It is often amusing, if not tragic, to see some aficionados of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) strut around the political space with a fait accompli attitude towards the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Only “uneducated minds” will vote for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says one of its esteemed members of Parliament. On Facebook, a self-acclaimed NPP party supporter reportedly called all people who voted for the NDC in the last elections “stupid”.
Seeing the back of the NDC government against the wall in the light of undeniable national challenges, many of these avowed opponents readily assume that the disaffection will or has already automatically translated into NPP- only votes.
It is not an understatement to say some of these aficionados – leaders and members alike– are feeling quite cocky at this point.
In this cockiness, there is a not-so-subtle attempt to shame, if not insult, us into voting for their party and candidate. In this milieu, any critical questions on the perceived readiness of the party to assume power in the wake of current violent happenings and lawless acts among its fractured national leadership and members are robustly repelled with a wave of intolerance and condescension. Alas, the Mahama government is so bad that we simply dare not say anything less than sing adoring praises of the NPP and Akufo-Addo, its candidate.
But time will tell, as always. In the midst of these national challenges, how has this alternate government positioned itself? Press conferences organised by its national executives are disrupted by machete–wielding supporters, thus compelling the Police to intervene. The party makes heavy weather of the very simple matter of convening national executive, not Cabinet meetings.
Split right down the middle, with the national chairman and general secretary swinging from one side and the vice chairman leading the other charge, the party raises concerns that its overriding thirst for power has blinded it to all else.
The NPP’s leaders fill the airwaves with rabid accusations of wanton mutual disregard for and breech of the party’s constitution, rules and regulations.
This aside, the leaders publicly accuse one another of being liars. The general secretary is a liar if he feigns ignorance of the botched steering committee meeting. The assassinated Upper East Regional Chairman of the party is a liar if he feigns ignorance of the recent visit of the national chairman and general secretary to his region. These are of course, not my own accusations, but those issuing from the mouths of NPP leaders.
If the NPP stopped at mere accusations and counter-accusations, perhaps, it would not be so bad. The NPP has, however, taken it a step further and higher. For going to the Upper East Region ostensibly to campaign against the party’s flag bearer, there have been violent repercussions for the party chairman and general secretary.
For the second time, the Police have had to intervene in the apparently not-so-simple matter of holding a party meeting to protect lives and property. If this party that, in its own wise estimation, is best placed to attract so-called “educated minds” makes such heavy weather of holding meetings and arranging primaries for its parliamentary elections, how do they intend to spare some thought to tackle the more complicated national challenges of the energy crisis, pulling our children from the bottom of global Mathematics and Science league tables and the throes of unemployment?
Ask yourself, have you heard the NPP outline its vision and strategy for solving our dumsor crisis? Are you aware of the NPP’s bright ideas for addressing unemployment in this country apart from complaining just like you and I? Apart from singing “Woyome, Woyome”, have you been presented with any well-articulated policy on how the NPP intends to make the systematic looting of national resources through dubious judgment debts that actively went on in their administration and have continued thereafter a thing of the past?
Where are the breakthrough strategies of the party towards averting the ridiculousness of Ghana’s last World Cup campaign? And I am not simply talking about doing a better job of concealing the same infractions in the name of ‘thou shall not be caught’. When will the NPP finish their fighting and tell us their bright ideas in order to prevent our “uneducated minds” from voting against them?
But I forget. ‘Uneducated minds’ dare not ask the NPP questions. I have just read of the horrible assassination of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the party – through an acid attack. I am advised not to immediately read intra-party criminal retributions into it. Fair point. I can wait. In due course, the truth will unfold. At that time, we will ask whether the NPP and its flag bearer represent visionary leadership or one of ineffectiveness and divisiveness in their obvious inability to simply rally the party’s front and articulate an inspirational national vision instead of inspiring violence and lawlessness.
The simple fact is that it is nothing short of illusory on NPP’s part to assume that expressed disaffection with Mahama means automatic votes for Akufo-Addo, because it doesn’t!