The NPP must field a non-Twi speaking candidate

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 Source: Owusu-Nkwantabisa, Nana

The NPP must field a non-Twi speaking candidate in 2016

This author flatly disagrees that the NPP is an Akan party. It is definitely a party favored by Akans, especially Twi-speaking Akans. I believe this is so because of the party’s commitment to dialogue and meritocracy, values highly cherished by Akans but also by all Ghanaians. The NDC has however succeeded in framing the party as an Akan party and the domination of the leadership of the party by the Ashanti and Akyem caucuses, gives credence to the Akan tag. That said, I wonder why the NPP fails to tag the NDC as an Ewe party with support from some northern areas. The NPP has refused to play the tribal card even as it continues to suffer from the opponent’s use of tribal sentiments as an electoral tool (eg. Mahama appealing to Northerners).

Between now and 2016, the NPP has to work hard on nurturing and promoting leaders who are not from its traditional support base. Leaders from the other 8 regions must be nurtured and promoted and the party’s structures in those regions must be built but not at the expense of the Ashanti and Eastern base. The ideals that the NPP stands for are more popular than whatever the NDC stands for (yet to see it implement any effective ‘socially democratic’ policies). Kufuor’s policies were more socially democratic than the NDCs: Free maternal care, free healthcare for children and the elderly, National Health Insurance, free school lunches etc. That is social democracy in action.

The NDC owes it to Ghanaians to use effectively any mandate that it gets (if it should after the Supreme Court decides) to provide Ghanaians with good governance. Then, we will have two very viable parties to choose from. Its record from the past 4 years leaves a lot to be desired and rigging elections (if true), does not bode well for the country. The ‘buga, buga’ culture from the PDC and WDC days in the early 80s has been proven to be useless compared to democracy and even Chairman Rawlings has discarded them and is now committed to democracy.

Personally, Ghana means more to me than the silly parties that we have and I think the negatives of partisanship outweigh its benefits unless the sanctity of the ballot box is restored. Partisanship is creating ethnic divisions where they don’t even exist. We take elections very personally and fail to see it as a tool for rewarding and punishing good governance. Our politicians are all stealing to support their ambitions. The society must wake up. All those Peace Councils and all the councils that have emerged, must sit down and have a national dialogue as to how we want to practice our democracy. If all it does is promote corruption and ethnic hatred, then it is failing us.

Nana Owusu-Nkwantabisa

Columnist: Owusu-Nkwantabisa, Nana