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NPP Constitutional Conference

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 Source: Konongo Fordjour

, Factual Revelations and Final Warning Note

Konongo Fordjour - 29 July 2009

As a result of numerous phone calls and e-mails seeking further action towards the future of our party, I must say that the youth wing of our dear party must remain calm and wait until a final decision is made on the 15th August 2009. Honestly, the youth have no reason to walk away from the NPP now. A proposed amendment may be thrown away; or probably, forced into the constitution against the will of the masses. Should the second probability become real, then there will be no other alternative but to call for a breakaway and form another party. Another article will follow that decision declaring a website calling for mass registration.

Afu-tuo Nsa-kra Nnipa!…..Gye se Nso-hwe!

History is always the best teacher. And history teaches us that the UGCC, UP, PP, PFP+UNC, and now NPP have always been stubborn, disrespectful to its youth, too forward, and hard to listen; that eventually caused their failures. My hope is that they do not cause yet another terrible blunder this time again that will spell their perpetual doom. The UP family has always pointed accusing fingers at others in wrongly citing vote rigging instead of assessing itself seriously.

Consequently, it has left wrong impression and faulty perception in innocent and virgin minds to cause unnecessary tension and hatred in our beautiful country. A group of few people, bent on revenge on old enemies has been hampering the growth of our party. We are simply the unfortunate victims of faulty perceptions that the youth must fight it at all cost this time.

Let us see some historical facts and figures here: We know that Dr. J B Danquah founded the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1946. By 1947, it had completed a strong team of six, called the Big Six. I am interested in the riot that occurred in 1948, which brought the Aiken Watson Commission of Enquiring. I want to highlight two specific areas of the Watson report that relate to my analysis here.

First, five of the six gentlemen accused General Secretary Nkrumah for agitation and denied approval or knowledge of the organizational plan that he had presented to the UGCC on the 20th January 1948. And second, when interviewed as to what the UGCC’s main objective was, Dr. J B Danquah responded that the British must hand over power to the DESERVING CITIZENS of the Gold Coast.

Foremost, let us all agree with one thing here that all the members of the Big Six team were honest, dedicated, and loyal to the group’s precepts of the liberation struggle. I have not been around long enough that much to argue authoritatively on the issues that existed around the late 1940s through the 1950s. However, we have people still within us today who took part in whatever happened then.

Additionally, cultural and traditional ways of doing things in Ghana have not changed over the last eighty years. Our faulty perceptions like: aduru-me-so, efa-ta-me, me-ne-no-ayaaka, etc. have not changed at all. Therefore we can easily draw clues from the attitudinal behaviours on what must have happened then relative to what we know now.

It is therefore not hard to see that the UGCC General Secretary Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had tough time dealing with his own team mates then. I believe that Dr. Nkrumah felt betrayed and extremely disappointed. Nkrumah may have probably questioned Danquah’s “deserving citizens” statement and interpreted it as: “a deserving citizen of Gold Coast” like himself as UGCC General Secretary; how about that?

Nkrumah capitalized on his general secretary position and his close relationship with the youth and/or grassroots to snatch power from his sleeping and arrogant friends, who thought power, must be handed to them on the silver platter. Dr. Danquah saw a foul play in the 1951 electoral successes to Dr. Nkrumah’s CPP.

The 1968-1972 Kokofu-ball game of kick-and-score-into-empty-goal-post even slipped off our hands because of fundamental misunderstanding among our leaders. Enter 1979 PFP+UNC sheer chest-beating infantile display of “efa-ta-me”, “I-will-show-them-where-power-lies”, among our top leaders cost our party dearly for thirty years in the wilderness.

Again in 1992, failure to listen and pay attention to simple basic warnings; being too forward and rejecting any popular advice eventually gave a notorious gun-man the opportunity to claim national heroism into presidency. These very same leaders of our party turned around to call a foul play in our famous “stolen verdict” report.

The 2001-2008 NPP successful stay in power could not even help us to unify our family because of sheer stubbornness, refusal to listen and allow normalcy to reign, and eventually we lost. Honestly, we, the youth, see no future with a party of such reckless leadership with history of disrespect and absolutely no plan for the younger generation to succeed it.

Now let us turn to the top core of our party senior team that form the National Council, who are they? The list looks at names with their estimated ages in blackets: John Kufuor (70+), B J da Rocha (80+), Haruna Esseku (75+), J H Mensah (80+), Kwadwo Mpiani (75+), Kwame Pianim (75+), Ama Busia (78+), Apenteng Appiah-Menka (75+), Hackman Owusu-Agyemang (70+), Odoi Sykes (70+), Ebenezer Sakyi-Hughes (70+), Yaw Safo-Maafo (70+), Amoako-Tuffour (70+), Jake Obetsebi Lamptey (70-), Felix Owusu-Agyepong (70-), K K Kwapong (75+), Adzei Bekoe (75+), and Nyaho-Tamakloe (70-). I am only interested in the slightly below and slightly above 70-year-olds, because it is this group that I want to talk to directly.

Dear Honourable leaders of our great party, please hear my plea, the great work you have done by far needs to be translated into a legacy. You need to pass the mantle to generations to come; and this can be done by creating a healthy family atmosphere. Picking only three preferred members to be voted for is extremely UNDEMOCRATIC.

A legacy is built on the rich quality of membership and money. We need to increase our membership base. We may have all the riches on earth but still have difficulty to seek votes from people; likewise we may have people who may not be willing to support the party financially. To balance this, there must be transparency and freedom to choose or vote for any eligible contestant.

I am positive that you will want your hard work to be rewarded. I am also sure that you would not want your efforts to collapse right in front of you while still alive. However, any unpopular policy will end up in the gutters. I honestly trust that your actions are in search of a better and stable party but the very same youth that you plan for are simply not comfortable with this kind of decision to bind us into the unknown future.

Therefore, please drop that RESTRICTIVE CLAUSE of 3-man presidential contest, and allow any eligible member to contest and vote as well. There is no problem with the existing clause on the flag bearer, so please leave it alone. We need to raise the bar high enough for contestants to compete at a high level. The best method is this:

We need to create 5 blocks of our party power brokers and assign points to them. For instance, Block A can be called the Ollenu Caucus, Block B can be Dombo Caucus, Block C the Danquah Caucus, Block D the Kaleo Caucus, and Block E the Busia or Kufuor Caucus. The regions can be divided any how we want. For instance, Ashanti Region can be paired with Volta Region and called the Kaleo Caucus (Block D); Central and Upper East Regions can form the Danquah Caucus (Block C); Greater Accra and Northern Regions can make the Busia or Kufuor Caucus (Block E); Brong-Ahafo and Western Regions can form the Dombo Caucus (Block B); and Eastern and Upper West Regions can form the Ollenu Caucus (Block A). The weights of the blocks will be determined by the number of constituencies in them.

For instance there are 39 constituencies in Ashanti Region and 22 in Volta Region; and together the Kaleo Caucus will have 61 points for candidates to grab. The votes collected by a candidate will be weighted against the 61 points. If a candidate is unable to obtain a certain number of percentage points in the first three rounds in the block voting in the standards set by our party, then the candidate automatically drops out of the race. Alternatively, we may analyze our votes on 22,000 points based on the polling stations as well.

The polling voting series grills the presidential candidates in the first round to scale down to the required number of competitors, while the Block Caucus method offers the final round. The polling voting system will decide the final results for the parliamentary candidates while it will act as the initial stages of the presidential contest in the primaries. Political debates centering on practical implementation of prudent policies should be the sole measurements of candidate points. We should set fair but very tough standards that will have no blemishes and stand out in our Ghanaian political arena; a pride the other parties will be jealous of.

My hope at this time is different from Danquah’s 1948 UGCC time because today, many of our young family members will also have the last opportunity to vote on this UNDEMOCRATIC proposal made by some few members. Therefore, se-oponko-abo-damu-a-ne-wura-dee-ombo-damu, our hopes still hangs on us all to safe our party from total collapse. Please say NO to DICTATORSHIP. Say NO to ARROGANCE. And please VOTE NO to POLITICAL PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT. I am waiting patiently for your decision on 15 August 2009.

Konongo Fordjour, Boston-USA E-Mail: koafordjour@yahoo.com

Columnist: Konongo Fordjour