Finally, the NPP flag-bearer for 2016, Nana AKufo-Addo, has pledged to unite the NPP! Speaking at the Mount Zion Methodist Church at Sakumono, the NPP flag-bearer stated, “Whatever I can do to ensure that the NPP is united and all these internal happenings come to an end, I will do it”. This pledge and the implied admission that there is division in the NPP is significant.
For over a year now, I and others have been vilified viciously by allies of the flag-bearer for suggesting that there was division in the NPP. Those who insisted on seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil insisted that there could be no divisions when the flag-bearer won 94% of the votes. Except that there were the marches to the HQ with guns and cutlasses, the attempted lynchings of party leaders who were out of favour, the insults, the impeachment drive and maybe the pouring of acid, all in a party supposedly at peace and ready for government.
Well, while a little late, this declaration, if followed by sustained action, might yet restore the chances of the NPP in the 2016 elections. Nana Akufo-Addo must be commended for acknowledging the obvious.
After the American civil war, Lincoln sought to unite a divided America by calling for “charity for all and malice towards none”. Long before this declaration, Lincoln had declared that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
At the end of Apartheid, Mandela united a divided and embittered South Africa by resorting to the language of conciliation and peace.
Approaching 2015, General Buhari united a divided Nigerian opposition by reaching out to some of his bitterest opponents, including those who had overthrown him and those he had overthrown.
Lincoln, Mandela and Buhari did not just talk--- they followed talk with action.
George Pickett, who had known Lincoln in Illinois before he became President, joined the Southern army and by his conspicuous bravery, became one of the great generals of the confederacy. Towards the end of the war, when a large part of Virginia had fallen to the UNION, the President paid a visit to General Pickett’s Virginia home. As Charles Moores tells the story, the General’s wife, with her baby on her arm, met him at the gate. “Is this George Pickett’s home?” he asked.
“Yes, and I am his wife, and this is his baby” his wife replied proudly.
“I am Abraham Lincoln”
“The President!” Mrs. Pickett gasped. The President shook his head, “No, Abraham Lincoln, George’s old friend.” The baby reached out for the President who took him and held him for some time. The baby kissed the President. As the President gave the baby back, he said, “Tell your father, the rascal that I forgive him for the sake of your bright eyes”.
A few weeks ago, I stated that the” arise and build” tour should have been christened, “The unite, arise and build tour.” I was derided.
As Nana Addo sets up to unite the NPP, let us all pray that he succeeds. As my late mother used to say, “Etan wonua na edo Christ a na otoro yewo”. (IF YOU CLAIM TO LOVE GOD AND TO HATE YOUR BROTHER, YOU ARE A LIAR).
We cannot reach out to floating voters while we accuse one another of murder and theft while chasing one another with guns and acid.
The steps to unity that Nana needs to take are clear:
He must denounce and dissociate himself from impeachment.
He must apologize to former President Kufuor and his associates who have been accused of unimaginable crimes by allies of the flag-bearer.
He must reach out in genuine friendship to the Chairman and General Secretary of the party, Afoko and Agyepong.
He must tame the loose talkers who are killing his chances day-in, day-out with gratuitous insults of those whose only crime is that they desire the success of the NPP and its flag bearer BUT are not sycophants.
When and if Nana reaches out and does these things, I urge all who may have been wronged or have grudges to respond with generosity and love, not just for the sake of the NPP but for the sake of Ghana.
Regardless of who is at fault, history teaches that THE LEADER MUST LEAD THE PATH TO PEACE. Without Lincoln, there could be no reconciliation in America. Without Mandela’s commitment, post-apartheid South Africa could never have held together and without Buhari, the Nigerian opposition could never have been united. It goes without saying that only Nana Addo can unite the NPP. Let him, guided by God, love of party and love of country, unite his party.
In all this, let us be guided by Isaiah 1:18 “Come, let us reason together”.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy
Irmo, South Carolina.
29th September, 2015
Source: Arthur Kobina Kennedy
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