OYIWA: NPP wins case to proceed with October 18 Congress

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Sun, 5 Oct 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Folks, when I said in a post a few days ago that the suit against the NPP by two of its members protesting against the October 18 date for the national delegates congress to choose a flagbearer for Election 2016 would be dismissed, some NPP buffs dismissed me as a troublemaker. Some even dared tell me that by my political coloration, I risked losing my credibility.

Here we are now: NPP wins case to proceed with October 18 Congress. Judge Mustapha Logoh of the Accra Fast Track High Court awarded Ghc5000 cost against the plaintiffs. And the reason given by is as lame as I can’t imagine: “the two (plaintiffs) should have engaged all mechanisms within the party before heading to court for redress”. (See: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=328767)

What a farce!! One expected something more “legalistically tenable” than this sorry apology of a reason. In the first place, there was nothing wrong with the suit because the plaintiffs sought nothing but that the court would direct the National Council (of the NPP) to grant more time for the congress.

The two were of the view that the October 18 date was a violation of the party’s constitution and favoured two-time presidential candidate (William) Nana Addo Dankwa (Danquah) Akufo-Addo. There is every justification for such a suit to be filed and pursued without necessarily attempting to “engage all mechanisms within the party before heading to court for redress.” The judge’s reason is porous and more politically dictated than legally sensible.

Interestingly, Alan Kyerematen and Francis Addai-Nimoh (two contestants for the flagbearership) have also expressed concerns about the date and have called on the party’s leadership to reconsider the date for the congress. The main reason given by them and the two plaintiffs is simple: To sufficiently reach out to the 140,000 delegates to vote at the October 18 congress would demand more time than what has been available to them thus far, apparently because Akufo-Addo has been more visible than they can boast of (not because they are not worthy of public attention but because they haven’t had much exposure as aspirants for that flagbearer position. 

They need more time to sell themselves to the delegates). But those with a premeditated agenda to “crown” Akufo-Addo as the NPP’s flagbearer (having already advanced arguments to the effect that he is the most marketed candidate in the party, clearly after all these years of campaigning to be Ghana’s president and losing poortoooooooooooor!!).

Those of us monitoring closely happenings in the NPP are convinced beyond any shred of doubt that the so-called “mechanisms” either don’t exist in the party for aggrieved persons to use in seeking redress or that they have been “hijacked” by the potentate Akufo-Addo and his henchmen situated in every fibre of the party who won’t give an inch to any dissenting voice to attempt derailing their agenda by resorting to such “mechanisms”. Such “mechanisms” constitute nothing but machinery for doing the hatchet job to hoist the flag that Akufo-Addo has under his armpit.

Clearly, then, no one could use such “mechanisms” to reverse the trend, apparently because the National Executive Council or the Council of Elders (the notable power brokers in the party pulling pulling strings) are set stiff in their pro-Akufo-Addo stance. All the internal structures of the NPP are dominated by backers of Akufo-Addo who are hell-bent on stifling internal opposition to hi third attempt at forcing a river to flow upstream.

All the other internal structures are oriented toward Akufo-Addo. Take them one-by-one for appraisal and you should see where I want to move you. The NPP MP’s (at least 100 or them) are pro-Akufo-Addo and won’t listen to any dissenting voice. Granted that the MP’s are also part of the so-called “internal mechanisms”, who would get the chance to use them for any anti-Akufop-Addo manouevre and succeed?

Then, take the Regional Chairmen of the NPP who have vowed never to yield any ground to any dissenter. Then, consider the Constituency executive officers of the NPP cabal who are also hell-bent on stifling anything considered as inimical to their sacred cow’s ambitions.

What exactly does Judge Logoh consider to be “internal mechanisms” of the NPP that are clearly defined, outlined, and available for use by aggrieved party members? For all he may care to know, the only “mechanism” that exists in the NPP is the Sanhedrin constituted by the National executive Council to browbeat, drill, and grill any member who is considered as falling foul of the tenets of this political cabal. 

Consider what has happened to Dr. Wereko-Brobbey, Dr. Kofi Apraku, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, and many more to know how this “internal mechanism” operates to the dismay of genuine party members wishing to effect change to re-position the party for a brighter electoral future. 

Don’t even bring in their intimidation of Kwame Pianim (whom they fear to haul before the Sanhedrin because of the negative backlash). 

I am even not talking about the numskull lummox called Kennedy Agyapong who is one of those playing the frontline role of intimidating anti-Akufo-Addo elements in the party. Such a character won’t win any goodwill for the NPP. And there are many of his type all over the place (home and abroad).

There is so much to alarm the party members who hold different opinions on internal affairs of the party. The atmosphere doesn’t allow for a genuine practice of internal democracy. It is either one is for Akufo-Addo or against him and be prepared to face the music. And the threats being bandied about are enough to prove that no effort to use anything in the party that Judge Logoh calls “internal mechanisms” will be tolerated or supported to the end.

By this verdict, though, the judge has just confirmed apprehensions that seeking redress in court over goings-on in the political parties won’t be treated as part of efforts to improve internal democracy in those parties—and by extension—the one being practised at the national level. If aggrieved party members cannot find help in the law, where else should they go?

I am not surprised, then, that Oppong Kyekyeku, one of the plaintiffs, has said that he will appeal against the verdict: “Definitely, yes. Immediately I leave here, I am going to consult with my counsel and come out and fight for appeal. I have been denied of my membership of the party.”

What I have already qualified as a “Pyrrhic victory” for Akufo-Addo has just been reinforced by Judge Mustapha Logoh. But this same “Pyrrhic victory” will become the catalyst for the internal crisis that will rock the NPP, especially if the October 18 congress adds more fuel to the fire already burning in it. Those Akufo-Addo backers in positions of (mis)trust in the NPP (like Freddie Blay) who have publicly begun thumping their chests at the outcome of this suit are simply dancing themselves lame before the actual dancing begins. Some liberal democrats!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.