The NPP And Indiscipline
Why NPP why? This is the question on the lips of the numerous admirers, sympathisers and supporters of the Party. The question is being asked because the difference between the two major political parties is now very clear and the electorate now know the Party who lied, deceived and took advantage of them to ascend to the throne of power, thus making the NPP the likely choice of many voters in the next election. So why all the fuss, confusion, murders, quarrels, violence, power struggle, accusations which seem to give the impression that the NPP is not ready for power? The sad thing about the situation is that the people who were voted into office to manage the affairs of the Party who in their various victory speeches promised to unite the Party and bring about peace for victory in 2016 are those directly or indirectly responsible for the mess. My question is have they given us the peace they promised or what is happening in the Party is their interpretation of peace?
Why would anyone create such tension within the party, cause so much pain to the numerous supporters and at the same time expect sympathy from the very people they are hurting? The answers are not easy to come by as some claim it's a struggle 'by the owners' to take over their party, to others it's a deliberate plan to prevent Nana Addo from becoming a President, others claim it's a struggle between Ashantis and Akyems, while others claim it's all about Bawumia, some claim it's a struggle to control the Party's funds and many other frivolous claims which don't really make sense except of course to those who are hiding behind the 'spoilers' to do their dirty work for them. Notwithstanding the claims and counter claims, I believe it's simply INDISCIPLINE!!!
Political Parties are not formed by people in love but rather people with common belief in a political ideology with diverse interests and ambitions. People who join political parties pursue their own ambitions, aspirations and objectives but use the political party as a vehicle or means to achieve those objectives. Consequently, conflicts, misunderstandings, disagreements of interest groups etc. are part of the realities to be managed on daily basis. To keep the political party together as a cohesive force to win political power for individuals to meet their aspirations, there must be rules and regulations (Constitution) to regulate its activities and control the interests of its members. Political parties are voluntary organisations and therefore there is no compulsion for anyone to remain in the party but if the individual chooses to remain a member, the only conditionality is to obey the rules and regulations and of course be of good behaviour. Those who find it too difficult to conform to the norms or disagree with the majority on the direction the party is moving, normally break away to form their own political parties and examples are many in our political history. To ensure peace, stability and smooth administration, the rules and regulations laid down by the Party must strictly be enforced without fear or favour irrespective of the political status of individuals. All political parties experience some of the current happenings in the NPP and what has kept most of the Parties still strong is the 'cracking of the whip' when indications of indiscipline emerge.
Why then has the NPP been slow in enforcing its rules and regulations or is it because the constitution is inadequate to deal with the recent events? I must admit that even though recent developments have highlighted some loopholes in the Constitution, there are other provisions capable of handling the current misconducts. The Party Elders probably procrastinated for three reasons; the respect of ex-President Kufuor and to avoid any embarrassment since the Chairman and the General Secretary allegedly hail from his camp and therefore some elders felt the new executives must be given time to mend their ways. Secondly, 2016 elections are so crucial to the NPP that no one wanted to muddy the road map to 2016 and thirdly, the possibility or fear of a split within the Party needed careful handling. The procrastination has not only paid off but has also confirmed the wisdom in not taking rash decisions on such sensitive issues. When persuasion failed, the Elders swung into action and the suspension of the Chairman had received a spontaneous positive reaction within the Party and more disciplinary measures are being called for by members to deal with all recalcitrance. Today, the Party is not being haunted by a split and even those advocating for the split had developed cold feet because of the massive support the suspension had received.
For some time now I have resisted the temptation to comment on the internal affairs of NPP because of the respect I have for the flagbearer Nana Addo who appealed to all and sundry to hold their peace and allow the Party structures to deal with the problems. Today we are witnessing the wisdom in that statement. When the NPP returned from its Congress in Tamale in April 2014, I wrote two articles titled 'The Threat to NPP 2016 victory' and '#Who Owns the NPP' and revealed some sinister moves by the new Chairman, the Secretary General and their followers for allegedly planning to sabotage Nana's presidential ambitions. I was insulted and accused of feeding the NDC propaganda media with falsehood but recent developments within the Party have vindicated my observations. At that time I was silent about those who were behind the distractions because I did not want to aggravate the issues and since Chairman Afoko promised in his victory speech to unite the party, it was only fair to give him the opportunity to do so. However, I cautioned that their actions, inactions, words and deeds would be closely monitored, analysed and necessary preventive measures taken by concerned Party members.
Whilst the Constitution of the Party seeks to regulate and manage all party activities and problems, Article 3D (duties of a member), explicitly gives an indication of how members shall conduct themselves for the common good of the Party. Article 9D highlights the duties of the National Chairperson, but it is silent on the pre-qualifications for the selection and recent developments suggest that this must be looked into. Additionally, the main functions of the Chairman as the convener and chairman of all meetings at the national level per Articles 9D (i) and (ii) need immediate review to prevent future Chairmen holding the Party to ransom. The conduct and behaviour of members who seek elective office, though unwritten, must be devoid of, ARROGANCE and EGOTISM. When elected into an executive office, HUMILITY must be the guiding principle and the officers so elected must be prepared to serve and not to be served.
The National Council of the Party should be commended and encouraged never to lose guard again and sustain the current momentum to clear all outstanding disciplinary cases to send a clear message to the electorate that the Party has not lost focus for 2016. Is the NPP in disarray? My answer is simply NO. Yes, I admit recent happenings have raised eyebrows but all should be taken as irritations of a few disgruntled elements within the party. Some supporters are also worried about the electronic media and others are simply irritated by the frequent adverse publicity and bashing of the Party in the press. To all our supporters I say remain steadfast and allow the Party structures to deal with all issues. I can also say that the problems have been hyped by the NDC to cover the economic mess and corruption they have created and their strategy is to confuse the electorates and create the impression that the NPP is not ready for power. Interestingly, information gathered so far suggest that the NDC is funding some of the activities including the frequent shabby demonstrations at the Party Headquarters.
All those who are not happy in the NPP should seek redress of their grievances using the Party Structures but resorting to court against majority decision of the Party will not help them because they will loose sympathy and confirm the extent to which those disgruntled are determined to drag the name of the Party in the mud, though I agree it's their right. They should be reminded that when Mr Haruna Esseku our former Chairman and a close friend of President Kufuor was accused of making some derogatory remarks about the Government when NPP was in power, he was not given the opportunity to explain or defend himself but suffered outright suspension but he took it in good faith. People who take responsible positions in the Party must behave responsibly since no political party can survive without discipline and the NPP must send a clear message to all. What Jesus said in Mark 9: 43-49 is very relevant in our case.
By Brig-General J. Odei
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