Has the NPP not fallen on its own sword?

Thu, 15 May 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Of all opponents and critics of the NDC (both as a political party and the government led by John Dramani Mahama), none bares its teeth more than members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). They seize every opportunity to condemn the government as incompetent and incapable of solving national problems.

The main spheres they concentrate on are the economy, joblessness, and the consequent negative impact on the lives of the people. Thus, they see nothing good to praise.

Cognizant of these issues, the government has convened a National Economic Forum to collect and collate ideas for management of the economy and invited the NPP to participate. Unfortunately, the NPP turned down the invitation, citing reasons that have shocked some of their own high-ranking officials. By abstaining, the NPP has fallen on its own sword.

Its boycott of the event is politically dangerous for its cause. On a larger level, it exposes the immaturity or treachery of its leaders. The reasons adduced to buttress the boycott are porous.

Ghana’s problems of under-development didn’t crop up only under the Mahama-led administration. Those who have their heads properly screwed on their torsos will be the first to condemn the NPP for boycotting the National Economic Forum, for that matter.

I am happy that its own prominent members such as Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, and others have risen above their narrow NPP confines to make their voices heard at the shoddiness entailed by this boycott.

Given the chance to participate in the forum, the NPP-oriented participants won’t just step in to offer ideas on what should be done to salvage the national economy; they will trace the origin of the problems and pinpoint moments when specific governments failed to do things right. They will definitely focus on the Mahama administration and jab it for political capital. Thus, by boycotting this forum, the NPP leaders have done a disservice to their own political cause and pushed their party into the background as a nonentity.

At worst, they have denied Ghanaians the opportunity to know what alternative measures they have for tackling the country’s economic problems. The NPP has lost a golden opportunity to bounce back into politics on a positive note!!

It is clear from this boycott that the NPP is not ready to govern Ghana; and it will be shown the red card at Election 2016. Those ready for governance seize every opportunity to register their cause on the minds of the electorate.

More clearly, by boycotting this forum, the NPP has reinforced apprehensions or suspicions that it is ill-equipped to do the job of governance. Otherwise, what could compel it to chicken out, having all this while boasted of having the “brains” to do what the late Mills or Mahama-led administration has failed to do?

The problems that have pinned Ghana down—and which have worsened living conditions—were not created by the Mahama-led administration. They had been there and only reinforced by conditions.

One fact is that for as long as the government of the day fails to solve pertinent national problems, it will add to the existing ones that future governments will have to grapple with.

If the NPP really wants to wrest power from the NDC government, it should be the first to recognize this fact and position itself to deal with it by taking advantage of every opportunity to make its case visible and heard. This national economic forum is too alluring to be spurned; but in its characteristic “book” and “rogue” politics, the NPP has lost it.

That is why its refusal to participate in the forum geared at finding solutions to the economic problems come across as ill-informed (if informed at all) and politically mischievous. But it has a bitter repercussion. What does the NPP think it can do to solve the problems that the John Mahama-led administration is creating? Participating in the forum could give the NPP the chance to air such measures to shame the Mahama-led administration.

But by boycotting it, the NPP has lost the gamble and will pay dearly for it as it continues to be seen as a party of idlers and lazy-thinking, empty braggarts.

Let's remember that what has befallen Ghana under President Mahama has been accumulated over the years!! The Mahama-led administration has implemented or failed to implement certain measures; but the economic malaise persists. So, what is the explanation for it all? How does the NPP see things differently?

Such questions can be answered by the NPP if it participates in the forum; but it has chosen to cut off its nose to spite its face and lost the gamble. What a pity!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.