NPP Youth Draw Battle Line

Judging from the level of intolerance that has crept into the country’s political discourse, it is becoming clear that events leading to the 2012 general elections are likely to degenerate if nothing is done about the current situation. Young Patriots, a youth pressure group within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has issued a stern warning to appointees of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to desist from unleashing unjustified personal attacks and insults on their leaders or face similar attacks. According to them, they had come to the realization that the appointees of the NDC were only interested in using insults, personal attacks and character assassination on their political opponents, particularly NPP flag-bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, instead of tackling real issues that would make Ghana a better place for everybody. At their maiden news conference in Accra yesterday themed ‘Young Patriots Against The Campaign Of Insults: Let The People Know’, John Kumah, a spokesperson said, “We have hoped that our political discourse will be focused on ideas, policies and programmes that can truly deliver jobs to the teeming unemployed and lift the mass of our people out of poverty. However, Mr. Kumah said, “We have noticed with concern that political discourse from the NDC government appointees and party activists have increasingly been focused on personal attacks, fabrications, wicked lies and smear campaign against NPP leaders and functionaries.” He stated that it was becoming clear that insults and lies against NPP leaders “have now become the growth industry in the NDC” as was admitted by the founder of the NDC, ex-President JJ Rawlings who remarked in Kumasi that the surest way of getting a reward or appointment in President John Evans Atta Mills-led government was to attack political opponents. Mr. Kumah said what was worrying was that the clergy and the civil society were looking on unconcerned while NDC appointees embarked on an insult-spree, adding, “President Mills has spoken out against it yet his own appointees and some NDC activists continue unabated.” The Young Patriots admitted neither the NPP nor its flag-bearer had endorsed insults as the party’s campaign strategy for 2012 but Mr. Kumah said as a group, they would not allow the NDC to continue the insult-spree, adding, “We want to force them to tackle issues that are affecting the people and not to insult others.” “They came promising to reduce fuel prices drastically, create jobs, clear filth on our street but have failed to do so. They have disappointed Ghanaians and their ineffectiveness. There is too much hardship in the country. “If the culture of insults and personal attacks are not stopped then we the Young Patriots of the NPP would henceforth take a stand. We would stand up against this campaign. Every insult, personal attacks, smear campaign against our leaders shall be met with an equal and opposite insults, personal attacks and smear campaign against NDC leaders and we have plenty.” Asamoah Gyamfi, who chaired the news conference, said President Mills had shown that he was ready to reward NDC members who insulted their political opponents and cited Fiifi Kwetey, Ama Benyiwa Doe, Okudzeto Ablakwa, Kobby Acheampong, Hannah Bisiw as some of the appointees who were rewarded with positions after insulting Nana Akufo-Addo and top NPP members. Hopeson Adoye said, “Our silence is running out. If they do not restrain themselves, we will also expose the rot that President Mills is sitting on.” Yaw Adomako Baafi aka Lawyer, another spokesperson of the group, said the NDC knew it would fail on issues that was why it was resorting to personal attacks and character assassinations. He said the NDC exploited the moral sense of the public to get the mandate to rule, saying, “We will not repeat the 2008 mistakes where we sat down for the NDC to paint Nana Addo in a bad light while projecting then Prof. Mills as an angel. We will expose President Mills for Ghanaians to know who he is.” Richard Nyamah said once the NDC Propaganda Secretary was able to say publicly that the 2012 elections would be about personalities, the NPP was prepared to let Ghanaians know who President Mills and some of his appointees are. By William Yaw Owusu