Posted: Friday 6th June 2014 at 2:01 am

One For Paul Afoko, NPP National Chairman

After the hullabaloo about the candidacy of Paul Afoko, the NPP delegates at the Tamale congress spoke loudly. Mr. Afoko should be the National Chairman of the party, they said. And so Mr. Afoko is today the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party whether anybody likes it or not.

Now that the man has been duly elected to lead, all vilifications, insults, backbiting and the mudslinging should immediately stop so that he will have the peace of mind to move the party forward.

Mr. Afoko should act like the captain of a ship whose most precious instrument is the binoculars. As the Captain’s Bridge of a ship, the captain makes sure his binoculars are always close to him. He looks through the instrument once a while to make sure the ship is on course. He looks near and afar as the eye can see in order to make sure the ship is not heading towards an iceberg or an oncoming ship. Any captain of a ship who takes the use of his binoculars for granted may end up hitting his ship against an iceberg or an oncoming ship. The Chief Engineer of a ship seldom uses the binoculars because he is most of the time in the engine room which is down below.

In the case of Mr. Afoko, his binocular is his ear. Paul, the new comer must put his ears to the grounds and listen to the voices of the grassroots supporters of the party. For example, if Mr. Afoko puts his ears to the grounds, he will learn that majority of the supporters of the party are angry at splinter groups which have recently emerged and throwing their support at Nana Akuffo-Addo and Alan Kyeremanteng. They do not see the reason why Mr. Afoko and his newly-elected executive members should sit down for a very few self-seeking individuals to drag the name of the party in the mud through unguarded press releases and statements which do not augur well for the unity of the party.

These are small boys who simply want recognition and as such do not hesitate to form funny groups with funny names to canvass for support for flagbearer aspirants. They think Accra is synonymous to Ghana and so anytime time they speak; they have the funny feeling that they are speaking on behalf of greater number of party supporters who dwell in the small towns and villages. They do not know that they are vexations to the spirits of the teaming supporters of the party. Mr. Afoko should not treat people like that with kid-gloves. If it is against the Constitution of the party for such splinter groups to operate, Mr. Afoko should apply the necessary sanction whenever necessary in order to bring sanity in the party.

Indeed, yours sincerely do agree that political party is all about numbers but it is always good to throw away the bad nuts rather than leaving them among the good ones who are in the majority. This should not be treated like the way the Lord Jesus Christ treated his flock, leaving behind greater number of the flocks and going out there to look for a lost one. Northerners are known to be very stern, unassuming, truthful and hardworking. As a northerner, Mr. Afoko should bare his teeth to show these so-called spokespersons that indeed, if they think he cannot bite, they should look at his teeth. The sad aspect of the behaviour of these guys is that when they get the opportunity to argue their cases on radio stations, they woefully expose their ignorance and expose themselves to public ridicule. Some of them even bastardise the English language, ‘breaking’ grammar here and there.

Of all the NPP National Chairmen who have come and gone, Mr. Afoko is the only one who is a northerner and who is holding the reins of power today. If he wants to succeed as a National Chairman of no mean a party than the great NPP, he must begin to cultivate the skin of a crocodile. The fact that some unseen hands wanted to block his candidacy as a National Chairman should toughen him and make him strong to work hard to earn the respect of majority of the delegates who voted for him. If it is necessary to step on toes for the party to come to power, he must do so with his huge foot.

The first time I came face to face with Mr. Afoko was last week at Kumasi and at the Miklin Hotel to be precise. When I introduced myself to him as the irrepressible and fearless Earth Angel Gabriel, the Zongo boy who fears no police, I saw his face beaming with smiles. Unknown to me, he too had never met me before but has been reading this column and loved it so much. I stretched my hand to shake him and my hand literally melted in his huge hand. As he was looking down in order to talk to me because of my diminutive stature, I was rather looking upwards to catch a glimpse of his ever-smiling face. In fact, his huge frame almost ‘consumed’ my diminutive figure. The guy looked so serious and when I looked straight into his eyes, they did not bear anything. I could not read anything in his witchery eyes as he kept smiling and thanking me for the pieces that I have been writing.

Like the way the Almighty God pitched His camp on top of Mount Sinai to communicate with Moses, Mr. Afoko should pitch his camp in the north, the waterloo of the NPP. His election as the National Chairman of the NPP has diluted the poison that the NDC gave to the people from the north to drink. In order to knock the heads of the northerners against the Akans, NDC supporters have continued to tell the people up there in the north that the NPP is an Akan party. They deliberately refuse to tell the people that the Northern Peoples Party (NPP) and other smaller parties like the National Liberation Movement to form the Unity Party (UP) which eventually metamorphosed to become the New Patriotic Party (NPP). They also deliberately refuse to tell the people up there in the north that the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama who is from Yendi in the north became the Vice President of Ghana on the ticket of the NPP. And now that a northerner is leading the NPP what will they have to say again?

Since the 1992 general election, the NPP has been winning many regional and district capitals but sadly when it comes to the rural areas, the party performs woefully. The NDC knows very well that their lies cannot hold water among the literate society and so they go out there in the villages and lie through their teeth which are swallowed, hook, bait, line and sinker by the unsuspecting poor illiterate folks in the villages.

In order to counter this outrageous political lies, Mr. Afoko should instruct his national, regional and constituency officers to enter the villages rather than sit in their offices and on radio station arguing with the NDC propagandists who lie shamelessly through their teeth. Apart from the General Secretary of the NPP who should always be in the office to coordinate the movement of party activists, the rest should move outside and work. Madam Afiko Djaba should also do a lot by organising women in the rural areas because women are in the majority.

Finally, Mr. Afoko should focus his binoculars on certain constituencies where there are infighting and quickly solve all the problems even before a flagbearer is elected. One thing which worried the NPP in the run-up to the 2012 general election was infighting which eventually led to apathy. Many supporters of the NPP did not see the reason why they should wake up at dawn, stand in a queue and vote for the party when they had scores to settle with some party executive members.

When the NDC, by the grace of Afari Gyan’s, EC, The Finger of God and Atuguba won the elections they did not leave behind those who sat on the fence when they started to taunt NPP supporters. It was like the current economic situation in the country. Whether you voted for the NDC or not, we are all suffering under the NDC mismanaged economy. Today, if you sit in a passenger vehicle and the issue of the serious economic situation is raised, everybody say, “As for me I did not vote for them!” Who then voted for them? Lucky me!! I just had a call from Cuba that my consignment of Havana Cigar is on the way coming across the Atlantic Ocean. Excuse me while I make do with Tusker For Men!!! Good morning, Chairman Afoko.

Eric Bawah

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