Dear Dr Arthur Kennedy,
We greet you with the peace and blessing of The Most High God, hoping that this correspondence finds you in good health.
We are compelled to respond to your recent letter to the chairman of our party, the NPP. As young people in the party, many of whom have looked up to people like you for leadership and inspiration. We would humbly and respectfully want to respond to some of the issues you raised; namely, issue of paranoia, intolerance and extremism ,emanating chiefly from reactions that met the articles and interviews granted by Dr. Wereko-Brobbey in the media.
Decision to go to court
David Thomas Thoreau wrote in his book, Civil Disobedience that, “any man more righteous than his neighbours constitute a majority of one” I hope Dr. Wereko-Brobbey need not be reminded that the decision by the party to go to court was taken by no mean a body than the National Council of the party, the 2nd highest decision making body after Congress, whose composition include among others all national executives, all regional chairmen, founding members of the party and all other such key officials and individuals in the workings of the party today.
The remark by Dr.Wereko-Brobbey to the effect that majority of our party members are not in favour of the decision to go to court can only be a figment of his own imagination. In fact, it is a jaundiced and malicious move aimed at planting doubt in the minds of our supporters and the larger Ghanaian society. The sentiments of our party members in the immediate aftermath of the flawed December elections were summed up in the words of President Kufuor when the then Chairman of the African Union, Yayi Bonnie visited him immediately after the election, when he said “The NPP feels cheated”. In fact, he went further to illustrate to him how the elections were rigged in favour of the incumbent NDC, and this was shown on national television.
It is clear to all right thinking people that the “righteous” Dr. Wereko-Brobbey sees himself as more righteous than the National Council of the NPP and has therefore constituted himself into a majority of one. The party has a right to disagree with Mr. all-wise, all-knowing Brobbey on this score and also has the right to express that right.
Such has been the attitude of Dr. Wereko-Brobbey throughout the period he has been associated with the party, from his breaking away to form the UGM in the 2000 election when the party needed a united front, to his threat to challenge the outcome of the NPP 2010 Kumasi Congress where he contested for the position of National Chairman and came last.
To call someone “clueless” on any day is an insult, but to call the star witness of a party you purport to support, that is in court fighting the result of an election, can never be a mere act of dissent as you put it but an outright attempt to give ammunition to our political opponents, an attack on the person and credibility of Dr. Bawumia, and also an insult on our collective intelligence as a political party, not excluding our National Council who saw wisdom in seeking redress in court. And it is not even the case that the opinion is founded on facts or was based on any cogent analysis. Everyone who watched Dr. Bawumia’s marathon appearance in the witness box, came to his or her own conclusion and it was unanimous that he had performed exceptionally well leading to a sudden sour in his already growing popularity. The millions who watched aside Dr. Wereko-Brobbey clearly didn’t see him as “clueless”. I am sure that, even you, would certify.
He then went further to praise the witness of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, as “masterly” and predicted that, the NPP case shall crumble. This amounts to a direct attack on the NPP’s case and an attempt to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of our numerous supporters and to give the NDC, our political opponents, a clear advantage in the public opinion war. Need anyone remind him that the President of the Supreme Court Panel hearing this election case made a remark to the effect that, there are two dimensions to the case, one being what happens in court and another which he called the “political side”; which would be what happens in the political arena outside of the court.
Politics being a game of winning the hearts and minds of citizens, Dr. Brobbey’s attempt to turn the tide of public opinion against our case for whatever motive cannot be in the interest of the NPP, especially when the decision to go to court was the decision of the National Council, and Dr. Bobbey seeing himself as more righteous than our Council is out trying to shoot our case down in a sheer display of “skin pain” aimed at Dr. Bawumia and his obvious hatred for the leadership of the party, especially, Nana Akufo-Addo . Dr. Arthur Kennedy, you referred to Dr. Bawumia as “new” when you know very well that Naa Mumuni Bawumia was a founding member of the Northern People’s Party which later merged with the NLM to form the bedrock of the UP tradition. And just like you have sacrificed your time, energy and other resources in the course of the party, so has Dr. Bawumia sacrificed time and resources. In the same way that you want your contribution to be recognized, so must you recognize the contributions and sacrifices of others. Or is it the case that when it comes to Dr. Bawumia, people like you, conveniently forget the sacrifices he has made? For what purpose, I ask, if indeed this is the case.
I hope you are not calling on the party to gag members of the party from expressing their thought on issues just because the issue to be spoken about concerns a nephew of Victor Owusu, you or anyone else. Armed by bravery and the love of freedom, the great men and women of our political tradition fought tyranny of the worst form; great men like Professor Adu Boahene, Ala Adjetey and Da Rocha in very recent times battled to lift the culture of silence. To these men we are eternally indebted. We are not about to impose a culture of silence on ourselves now. That will be the greatest act of betrayal to the legacy and memory of the great forbearers of our party and some of us in the youth front would resist any such move, wheresoever it may come from.
Let it therefore be known that just like he wants his right of free expression respected, so must he respect the right of any other member to speak on any matter concerning the party. After all, we are all stakeholders of the party, even though some of us are learning to stand on our own legs and not seeking importance based on our family ties.
Dr. Arthur Kennedy, you also described the reaction that met Dr. Brobbey’s commentary as a mark of intolerance. In our interactions, we have met so many people who think that the NPP is too liberal and too accommodating of destructive and divisive tendencies within our ranks. But whenever we have encountered such commentary, we have always maintained that opening up our gates to all manner of persons and tolerating them is part of who we are, it is part of the NPP DNA.
Pericles(The Great Athenian General) remarked in his famous funeral oration “We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien act exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality. Yes, that is what we are as NPP men and women and that is what we will always be. Leaving our doors open even at the risk of traitors and spies taking advantage of our liberality. To prove this point I invite you to a trip down memory lane.
In the run-up to the 2000 election, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey broke away to form his United Ghana Movement. Remember that the 2000 election was crucial in the sense that the NPP was up against an entrenched dictatorship that had been in power for nineteen years, approaching the election with a united front was therefore categorically imperative. At that crucial moment, when the party needed unity, that was when Dr. Wereko-Brobbey decided to ditch the party. By this action, he renounced whatever stake he had in the party and whichever principle that attracted him to the party in the first place.
By the special grace of God, Ghanaians voted for the NPP and the UGM came last (last konkonte). Out of the magnanimity of President Kufuor and in the spirit of “ all-inclusiveness” he was appointed as the VRA boss and later to the Ghana at 50 secretariat.
Having been brought back to the party by President Kufuor’s magnanimity, he now parades himself as a leading member of the NPP without shame. Is it not the same party he ditched in 2000 when the party needed unity to execute the Positive Change Agenda? He cannot eat his cake and have it.
He must stop acting like the “Vicar of Bray” who was appointed to the Parish of Bray in Berkshire (England) in the reign of Henry VIII then as a protestant clergyman, he changed his faith to Catholic when Mary I was on the throne and back to Protestant when Elizabeth I succeeded. At all times he kept his Job as “Vicar of Bray”, he switched allegiance depending on who is in power. Bluntly speaking, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey is the reincarnation of the famous Vicar of Bray.
Dear Dr. Kennedy, you broke all the ties of common kindred and camaraderie; when after being given privileged access to the inner of workings of the NPP campaign in 2008, unhindered access to information and private conversations, you chose without seeking the consent and without regards to the sensibilities and sensitivities of people who had opened up to you, to write and publish a book and run to the market with it, making some very damning allegations against party leaders and the party and giving ammunition to our opponents to smear our party and subject it to public ridicule. As if to suggest the book was in celebration of the NDC victory at the polls. The question we are asking you is “Had Nana Addo won the 2008 elections, would you have gone ahead to publish your book?”. How different was the behavior of Judas Iscariot towards Jesus Christ, who after gaining the privileged access to be in the inner circle of Christ sold him out for a pittance? To question your motivation and your commitment to the party on this score is only legitimate. It was a betrayal… a stab in the back which you have shown no remorse for!
With this baggage, you decided to contest for the primaries in one of our numerous parliamentary primaries in the party. The party put no impediment whatsoever in your way. At the congress venue you were treated with the respect that a senior party member deserves, not only have you walked hand in hand with the leadership of the party, but you walked among the “intolerant” foot soldiers of the party and not even your hair has been touched since you infamous act of betrayal.
Intolerant extremists do not operate like this, intolerant extremist would do the exact opposite of what the NPP has done; indeed they take whips to congress and whip those who disagree with them like the NDC did to Obed Asamoah et al at Congress in Koforidua, paranoid extremist would have prevented you from contesting the parliamentary primaries like they did to Kofi Adam(Spokesperson for Jerry Rawlings) when he decided to contest the vacant Buem Constituency seat after the demise of Henry Kamel.
In the end
A sage once remarked that “If you are not a lizard in your own house, you cannot be a crocodile in somebody’s house”. Wasn’t Dr. Brobbey the leader of the United Ghana Movement that came last in the 2000 election? Wasn’t he the same man who lost miserably when he contested the chairmanship of the party at congress? And who has gone through more……divorce?.Clearly this is a man has failed to be a lizard in his own and therefore cannot claim to be a crocodile in the NPP. Definitely not in the NPP…!
Emmanuel Owusu Peprah
(a young, ordinary member of the NPP, Ablekuma Central Constituency)
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