Opinions Mon, 4 Feb 2013

Emasculating Wereko Brobbey…..The NPP at its Worst

Moses Kofi Yahaya

Is the NPP being gobbled up by psycho-drama? Your answer is as good as mine; after all, there seems to be no end in sight to the party’s current fixation with demonizing anyone who deviates from its prescribed line of action…obstruct, delay and thwart the ruling National Democratic Congress at every turn.

Dr.Wereko Brobbey, the “gadfly” of the NPP comes in for special mention. Poor Brobbey; he has been tarred with feathers and publicly flogged for daring to be the lone voice of reason in a party that is increasingly adrift. Described variously as petulant and a traitor, Brobbey remains defiant and assertive.

Brobbery’s principled stance on the party’s post-election dos and don’ts is admirable. On more than one occasion, he has courageously and steadfastly questioned the party’s wisdom of embarking on court action and a series of boycotts which he pointed out to his clearly peeved colleagues are impacting the party’s already dwindled political fortunes.

Contrast Brobbey’s unflinching commitment with that of perennial presidential candidate Nana Akuffo Addo and Jake Obetsibi Lamptey and a whole world of difference between these NPP shoguns emerges. While Brobbey wants the party to forge ahead and reboot for 2016 irrespective of its December electoral performance, Addo and Lamptey prefer an approach that could prove costly in future elections.

Any lingering doubts that Addo and Lamptey have a stranglehold on the NPP should be quickly erased by their support for the party’s ill-advised decisions to go to court, to boycott the Presidential inauguration, its non-participation in the vetting process in parliament and refusing to field a candidate for the Buem constituency bye-elections

Not only are these men….Addo and Lamptey…… shattering the carefully crafted image the party has painstakingly built over the years. This is an unfortunate turn for a party that until recently was dominant, powerful and poised for “great things.” A series of policy initiatives had endeared the party to Ghanaians, and its signature policy, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is hugely popular.

A political party’s resilience is measured by its ability to win elections, but particularly its capacity to bounce back after an electoral loss with renewed vigor and dynamism that will enhance its chances of recapturing lost glory. As the party plugs the many loopholes that contributed to its dismal performance, it sheds the ugly vestiges of the last elections, neutralizes internal dissension and revamps its image and soldiers on.

This inexorably brings up the question of the NPP’s post-election paralysis and incoherence. Is the National Patriotic Party (NPP) about to jettison all that is pivotal…..tradition, history and cooperative spirit…. to its survival as a viable political entity to languish in the political wilderness?

The party’s “carefully thought-out” decisions to pursue a legal challenge to the results of the presidential election against the Electoral Commission and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for allegedly stealing the elections underscore its current dilemma.

And as would be expected, pundits, radio and TV talking heads are rejoicing in the party’s troubles. Some predict the party is bound for political oblivion and mediocrity with its influence significantly diminished and confined to its two bases…the Eastern and Ashanti regions.

Two consecutive electoral defeats certainly throw a political party into a tailspin; shocked by its “poor performance,” in the December elections (the President won by a mere 3 percentage points) the NPP has sunk into a funk from which emergence will be very difficult.

Self-doubts about the party’s political fortunes have mounted and accusations are being hurled with reckless abandon. The party’s calm façade of unity has been cracked by internal dissensions and rival factions emboldened by their own self–worth and intransigence have sharpened their knives ready to draw the first blood.

There is no iota of doubt that the lawsuit is the catalyst behind the party’s internal squabbles. International and domestic poll observers were effusive in their praise of the December elections which they described as transparent and fair albeit a few technical glitches. But leading lights in the NPP saw it differently.

The mounted legal challenge obviously has driven a wedge between those who seek electoral redemption at the Supreme Court and the likes of Brobbey who view the lawsuit as misguided and desperate. They (Brobbey and others in his camp) tried to dampen enthusiasm and the unbridled quest for legal action only to be denounced as traitors and softies. So, the internal war continues and the party bears the brunt.

When it is all said and done, the NPP will wake up from its self-induced Rip Van Winkle stupor ….. folklore has it that Van Winkle was a wiry gentleman from Up-State New York who slept for twenty years only to wake up to a vastly changed world…..two things would have happened; it will find to its utter dismay that the country has long moved on from the 2012 elections and its political fortunes at a new low.

Columnist: Yahaya, Moses Kofi