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18.03.2009 NPP News

A Self-Appointed Surgeon For The NPP

By Daily Guide

PERMIT ME, my cherished reader, to serve notice here that anyone who fears the truth should not read beyond this line.

I am going to be my iconoclastic and irreverent self because as you may be aware, I, your irrepressible Earth Angel Gabriel, have a strong weakness of frankness. As for strong language, I must admit that I only try as much as possible to be accurate and a little bit vivid. I do sincerely believe that rather than being gagged for swearing the Chief's "Ntamkese" (great oath), I will rather seduce his wife and be hanged. I must confess here that sometimes I am possessed with fury.

Ever since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lost power (or gave away power on a silver platter), any attempt to make a postmortem has been hushed down by the top hierarchy of the party, fearing that such postmortem will expose the weaknesses of the leadership of the party. Sometimes I shudder to broach this subject of postmortem because any attempt to do so may be misconstrued to mean mischief.

From this angle, I am sure I am going to provide easy fodder for people who may not understand me very well. At the end of this epistle, I know some people will make up their minds to launch a vicious attack, in fact a well rehearsed verbal assault on me. To such people, I will be sorely disappointed if they misinterpret my intention and declare war on elementary truth.

I want to assure these people before they embark on their attacks that I am broad-minded and cosmopolitan on the issue I am going to raise, and I have enough recognition in relevant quarters. After all, what am I an angel for? The Akans have an adage which says that when you see a bad thing in-between the thighs of your mother, it is not wrong for you to take it away with your "Moses' Rod".

Unto us have come the season and fullness of time when scribes should courageously and fearlessly set down in truth the affairs of the NPP and say it as it is, no matter whose ox is gored. After all, when the sea is rough the fishes don't mind.

It came to pass that in the early days of our struggle for independence, the people from the Northern Region, led by S.D Dombo, formed a political party called the Northern People's Party (NPP). Key members of that party included the Lawra Naa, Abeifa Karbo, Tolon Naa, Yacubu Tali, Jato Kaleo, B.A Mahama, Mr. Tedan etc.

The Ashantis too formed their own party called National Liberation Movement (NLM). Since unity, they say is strength, the two parties merged to be christened, the United Party (UP).

Together, they fought tyranny which led to some of them being thrown into jail. This was the party which later metamorphosed to be called the Progress Party, led by the late professor Kofi Abrefa Busia which also won the 1969 election. Jato Kaleo, S. D Dombo, Abeifa Karbo and a host of northerners played key roles in the government of Professor Busia but sadly and ironically, the lifespan of the government of Busia was cut short by a coup launched by the late General Kutu Acheampong, an Ashanti. It is worth mentioning here that the late President Dr. Hilla Limann was a member of the UP tradition until he was "poached" by the late Alhaji Imoro Egalla to lead the People's National Party. Alhaji Egalla was such an astute politician, you know.

So, when I hear lettered and enlightened citizens of Ghana refer to the NPP as an Akan party, I consider them as "ignoramus". In fact they expose themselves to public ridicule.

The truth is that, the people from the northern regions should rather be proud to belong to a party their forefathers shed their blood to form and nurture to this level. It is not for nothing that when the Progress Party was overthrown and the Popular Front Party (PFP) was formed, Victor Owusu, the flagbearer of the party in the 1979 elections, chose Tolon Naa, a northerner, as his running mate.

You also may wonder why in the face of pressure from within the NPP, ex-President Kufuor chose the amiable and nice Alhaji Aliu Mahama as his running mate and went on to win two elections with the man from the north. Mr. Kufuor knew and in fact knows very well that the NPP belongs to the people of the north and the Akans for that matter.

Sadly, because the younger generations refuse to travel down memory lane, they have failed woefully to look back as historians do. At the ward, constituency and national levels of the NPP, northerners are marginalized.

Check the list of office holders in these three areas and you will see that the number of northerners is negligible. The northerners themselves shy away from contesting for positions in the party because they fear the tribal card will be played against them. And yet these are people whose votes can make a difference in every general election in the country. Apart from the three northern regions where the executive members are dominated by the indigenes, in the other regions, they are not given the chance to play a role in the party. That is a problem for the NPP.

Because of poverty and want, more than one third of the northern population has migrated down south where they live, work and cast their votes.

That is why anytime the NPP complain that the people of the zongo don't not vote for them, I laugh behind the curtain like Sarah. The truth is that the NPP top hierarchy has woefully failed to read between the lines. In fact, they have failed to understand that Rawlings used more than two decades to brainwash the people of the zongo and as such there is the need for the party to dilute that poison. And the only way to dilute that poison is to involve the northern communities in the other regions in the affairs of the party. Hold your anger and don't draw your sword yet!!! (Next week: Why the NDC has been grabbing votes from NPP strongholds).