent to which your reporter ascribed to me things I did not say should be of serious concern, not just to me but to your paper and its reputation.
For instance, he reports me as saying “In my judgment, I think the NPP would have won the elections, but for some actions of Mr. Kufuor which did not help. I think that it was not a prudent policy to build the Jubilee House and buy two Presidential jets in an election year.”
Elsewhere, he quotes me as saying “In my judgment, I think that we lost because of those things”.
Both quotes are false and do not represent my opinions.
As I have had occasion to point out, I believe we lost because of many reasons. Amongst these are those related to the campaign, those related to the party and its leadership and those related to the President and the government.
I have never stated and do not believe that we lost the elections only because of government actions. Indeed, I am not in a position to determine at this time how significant each of the factors I have listed was in our defeat.
What I stated was that in my judgment, the NPP during the election period would have been better off not having to defend the Presidential palace and the purchase of the planes. Indeed, President Kufuor himself acknowledged the inter-relationship between the campaign and his government when he stated at a Press Conference in Kumasi before the second round that the election was in a sense, a referendum on his stewardship.
For the avoidance of doubt, I believe, as I have stated repeatedly, that President Kufuor has been a very good President and that he compiled an enviable record of accomplishments.
Finally, the story by your paper led to attacks on me by some members of my party that were unfair.
Even some who had called me and heard directly from me what I had said attacked me and that was dishonourable.
Some accused me of belonging to a certain faction of the NPP and attacking the President on behalf of others. Over a quarter-century ago, when as NUGS President, I took up the struggle to return Ghana to democracy; I was prompted by none but my conscience. I can think and speak for myself.
When I decided to join a political party, I did not join Nana Akufo-Addo's party or President Kufuor's party. I joined the NPP. I caution my party against this creeping factionalism that makes us see and judge everything in the context of factions.
This tendency, if not curbed, will destroy our party.
We should all be members of one indivisible NPP, committed to working to spreading its principles and winning victories in 2012 and beyond.
Thank you for your attention to this.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy
(He was the Communications Director of Nana Addo's Campaign Team - Election 2008)
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