NPP chooses accountability

Fri, 4 Sep 2015 Source: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina

Irmo, South Carolina

3RD September, 2015.

There are financial shenanigans in the NPP and the party is tackling the problem head-on!

According to media reports, a report has been made to the police concerning reports that an unauthorized account has been established and funds disbursed from it by the National Treasurer and the First National Vice-Chair. According to news reports, the National Chairman’s desire for accountability is fuelled by the flag-bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s incorruptibility.

According to the Chairman, “We have a flag-bearer who is incorruptible and it is the expectation of the National Chairman that all party members, especially office-holders at all levels, will emulate the incorruptible nature of the flag-bearer”. Good. The National Chairman should not only have such an expectation. Indeed, he has an obligation, together with other leaders, to protect the party’s resources.

In response, Mr. Blay expressed disappointment that the National Chair and Gen. Secretary are using the police to investigate an internal party matter. Then he went on to commit the same error he was accusing the duo of by accusing them of operating the party’s funds without the knowledge of other executives. It appears that wherever there is controversy in the NPP, Mr. Blay can be found right in the middle of it! This may be a reminder of why we must give people time to imbibe our values before making them our leaders. The CPP must certainly be pleased to be rid of Mr. Blay.

This issue raises very fundamental issues about democracy, accountability and leadership.

Before addressing them, let me encourage the NPP members who are distressed about the whole issue.

Compared to the NDC, who could not hold their members accountable for Woyome and all its associated scandals, we are tackling corruption boldly in our ranks and that should make us proud and bolster our claim that if given power in 2017, the NPP and its incorruptible flag-bearer will be good stewards of Ghana’s resources.

The first issue raised here is whether the party’s constitution, rules and traditions matter. We have operated the NPP for over 2 decades now. In those 2 decades, who have operated the party accounts? How have we ensured accountability? Based on these, who are entitled to operate the party’s accounts and who should they report to? Can anybody operate a party account without the knowledge and consent of the Chairman and General Secretary? These are the key questions.

The next issue is to what extent parties can operate independent of the nation’s laws and law enforcement agencies. Can a person, operating in the name of a party or under its guise, commit acts that would ordinarily be crimes and get away with it because whatever was done was “an internal party matter”? Can someone assault others in a party, as was done to Obed Asamoah and Frances Essiam in the NDC or by those who marched to the NPP Headquarters recently and be excused because it is an internal party matter? Should members of one party be able to attack members of another party, as happened in Agbogbloshie, Atiwa, Lamagushie and in the Volta Region and not be punished because “this is politics”? Can someone divert campaign funds or resources blatantly to his private use and become filthy rich while party cadres lack resources and be excused because it is a party matter?

I think not.

The next issue is due process and the rule of law. Those loudly calling for Misters Blay and Abankwa to step aside are wrong. We are the party of laws in Ghana. Unless their continuance in office obstructs the investigation by the police, the two gentlemen are entitled to the presumption that they are innocent and entitled to the offices they won or were appointed to. That was the right thing to do in the case of Afoko and Agyapong and it is the right thing to do here too.

The final issue raised by these issues is leadership.

Where is the NPP flag-bearer who is the leader of the party while accusations are traded about secret accounts and significant doubts are being cast about the commitment of him and his party to accountability? It appears that it is time for the NPP flag-bearer to step up and give Ghanaians a glimpse of the leadership he will provide in 2017 if elected. He should vigorously enforce accountability in the NPP and lay to rest the simmering divisions that are relentlessly barring his path to the Jubilee House.

Let us move forward, together.

May God bless NPP.

May God bless Ghana.

Arthur Kobina Kennedy

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina