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Opinions Thu, 12 Sep 2013

The moderates in the NPP must take over their party

By Kofi Thompson

Throughout the period that the Supreme Court heard the December 2012 presidential election petition, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate, who took the matter to court, kept a dignified silence.

When the verdict was announced, he made it clear that he disagreed with it, but would accept it nonetheless - and immediately did so. He also called President Mahama to congratulate him. In so doing, he has set a shining example for the rest of Africa's political elite.

In sharp contrast to Nana Akufo-Addo's statesmanlike and dignified silence, is the dishonourable conduct of the ruthless, arrogant and manipulative few in his inner circle - whose amoral nature has led them to demand that a solemn undertaking by Nana Akufo-Addo that he would accept the outcome of the presidential election petition he took to the Supreme Court, should be discarded by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

That solemn undertaking cannot simply be discarded because of the deliberately engineered controversy that has sprung up around the Supreme Court's verdict.

The NPP must put the well-being of our nation and its people ahead of seeking narrow party advantage. A few selfish extremists must not be allowed to hijack the NPP and use it for their own dubious ends.

The party will be permanently damaged, if it allows the extremists in its upper echelons to give Ghanaians the impression that the NPP wants to win power at any cost - and will resort to every despicable trick in the book to achieve that end if need be.

The party's the-end-justifies-the-means extremists, who it appears do not know when to stop, are constantly shifting goalposts - and deploying mendacious argument after mendacious argument to justify the bad faith they are showing, in demanding that Nana Akufo-Addo's solemn promise to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court, ought to be discarded by the NPP.

The NPP must not discard a solemn undertaking given by an honourable gentleman who has kept his word to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court - for that would be a most dishonourable thing for a party full of honourable individuals to do.

To paraphrase the late J. B. Da Rocha, when those selfsame individuals tried the same tactic after losing the December 2008 presidential election, what the extremists are bent on doing - undermining the integrity of a number of Supreme Court judges to justify breaking a promise given by their party in order to enable them continue holding our nation to ransom - is neither in the interest of the NPP nor that of the Republic of Ghana.

To safeguard its long-term future, the NPP must not allow itself to be hijacked by a few selfish extremists. The party's moderates must take over their party as soon as practicable. A word to the wise...

Columnist: Kofi Thompson