22.04.2010 Feature Article

NPP flagbearership not Monarchical

NPP flagbearership not Monarchical
22.04.2010 LISTEN

On page 4 of the (11/11/09) edition of the Daily Guide newspaper was an article captioned “Alan Supporters Are Muddying the Waters”. The writer, Eric Bawah, sought to analyze what he described as rivalry between Nana Addo and Alan Kyeremanten. But, the writer in his desperate attempt to unjustifiably castigate Alan Kyeremanten, ended up exposing the subtle way people like him, for their selfish motives, are making desperate attempts to draw a wedge between Nana and Alan.

The writer said in paragraph three of the article that “the supporters of Mr. Alan Kyeremanten have put parochial interest and money above the quest of political power”. The fact is, there is going to be a contest which both Nana and Alan have the desire to participate in and are therefore engaged in some kind of water-testing activities on the ground. Therefore, I see no justification in the writer's desperate attempt to castigate Alan.

In paragraph four, the writer asked “what are the supporters of Alan doing to make the dream of bringing the NPP back to power a reality” and goes on to say that “supporters of Alan are going about insulting and sending damning text messages”. Now, who exactly is the writer referring to as supporters of Alan, and what evidence has he got to link them to those text messages he is talking about?

The writer says in his fifth paragraph that what is compounding the problem is the way President Kufuor is being viewed by the supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo because he (Kufuor) is said to be supporting Alan. Here again, the writer is engaging in a pure speculative hallucination. This is because both supporters of Nana and Alan are currently engaged in activities of some sort, to test their strength within the party. So, why the fuss?

In paragraph ten, the writer says “since Mr. Kyeremanten reared his head in the scheme of things in the party, things have not been the same again. It was he who introduced 'moneycracy' which led to the dismal performance of the party in the last elections”. Here, I would like the writer to know that I was deeply involved in the NPP's 2008 campaign and I challenge the writer to place his hand on his heart and tell us whether Nana Akufo-Addo did not give a pesewa to any of the delegates before or during the congress. Some of us are very much aware of the enormous amount of resources made available for the campaign and what happened to those resources.

The writer tried to suggest, in the tenth paragraph of his article, that there is some kind of a queue for the flagbeareship of the NPP. Here, I would like to ask the writer to wake up from his slumber and come to the reality that the NPP party is not a monarchy where prospective leaders are supposed to wait in-line for an occupant of the throne to die before getting the chance to take their place.

In the twelfth paragraph, the writer said during the Chereponi by-elections, “When it came to the time of serving food to the polling agents, Alan's supporters served theirs separately and during the collation of the results, those in Alan's camp also collated theirs separately”. Here again, I would like to know from the writer the other faction that was present at Chereponi that those from Alan's side were trying to avoid. Nana and Alan are certainly two very important personalities in the NPP and I really can't get my head around all these desperate attempts to single out Alan for constant vilification.

Again, in the (15/4/10) edition of the Chronicle Newspaper was a feature by Musa Superior in which he sought to suggest in the ninth paragraph that “this election is not about which Ghanaian is more appealing to the citizens. It cannot also be about whose personality connects with some sections of the people. It is all about security, our jobs, our education, our democracy, our education and above all the country's recovery programme”.

To begin with, it is the duty of every head of state to work towards alleviating the suffering of the citizenry in the areas of health, education, housing, jobs and so on. So, what shall it benefit a prospective presidential aspirant if he has all these wonderful intentions for his country, but, tends not to win the peoples' mandate at the polls because he doesn't appeal to the broad mass of the people.

There is a credible evidence that points to the fact that it is absolutely inconceivable for any political party here in Ghana, to win a general election with the support of only its core supporters.

Therefore, if a prospective flagbearership aspirant of a political party campaigns on the premise that he appeals to the supporters across the political divide, then such an individual is selling a message that needs to capture the attention of every well-meaning sympathizer of such an individual. The least an individual with such a campaign message deserve from his party, is support and commendation but not condemnation.

Now, for a person to be voted for to become the president of a nation, this individual, in addition to his vision, must also appeal to the citizenry, in one way or the other. If this wasn't the case, then I really do not see why Obama would have been able to emerge as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party and ultimately the president of the United States.

Visions of political parties are very important. But, in this part of our world where access to life's basics have become a daily struggle, what percentage of our people actually know the contents of manifestos of parties they vote for during elections?

William Hague of the British conservative party was described by the Brits as old-looking and boring and was therefore changed for David Cameron. This does not mean that William Hague has not 'suffered' for the conservative party. But the fact is, reality was staring the party in the face and they decided to take the appropriate step at the appropriate time. And today, the Conservative Party is leading the Labour Party in the opinion polls.

The day Obama landed at the Kotoka Airport, our cabinet ministers and other top government officials were falling over one-another to touch his (Obama) cloak, just as that Biblical woman with the issue of blood, did to Jesus.

Again, at the conference center, our great grand fathers were seen on television, dancing like the legendary John Travolta and thanking their stars for seeing and hearing from an American president who is young enough to be a grandson of some of them. Yet, these very same people turn round and tell people to wait for their turn, because they are not old enough, when it comes to party leadership contests here at home.

The cry of some Ghanaians during the 2008 electioneering campaign was that Atta-Mills had attempted the presidency on a number of occasions and that he had really 'suffered' a lot and therefore deserved the presidency.

Now, it looks as if the pre-requisite for one to become a president of Ghana has now been reduced to just the number of attempts this individual has made, in his life-time, to become a president. If that is the case, then it is the turn of Atta-Mills to be the president, according to our contemporary Ghanaian voodoo logic. So, why don't we simply allow him (Atta-Mills), to serve, also, 2-terms in office, in peace, since every president we have had from 1993 has been given a two term in office.

This argument of somebody being allowed to contest un-opposed just because he has contested the flagbearership, a zillion times, is simply flimsy and it must be discarded by every serious mind in the NPP.

If the NPP is convinced that Atta-Mills has failed and is therefore seeking to unseat him in 2012, then the NPP must, as a matter of consistency, jettison this idea of considering somebody for the party's flagbearership on the grounds that this individual has 'suffered' because he has made several attempts at the party's flagbearership.

Credit: Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
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