Winning the NPP ‘Unity Contest’ Will Be ...

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 Source: Mustapha, Samudeen

... Central To Winning The 2016 Elections.

“Why cant the NPP always be together ?” This question has never been so strongly posed as after the just ended National Executive Elections in Tamale. It has become the subject of eager discussions at workshops , food joints and every other platform that hosts or convene sympathizers of the NPP. There has never been less reason for retaining any barriers to an absolute unity for power 2016..We can boast of possessing immeasurable pool of talents and immaculate ideas and policy proposals that will help salvage this country from the clutches of the ‘’akatamansonian incompetence and legendary corruption’’. But of what use will these talents be if we cannot win political power to bring these expertise to bear ?

There are painful lessons we must learn from our morbid experiences in both the 2008 and 2012 streak of elections as a party, if we are to contain these endless flood of electoral misfortune. Having moved from winning six regions in 2000 election to just two regions in two consecutive elections should ring a bell in deafening decibels in our ears signaling an oddity in the way we have handled issues of internal cohesion in the party. The first contest towards 2016 elections will be the internal unity contest. Uniting our own party would be central to winning the 2016 elections.

I happen to subscribe to the popular view that, the contest to elect a flag bearer for the NPP, should bear the least rancor and acrimony, this is because our list of Presidential wannabes embody the most able talents than any other political party in Ghana. Thus the choice of a winnable presidential candidate in the NPP should not be source of our enmity and division and an avenue to equip our common political opponents with arsenals to smear the eventual victor. Our internal contest ought not be viewed as an end itselt , but a means to choose for the party an ideal leader in the popular opinion of our electoral college. Thus, after the emergence of the victor, the entire party, without exceptions – from the polling station to the national level must unite to harness political power in 2016. History is replete with ill consequence of disunity in several facets of life. Its central role in politics, has surfaced time without number.

In 1968, facing a divided party and a primary challenge, President Lyndon Johnson chose not to seek re-election and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey took the DIVIDED DEMOCRATIC PARTY to defeat against Richard Nixon.

In 1980, President Carter overcame a primary challenge against Ted Kennedy and took a DIVIDED DEMOCRATIC PARTY to defeat against Ronald Reagan.

In South Korea in 1987, with a chance to defeat Roh Tae-Woo, the military candidate, the pro-democracy forces divided between the two KIMS and handed victory to Roh by a plurality.

In our backyard, in 1979, the Danquah-Busia forces, with victory virtually guaranteed in both Parliamentary and Presidential elections, splintered into the PFP and the UNC and managed to snatch defeat right out of the jaws of victory.

The vital role that unity plays in victory is not just limited to politics. In sports, united teams are frequently winning teams.

It is a well-known fact that after the Black Stars teams that won Cups in 63 and 65 and 78 and 82 respectively, the most talented team we had was the Abedi Pele-Tony Yeboah squads. Despite the abundant talents, however, they never won a Cup of Nations and never went to the World cup.

In basketball, Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen led the Chicago Bulls to six championships without being friends.

It is infact, the greatest tragedy of our tradition that at this moment of all others, instead of the party firmly united and welded together, there should be such doubt, confusion and opposition. There is no Nana-Addo-Patriotic Party, neither is there an Alankyeremateng- Patriotic Party or for that matter an Apraku Patriotic Party. There is the New Patriotic Party. A party borne of varied cultural ancestry, blessed with boundless talents and ideas and united by one common goal- to improve the lot of the Ghanaian.

The past is of no consequence in view of the gravity of the present and the enormity of the 2016 elections . Old hatreds and old feud Should give way to comradeship and brotherhood .The new leadership of the party should be read to do everything in its power to achieve unity. It should have one aim, that of helping forward the struggle for victory in 2016.

It is time to end the hypocrisy of calling for unity among all party members – and afterwards being selective on the kind of hands to shake. The rock of salvation for the New Patriotic Party going into the 2016 elections is unity. That is what needs to be understood and acted upon.

Samudeen Mustapha



Columnist: Mustapha, Samudeen