Politics of 2013-12-11

‘Conduct campaigns in decorous manner’

People contesting various positions in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been urged to conduct their campaigns in a decorous manner, and desist from making utterances that had the tendency of hurting and dividing ranks within the party.

A founder member of the NPP in the Ashanti Region, Mr George Ayisi Boateng, who gave the advice, said it was worrying that high profile members of the party were starting a kind of smear campaign in their quest for leadership positions.

Making references to comments by Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku at the weekend, where he was reported to have cast insinuations and launched criticisms on the leadership qualities of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the 2008 and 2012 flag bearer of the NPP, Mr Ayisi Boateng said the utterances were “a clear display of betrayal, disloyalty and insincerity” not only to Nana Addo but to the NPP as a political party.

Dr Apraku, a former Member of Parliament for Offinso North, campaign manager in 2008 and head of security in last year’s campaign for the NPP, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the NPP alumni in Kumasi, was reported to have asked party faithful to reject Nana Addo for failing to win two successive presidential elections.

He was said to have referred to Nana Akufo-Addo as not being the best candidate for the NPP, taking into consideration the numerous brains at the disposal of the party and concluded that there was something wrong with the leadership of the party.

Mr Ayisi Boateng, who disagreed with the choice of words by Dr Apraku, told the Daily Graphic that the culture of organising elections within the party to choose leaders from time to time do not mean that members should attack one another or give ammunitions to their opponents.

“We would not want to go to battle with a divided front,” he said.

He said no aspirant should try to pollute the minds of NPP members because the disappointments and mix-feelings were so high that anybody who tries to denigrate Nana Akufo-Addo should be prepared to face the wrath of the grassroots.

“That does not mean that nobody can contest Nana Akufo-Addo. Dr Apraku should be patient, if he is interested in the position. When the time comes, party members would decide to change or not to change Nana Akufo- Addo.”

In 2008, Dr Apraku was the campaign manager of the party and according to Mr Ayisi Boateng, in 2012, despite the numerous accusations of disloyalty against Dr Apraku, Nana Akufo-Addo appointed him as head of security because he believed in bringing everybody on board.

“In all these, as a security man, if he could not secure the votes and now he is advocating that Nana Akufo Addo should be changed, then he has not been sincere to himself and the party.”

“Throughout the court case, he (Dr Apraku) was always with Nana Akufo-Addo either in the house or in court, so what went into his mind at the time. Did he see that as a useless venture?

“My humble appeal is that if indeed he wants to conduct his campaign for the flag bearer, it should rather be in a more decorous manner than what he sought to portray at the weekend.

“If he had started his campaign on the grounds, then he would have experienced the feelings of the masses that Nana Akufo-Addo is still the most popular person in Ghana.”

The founder member of the party said he would have expected that any personality who wanted to lead the party would rather organise demonstrations on the increases in taxes, utility tariffs and incessant increases in fuel prices by the government.