Haunted By History And Tradition

Does The Future Of  the NPP Lie Solely On Robust Paperwork And Self-Acclamations? Kenwuud Nuworsu Has The Answer….

Media Watch: A Review Of Akufo Addo Storms The Volta

The OmanbaPa Research Group

News Commentary

The Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party- Kenwuud Nuworsu, who according to Daily Guide reporter Wise Donkor (Akufo Addo storms <!–more–>Volta, Monday, 29 June 2009), seems not only to debunk criticisms that Nana Akufo-Addo did not visit his party’s Waterloo- the Volta Region, after his failed presidential bid in the 2008 elections, but suggests that the presidential and parliamentary debacle of NPP, came as a result of many factors and therefore, cannot be swept solely at the doorsteps of the Volta Region.

The then Abuakwa South Member of Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs and NEPAD, was tipped by numerous opinion polls as one to lead Ghana after Kufuor, but eventually, lost narrowly to his main political rival and schoolmate- the then three times National Democratic Congress Presidential Candidate- Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta-Mills, whom he has recently reminded to fix the national economy if it is indeed broke.

In the fiercely contested bid of 7th and 28 December that in the wisdom of Electoral Commissioner Dr Afari Gyan, was finally decided on 2 January 2009, at Tain- a farming locality in the Brong-Ahafo Region, the “certified EC results” from 229 out of the 230 constituencies, gave the ruling NPP Nana Addo 4,159,439 or 49.13 per cent but failed to stamp the required 50 +1 vote, while the current President Prof Mills secured a closing 4,056,634 or 47.92 per cent. But in the decisive election at Tain, NDC candidate Mills managed to secure 4,501,466 votes representing 50.13 per cent of total valid national votes cast, while NPP Nana Addo, polled 4,478,411 votes representing 49.87 per cent.

The argument had been that since the earlier margin of 23,055 votes could not bestow the presidency on Mills in that the number of voters in the Tain constituency was more than the figure, the final onslaught at Tain became crucial but which NPP nervously rejected at the last hour. So the NPP Volta regional Chairman might have been right in his submissions in the Daily Guide (Akufo Addo storms Volta, 29 June 2009) that had the Ashanti region- the party’s fortress not dropped in its performance from 74.6% in 2004 to 72.23%, and Western – 56.6% to 47.35%, Central- 58.5% to 46.02%, Eastern- 60.2 to 56.91 and the Greater Accra 51.9 to 50.54, it wouldn’t have been in opposition today.

Thus if NPP functionaries and sympathizers were to look into the causes of the issues being raised by Nuworsu, who according to Daily Guide, had stressed that just as it was done in other regions, Nana met Voltarians at Kpasssa and extended his gratitude to them, they would have been humble in searching for the root causes of their self-inflicting defeat as they struggle in desperation in rebuilding NPP for the 2012 encounter.

Addressing a Regional Review Meeting organised by Members of the Volta Regional Branch of the New Patriotic Party, at Ho, on that Friday, that Daily Guide described as well-attended meeting which turned ecstatic when the NPP 2008 presidential candidate Nana Akuffo-Addo pulled a surprise visit, midway into the meeting, the Volta Regional Chairman of the main opposition NPP pointed out that the appointment of a Regional Campaign Monitoring Team disrupted the structures, state and life of the party in the region. Thus at the meeting that according to the report, the former Regional Minister- Kofi Dzamesi, was absent but saw stalwarts such as Osei Ameyaw, Rashid Bawa, Joseph Nayan, Amoako Tuffour, Tommy Amematekpor, former DCEs, Regional and constituency executives as well as Frances Asiam, who had called for President Mills impeachment.

It might have been unclear to the reader under which authority the recently-defeated NPP presidential hopeful- Nana Akufo-Addo, was acting, but JusticeGhana recalls the complaints of a group calling itself friends of Alan Kyeremanten and here, on the alleged undue advantage being exploited by Nana Addo as the party’s constitution is silent over the role of its immediate-past defeated presidential candidate, especially, in engaging its opponents? It is argued that Nana Addo had been acting like any other NPP stalwart.

Indeed like most NPP “topmen and women” such as Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ex-Vice President Aliu, Appiah Menkah, Hackman and Osafo Marfo, Nana Akufo-Addo seems also to have some following who, as it appears, still see him as a man who could lead NPP to victory. Hence, the reported standing ovation and chanting of various party songs including what Daily Guide describes as the party’s hit song “Nana is a winner’ which according to the report, forced all, including the recently defeated Nana himself, into dancing, with little sign from members to indicate that the party was in opposition?

Daily Guide reports that when the jubilation which lasted for more than 30 minutes was finally brought under control, Nana Addo thanked the people of Volta Region, where Dr Ohene- the brother of Journalist Elizabeth Ohene- who nearly gambled his fate during the fierce presidential battle, for the support given him in the last general elections and emphasised that he came to the region- the second home of his immediate-past political rival, President J.E.A. Mills, immediately after the 2008 elections where he organised a regional ‘thank you’ rally at Kpassa, hence, Friday’s visit was his second in 2009.

On this basis, Nana Addo who is said to have pointed out that the visit was part of those he had outlined to see to the re-organisation of NPP in the region and the country as a whole, urged the people to ignore the NDC’s propaganda that he did not come to Volta Region- the strongroom of ruling NDC, to thank the people after losing. The JusticeGhana is puzzled over who ought to be at the forefront of the rehabilitation wounded the elephant carried on shoulder-high at frontlines of the Volta to the encircled camp of Tain.

There are many, and indeed the OmanbaPa Research Group, partially, shares some of these views that Nana is empowered and perhaps, exploiting not only the 49.87 per cent votes as against the 50.13 per cent that he secured against the current sitting president but also, the political humiliation that appears to weigh Ex-President J.A. Kufuor. The most cited instances being his last-minute policies on justice, petroleum products, self-glorification and the controversial ex-gratia awards, which in the opinion of JusticeGhana, might have come as result of collective efforts, and can hardly be ignored by Nana Addo.

Today, Nana, who campaigned at the horseback of Kufuor’s economic miracles, is said to have expressed worry about the intimidation, harassment and victimization that were being meted out to party members including himself and charged members to stand up against all such undemocratic tendencies to ensure success in the country’s democratic dispensations. Yet Nana, whose motivation had been championing human rights abuses, had been politically, mute over the unjustifiable arrest, detention and the death of CPP man Mobila, who was rumoured to have had small arms in his car during elections?

Thus besides the said composition of NPP campaign team which in the quoted words of Nuworsu, was ill-advised as it brought about not only operational and organisational lapses, but also poor monitoring, greed and self interest, as well as other factors such alleged diversion of campaign resources, security lapses, lack of control and poor management of resources and the said importation of party agents into the Volta Region, which as the Chairman puts it, also cost NPP as it helped the then main opposition NDC in its propaganda that the party had brought macho men to harass the electorates. Hence NPP’s abysmal show in the Volta Region- JusticeGhana believes that the internal party violence in Bekwai and Suhum also put NPP on bad spot as incapable regime.

How could the Ghanaian have renewed NPP’s mandate to rule where in the face of arm-robbery, glaring drug bullets flying over our skies, on our waters and at ports, the party was deaf an indeed blind in its own dispute resolution mechanism and consensus building Yes Nana Akufo-Addo may be right in arguing that “party unity does not mean people of the same party should always think alike or think along the same lines” but that party unity could still be made of diverse views that accommodate the views of all, including the minority. But what if the said party and its stalwarts blind its own guiding principles?

Perhaps Forgotten where they had come from, the NPP functionaries who had from 1992, toured every corner of our planet receiving in cash and in kind- huge and token, to effect what it then described as POSITIVE CHANGE- soon became capable of raising millions for their own political ambitions that if much was said, could have indeed attracted not just the seventeen or so aspirants that we saw at the Great Hall in 2007 but also in hundreds.

The fundamental question that ought to be answered therefore, is the Mr. Nuworsu’s reported observation that in spite of the alleged intimidation, harassment, and mass rigging that characterised the election in the Volta, the party held onto its own and chalked 14.98% as against 14.2% in the 2004 elections. Thus the Volta Regional NPP boss explained that in the 2000 elections, that brought the then candidate Kufuor to the Presidency, had only 8% votes from the region yet, he won the national elections in six regions as against two- Asante and the Eastern Regions that NPP struggled to defend.

JusticeGhana shares Mr. Nuworsu explanation that since 1992, NPP had been growing at a geometric range in the Volta and that it was only in the last election that there was a marginal increment in percentage terms. He appears correct also in having little worry over the performance of the party in the region in the face of all its known problems, stressing that NPP’s defeat could not be blamed on the region but rather on the dwindling support in its strongholds which should catch the attention of the national leadership.

According to Daily Guide, Nana Akufo-Addo, who bemoaned the management style of the Mills-led government, recalls the same style the law professor used when he was the chairman of the Economic Planning Committee under ex-President Rawlings, as well as the messing up performance put up by the current Finance Minister- Kwabena Duffour, while he was the Governor of Bank of Ghana, spoke about the need for party unity and called on members to be strong, as there would always be light at the end of the tunnel.

It is said that leading members including, former Ministers, DCE’s and MP aspirants in the Volta, had all deserted the region, with landlords threatening to take party offices and chiefs, threatening to banish party stalwarts. JusticeGhana recalls similar cries made by Asante Regional NDC Chairman- Ohene Agyekum- the current US Ambassador designate.

At the time of updating this report the NPP, which the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning- Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has described its immediate-past leadership and government as reckless in its economic policies, is seeking new inroads in the form of constitutional amendments at Trade Fair site in Accra, where some 1500 national delegates have assembled all in an effort of recapturing political power come 2012.

But as to whether the purpose of this august convocation, participated by various political parties, including the ruling NDC, whose representative- one Mr Seth Ohene, who, having spoke on the crucial relevance of inter-political tolerance, co-existence and with special reference to the recent “Akwatia parliamentary re-run election”, kicked against electoral violence, could be the desperate solution to NPP’s suspected internal squabbles and suspicions, is yet to be judged by history. Both Ex-President J.A. Kufuor ((who says he has no faction in the NPP)) and Nana Akufo-Addo ((who seems to have endorsed the proposed amendments,)) and indeed most NPP followers and sympathizers, appear to have expressed their reservations, doubts and hopes for the future of their tradition.


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