Fireworks at NPP crisis meeting ... 'The Ghana Palaver' intelligence at the NPP crisis meeting of Wednesday April 27, 2005, speak of real fireworks as President John Agyekum Kufuor demanded for an amendment to the Party Constitution to make him Founder and Leader of the NPP.
His argument was that he is the first of the Danquah-Busia tradition to have led the tradition to successful elections in a genuine, legitimate, competitive, General Elections and that if even former President Rawlings could be made the Founder of the NDC, he (Kufuor) more than deserved that honour in his party.
President Kufuor thus confirmed the long-asserted truism that the Busia electoral victory of 1969 was a fluke, not legitimate because not competitive, since at that time, the CPP tradition had been banned, its leaders were either in exile with Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Guinea, or were in protective custody, or had been prohibited from holding public office.
According to our intelligence plants at the crisis meeting, so insistent and aggressive was President Kufuor that he nearly had his way as none dared challenge him.
However, the lone courageous dissenting voice of ageing octogenarian Mr. R. R. Amponsah, Chairman of the NPP Council of Elders, saved the day.
Mr. R. R. Amponsah has an impeccable pedigree in the Danquah-Busia tradition. When he was Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources in the Busia administration between 1969-1972, President Kufuor was a mere Ministerial Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Foreign Affairs.
R. R. Amponsah was the Minister who at that time took a beaker of crude oil to a Press Conference and announced that Ghana had struck oil in commercial quantities, the Good Lord having kept the discovery of the oil away from Kwame Nkrumah because of his evil ways.
He was also the first person, together with one Major Ahwaitey, to have attempted the first coup d'etat in post-Independence Ghana in 1958.
But back to the NPP crisis meeting of Wednesday 27th April 2005.
Mr. R. R. Amponsah would not countenance what he described as incipient dictatorship and autocracy in the NPP, and bluntly told President Kufuor that such an amendment should come by way of resolution from the Party branches and must go through the proper Party procedures.
In the end, it was decided that the matter would be decided by Congress, but tempers were so frayed and so hot that it was also decided to postpone the emergency Congress scheduled for 7th May 2005 sine die.
Meanwhile, rumours of the “Kufuor Demand” have hit the NPP gravy train and the grassroots and it appears the condemnation of the move is near unanimous.
In one such reaction, one Kwasi Prempeh, in a letter posted on the Internet (published elsewhere in this paper, has written as follows:
“President Kufuor is not helping——and does not seem bothered by the fact that he is not helping——the NPP by the way he has governed——or failed to govern——the country. In fact, if he continues along this path (and there's no reason to expect a miracle in the remainder of his term), the NPP's electoral chances in 2008 will be placed in grave danger.
What the NPP and its MPs and supporters must do then is to begin to speak up now and be openly critical of Kufuor's administration. That is the only meaningful way to preserve the credibility of the party and its candidates in 2008. For all practical purposes, the NPP and its MPs and supporters must assume that Kufuor is no longer an asset to the party but has become a liability”.
The NPP crisis meeting was hinted at by the NPP propaganda newspaper 'Daily Guide', in its issue of Friday April 29, 2005, under the heading, “President Bares It All——I'm not the Author of Hardship”, but surprisingly, not a word was published about what took place at the meeting. Instead, the entire 4-column story is dedicated to an interview President Kufuor granted Adom FM (itself an unusual event) just before the crisis meeting took place at the NPP Headquarters