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The NPP gears up to test itself

Mon, 9 Jun 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My good friends, all is set for us to know how the jockeying for the flagbearership of the NPP will intensify between now and Dec. 6, 2014, and how the aspirants will continue to tear at each other instead of offering Ghanaians (or their party members) tangible reasons why they should be elected as Ghana's President at Election 2016.

The news is that the National Council of the NPP on Friday endorsed the steering committee's proposals on the presidential primaries. Those so far interested in the flagbearership are: Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyerematen, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, and Francis Adai Munukum (Who is this one too? I haven't heard anything about him hitherto.). The National Council will reconvene on June 19, 2014, to deliberate on other matters regarding the presidential primaries.

An aspirant for the flagbearer position will pay a total of Gh¢85,000 to process his documentation ahead of the December 6 primaries. A nomination form will cost Gh¢10,000 while the filing of nominations is pegged at Gh¢75,000.

(Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2014/June-7th/npp-to-elect-presidential-candidate-on-dec-6.php)

There is every indication that factionalism is currently the NPP's main problem; and the rate at which the Akufo-Addo and Kyerematen camps are tearing at each other does bother the party's followers. The house is divided, and it will take more than mere appeals to conscience to rebuild.

The other day, I had a lengthy chat with a staunch NPP follower who candidly told me that both Akufo-Addo and Kyerematen are gradually becoming the albatross around necks and that some in-house moves are being mulled to tackle them.

He openly told me that both have become serious liabilities and that one major move to be considered is to drop them for a more "genial" and "untainted" candidate. This move, he said, will be in the party's best interest.

And who could that house-builder be? Paapa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi. In my friend's assessment, Owusu Ankomah is a dynamic and youthful politician whose performance under Kufuor marked him out as a strong asset for the NPP to use in lieu of Akufo-Addo and Kyerematen.

In my friend's opinion, pairing Owusu Ankomah with Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah will be the NPP's best bet at Election 2016. I agreed with him. Curiously, we know that the forces behind Akufo-Addo and Kyerematen will not easily yield for both to be side-stepped for a compromise candidate such as Owusu Ankomah. That is where the NPP's internal crisis will thicken!

A legitimate question that everybody outside the "Yen Akanfuo" cabal would ask is Why not privilege Dr. Bawumiah as the Presidential candidate? I did same but got a quick answer when I realized that the power brokers controlling and bankrolling the NPP will NEVER EVER allow a non-Asante/Akyem party member to be the party's leader. It hasn't happened before and won't happen.

Giving Paul Afoko the position of National Chairman is only a cosmetic move to deceive the gullible people. The NPP is for those who formed it and they won't sit down for "outsiders" to take it away from them.

Remember that the ideological foundation of the NPP (tracing its root to the United Party of the immediate post-independence era) is Danquah-Busia. The triumvirate version of “Danquah-Busia-Dombo” that is bandied about today is only for "book" politics, with the addition of the "Dombo" name to it to attract unwitting Northern Ghana elements. As an afterthought, the appendage ("Dombo") is not an integral part of the politics framed around Danquah-Busia (re-echoed by Akufo-Addo as "Yen Akanfuo"). No kidding!!

That is the more reason why the NPP remains narrow in scope despite the loud noise that its followers make to suggest that it has a national berth as the NDC has. Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeea.

As for me, I still maintain that the NPP isn't doing well in opposition to assure Ghanaians that it can handle the country's affairs better than what the Mahama-led administration is doing—which they are complaining about but won't necessarily see the NPP as a redeemer. Hindsight!!

How can a responsible opposition seeking to outdo the incumbent at elections choose BOYCOTT of important national issues and events as its main tool for politicking and hope to be endorsed? Why will such a party not abandon the "rogue" politics that has doomed it all these years if, indeed, it seeks to carve a better public image for itself?

More importantly, apart from the hackneyed trash-talk about free senior high school education, what again has come from the NPP to prove that it has better policy initiatives for tackling the country's problems? No alternative measures have come forth from its quarters to prove to its critics and skeptics like me that it is a better choice. It remains doomed no matter how it feeds the public with lies about the current government. No matter how much publicity its lackeys in the media give it!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.