Another electoral loss for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has the potential of driving the party into extinction due to the storm and confusion the defeat will generate within its ranks, political science lecturer, Dr Mohammed Abass has warned.
The leading opposition party has witnessed a number of defeated parliamentary aspirants filing to contest as independent candidates in the 2016 legislative poll owing to disaffection with results from primaries. Notable independent parliamentary aspirants of NPP stock include Nii Noi Nortey (Klottey Korle) and Theophilus Tettey (Ablekuma West). Bantama MP Henry Kokofu – who lost in his bid to contest for re-election on the NPP’s ticket – filed to contest for the seat as an independent candidate but later withdraw the filing.
At an NPP rally on Tuesday at Shiabu, Dansoman, on October 4, flag bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told such dissatisfied persons going solo that they were not true members of the party.
"Our party selects leaders though internal elections. I, myself, was elected through such a process. True party people stay with the party whether they win or lose. My colleague Alan Kyerematen, who I beat in our primaries, is still here with me. He even speaks on my behalf. However, if you lose internal elections and you get disgruntled and decide to leave the party, then you are not a true NPP member. So, if you say you are quitting the party because you lost an election, we will say: 'Thank you very much for your services, you go, we will stay and fight the fight and make the way to bring the victory to the NPP.' We don't give up, we don't fret, come what may, we are solidly behind the Elephant," the three-time presidential hopeful said.
But Mr Akufo-Addo’s comment, according to Dr Abass, was not helpful in addressing the issues threatening the unity and chances of the party in December’s election.
Speaking on Accra100.5FM’s breakfast show, Ghana Yensom, on Wednesday October 5, Dr Abass noted that politics was about “numbers” and “population”, thus, Mr Akufo-Addo would have to “do everything in his power” to address “grievances” and “dissatisfaction” within the party.
He said Nana Addo’s comment was “not a higher response”, betraying a conduct similar to the MP aspirants who have filed to go solo.
In his view, the 72-year-old’s remark was symptomatic of one “revenging” instead of “finding solutions” and “forging ahead” and does not bode well for the unity of the party with the presidential and parliamentary polls only two months away.
“Politics is about bridging the gap, it’s about bridging differences, because you are dealing with people who have their own ambitions. Even though they are part of the party, they have their own ambitions. So the question is, ‘Don’t they have the right to be dissatisfied if something does not go on well?’ And if they are dissatisfied and they show it, is it the way forward to say they are free to leave? Then what is the future of the party in terms of building the strength and numbers of the party?” the academic wondered.
He added: “It’s not good for the NPP. …The NPP should watch it because if they lose this election, the party will collapse and everything clearly points to that. If they lose this election, the problems that will arise in the party will be massive. …The signs are there, so this is the time they have to sacrifice and demonstrate courage and rise above personal interests, placing party and collective interests first. That is what will help them. But if they don’t do that and they even win the election, there will still be serious problems because there are issues and they have swept them under the carpet.”
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