After the 2008 electoral defeat of the New Patriotic Party, the Mac-Manu-led NPP executive was blamed for the NPP’s woes, though it took three different elections, including a run-off before defeat was handed to the NPP.
The various aspirants of the National Executive positions argued that, the old executives should give way for new blood and ideas to win political power for the NPP in the 2012 Elections. As a result, Mr. Mac-Manu never bothered to contest the Chairmanship position of the NPP for the second time. However, Nana Ohene Ntow, the then General Secretary of the NPP who made an attempt to contest the second time, was defeated miserably by Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John.
Though it was Candidate Mills’ third attempt at the presidency, the NPP led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo lost the election by less than 40,000 votes at Tain. Prior to the NPP’s National Delegates’ Conference in 2010 to elect national leaders for the party, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Sir John, and other contestants held the view that Mac-Manu, together with his team, had failed the NPP so they had no excuse at all to seek re-election.
The Delegates were convinced and agreed to Jake’s assertion, and lo and behold, the NPP leadership was entrusted in their care. Jake and his team also worked tirelessly to bring the NPP back to power in 2012. For instance, the Electoral College was expanded to energise grass root participation; “All die be die” statement was issued to protect the ballot boxes; special mobile phones worth $2m were given to Polling Station agents to text electoral results to the NPP National headquarters; and finally, the Battle was given to The Lord.
However, against a new Candidate from the NDC due to the sudden death of John Mills, compared with Nana Addo who was contesting for the second consecutive time on NPP’s ticket, the NPP again lost the election not through a run-off, but by “One Touch”, with a difference of over 300,000 votes. Surprisingly in the year 2014, the same Mr. Jake Obestebi Lamptey, and Sir John are asking NPP delegates to give them power again to lead the NPP for another competitive election.
Fellow delegates, is there any political sense with regard to the request being made by Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Sir John at all? Why should any delegate bother to get them re-elected, especially when they have not assigned any empirical reason for the NPP’s electoral defeat in Election 2012? Assuming we vote for Jake and Sir John, and the Electoral Commission led by Dr. Afari Gyan conducts Election 2016, are we not going to hear the same political excuse that; “Oh! We won, but the election was rigged by the EC?” How long should the NPP fraternity tolerate this?
For me, the bottom line is that the NPP needs political power and nothing else. To make this possible, there is a need to for the delegates to elect winnable candidates into suitable positions. Remember, not everybody can win power for us. You cannot give a goat or cow to a taxi driver to dissect for human consumption; neither can you present a patient to a tailor or football coach for diagnosis. These actions require the expertise of a butcher and medical practitioner. The NPP cannot talk about economic development of this country whilst the party is in opposition. The party needs political power first before any economic policy can be implemented.
Although, people see partisan politics as a universal trade that accommodates everyone – the intelligent, ‘stupid fools’, ‘evil dwarfs’, ‘babies with sharp teeth’, the rich, poor, illiterates, educated etc, never ever should anybody underrate the competence of the winnable candidates I’m talking about. In politics, there are a few candidates who are selfless, committed, honest, likeable, principled, knowledgeable, and above all, appeal to the masses. It is better to maximise such attributes in the NPP for victory in 2016.
Therefore, if the NPP is fortunate to have candidates like Paul Afoko, Stephen Ntim, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, Otiko Djaba, and John Boadu who are ready and willing to serve the party at this crucial time, why doubt the capability of winning Election 2016 for the NPP? I strongly believe these capable personalities can win and protect the ballots from being stolen from the EC or NDC.
Admittedly, Jake and Sir John have done their best for the NPP, but their best has not been enough to win the NPP political power. It is time to give others the chance to prove their worth as the Mac-Manu team honourable bowed out for them in 2010.
I therefore urge all delegates to vote wisely on April 12, 2014 in Tamale, if the NPP is serious in winning the next general elections.
God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!