From Tamale With Madness?

We went to Tamale to elect national officers to manage our party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), not just for the next four years, but to ensure that the party wins the general elections in 2016 to relieve Ghanaians of the hardship imposed on them.

The Tamale event climaxed the internal elections of the party to ensure that the structures of the party work in consonance with its constitution. Tamale was such a great success because it is the first time since 1992 that the party has moved up North to hold such an important meeting in its scheme of things.

Secondly, contrary to the expectation of our opponents that we were going to cut our heads,(even though we have never had a scuffle at our National Delegates’ Conference), the gathering came out clean as it has always been with our democratic principles.

However, before the euphoria and applause of that successful conference could die down, we started diminishing the positives and highlighted dangerous negatives which were not part of the Tamale meeting. Surely, by our Constitution, the next stage of our internal elections is about the flagbearer for the 2016 general elections.

This also opens the door, as usual, to as many candidates as the party’s rules and regulations dictate. Sadly though, even before the doors to the contest would be opened, some members of the party have started throwing salvos against potential contestants in the flagbearership race in a manner that is so pungent and unbecoming of a political party which exudes tolerance, competition and openness in the internal organization of its activities.

I was driving in my beloved City of Takoradi one evening when I had a call. In consonance with my principles of not picking a call while driving, I did not pick the call. It ended and began again yelling in the car until I decided to pick it to find out who was ‘disturbing’ my peace.

Strangely, the call was from someone who was being disturbed by Mustapha Hamid and Nana Ohene Ntow, both of them speaking for Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen respectively.

This lady is a teacher in one of the Basic Schools in Takoradi and each time she felt very uncomfortable with utterances from among ourselves towards ourselves, she felt very agitated and was gripped with fear that the NPP was breaking apart, and should that happen, this country was doomed since she does not see any future in any political party in the wellbeing of Ghanaians, today or tomorrow.

Now when I tuned into the Radio Station where this banter was going on, I was very livid. First I heard part of Mustapha Hamid’s challenge to Alan Kyerematen to contest the next Presidential elections as an independent candidate if he thinks he is very popular. Let me restate my impeccable support for Nana Addo as the most popular politician in Ghana today and the most loved person by the party from the polling stations to the national level.

However, I detest the statement by Mustapha Hamid towards Alan Kyerematen. Nobody can drive away any person from the party unless through a stated reason which offends the constitution of the party as well as its objectives, and has been given the opportunity to defend himself or herself.

Mustapha has no right to ask Alan Kyerematen to leave the party and contest any elections in Ghana as an independent candidate. Mustapha has no better status in the party than Alan Kyerematen. Mustapha, like me, has the right to use decent and acceptable means to campaign for Nana Addo but has absolutely no right to determine what Alan Kyerematen should do with his political life.

The downfall of many very good politicians has more often than not been the overzealousness of those who genuinely support them or purport to support them. One irresponsible utterance by someone very close to Nana Addo can cost him votes from very discerning voters.

What Mustapha did was akin to what Sir John did at a time when the whole world was praising Nana Addo for humbly conceding to the ‘huhudious’ Supreme Court judgement on the election petition last August. His unsolicited sycophantic and overzealous statement: ‘Nana Addo will come back even if in a wheel chair’ excited unsavoury comments from the Asamoah Boatengs and other anti-Nana Addo groups which fouled the air and dwarfed the honour Nana Addo and the party had brought to this country.

The responses of Nana Ohene Ntow did not help matters either, as a former General Secretary of the party. The banter was needless because it portrayed a division in the party among the top leaders we have today.

Ohene Ntow should have known better and acted better since he had administered the party at the highest level before. I am wondering whether they are aware of the anguish of the mass of our people and Ghanaians generally when people known to be ‘top’ or perceived as ‘top’ people in the party openly engage in such useless debates on air and in the process tarnish the image of the leaders.

Following from the above, others engaged in the most nauseating acts of destruction in the ‘Ghanaian Chronicle’ of Tuesday April 22, 20-14. I must congratulate my former colleague on the paper, Mr. Ebo Quansah for his extreme objectivity in publishing the two opposing but stupid articles side by side for his readers to make very objective analysis of the writers.

The first one is by one Mohammed Alhassan of Builsa South Constituency who is against Alan Kyerematen. His condemnation of Alan Kyerematen is based on history of Alan having resigned from the party after the 2007 primaries. He denounced and virtually downplayed Alan’s support for the party in the last elections (I am unable to confirm or deny Alan’s support) and took a swipe at his appointments at certain international organisations.

He predicted the political doom of Alan in the most scathing remarks as if the party belonged to him or he was the only voter in any future contest for the leadership of the party.

In his concluding part, he admitted that Alan is entitled to contest the forthcoming primaries; why does he not leave the outcome to the delegates instead of trying to run him down? The next writer in the same paper on the same day is one Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, an obviously Alan fan.

His analysis of the two candidates is based more on ethnic considerations than rational thinking. The usual Ashanti-Akyem issue which our political opponents have used against us is what somebody who claims to be an NPP person interested in our victory is telling Ghanaians.

Katakyie, what makes an Ashanti better than an Akyem or vice versa? I would have expected him to use the competencies and experiences of his idol to argue his case against Nana Addo, with no intellectual arguments against him. Katakyie engaged in ethnocentric and historical appeals to make his case. When did Alan become a Fanti; only when he wants to lead the party? Who in Fantiland knows Alan as a Fanti? Who told Katakyie that the NPP is for Ashantis and Akyems? Is Katakyie asking us, the Ahantas, Nzemas, Sefwis, Assins, Denkyiras and others to get out of the party? This is political nonsense.

I am not sure that those against Nana Addo have done any critical analysis of the last two elections which saw us out of power. Nana Addo never lost any of the last two elections; it is the party that lost the elections. In 2008 when he had garnered 49.77% in the first round with his main opponent trailing with 47%, our Parliamentary candidates lost 21 seats which were in our possession in 2004. How could he have won? He had more votes in 2012 than all the 275 Parliamentary candidates. Who lost the elections?

The Paul Afoko administration should put its feet down and deal with any member of the party whose unguarded utterances will divide the party and create disaffection for us all. The NPP will not gag anybody, but irresponsible statements must also not go unpunished.

Two shots of the thing, as usual.