Politics Mon, 26 Nov 2007

Editorial: NPP and The Ashanti/Akyem Factor

In the 1992 elections, the NPP lost in nine out of the ten regions of the country. The only region where the party won and performed massively was the Ashanti region.


Four years on, with the electoral landscape being tremendously improved following far reaching reforms to the country's electoral processes, the results of the general elections showed the same trend again. The NPP lost in all other regions with the exception of Ashanti where the party again won nearly 70 percent of the votes. What was it that made Ashanti alone stand by the NPP when all the other nine regions opted for the popular NDC? The answer was not far-fetched. All the other nine regions voted for the NDC because they were largely convinced that the Rawlings leadership brought about massive progress on all fronts and across all regions despite the difficulties that marked the beginning of the revolutionary process. The Lens truly believes that while all the nine regions were voting on the basis of what concrete achievements they saw Ghana chalking under the PNDC and NDC1, one region deliberately closed its eyes to the solid achievements of the period and voted along a sectional line. At the time, it was fashionable for the NPP to counter that it was not only the Ashanti region that was voting along tribal lines but the Volta region as well. However, that could not be an accurate reflection of the situation. If all the nine regions had voted against the NDC and Volta alone had voted for the NDC, then that criticism would have had some validity. But as things stood, Volta had good company in the form of eight other regions. So the examples of the 1992/96 voting patterns left no doubt in the minds of Ghanaians as to where the ethnocentric voting pattern could be found. Recent attempts therefore by the NPP to create the impression that the party is not an Ashanti/Akyem party are being viewed with a lot of derision by discerning Ghanaians who are all too aware of the reality. Attempts to sermonize Amoako Tuffuor for stating the naked truth would not be in the best interest of the NPP. The party should face the truth that this has been the reality from day one and the recent woes of Veep Aliu Mahama have only helped to highlight a cancker that has bedeviled this "Matemeho" political grouping for decades. The Lens can predict that come December 22, the winner of the NPP race will be either an Ashanti or an Akyem (cousins of Ashantis). You read it here first. Why? Because, these two are the real movers and shakers of the tradition. The rest are conveniently used and dumped. Aliu is not the first and will certainly not be the last to be used and conveniently dumped by this tribal political grouping.

Source: Lens