By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I will come back to Mr. Kwabena Agyepong in another installment of this column at the appropriate time; but for now, let me heartily congratulate my Amanfuo classmate, as I understand it, for decently clinching a victory to secure the cardinal job of New Patriotic Party (NPP) General-Secretary. I also take this opportunity to wish the former Kufuor press secretary a speedy recovery from his recent motor accident. Then also, I am happy to learn that Mr. Agyepong has decided to stay the positive course of concentrating his efforts in ensuring that his party is returned to the helm of affairs in 2016, in order to facilitate the remarkable improvement in the lives of the suffering majority of Ghanaians who can barely keep their necks above the treacherous shoals of acute and unprecedented economic depression.
For the present, what is worth observing is the decision of Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (aka Sir John) to throw his full heft behind his successor to the general-secretaryship of the New Patriotic Party. It is my fervid hope that Mr. Agyepong finds a significant and constructive role for Sir John to play in the hectic lead-up to Election 2016. As the cliche goes, all hands will be needed on the deck. But that he lost his bid to retaining his post quite decently and honorably, attests to the undeniable fact that Sir John still has a formidable staying power and relevance in the hearts and minds of the teeming members, supporters and sympathizers of Ghana’s largest political party.
Some readers have questioned my characterization of the New Patriotic Party as the largest political organization in the country, and those doubting Kwaku Mensahs deserve an answer – and my answer squarely inheres in the fact that it had to take Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Electoral Commissioner, the scandalous rigging of the ballot, otherwise known as “over-voting,” to ensure that the losing candidate snatched victory in the most recent presidential election. But even so, as the majority of the jurists on the Atuguba-chaired panel of the 2012 presidential election petition aptly pointed out, neither the declared winner nor his closest rival clinched the constitutionally stipulated moiety of the votes.
Then, also, the very fact that its detractors continue to mischievously tag the New Patriotic Party as “an Akan party” puts the sobriquet of the NPP as Ghana’s largest political organization well beyond dispute. In the next several weeks, many of its humongous supporters and sympathizers will have every right to expect the systematic and meticulous unfolding of the economic development agenda of the New Patriotic Party by the latter’s newly elected administrators. We intend to hold these leaders to their campaign promises. Where they deliver and creditably acquit themselves, we shall heartily and unreservedly commend them for the same. And where they wobble and vacillate, we shall equally not hesitate to let them understand where matters stand.
And gee, I almost forgot to place this one remarkable act of decency on the part of Sir John on record – and the latter regards his indisputably laudable decision to put his reelection campaign on hold in the wake of the reportage of his then rival’s involvement in a serious vehicular accident. That was quite gracious of Sir John. That is indubitably the mark of a mature and decent political operative.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York