Former Defence Minister Dr Benjamin Kunbuor has dispelled suggestions that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won the 2016 elections even though the party suspended its General Secretary and National Chairman, hence dispensing with certain people in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not affect the party negatively.
He was of the view that such suggestions were wrong and people “cannot compare the inner workings of these two parties (NPP and NDC) using the same standards”.
He told Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Thursday, April 6 that there is no guarantee that adopting the approach of the NPP will ensure victory for the NDC in 2020, adding: “That is why the NDC is a social democratic party and the NPP is not.”
He was of the opinion that “you don’t play people’s games and mimic and imitate”, further stating that the “NPP should not be a mirror for the NDC”.
Dr Kunbuor indicated that the NDC has its own rules and plans and “we should play our own game according to our rules”.
He, therefore, advocated more unity and inclusion than sidelining of people no matter how irrelevant anyone may think of the other.
For him, the defeat of the NDC in the 2016 elections has taught a valuable lesson that everybody in the party is important and doing away with people is dangerous.
“What the 2016 defeat has taught us is that, in a political arrangement, nobody, no matter how insignificant, no matter how irrelevant, no matter the nuisance you think somebody is, can be dispensed [with] when you are in this process,” he explained.
“No matter what happens everybody needs the other person in the party regardless of what you think and everybody’s voice is a voice that must be listened to.”
According to him, “even if you want to dispel the voice [of any individual], do that with respect”.
Dr Kunbuor further charged the leadership of the party to organise an early congress before the 2020 polls.
His call follows deep cracks within the party with many leading figures trading accusations against one another in the media for the party’s electoral defeat, and the former Attorney General believes an early resolution to internal issues will be key in ensuring victory for the party.
He was of the view that if the current constitutional arrangement were to be adhered to strictly, the time for electing a flag bearer would be too close to the 2020 general elections.
“…Given all the preparations that are involved, it will mean that by the time you are getting to elect your flag bearer you will be in 2019,” he noted.
He continued: “A party that has suffered this level of defeat with so much internal acrimony and internal pain still in the minds, if we could not take eight years to galvanise that into an electoral victory, I don’t see how we can do that within one year or one and a half years.”
He indicated that the Botchwey Committee tasked to probe the reasons for the party’s defeat will help to unravel challenges at the grassroots from the people who do the “legwork” and not what “people in Accra perceive to be the problems”.