By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
In the best of times, Mr. Dan Botwe’s argument for party members not to stampede any of the four other standing presidential candidacy aspirants in Sunday’s Super-Delegates’ Congress out of the race would make perfect sense (See “NPP Race: Alan, Others Mustn’t Be Forced Out – Dan Botwe” Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/2/14). But, of course, these are not the best of times by any stretch of the imagination. For six years now, the Mills-Mahama posse has plunged the country into a blistering economic and health crisis, and unless visionary disciplinary measures are staunchly and rigidly taken by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), we are highly unlikely to fully recover from this unacceptable situation of abject decadence and wanton corruption anytime soon. In short, the very soul of Ghana lies in suspecded animation.
This is scarcely the time to unwisely indulge the out-sized ego of any individual; it is time for the crafting and implementation of progressive political strategies aimed at wresting legitimate power from the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress, if Ghana is to continue to maintain its enviable leadership position on the African Continent, as well as its diplomatic respectability among the global comity of nations. Besides, as already adumbrated time and again, Mr. Alan John Kwadwo “Quitman” Kyerematen, for one obvious and remarkable example, has had more than adequate chances to run the party through cynical rings of electoral self-regression. This is not the time to rehash the excruciating and inexcusably painful recent past.
What I detest more than anything else, however, is what Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong once rightly characterized as the unpragmatic textbook politics among the leadership of the New Patriotic Party, which makes the the party’s Constitution seem as if it had been hewed out of stone or steel and thus deserves to be rigidly adhered to like a religious fundamentalist group, such as the Taliban or even Boko Haram, for a ready example in our own neighborhood.
As already adumbrated, the main advantage of having Nana Akufo-Addo promptly declared the 2016 New Patriotic Party Presidential Candidate, is that it allows for a little more precious time to rally all the key players of the party together into a united front for our December 2016 epic battle against the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC). This means that the October 19 Plenary Delegates’ Congress ought to be made a ceremonial formality where the barest minimum of scarce resources and time are expended. Avid students and observers of the NDC are well aware of the fact that it is this significant difference in party discipline that has made the Rawlings-minted political machine the more electorally effective party that it is today and, in fact, has always been since 1992 and the beginning of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
There is absolutely nothing to be gained from empty vaunts about the NPP’s being the most democratic political organization or institution in the country. Unnecessary wrangling and litigation do not a democratic party make. Democracy has far greater value when your party has been voted into power and the electorate who afforded it their mandate are being governed by progressive principles of freedom, justice, transparency and equity in the distribution of national wealth and access to employment on merit, rather than such attributive factors as gender, ideology, ethnicity or regional origin.