An Open Letter To Nana Addo

You saved Ghana from plunging into a civil war. Now, is the time to save your party from staying in obnoxious opposition for another four years after 2016.

You may never understand why 2012 was even a too close to call elections when the economic conditions on the grounds pointed to a landslide victory. Neither do I claim to know.

And Political Historians may never agree on why you lost to President Mahama, legitimate or illegitimate, who only campaigned for few months. However, political philosophy can explain some of it—which I will explain later. Sadly, Mr. Gabby Okyere Darko has just sowed the seed not only for your 2016 defeat, should you decide to stand but for the NPP, no matter whoever stands.

Gabby’s petition against Mr. Paul Afoko candidature for Chairmanship is a political hara-kiri for you–Nana or for any candidate that Mr. Gabby will support for 2016. As assertive and unconvincing this may sound, it’s nothing but the truth. This is why it’s the whole truth.

During the last summer, I took political philosophy class online with Professor Michael Sandel of Harvard. I learned a lot. In that class we read about so many great political philosophies. Among whom are Immanuel Kent, John Locke, and many others.

But one of them, I think, explains partly why you lost the 2012 elections and why the NPP will lose again if you don’t step in right now, urgent, and immediate to right Mr. Gabby’s wrong—petition against Paul Afoko.

The political philosophy I am talking of is Communitarianism: there is a connection between the individual and the community she inhabit from. Thus, the individual develops love and self-identity with the society she is born into unconditionally. One of the great philosophers of Communitarianism, Alasdair MacIntyre says it better: MacIntyre argues, “I am never able to seek for the good or exercise the virtues only qua individual.” Simply put, we seek well and glory for the community we are born into.

You may wonder, and rightly so, what this has to do with the petition against Mr. Afoko. To which I answer, it has everything to do with it. The People of the North, be they NPP or NDC or no label wish good for the North.

As a result, rejecting one of ours on an insubstantial and irrelevant excuse will be a slap in the face to all of us. Mr. Nana Addo, you may still not see the picture clearly.

Here is MacIntyre again, “…We all approach our circumstances as bearers of a particular social identity. I am someone’s son or daughter, a citizen of this or that city. I belong to this clan, or that tribe, this nation. Hence, what is good for me has to be the good for someone who inhabits these roles inherit from the past of my family, my city, my tribe, my nation a variety of debts, inheritance, expectations and obligations.” continues , MacIntyre “ These constitute the given of my life, my moral starting point. This is, in part, what gives my life its moral particularity.”(Quotes from Professor Sandel’s lecture notes).

In other words, we the Northerners are first and foremost Northerners before becoming NPP members or NDC members. We choose to become NPP or NDC but we don’t choose to become Northerners. That is why we intrinsically see each other as the same. We may appear to hate each other. Or we may even hate each other .But as MacIntyere explains; the love for each other’s wellbeing is in our making. The tendency to be ethnocentric is always there (but others must treat with fairness and respectfulness .)

That is why Ghanaians abroad love each other, help each other. Yet, they may dislike each other in Ghana.

That is why Abudus and Andanis may fight each other. Yet, the Abudus may think good of the Andani over the Frafra’s .

That is why that same Abudu, may not like the Frafra that much. Yet, that same Abudu will think good of the Frafra over a Ga person. Not because of consent or agreement between them but because of what MacIntyre calls self-identity. That is, the Northern identity.

Mr. Nana Addo, it’s not my intention to lecture you but to remind you. Gabby may have meant good with his petition but it will bite you in the as* come 2016 if you don’t disassociate yourself with the petition. And if the vetting committee disqualifies Mr. Afoko. Then it has just implicitly voted for Mahama in 2016. .

You may disagree but I kid you not, Communitarianism is not a small deal. It’s a huge deal. A disqualification of Paul Afoko on such a flimsy excuse will be telling Northerners in the party that: WE ARE NOT FIT for the highest office in the party. So Mr. Addo, you can knockdown that contention by writing to expressing your displeasure with the petition.

In other not to appear bias, praise all the four aspirants and tell delegates each of them is 100% qualified. To add humor to it; you may say that; you wish you had four votes, you will have given each of them your votes.

Nana, this may sound unpopular and unwise today. But it will be yet another best decision that you will make three years from now when you stand before the chief justice on that faithful day.

Nana, you may not heed to my advice because of the respect you have for Mr. Gabby but I will remind you that Great Leaders make difficult decisions. So will you be one?

Now to Gabby: you may not have wished for Mr. Afoko to become the chairman but you just made his campaign much easier for him. By giving him the publicity and the Northern support that he was dearly looking for. A case in point, I didn’t even know, Mr. Afoko was still in the race but with all the publicity you have given him. He has become a much better candidate than before your petition. To you Mr. Gabby I recommend reading 48 Laws of Power.

Back to Nana, you may argue that a true NPP will vote for an NPP candidate no matter what but I’m sorry to say you are wrong due to communitarianism.

Communitarianism is much stronger than party affiliation especially when you feel your community is under treat or is disrespected. For example, during the American Civil War, Robert E Lee believed that slavery should be illegal. Also, he believed strongly and convincingly that succession was treason. Yet he fought with the confederate army because he believed he was Virginian before an American. So yes, community matters. He fought on the side that he knew was wrong. (I can give so many examples but due to space constraints) So, Mr. Addo, yes an NPP man or woman can and will vote against NPP if he or she believes your party looks down upon her tribe, her clan, or her community.

I rest my case,……… up to you.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy your vocation!!!

The ideas expressed here are that Umar Najeeb Mohammed, a Ghanaian student in the United States. He can be reached at [email protected]