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NPP elders must not remain silent

Thu, 3 Dec 2015 Source: McCarthy, Charles

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By: Charles McCarthy

Not long ago, this country had elders who spoke and were listened to resolve conflicts at home, in the family, within the communities and in towns. It looks like the silence of our elders when they are most needed to speak out has now affected the New Patriotic Party. It must not be so.

Martin Luther King once said, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”. To which I may add “the silence of our elders, elites and those we look up to speak for us.”

Not long ago I wrote and published an article titled, ‘The Lack of NPP Leadership”. In that article I bemoaned the lack of credible, articulate, honest and selfless NPP leaders with national status.

In my honest opinion, like our national elders that we should all look to, many have become silent when they are most needed to speak. NPP elders have become incapable of speaking up on any national or local issue of concern for fear of offending the status quo or scared of losing any political patronage that may come their way.

They have basically surrendered their voices to ‘others”, a loose group of political Lilliputians who never seem to be able to get their act together but always fighting amongst themselves for leadership positions.

These elders have remained silent on the on-going internal problems within the party especially the issue of Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyie Agyapong, whose administration covers the entire country in terms of its personnel, policies, strategy and tactics, and style of governance.

These are days that some of us miss the voices of people like Dan Botwe (Hon), Asamoah Boateng (Hon), Kennedy Kankam, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, and Dr. Charles Wireko Brobey. These are people who should come out to tell the truth on whatever is happening within the party so that; everyone will know what the real problem is. Sadly, they have remained silent and for some of us, it is either they are fed up or, just don’t want to be bothered. So, the space has been taken over by people who are taking the party on the wrong route.

For majority of the young party activists, some of the elder party members are just satisfied to be enjoying the comfort of their accumulated wealth, the patronage of their peers, friends and associates and the financial sustenance of the Government, through payment of their pensions and other forms of entitlements, they can care less about the sufferings and lamentations of their fellow New Patriotic Members. ‘Silence ‘, they say is golden.

As much as I would agree with that preposition, to the extent of the prevailing circumstance, this is one instance in which the behavior of the party elites is not only a crime but an absolute abdication of their collective obligation and responsibilities as respected elders of the nation, in the sense that ‘to whom much is given, much more is expected’. Aristotle once wrote that “there is a difference between a good man and a good citizen’.

These men are good men but in my opinion they are not being good NPP citizens with their silence and continued reluctance to speak to correct or end the contraventions and support the National Executives to call government to order or voice a public rebuke of their pattern of governance. With their silence what they have done is to live for themselves which is to live selfishly rather than speaking up on others behalf, which is to live eternally.

Apart from these retired politicians, there is also the silence of the grassroots, people like Anthony Karbo, Stephen Amoah, and a host of others who occupied top government/party positions during the various administrations and whose names do not readily come to mind.

Franz Fanon was the one who said, “every onlooker is either a traitor or a coward’. I don’t know if I would describe them as cowards, definitely not traitors, it’s just that their silence over the months is not only inexplicable but difficult to comprehend.

Soon after the death of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Party, some members of Parliament, National Officers and some members of the Council of Elders and or National Council members busied themselves traversing the length and breadth of the country with intent of impeaching the duo from office.

As if that was not enough, any idea mooted by them is deliberately painted evil, without even looking at the merits and demerits of the policies.

Like President Abraham Lincoln said ‘don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. Why are you not able to abide by the constitution of your party? I wonder if the New Patriotic Party could uphold the sanctity of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

I have asked before, and still waiting yet to be furnished with the sins of Chairman Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyei Agyapong.

I have been struggling to really understand that a man would fight so hard to be elected only to work against his party. Those who have facts and documentations like Abdul Malik Baako Jnr should upraise us.

My doubt is anchored on the fact that President Kuffour couldn’t make Alan K succeed him as it was widely speculated in 2007, the same way Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu Addo couldn’t force Fred Oware and Sir John down the throats of delegates in 2014.

For me and to me, one thing was made clearer, that no individual can force his or her on the people.

Not to mention old but recent politicians like Nana Obiri Boahene, a former state minister who cannot count with his fingers how many ‘Bono’s’ he was able to get into the civil service, let alone criticize his fellow NPP clown in the Afoko regime in the person of Abankwah Kwabena Yeboah. Others like Hon. Freddy Blay and Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu were and still are a disgraceful lot, not fit to be called honourable.

There are those who may say my criticisms of these New Patriotic Party bests are unjust and misplaced. They claim they may have intervened privately. To which my answer is what use was their private intervention, if it did not bring about any change of attitude? How Abankwah Yeboah and his army of thugs did employ all manner of tactics to deny the Chairman and financed committee of their mandate and legitimate powers?

If Abankwah had some kind of hold on them through political patronage or threat to their lives which I doubt, why their silence all through this internal upheaval in the party including the on-going committee hearings? Are they so old and senile, that they have lost their ability to speak or are they haunted by their own poor performances in office and their perceived inability to bring about any appreciable change in the lives of the New Patriotic Party people during their reign?

It is still not too late for them to rise up from their self -imposed oath of silence and make their voices heard or posterity will not judge them kindly.

Columnist: McCarthy, Charles