NPP must start a genuine healing process Now !!

Fri, 13 Mar 2009 Source: Haruna, Mahama

Ever since mailing one of my features titled 'Does the NPP need a compromise candidate'? in which I intimated that all was not well with the NPP and that it was only members who do not want to deal with the truth that are denying all is well with the party. I have recieved numerious calls and mails. One amazing comment was wheather I was not blowing the factionalism in NPP out of proportion.

I repeat that the problem is real and some of us in the interest of the party will keep on hammering to the NPP hierarchy to awake thier senses and work towards achieving absolute unity, for without unity never would the NPP come back to power.

Excuse me to say that the party is packed with intellectuals and discerning people who should know better. We need to immediately get to the surgeon table and remove this cancer in our party before it gets late. I am not a doomsmonger but a concerned party member who would want to see NPP come to power in 2012.

Now those who doubt all what I said should look at this scenario:

I declared my attention to contest the position of National Youth Organizer of NPP this week. Since then many party members have asked me if I was contesting for Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyeremanteng or some one else. My response has always been Jesus! In fact many questions has been ramming through my head. What is happening to my party? Are aspirants for executive position seeking to represent the NPP or individuals? Do I need to attach myself to an individual party member before I could contest? Do an aspirant need to declare who he supports before knowing his fate? Should the leadership qualities,track record, loyalty and commitment to the NPP be overlooked for factions? Have we learnt lessons from the1998, 2001 and 2005 National Executive Elections? Certainly no!

In fact when I tried to explain to one party member who asked me same question that, at age seveventeen, I was the youngest delegate to have attended the 1992 Congress of NPP that elected the late Proffessor Albert Adu Boahen Presidential candidate, that I was a former Constituency Secretary of NPP for Bole-Bamboi, that I was a former General Secretary of NUGS and therefore experienced. My vision I told him was to build a corp of dedicated NPP youth, made up of proffessionals, youth in the diaspora, students, the unemployed and the under privileged, who standing together and united in a common understanding and faith in the principles of the NPP'S liberal democratic philosophy would work to bring the party back to power.

I went on that I am from one of the rare mainstream Danquah-Busia families in Gonjaland of Northern Region because my grandfather Braimah Salifu was a contemporary of Chief Dombo and my father Alhaji Mahama Salifu was a former Youth Leader of the Progress Party in Gonja West, a former leader of the Popular Front Party in Bole and a former Chairman of NPP in Bole for many years and is credited with the setting up of NPP branches in Gonjaland when the party was formed and..... he would not just listen and cut me short. I was making noise he said. He was more interested in which camp I belong before he could tell me my chances.

Another friend told me that out of the seven names that have come up so far for the position of National Youth Organiser, only two are from Alan's camp- Michael Ampong and Stephen Amoah. But five of us- Nii Titus Glover, Pious Hadzide, Abu Jinapor and John Boadu, and myself are pro- Nana Addo and so if we do not take care an Alan boy could win because we would split out votes. He urged me to rather contest the position of Northern Regional Secretary because the party needs loyal, intelligent, committed, effective and hardworking persons at the regions.

From the above, one would agree with me that the NPP need to start a genuine healing process to stop once and for the mentality of belonging to 'personality cults'' and not 'a party'.

It is clear to allNPP sympathisers that Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeramanteng were the gurus of the day.They did I all they could to lead NPP but only one could be chosen and was indeed chosen by members of the party. It behoves on the party to go out and tell party members to unite and and abide by the principles and fundamentals of theparty.With this we can present a candidate who has the image to out class President Mills orwhoever they decide to present for election 2012. Many mistakes were committed and we need to correct them immediately.

President Lincoln of the USA did something many years ago.He stood up and said to his party far more dividedthan any thing within the NPP. “weare not enemies but friends though passion may have strained it must not breakour bonds of affection”. To me that’s what the NPP leadership shoulddo as a party to be very effective in terms of convincing party members and Ghanaian's about our preparedness to UNITE the party so as to be able to govern again.

It is clear today that the friction that erupted between President Obama and Rodham Clinton has come to an end just because the President showed he was not afraid to work with people who questioned his abilityand experience in the hardest and ugliest manner. The choice of Clinton as Secretary of State showed his boldness to work with a someone who openly accuse of him ofnot having any experience and will be tested seriously in the first six monthsshould he become a President. This is to show the nation that he wants to serve his party and country so as to achieve his agenda and if that means drawing from all walks of life in his party andnation he will. The President also clearly told party members he should be questioned if anybody did not agree with his plans and views. Believe me these people he broughtto cabinet in the white house are men of tremendous experience who have beenthere far long before his appearance on the scene.

So my advice would be, be it Nana, be it Alan or be it anyperson who becomes an NPP candidate, the person should be an opened minded person whowill have the heart of bringing on board the best the party has from what evergroup they belonged to and together they should work and put aside anyindividual interest and petty politics. All it takes to make success isgood judgement and the ability to tap and bring different people to worktogether despite their differences. Our leaders should concentrate on discussions and not debates.

Another example is the division within the Labour party inthe United Kingdom .Ex-prime minister Tony Blair always had to deal with and accept proposal fromthe then Exchequers Chancellor, Gordon Brown who is now Prime Minister. It hasalways gone ugly but they come to reason after discussion and not debates. It hasbeen going over for long and has not stopped and will never stop. Today there isstill the Brown and Blair factions in the Labour party but they work togetherin the sole interest of the party and the nation for that is the only way theycan preserve their power.

I urge NPP members to share open mindedviews in the interest of our nation first then that of the party and live anypetty grievances to side. We will have torespond to all those who in their short memories and anticipations say that the NPPwill never be stronger again because of its divisions that we are guided by the vision of our founding fathers spirit of 'yes we can'.

In conclusion it will be good for theleadership of NPP to know all sympathisers wants their children’schildren say to their children that when the NPP was tested at this crucialperiod they refused to let any divisions end the journey they embarked upon, witheyes fixed on the horizon they held together this great gift for democracy anddelivered it safely for future generations.

I will finish by saying that some of us are fired up to work for NPP! In fact we need to ambush the NDC, we need to stampede them into making political mistakes as they did to us and we need to seize every little opportunity to be critical of thier stewardship. But the first step is UNITY!

By Mahama Haruna.

email: maharun1@yahoo.com Tel: 0243313113

Columnist: Haruna, Mahama