The historic visit of Nigeria's new leader Muhamadu Buhari to Ghana and its aftermath should have dominated the major news headlines: occupied front pages of our tabloids, television screens and even social media.
Unfortunately, the little homage and recognition which should have been accorded Africa's new hope: a man hell bent in retrieving Nigeria's stollen trillions, pioneering a genuine crusade against corruption whereas setting the order and tone for transparency in governance and public office with his unprecedented declaration of personal assets in the west African tropical region where accountability and transparency among elected officials and public office holders is a dreaded secret not only kept under lock and key but protected from the public with Machiavellian intimidation, 'Dogbelistic' brutalities and atrocities unleashed on the few journalists who try becoming heroes in a region where heroes aren't even recognised let alone celebrated.
That national homage to have been shown President Buhari was stolen from him courtesy Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyapong- General Secretary of Ghana's biggest opposition, the New Patriotic Party.
The shocking allegations by Mr. Agyapong, that the party's flagbearer has deliberately sidelined him and the national chairman of the party in an attempt to sabotage their administration and portray them as divisive elements dwindling the fortunes of the party in the 2016 general elections spread like fire in the Harmattan. Within minutes, social media had been ignited and went trending with Mr. Agyapong's bomb.
Late afternoon political talk shows, major news bulletins and discussions had been solely dominated by his comments, even dwarfing a mammoth rally to publicise President Mahama's submission of forms to seek another mandate to represent his party in the next general elections as he battles a 'mad-man ' by name George Boateng for the party's flagbearership position. Mr. Agyapong's comments also imped President Buhari's state visit to Ghana.
Whereas much noise was made before his arrival, barely little to nothing has been reported and discussed about the message he brought to Ghanaians by our media described by many as obsessed with the NPP and its so called internal wranglings and power struggle. While l may agree with the assertion that very little discussions have been made by our media over President Buhari's visit, l however disagree entirely with claims that the Ghanaian media are obsessed with the NPP and its internal power struggle.
Some even argue, that the media may be doing Ghana a great disservice wasting precious time on the NPP while the National Health Insurance Scheme, School Feeding Programme, GYEEDA, and SADA are suffocating right under their noses. To them, such issues of national significance should be prioritised with abundant time and discussions to highlight the failures of state institutions and programmes rather than waste time on the egocentric, childish and unceasingly needless clashes of an opposition party more interested in fighting themselves than winning power.
But wait, are the Ghanaian media to blame for this? In this 21st Century where the masses prefer breaking news to boring but informative and educative bulletins, news editors and corporations who operate like any well managed business entity will place customer satisfaction on top of their priorities.
It's more like keeping the business going than keeping the nation growing. For weeks, the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Guardian and the entire western media were dominated daily by Donald Trump and his eccentric, electrifying and populist long held republican ideological messages aimed at Mexican immigrants, building his great wall along the boarder with Mexico, deportation of illegal immigrants and even attacks on John McCain.
His numerous insults on political opponents and almost anyone who shares an opinion contrary to his, has made him the Hassan Ayariga of American politics or the George Boateng of the Republican party. Before they realised, migrants were all over Europe from Syria and Iraq and ISIS were growing from strength to: conquering more territories and capturing oil fields along their victory routes. Afterall, no journalist placed a gun at Mr Agyapong's head or sword at his throat as he made his infamous comments. Out of his own wisdom and discretion, he chose to reveal on radio internal party issues which wouldn't be made by even the General Secretary of a Students Reprentaive. Council.
Today, most NPP followers are missing Sir John not because he gave the party a first class performance as General Secretary. Contrary, the painful reality, that the man they elected to replace Sir John for his failure to win the party the 2012 general elections has woefully failed more than his predecessor.
Sir John might not have won the party the 2012 elections but his bitter utterances were directed towards the NDC government not his own party and its flagbearer !!! Most worryingly, it's not Mr Agyapong's failure that scares them most, but the repercussions of his loose bitter public utterances on the image of the party and its flagbearer with barely 15 months to the 2016 elections.
One may be tempted to ask, couldn't he have reported his supposed sidelining to the party's National Executive Council or Council of Elders rather than go public? What was he intending to achieve with going public with such internal party issues? He should take advice from the wise words of former president Kuffour who famously claimed that, " it is better to be messenger in a ruling government than General Secretary of an opposition party "
As predictable as they have been, Shenanigans in the NDC are making political capital out of the NPP's troubles, claiming it's a divided opposition not fit for power and hence would be rejected by Ghanaians in 2016. But wait, even as a governing party, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawllings- who doubles as wife of the party's founder and also a founder member of the party broke away from the NDC and formed her own party (NDP) in 2011.
The internal frictions worsened when Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah a leading member of the NDC and current minister for Trade and Industry publicly accused the late president Mills of surrounding himself with a bunch of TEAM B" players who knew nothing about governance hence the failures of the Mills' administration. The infighting became muddy when the party's founder, former president Rawllings publicly mocked and ridiculed some appointees of the Mills administration and officials of the party, labelling them as babies with sharp teeth.
His comments were viewed as an indirect response directed towards the party's General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia who had earlier referred to him as the barking dog of the party who had been tamed. Again and most importantly, Mr. Kofi Adams, the current National Organiser and former deputy General Secretary of the NDC was recorded on tape swearing to do anything possible to prevent the late president Mills from being re-elected which led to his subsequent suspension as deputy General Secretary of the party. The confusion, infigting, frictions and factions of the NDC in 2011 were more intense than recent happenings in the NPP. Yet, the NDC still won the 2012 general elections on a one-touch victory.
So, if per the NDC's own logical conclusions that Ghanaians don't vote for parties perceived as divided with internal fights and power struggles, they should be honest and bold in telling us which citizens or individuals voted for them in the 2012 elections as they were more divided than the NPP before the elections. Unless they had their own ways and means of winning the 2012 elections, their own logical conclusions should tell any sane mind that Ghanaians did not vote for them in the 2012 elections.
Probably, they had foreigners voting for them. That not withstanding, an opposition party seeking to unseat a ruling rival must be seen as well organised, united and focused on its task. Cleary, the NPP have not been up to task but that necessarily, doesn't give the NDC the right to another four years in power.
They should campaign to Ghanaians with their economic strides, significant infrastructural improvements and on the success of their own better Ghana initiative that promised Ghanaians "dumsor will be a thing of the past." Others have argued, that since the NDC have no success economic story to cushion their campaign, their sole bet remains painting the NPP black and inciting gullible Ghanaian voters to vote based on sheer emotions rather than reason with their venomous propaganda and petty tribal politics that has characterized them for years.
The fact still remains, that the current internal skirmishes of the NPP shouldn't be used as the basis to give the NDC another four years of power, especially when the last 7 years under them has been nothing more than mediocrity, corruption, outright mismanagement of taxpayers money and wanton looting of state resources.
May God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.
MICHAEL KWADWO NKETIAH (firstname.lastname@example.org)