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30.06.2014 Opinion

There Are No Youth In NPP

By Nana Effah Twumasi Ampofo
There Are No Youth In NPP
LISTEN JUN 30, 2014

The over politicization of developmental issues in Ghana is gradually sending Ghana to the dark days of the culture of silence as well-meaning Ghanaians wants to remain neutral in the personality attack politics of our present days.

However, it's very motivating to see people breaking such odds to lambast the opposition NPP for neglecting their role of keeping the government on it toes and rather tearing themselves apart whiles the government drives the country to its knees economically and developmentally. After a critical review of scenarios, I came to a conclusion that there are no youth in the opposition NPP, if there are, who are they and where are they? Critics should follow the trend of the discussion before jumping the gun.

I just want to recount a few instances; first, concern for party activists. When the NDC took office in 2009, it was their youth groups who decided who should be rewarded with political position and went further to decide who should be sacked all the way from the ministry workers to toilet attendants. Even though it's undemocratic, the youth made sure that whoever sacrificed for their win, got part of the reward.

This was not the case of the NPP youth during the tenure of the party in power. The youth sat aloft and seconded the 'bring your certificate syndrome' which was not enough to win elections. A lot of people were not appreciated for their services that brought the party to power. The youth who are always in touch with grass root party activists did nothing to help the party in that direction. In fact those who tried to do something were castigated by the same party they were protecting and sidelined from party activities. The NPP youth must show concern for the numerous party activists who sacrifice for the party.

The second issue deals with party recruitment. The NDC youth has made it an unwritten condition to go to all institutions to recruit potential politicians and this is done to the extent that ministers of state get involved in student politics to get certain people elected for the sake of their party. They even send people who are not students and do not even know the candidates personally to go and just work for their party.

The NPP youth on the other hand care less about your student leadership ambitions let alone to come and support you and this mostly push genuine NPP student aspirants to shift the post quickly. The catch them young ideology has been taken over by the NDC youth and the NPP youth also say leave them, they will come when they complete school.

Thirdly, decentralisation of party activities; clearly for 2008 and 2012 the NDC youth did not go round with any national campaign message, but rather left everything in the hands of the locals as to whatever they will do that suit them, they should do to win and that meant that they were to use their advantages in all spheres of the elections.

The NPP youth on the other hand used their big books and English inherited from the Danquah's, Busia,s and Dombo's archives to move the FREE SHS mantra. When it was clear that the three northern regions SHS's are on government scholarship and the youth kept bombarding them with only that message.

Instead of using the national campaign message to address the many challenges relevant to specific areas in simple terms, the NPP youth with its numerous serial callers were busy creating platforms on radio for 21st century Lugards to pour lectures on the uncountable supporters at central market and other places when in fact they could have gone down to the same level that the NDC youth were using to counter the FREE SHS message.

I am surprised that in this modern era a party like NPP could be so centralised at its headquarters. Everything is headquarters (Accra) to the extent that the use of mobile phone has to be taught only by somebody from headquarters, oh. And the NPP youth just watch on; where is your competence. NDC also used mobile phone to send their results, but in their case, they only gave the phone and a manual, the rest is for the local people to do their own magic to send the results.

The NPP youth with all their big books do not see the over centralisation of the party. I was not surprised when a journalist in Kumasi complained about the number of journalists who accompanied Nana Addo from Accra to Kumasi, when indeed there were equally good journalists in Kumasi. A photographer (Obana) who is also a serial caller for the NPP was almost attacked for covering his own party's programme because the party brought one from Accra.

Amazingly, the NPP Ashanti regional organizer one Mr. Kennedy Kankam had to fight for slot to be co-MC of party programmes that he himself organised in his own region and the youth in the region also looked on, the 'everything Accra' syndrome that is affecting Ghana's productivity is also affecting the NPP party.

Last as well as the most important is on party unity. In the last two elections, the NPP youth were trapped into the personality centred issues in their internal politics that resulted in a divided house among itself. The FONKA and GAME crack was very big in the NDC, yet their youth did not get into it too deep and tried their best to get all people on board towards the elections to the extent of getting former president Rawlings to campaign for them even against his will.

The role of the youth is to serve as a bridge between all the parts of the party and if that role is not felt, then they are not there. The youth instead has taken entrenched stance like the elders and did harm to each other. People did things and keep doing things as if they love Nana Addo or Alan more than Nana Addo and Alan themselves. How does one accept that the youth of the party are there when they do not crack the whip?

One political suicide that the NPP committed which needs to be corrected now and never to happen again was the ambivalent that ensued between one chairman George Kofi Agyei and one of the then presidential aspirants making the party to virtually sideline him from almost the whole party campaign and the NPP youth who were supposed to be the third eye of the party did not observed in order to draw the attention of leadership. How can you leave out a chairman who led the then most populous constituency (Bantama) in Ghana and raked in the highest votes in Ghana's political history that brought NPP into power in 2000, that led to the accolade BANTAMA FLORIDA?

I believe it was an over sight, but the youth could not make a reminder and I am tempted to believe that the same happened in other places. This is a clear duty that the youth should be doing to bring everybody on board. We are all students of politics and we need to crack the whip on the youth to live up to their role.

In sum, it is clear that the youth in NPP are moving with the party machinery and that will never win an election, it is when they move the party machinery then that the party will win the 2016 elections. I am challenging the NPP youth to move the party machinery this time round if they are there. I know the NPP is bookish and will look at my grammar, economics and law; thankfully those things do not win an election, it's one man one vote. Please look at the message and not the messenger. I will be back if the need be.

Nana Effah TwumasiAmpofo
Email: [email protected]

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