Wranglings within the NPP
APPIAH MENKA'S DOOMSDAY WARNING
THE CHAIRMAN of the Council of Elders of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its stronghold, Ashanti Region, Mr. A. Appiah-Menka, has expressed fears and nervousness of the party's imminent defeat in the 2008 general elections. Sensing danger and what would happen to the party members, should it lose the elections, he has urged President John Agyekum Kufuor, Cabinet members and party officials to act now or else perish.
Contrasting what might happen to the Tsunami, Mr. Appiah-Menka averred that, “Unlike the Tsunami, which the affected people and governments had just less than twenty four (24) minutes notice and hence no reasonable person can hold them responsible for economic, human casualties and catastrophes against the Katrina which gave over 48 hours notice; In the case of the NPP, we have been given not less than 36 months or (36months x 30 days x 24 hours) – i.e. 25,920 hours notice of our impending calamity.”
He said he was not a pessimist, but “these are the facts on the ground. Take it or leave it,” Mr. Appiah-Menkah, who made this observation known to the party hierarchy in a statement captioned, “New Patriotic Party-A Self Endangered Specie by Default, who is not at risk?” and copied to the President, his Vice, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, Hon. Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister, Mr. R.R. Amponsah, the national chairman of NPP Council of Elders, Mr. B.J. da Rocha, past chairman of the NPP and a host of party officials, unfolded various plans to nip the feared defeat in the bud.
“The decision, as to our modus operandi, to save ourselves, the party and the nation remains with us. The nation and the people cannot forgive us if we fail to put our party in position to generate the necessary confidence of the electorate to enable us retain power in 2008.”
He continued, “For those of you who may not know 'what it is to lose power' be it economic or political in the third world community, and particularly Ghana, you can collect the testimonies from the living personalities of the CPP, the PP and the NDC and you need no Appiah-Menka to tell you that unless we manage, we are all at risk as endangered specie by our own default.”
The regional chairman, advised on the need to elect the right regional, as well as national party executives, to be able to manage the situation.
According to him, the party needs to organize very well, open doors for more members, be focused on unity as the key to success in the 2008 elections.
The chairman proposed that there was also the need to elect the right presidential candidate who can be marketed to the electorate for at least two years, adding that the party needs to generate the confidence of the electorate in its administration of the country to return the party for a third successive term.
Mr. Appiah-Menka, who acknowledged that there was growing despondency and polarization, not only within the party, but the country as a whole, said however “If we should sit by and permit this situation to continue longer than necessary, it will have the tendency to cause irreparable damage to the party at our 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. This is the warning to all of us to stand united and focused for our 2008 victory and beyond.”
To get the party united, the NPP guru has this to say, “To get party united and stop its polarization, we need to elect not only a new and strong national party executives as planned for 2005 but also the party's Presidential flagbearer by 2006 to enable our candidate market himself in the cities, towns and villages of the nation.”
He stressed, “De facto, whether anybody accepts it or not, President J.A. Kufuor had four years (1996-2000) to market himself to the electorate after losing the 1996 elections. None of our present aspiring candidates has that advantage as President Kufuor and there is no convincing reason why we should disadvantage or disable our candidate before 2008 election.”
Mr. Appiah-Menka, who did not mince words, emphasized the need to elect the flagbearer, adding “We must act by 2006 and anybody we choose should leave the government if he is in it.
Again whether we accept it or not, this aspiring presidential polarization is not only weakening the party, but also somehow undermining or affecting the President's effective administration of the nation.”
Rationalizing means of overcoming the dilemma, the chairman declared, “Anybody we choose by 2006 should be able to unite the party at all levels and regions and engage in more membership mobilization strategies. The person must relate and co-ordinate with the Presidency for programs and projects that will convince the electorate and enhance our 2008 repetition. By himself and or with the Presidency, engage in the necessary legitimate activities for fund raising book at the local and international circles as well as potential business house.”
According to the NPP capo, the election of the presidential candidate would help the candidate to endear himself to the appropriate heads of state and international organizations that the party will continue pursuing the principles of good governance, political pluralism, rule of law, the market economy embraced, as practiced under President J.A. Kufuor.
On the present and the future state of the party, Mr. Appiah Menka asserted that there was the need for the party executives to realize and admit that 'notwithstanding our presidential incumbency, we have no party at the moment capable to put the NPP in power for the third term in succession unless—.”