A founder member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, has encouraged the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to vigorously fight political polarisation and factionalism in the country.
Political polarisation, in his opinion “is a bane to development and bodes no good for the general well-being and progress of the country.”
Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe who is also a former envoy to Serbia and Montenegro, was commenting on agitations against local government and other appointments in recent times.
Some of these, particularly the appointment of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, have resulted in violence, as well as the rejection of government nominees.
“President Akufo-Addo can fight this canker and leave a strong legacy,” Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe stated during the interview.
Political, ethnic polarisation
“Since the birth of modern Ghana, political polarisation often coupled with ethnic polarisation has been a canker,” Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe asserted.
“The antagonism we saw between the Nkrumaists and Danquah-Busia-Domboists at the birth of our political system has evolved into antagonisms within political parties,” he observed, saying: “Even lives have been lost under traumatic circumstances.”
Action troopers vs action groupers
According to Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, “In the past it was Action Troopers against Action Groupers. Today it is often between rival party militias or party militias against party nominees. Resolving these problems consume precious time that could be channelled to national development.”
He noted that, “Military adventurists have often used the excuse of political polarisation to destabilise democratically-elected governments but that was often a smokescreen to avoid wider accountability.”
The irony, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe pointed out, was that in the Fourth Republic, leaders such as John Agyekum Kufuor, Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama were bridge-builders, yet their efforts were often frustrated by political polarisation.
He recounted that President Akufo-Addo successfully played a leadership role in multi-partisan civil society movements, including the Movement for Freedom and Justice in the 70s and the Alliance for Change in the 90s, of which he was a part.
“These movements, he noted, laid the groundwork for the successful collaboration between the Nkrumaists and Danquah-Busia-Domboists under J.A. Kufuor and K.N. Arkaah. Before this, these political elements were sworn enemies,” he mentioned.
The current situation, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe lamented, would drive many people away from political duty.
“Some of us have thick skins but not everyone appreciates the insults and physical attacks characteristic of Ghanaian politics today,” he indicated.
“Everything is seen through a partisan lens; even national development. We need to be more accommodating and less parochial if we are to compete against the Malaysias and Indonesias,” he said and concluded by saying, “The politics of factionalism must stop.