A former Minister of State, Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has expressed concern about the scramble to contest leadership positions in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) when the immediate focus should be on galvanizing grass-roots support for the party.
He said what the current executive of the NPP should rather be doing was a self-introspection of what caused the party’s defeat in the 2012 polls and also begin a massive grass roots mobilization exercise instead of the hurry to elect the next flag bearer of the party.
“We do not need a flag bearer now because what the party requires right now is to begin the debate for electoral reforms that will ensure an even playing field for all the political players and not the craze to elect a flag bearer,” Mr. Asamoah-Boateng told Daily Graphic in Accra last Tuesday.
He spoke to the Daily Graphic on a wide range of issues he thought could thwart the electoral fortunes of the party especially the open support by executive members of the NPP for Nana Akufo-Addo as the flag bearer of the party for the 2016 pools.
Mr. Asamoah-Boateng served as Minister of Information and subsequently Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in the erstwhile NPP administration.
PURSUE ELECTORAL REFORMS
According to Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, there was the need for the NPP to work together with the other political parties towards an electoral system that would forestall election petitions in the future.
He expressed the view that any attempt to elect a flag bearer ahead of electing national executives would spell doom for the party, stressing that those calling for that arrangement were only pursuing their selfish interest.
He contended that advocates for that plan wanted to make a ‘personality cult’ around the flag bearer in a grand scheme to alienate the hardworking people from the party.
INTOLERANCE IN NPP
For the one time member of Parliament for Mfantsiman West, the current level of intolerance where divergent views had now been thrown to the ‘dogs’ was a cause for worry and questioned how the NPP could never win power if its members were intolerance of each others views.
“If we don’t tolerate our own views, how then can we attract those who are not members of the party into our fold to even tolerate them since they are not our members?” he questioned, adding that to win political power could one be realized with only the vote from party supporters.
He cited himself as an object of attack by NPP members when he disagreed with the position of some party executives on radio over the decision to elect a flag bearer at the expense of building the party’s structure.
“Let us calm down, engage in healthy debates, build consensus and give value and priority to the grass roots. We cannot build a house from the roof, so we need to build our foundation which is the grass roots, the former minister stated.
THANK YOU TOUR
On the party’s thank you tour, he pointed out that the tours came without a package which should involved a fact-finding mission to ascertain the challenges affecting the party on the ground and ‘not just embarking on a thank you tour for the sake of it.’
Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, who began politics at the age of 17, touted his political credentials, especially when he was Local Government Minister, which exposed him to grass-roots politics.
He described the NPP as the alternative government and linked the party to fisherman paddling a canoe full of passengers on a river who support the fisherman to paddle the boat to move forward.
“It is in that spirit that we have to involve our grass root to support the national executive to propel the party to victory,: he added.
Mr. Asamoah-Boateng denied calling on the NPP not to harass the current administration. Setting the records straight, he said harassing the current administration was not the antidote to winning power.
He quoted Matthew 7:12, which states “…so in everything do unto others what you want them to do unto you” and added that what the NPP would not want to be done unto it in government, it should not do it to another government.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
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