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Opinions Sun, 13 Apr 2014

The Morning After the Night: Why I am worried for NPP

The results from Tamale are shocking. I still cannot believe the fact that Mr. Paul Afoko won and I am honest enough to put that on the record. Before those genetically opposed to logic start accusing me of being ethnocentric let me state for the records that I am not. When I look at Paul Afoko I do not see his tribe. I do not care about his tribe. His clan or lineage is irrelevant and has always been to whatever opinion I have of the gentleman.

I see in Mr. Afoko a Ghanaian, a human being who I share a common identity with- created in God’s image- and that is all that matters. Yet, he is a man whose methods I cannot agree with. And I tell you why.

The Afoko campaign was fueled largely by controversy, plain lies and baseless accusations. In a very calculated scheme, the real issues were avoided by him and his team. His concentration was in portraying himself as a victim. Afoko played the victim.

He didn’t blink as he subjected the party structures and machinery to the most scanting abuse.

Everyone, real or classificatory, who did not support Mr. Afoko was targeted and attacked. I was accused of having taken money from some persons to degrade the chances of Mr. Afoko. My friendship with the Hon. Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, which had never mattered, became an issue used to question my sincerity and loyalty to the party. When I questioned the tribal card that Mr. Afoko was playing and the dangers therein, I was called ethnocentric. All at once I got to know things I never knew about myself. I was told I hated Northerners even though my best friend of so many years, Abdul Hamid, is a Northerner.

But the above is not the reason why I think Mr. Afoko’s victory should worry all members of the NPP, even though it gives room for some worry.

It is not even because the gentleman has been rather disingenuous with his loyalties by riding on the popularity of Nana Addo when he needs it, when in fact he is more in bed with Alan than the pillow Alan sleeps on. It is also not because when he speaks of being without a faction he is dabbling in plain untruth, which untruth his conscience should have weighed down on him.

The worry should be and is because the gentleman won by ways and means most improper and that this most improper means may seem attractive to contestants when parliamentary primaries are opened.

Mr. Afoko throughout the campaign behaved like a wolf caught in a trap, prepared to destroy years of hard work that the party had put into building party structures just so he can win and ironically preside over those same structures.

He subjected the integrity of the entire party machinery to a most unnecessary scrutiny. Members on the party’s Vetting Committee were painted by him and his cohorts as tribal monsters ready to do him in because he is a Northerner. They were accused of being corrupt by actions direct and indirect. CK Tendam, who our party honors this Sunday, was not even spared. His frustration with Mr. Afoko is a matter of public record. It can be seen by all who read the last letter signed by him to Mr. Afoko.

His mistrust was not cured even to the last day of the elections as he threatened to sue the EC if he did not win.

I wonder what moral authority Mr. Afoko would have when the parliamentary primaries are opened and, rather expectedly, some of the candidates behave like he did. If the National Chairman in such circumstances is so tainted morally by his own actions to call for order who can? If disorder is justified by the conduct of the National Chairman during elections what can we fall back on? If the Disciplinary Committee has already been degraded by the Chairman, indirectly, what respect would their verdicts receive? Many aspirants and possibly a couple of incumbents during the parliamentary primaries would adopt the easy approach that Afoko adopted and that would spell doom for the party! That should be a cause of worry. Mr. Afoko may cure that by offering a public apology for his conduct and condemning the conduct that got him elected!

Kofi Opare Hagan

(www.facebook.com/osaberima)

Columnist: Kofi Opare Hagan