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Is Isaac Osei the NPP Compromise Candidate?

Mon, 3 Aug 2009 Source: Gbolo, Mohammed Ussif

The idea of a compromise Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is being touted around some circles in the party as way of avoiding a divisive battle for the top post between Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeramaten and as well bringing about unity within the party.

At the moment reports from especially the grass- roots indicate the two factions have started attacking each other with 'chainsaws' again. In fact they are right now clutching at each others throats. I have realised that the Alan and Akufo-Addo factions have entrenched their positions more than ever, that their preferred candidate should lead the NPP in the 2012 Presidential election or the party 'should lose'. In view of this, would it not be better to go for a neutral person who would hold the party together so as to win the 20012 election?

If it is true that the party is scheming for Mr Isaac Osei to take over as NPP Presidential candidate of a bitterly divided party then it is good news. We hear this is being actively discussed by senior figures in the NPP. What the NPP need is a unifying, creative, visionary and innovative leader. My assessment suggests he meets all the criteria of a good leader. I see him as the typical professional politician Ghanaians need; honest and not corrupted.

The bloody civil war between Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeramaten has left many NPP members convinced that neither can deliver a knockout blow to the other and that both have been so damaged that they risk losing the 2012 election to any candidate NDC will present. Many NPP members now believe Isaac Osei could emerge as a compromise candidate acceptable to both camps at the party's. The NPP need a man like him to step forward to lead the party.

In recent times there has been a flurry of speculation that Mr Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin in the Ashanti Region who was also a former Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and a former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, might jump into the race. Mr Isaac Osei who was born in Ashanti New Town-Kumasi to the late E.K. Osei from Sepe Timpom (Otumfuor's Nkosuohene) and Mrs Eunice Osei nee Inkumsah, his mother who hails from Dixcove in the Western Region could also be the right candidate.Â

 There is no doubt that NPP is in shambles. The center of NPP cannot hold and as an NPP activist and aspiring National Youth Organiser, Mahama Haruna put it; "It is only members who do not want to deal with the truth that will deny all is well with the party. The polarization of Nana Akufo- Addo and Alan Kyerementeng camps never helped the NPP's cause. These two groups were so entrenched that the problems created affected the party in the last election".

It seems the NPP is not learning any lessons from situations that exist in political parties elsewhere. I once read that, all around the world, most political parties typically have at least two main factions within them. The pendulum will often swing from one side of the party to the other over the course of time. The Democrat and Republican parties of the US have their Liberal and Moderate wings, for instance. Anytime one side wins control over the party, the other side will often feel alienated but usually soldier along until its time comes. The response of some of Alan's supporters to the 2008 campaign was rather lukewarm. In fact some simply worked against then candidate Akufo Addo and blamed this on pro-Akufo-Addo supporters stance against then. They believe certain members of Akufo Addo's campaign team pursued an agenda of harassing leading members who supported Alan Kyeramanteng.

"The NPP is at the moment split between those who want Akufo-Addo elected at the next Congress at all cost and those who fear his selection as NPP Flag bearer may further divide the NPP and therefore damage the party's electoral prospects. Already hard line Akufo-Addo supporters have long been suspicious that Alan is maneuvering to outfox Akufo- Addo and are therefore rolling up the sleeves of their shirts for a fight notwithstanding the repercussions this could have on the party. There could be an internal explosion within the party if Alan Kyeramanteng is elected because most of Akufo- Addo's supporters would not be prepared to work with him and vice versa if there is no immediate solution to this problem no matter how complex it is." Haruna also explained

Just last week, the NPP Presidential Candidate for 2008 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo says his contest for the flag-bearership of the party for elections 2012 will not create any problems for the party. But political analysts have suggested the bitter contest between him and Mr Alan Kyerematen for NPP flag-bearer in December 2007 contributed to the party’s defeat at the 2008 elections.

The various groups belonging to the two leaders are said to have had irreconcilable differences and never closed their ranks. The resultant cracks thereof cost the party the elections as it lacked the needed unity and cohesion to make a concerted effort during the campaigns. Mr Kyerematen prior to the elections even resigned from the NPP citing intimidation of his supporters by supposed supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo. He however rescinded his decision and rejoined the party but only after interventions by the elders of the party.

The relationship between Nana Addo, and Alan his closest contender at the last 2007 flag-bearership race, was said to be frosty and has the tendency to cause the disintegration of the party should the two of them contest the presidential candidacy of the party again. But Nana Addo refutes the suggestion, arguing that competition has always made the NPP better and cannot be the reason why a competition between him and Alan should divide the party.

From a clinically neutral standpoint, I believe it would certainly be in the interest of NPP to critically assess their present situation and then seriously consider getting a compromise candidate. From all indications, the party's members are tired of this separation in the NPP. They tired of the internal strangling and the divisions. The divisions within the party could only be halted if both Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyeremanteng withdraw fron the NPP Presidential race for the sake of Unity, Peace and Tranquility and allow a compromise candidate.

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In conclusion I wish to state that the obstacles to a compromise candidate are not, in my humble opinion, insurmountable. However if both factions were to endorse Isaac Osei as the compromise candidate unconditionally, their supporters would be aggrieved at first, but then accept their decision. The benefits are obvious as the NPP would then act as a unit and concentrate on preparing for the 2012 election.

By Mohammed Ussif Gbolo.

ahmedussifgbolo@yahoo.com

Columnist: Gbolo, Mohammed Ussif