The NPP and its dog-eat-dog woes (Part I)

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Folks, is it not strange that at a time when Ghanaians expect the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to put the government on its toes with critical comments and scrutiny of its pathetic performance it is rather embroiled in an internal wrangling that is tearing to tear it apart? A responsible opposition party does things to prove to the electorate that it can outdo the incumbent and must, therefore, be considered favourably at the next polls. Not so for the NPP. What with its agenda of boycott of important national events and assignments and baseless criticisms for mere political capital (which it doesn’t get, anyway)?

True to prediction, the persistent internal wrangling in the NPP is assuming ugly dimensions by all accounts. Daniel Bugri Naabu (Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP) has bitten deep into the reputation of ex-President Kufuor, Kwadwo Mpianim, Paul Afoko, and Kwabena Agyapong, among others, and created the impression that these afore-mentioned personalities are the trouble-makers in the NPP.

According to him, Afoko and Agyei had put in place an “Agenda 2020” by which they want to “disorganize” and “kill” the NPP. To help them do so, they had become willing “tro-tro” buses being driven by ex-President Kufuor and his Ashanti gang. He said a lot more. Very serious indictment of ex-President Kufuor and the Asante elements on Bugri Naabu’s radar screen!!

Let’s hear him as reported: “He has turned himself into a “trotro” bus driven by some people in the party to any direction of their choice….Paul Afoko is against Northerners because Bawumia being young, and a Running Mate of Nana Addo is what he wants to prevent since he is afraid he (Bawumia) will succeed Nana after his term in office…….we heard Kufuor and Kwadwo Mpiani are behind all this, controlling Paul Afoko. He simply wants to collapse the party and so Northerners should rise up and not allow him to mud sling us,” he stated.”

(See: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=313894)

The problem for the NPP is that Bugri Naabu is not alone in making such serious allegations. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, had preceded him with his outbursts, condemning an “Asante” orchestration that he vowed to kick against, short of which he would defect to campaign for the NDC.

And Boakye Agyarko, Campaign Manager for Akuffo at Election 2012) has also aired opinions that confirm his allegiance to Akufo-Addo and denigration of Alan Kyerematen and others opposed to Akufo-Addo. (See: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=313900).

The wordy warfare goes on and will not let up anytime soon. Indeed, everything points to the fact that the NPP’s boat is running askew on the troubled waters of its own leaders and members’ “rogue” politics.

These happenings in the party don’t surprise me at all. I have known this political camp in all its configurations, dating back to the history of its “Mate Me Ho” tenuous origin and its consolidation as the United Party, the Progress Party and disintegration into the various camps that contested Election 1979 only to re-emerge as the NPP in our Fourth Republic. As a leopard, it hasn’t succeeded in changing its spots. It cannot because it is not destined to do so.

So much recourse to self-righteousness is its bane but won’t be admitted and discarded. Coupled with that is the unbridled desire to reap where no sowing has been done. If you doubt it, just consider the mad rush for state property under their “liberal democratic” umbrella in Kufuor’s era. They have a big problem but won’t acknowledge or even solve it. Now, they are at each other’s throat to worsen their plight.

One major problem with the NPP that will continue to doom it is the disconnect between the misperception that its followers have about their political cause (or stature) and the reality on the ground about Ghana and the country’s aspirations to be what it wants to be in the community of nations.

Forget about the Progress Party interlude and Kufuor’s 8-year rule-of-convenience as the over-compensation of the electorate for the Rawlings fatigue in contemporary Ghanaian politics. And the refusal of Ghanaians to retain the NPP in power at the end of Kufuor’s rule sums it all up.

The reality is clear: that Ghanaians see nothing good in the NPP to entrust their destiny into its leaders’ hands. Don’t go far for any explanation. Elections 2008 and 2012 provide the answer. And disregard the insults from the NPP’s embittered and sore losers. That’s their penchant.

Folks, you needn’t belabour this fact, especially if you already know how the pre-independence political dynamics that would shape Ghana’s future clearly separated the “Mate Me Ho” segment from the broad-based national aspirations defined by the progressive Nkrumahist verve that dominated post-independence Ghana.

Down the memory lane. The Danquah-Busia elements fought against Dr. Nkrumah’s demand for “self-government now” as against their own appeal to the British Monarchy not to grant independence to Ghana because it would amount to giving Ghana a long rope to commit suicide. They had sent delegations to the British Queen to appeal to her conscience, telling her that Ghana would be doomed if granted independence. Their main argument was that Ghana was not ready for independence, apparently because they knew they won’t be the leaders. They felt that granting independence to Ghana was tantamount to pushing it down the slope of self-destruction because it didn’t have the means for self-sustenance. A tissue of lies!!

They made the mistake to present themselves as the “interrectuals” (pushing forward their Joseph Boakye Danquah as the doyen of Ghanaian politics). No wonder when reality dawned, J.B. Danquah ended up at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, where he died unsung in 1962. Indeed, such a fate awaits those who misplace or abuse their natural endowments to become enemies of progress.

You know what happened next? Scared by the reality that had unfolded, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, the so-called leader of the United Party, fled the country, quickly snuggling himself to the British Establishment to be accredited with British citizenship. He returned to become Ghana’s Prime Minister in the Second Republic after the cowards in the security services had cut short Nkrumah’s rule and paved the way for the “Mate Me Ho” camp to taste political power; but he rushed back to Britain when his short-sighted approach to governance brought back the soldiers. And he died a British citizen, returned to Ghana but not given any recognition worthy of his status as the foremost sociologist produced by Ghana. Or even as a former Prime Minister.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.