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Looming Armageddon in NPP…NDC May Be Next And Could Get Worse   
 
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25-Dec-2013  
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Much as people like aspiring General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Engineer Kwabena Agyapong and Managing Editor of Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, are blaming Akufo Addo’s 2012 election defeat and the current turmoil in the biggest opposition party on persons they referred to as “latter day saints” and “diaper-wearing babies,” Managing Editor of The Al-Hajj, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu thinks otherwise, says the issue goes beyond that.

Whereas he admitted that the ongoing wrangling in the elephant party, particularly among the top echelons is not healthy for a party that should position itself as an alternative to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alhaji Bature said the situation would have been worse in the ruling party if it had lost the 2012 elections.

Counseling members of the NDC to take a cue from the bickering in the NPP, The Al-Hajj Managing Editor warned the rank and file of the ruling party to work towards putting in place measures to douse any development likely to push the party into similar situation when officials kick start campaign for election into various offices.

He traced the root cause of the crisis in the NPP to the failed succession plan put in place by former president John Kufuor in 2007 during which former Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanteng was groomed to continue from where he (Kufuor) was leaving, but which woefully backfired following Akufo Addo’s dislodgement of Kufuor’s heir, Alan in the party’s primaries.

Whiles the party has since then persistently denied it has created factionalism and a rift in the party pitching Akufo Addo’s followers against Mr. Kufuor’s group, the ongoing destructive battle within the party is the biological testament of what the party has all these years struggled to cover up.

Just like the NPP, the ruling National Democratic Congress cannot claim immunity and the earlier the party wakes up from the self-induced slumber to confront all under-currents in the party the better, according to Alhaji Bature.

“The NDC is also being confronted with similar situation the NPP finds itself today. Like the NPP, the NDC has also since 2006 when the then late candidate John Mills was elected flagbearer at the Legon congress of the party, against the wishes of the party’s founder and former president, Jerry John Rawlings who ironically, was the one who discovered Mills. The party was perilously disjointed, though they won’t admit it openly,” he said.

According to the Managing Editor of The Al-Hajj, in the case of the NPP, even-though ex-president Kufuor has been the only successful leader of the Danquah-Busia political tradition and the party should have logically been revolving around him, he lost the moral high grounds having compromised his position following his divisive endorsement of Alan Kyeremanteng against the party’s popular candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, who himself, is constitutionally es-topped from assuming the ‘center of gravity’ of the party.

He pointed out that, this has left the conservative party of Ghana ‘leaderless’ as the party shudder rewarding Kufuor the ‘inspirational leadership’ of the party for what the rank and file considers, his ‘betrayal’ of Akufo Addo in 2008, even though; founding member of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe still thinks Mr. Kufuor holds the key to NPP surviving the current turmoil although, Obstsebi Lampteys’s aide, Asamoah Gyamfi sharply disagrees.

At the same time, until he declares and actually contest to win the flagbearership of the party going into the 2016 elections, Nana Akufo Addo as at now remains an ‘ordinary’ member of the party,

It would be recalled that, prior to the December 7, 2012 election which President John Mahama won but had to be certified by a nine-member panel of Supreme Court Justices, many political analysts including renowned Ghanaian pollster and Managing Editor of the Dispatch Newspaper, Mr Ben Ephson and The Al-Hajj Managing Editor, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu predicted any of the two major political parties that losses the last election risks breaking up.

Their forecast was among other things founded on what was referred to as “entrenched factionalism in the two main political parties” and the wide-range of resources, including oil money, that would be available to the eventual winner who, it was believed would use the resources to entrench itself in power.

Perhaps, this could have been the motivation for the acrimonious nature of the last elections, which presidential results was rejected by NPP’s 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Ghanaians had to endure eight months of legal battle over who was validly elected President.

Whereas Engineer Kwabena Agyapong is blaming Akufo Addo’s defeat in the last election and the current division on persons in the party he referred to as “latter day saints,” Mr Kwesi Pratt on the other hand says the “recklessness and indiscipline” in the NPP is because the party is now being run by “diaper wearing babies” whose claim for fame is to hurl insults at leading functionaries of the party who express dissenting views.

It is this recent development in the NPP which is threatening the party’s unity that Alhaji Bature wants the NDC to be wary of as it would have been more disastrous in the ruling party, which would have been even more fragmented along factions than the NPP, had the party lost the 2012 elections.

According to him, even in government, the crack in the NDC is still apparent so “it would have been interesting if the party had lost the election. This is where I think nobody in the NDC should be misled into thinking the party is immune from the happenings in the NPP. Indeed, we are all witnesses to the public outpouring of frustrations and misgivings of some leading members of the party; even as the party is in government.”

Alhaji Bature said though it has been established, perhaps the NDC may not want to publicly admit it, that the ruling party is now split along the Rawlings, Mills and Mahama factions with each faction fighting to have absolute control of the party and that, it will be in the interest of everyone, particularly President John Mahama to ensure out-and-out cohesion of the party.

He said the president would be doing himself and the NDC good by ensuring all sides in the party feel a sense of belonging to the government they all toiled to install.

According to the Managing Editor of The Al-Hajj, who is also an accomplished social commentator, instead of members of the NDC having a good laugh for current happenings in the NPP, it should focus its attention on building strong party structures that can absorb any threat of disunity and breakup.

He also advised the president, council of elders of the party, the party’s parliamentary caucus and kingpins of the NDC on the need for reconciling all party members to forestall any future catastrophe. As a first step, Alhaji Bature urged them to move away from their present “ostrich outlook” and urgently attend to the proper resolution of the party’s differences with its founder Jerry John Rawlings and former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.

“Mind you, the NDC unlike the NPP is a congress made up of people of different political thoughts and ideologies and any slight form of shake-up could see each and every one of them rolling back to their “mother” political persuasions.

“You can say the NDC may have survived similar threats to its existence in the past, especially, the Reform story, the Dr Obed Asamoahs’ DFP breakaway and the recent one been the founder’s wife, Nana Konadu breaking away to form her own NDP, but I can assure you that the current happening goes beyond the previous ones,” he stated.

According to Alhaji Bature, “the guiding and leading light to the party’s survival character in all instances cited above was the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills whose chemistry with the party loyalists was incomparable, unfortunately, he is dead and gone”.

He said, the NPP is going through the current turbulence because there is no iconic figure, the likes of former president Mills for members of the party to rally behind, adding “former President Kufuor who could have been the legitimate symbol to well handle such issue in the party has lost it.”

This probably explains NPP chairman’s special aide, Asamoah Gyamfi’s rebuff to founding member, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe’s call on party to pay heed to Kufuor’s admonishing for unity on Asempa FM last Friday.

“Where in the party’s constitution has it been stated that we must heed Kufuor’s advices?...This creates an impression that the party is in flames so if Kufuor does not speak…there will be division in the party. There is nothing like that,”

“In 2000, there were a lot of attacks on Kufuor and there were people who never thought Kufuor will be president but those same people are with him (Kufuor) now,” he added.

But, the ace political commentator believes the present NDC is no different from the NPP of today as it is without any “sole giant” who can be regarded as the ‘eldest’ that, when he or she speaks it will whip everybody in line as such, it is high time the ruling party too work towards the realization of that goal.

The latest crisis started knocking at the doors of the NPP immediately Nana Akufo-Addo and the National Executive of the NPP, majority of whose members are believed to be loyalists of the former Abuakwa South legislator, decided to challenge the results in court, citing “statutory violations, omissions and irregularities” as the basis for their court action which they claim was ‘deliberately’ created to deny NPP victory.

It was thought that sections of the party believed to be anti-Akufo-Addo never supported the court action and instead sided with the former VRA boss, Dr Wereko Brobbey who admonished members of the party to channel their energies towards rebuilding the party for victory in the 2016 elections rather than spending time on the election petition.

For fear of persecution and harsh treatments, members and sympathizers of the NPP that sided with Dr Wereko Brobbey’s wise counsel, could not come out openly to make their positions known, indeed the former VRA boss was summoned before the party’s disciplinary committee and was handed a two year sanction for going against the NEC’s decision.

Similarly, Dr Arthur Kennedy, one time flag bearer aspirant and former Communication Director for Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2008 campaign and Dr Nyaho Tamakloe, a founding member of the party have all had their share of insults, denigration and crude persecution for making statements deemed injurious to the former Foreign Affairs Minister in the Kufuor administration’s presidential ambition or against the current National Executives.

At a point, and even currently, the NPP which prides itself as apostles of liberal democracy has transmogrified into a “dictatorial group” where no member has the right to question decisions of the current Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie leadership or dare say anything negative about Nana Akufo-Addo. At best, members ought to be “praise- singers” or “hallelujah boys” of the current leadership and Nana Akufo-Addo or risk expulsion and vilification for stating opposing views.

In effect, what this has done to the NPP, which many in the NDC are ignorantly rejoicing over, is the current cavernous crack in the party. What seems to have worsen the case is the compromised position of the National Executive on the choice of the next flag bearer of the party and the attempt to reward Nana Akufo-Addo with a third time leadership of the party without any contest.

This has also resulted in the vilification of one time flag bearer aspirant and Manager of NPP’s 2008 campaign, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku for calling for a change of the presidential candidate for the 2016 elections. It is quite mind-boggling and surprising that leading figures of the NPP like dismissed National Coordinator of the School Feeding program under the Kufuor administration, Dr Amoako Tuffuor, NPP’s General Secretary, Sir John among others descended heavily on Dr Apraku for making such a simply recommendation.

To add insult to injury, Dr Apraku was summoned before a sub-committee of the party’s elders, who are believed to be henchmen of the party’s 2012 presidential candidate. It is, however believed by those hounding Dr Apraku that, his comment was intended to enhance his presidential ambitions, and as such he ought to be punished for it.

What many have found worrying and have christened “selective justice” in the NPP is the inability of the National Executive and for that matter the Disciplinary Committee to invite its MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who described the entire executives as thieves who ought to be voted out of office.

As if that was not enough, Mr Kennedy Agyapong has warned the National Executives to make available $3 million dollars if they intended to invite him for questioning, which he said he would not attend but take back the monies he spent on the party and latter quit. To date, the Executives are yet to make pronouncement on his statement, which many say is even more disturbing than what Dr Apraku and Dr Wereko Brobbey put together said.
 
 
Source: Al-Hajj
 
 

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