Why NPP Lost

Nana Akufo AddoDAILY GUIDE has gathered that leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who attended a National Executive Committee meeting last Wednesday were teary-eyed and struck with goose pimples when Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the party’s flag-bearer in the 2008 elections, gave frank remarks about what might have led to the party’s exit from government.

Party leaders at the meeting described Nana Addo’s delivery as “touching and probing” and revealed that the entire gathering was held spellbound for the entire 20 minutes that the flag-bearer articulated what was perceived as his open and honest thoughts.

The NPP presidential candidate was reported to have remarked that though there was no need to look for scapegoats and put blames at people’s doorsteps, the defeat was rather strange and most unexpected, which situation calls for a sincere re-examination of the actions of the leaders across board.

He was said to have opined that though openly admitting what went wrong might be a bitter exercise, it would be crucial in clearing doubts in people’s minds, soothing flared tempers and enhancing the unity the party needed to forge ahead.

Nana was said to have cautioned that the party should be circumspect in handling these concerns and know which issues to resolve internally and which to make public.

“What he was saying was that we should examine our hearts and conscience as individuals and be honest to admit where we did wrong because the conduct of the polls and the encouraging attitude of our supporters even after the defeat shows that we ought not to have lost that election.

He mentioned the heavy crowds that converged at the thanksgiving rallies all over the country and wondered what really went wrong.

“He kept repeating that until we are prepared to be honest about what might have gone wrong, we may not be able to correct our mistakes and win the next election and honestly Nana is right because we all know he played his part well and went all out for it; so something funny might have really happened,” a member of the NPP National Executive told DAILY GUIDE yesterday.

Our sources said Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, Campaign Director of the Nana Akufo-Addo Campaign Team, read out to the meeting what he termed as the campaign report and gave a rather lengthy account about figures and statistics, campaign cash and operational directives.

Also in attendance was the National Campaign Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who prior to the party’s defeat, stubbornly remained in a government apartment at Ridge in Accra though he had long resigned his ministerial post; and the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made great political capital out of his stay in the facility.

DAILY GUIDE also sighted Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), former Minister of Health, who reports said, had not attended party meetings at that high level in a very long time.

Also in attendance were the party’s National Executive and representatives of executive members from all the regions.

As would be expected, Nana Addo, on arrival, received a rousing welcome from a number of party members and supporters who were hovering around the NPP headquarters on Wednesday afternoon.

The supporters, on sighting his vehicle, rushed towards it as they yelled “No Nana, No 2012”, “Nana for 2012” amidst other statements that suggested they want him retained as the party’s flag-bearer for the 2012 election.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that another issue that was discussed at the meeting was the proposed amendment of the party’s constitution so as to allow a broader base of the executive positions available.

Sources said, the NEC meeting on Wednesday asked that persons and groups within the party should forward their proposals on what should be contained in the amendment.

Proposals that had been submitted so far called for deputy positions to be created for the existing positions and also limit the number of deputy vice-chairman to only two.

There were also calls on the party to amend the constitution and allow its Members of Parliament to contest for executive positions.

Proponents of this line of thought argued that it was a sure way of bridging the gap between the party and the government, when it wins power.

The NPP, in May, would hold an extraordinary delegates conference to decide on the proposed amendments before holding the elections of its party officers in December and then elect a flag-bearer for 2012 in December next year.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo