The NPP must avoid ending up becoming a one-term-only regime

Fri, 7 Apr 2017 Source: Thompson, Kofi

By: Kofi Thompson

As a people we must do everything possible to avoid extremists taking over political parties in our homeland Ghana.

Were that to occur, it would have a disastrous effect on Ghanaian democracy - for it will lead to a great deal of intolerance in society.

Yet, democracy is supposed to be a way of life based on tolerance.

The point needs to be made that democracy is not only just about relationships between state institutions - including the countervailing powers of the three arms of government outlined in the 1992 Constitution.

Sadly, of late, we have all been witnesses to the divisive and unlawful actions of some of the private militias run by powerful hardliners in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) - some of the members of which have been on the rampage across the country.

In many such instances, there have been brutal and unprovoked assaults on law-abiding citizens and the unlawful destruction of government property by members of the two private militias in question - the so-called Invincible Forces and the Delta Force.

Those acts of indiscipline have marred the image of the administration of President Akufo-Addo, unfortunately.

And at a time when most Ghanaians want their sharply divided country to be reunited, the foolish and divisive comments by the NPP's verbally-aggressive Obiri Boahens and Kennedy Agyapongs - who have been carrying on as if the Republic of Ghana has now become their party's private property since their regime came to power - does not help matters either.

Our homeland Ghana belongs to all its people - whatever their politics and whichever part of Ghana they hail from. And the vast majority of our people want their nation to be peaceful and remain stable.

It is vital that moderates in the NPP impress upon the violence-prone extremists in their party that it is important that Ghana maintains its global reputation as a haven of peace and stability in sub-Saharan Africa - if it is to continue to attract sufficient investment into its national economy.

Surely, even those myrmidon-types recruited into the NPP's private militias realise that it is new investment in all the sectors of the real economy, which will create the jobs and wealth that will help transform Ghana into a prosperous society - and that gaining a reputation for chaos and violence will therefore not help our nation?

Above all, the NPP's moderates must understand clearly that continued violence by those militia members will alienate many of the fair-minded and discerning Ghanaians, whose decision to vote for NPP candidates, won them the December 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

No one in the NPP should forget that it was the desire amongst that strata of society to end the days of impunity that the egregious actions of the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) Stan Dogbes conveyed to decent folk in Ghana during the Mahama-era that finally brought the days of the NDC regime to an end in the 2016 elections.

The NPP's moderates must ensure that at all costs the impression that the government is unable to clamp down on the unlawful activities of the party's private militias does not gain currency amongst that particular demographic.

If care is not taken to end the lawlessness by election time in November 2020, we will wind up with a situation in which many from that demographic conclude that helping Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom put together a winning coalition that will deliver what the NPP now seems incapable of delivering - a united and orderly society in a nation in which the rule of law prevails - will be in

their interest.

That could be fatal - as it will eventually end up making the NPP regime a one-term-only administration too in the 2020 elections

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi