The New Patriotic Party (NPP), by its politico-historic antecedents, is the pioneers of democracy in Ghana, in Africa and some parts of the world. This is because, the fore-bearers of the modern day NPP,were the doyens who set in motion, the liberation movement on the African continent, which later snow-balled into struggles against colonialism and ultimately the liberation of Africa from the clutches of colonialism.

Democratic credentials

This strict adherence to pure democratic way of doing things is what actually provided a solid fulcrum around which the party's followers revolved to be able to survive the 30years of wondering in the political wilderness.
If NPP was a cult-like entity built around the beliefs, vision and aspiration of an individual, there was absolutely no-way it would have survived the 30years of political destitution, when gun-toting rascals with twisted,thwarted,disjointed,corrrugated and confused understanding of Marxism, controlled the affairs of state.

NPP has always opened the doors, widely, for sharing of ideas on matters ranging from archeology to zoology, whenever the party has been confronted with issues requiring cogent solutions. In the area of contestation for positions in the party at all levels, it has always been conducted in open, transparent, free and fair manner. And the entire party followers, irrespective of their preferences before the contest, have solidly united behind the chosen officers to prosecute a well-focused agenda.
One thing that has always been characteristic of NPP followers is their notable recognition and equally rewarding of hard-work, dedication, loyalty and selflessness in service of the party to advance the course of its positive electoral agenda. This simply tells you that, to win the hearts and minds of party grass-roots to be voted for in an intra-party election, one must first be selfless, hard-working, dedicated and result-oriented.

And just as captured in the preamble of our 1992 constitution, the "power to govern or hold any official position in NPP, fully resides in the party's grass-root followers, and that, leaders of the party shall exercise their powers on behalf of the supporters".

Confusion at the top

Now, in recent times, there has been total confusion as to whether the current crop of NPP leadership has lost sight of the party’s inherent democratic qualities or is simply being blinded by crass selfishness and crave for what I guess could be unquenchable affinity for juicy trappings of office.

But whatever it might be, I would like to remind these party officials that the concept of party politicking and effective grass-root mobilization is always successful when the actual people who will be in the field engaging in these activities are made to believe, and genuinely so, that, their contributions, by way of fashioning out a strategy for prosecution of a particular agenda, are very much respected.

I’m saying so because I listened to chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey on Oman-FM's 'boiling point' (22/9/13) and he was of the opinion that "NPP has a support base of over 5million people and it is because decisions cannot be taken by this huge numbers, officers are chosen to do so on their behalf, and that, when these decisions are taken, the followers are to accept it".

And I remember writing on my Facebook wall, that very evening, that, Ghana has a population figure of 25million but we had only 9 Supreme Court Judges sitting on the election petition case because we couldn't have had all the 25million of us sitting on the case. So, by the logic of Chairman Jake, we all should have accepted the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court in the election petition, but, we had a very genuine cause to raise extremely cogent reservations with aspects of the verdict.
Also, because Ghana cannot have 25million Electoral Commission Chairmen, Dr. Kojo Afari-Gyan has been officially appointed and given the powers to occupy that position and duly organize elections on behalf of all 25million of us; and here too, the man's conduct over the years has been called into serious question on numerous occasions, the latest of which was the commission and omission before, during and after the 2012 general elections.

Again, I listened to NPP 1st Vice Chairman,Mr Fred Oware on Asempa-FM's 'ekosii sen' (1/10/13), saying a group within the party which had organized a press conference to demand for "accountability" had no locus to make such a demand because they are people who don't even make any financial contribution to the party.

A personal experience

And here, I would share this personal experience with my readers; during my years in Britain, I worked with a company called DANA-group, with its headquarters located in Milton Keynes where I was stationed. Now, we were given notice one day that there was going to be a general meeting the following day so we should all make it a point to be present.

The day came and we all, including cleaners, security persons, messengers, etc., assembled in the company’s conference room; and to my total amazement, the directors and managers of the company walked into the conference room, introduced themselves and with a power-point presentation, took us through the company’s performance for the year, the percentage by which we were able to exceed our targets and announced, there and then, a reward package for every single worker!!!
I was seriously taken aback by that spectacle because I happened to be the only African out of a work-force of 200 gathered in the room at the time; and my amazement was born out of the fact that, I had worked in Ghana for years, as a young qualified Medical Radiological Officer where I headed the Radiology Department of Tema General Hospital for close to 4years in the early 90’s.

I was actually in-charge of the department when the first ship-load of Liberian refugees landed at the Tema Port and they were rushed to the facility, in truck-loads, where we were forced to run helter-skelter to provide them with emergency care since most of them were at the point of death because they had had weeks of sea journey without food or water. During my years at Tema General Hospital, I also used to work for other private health facilities and no-where did I ever experience what I did experience at DANA-group in Milton Keynes, England, by way of accountability and openness in corporate practice when it comes to dealings with employees.

Who qualifies to call for accountability?

Now, Mr. Fred Oware’s assertion that grass-roots followers of the party have no locus to ask for accountability from party leadership was clearly an unfortunate statement for three reasons;

1. It is this grass-root followers who always do the dirty job when it comes to electioneering campaign and therefore have very huge stake in how the party’s affairs are handled, be it finances or strategy. And like I have already said, it is when this section of the party’s support base is made to feel wanted, respected, appreciated and listened to, that, they will be prepared to selflessly fight for the course of the party.

2. These grass-roots people obviously might not be in the position to make financial contributions to the party because they haven’t had the opportunity to hold government appointments as some of these current party officials did, during 8years of Kufuor-led administration.

3. The John Mahama-led NDC used a period of just 3months to fashion out a well-thought-out and highly efficient strategy to win, either fair or foul, the 2012 elections; and being in power for 4years, only God knows the kind of strategy they have up their sleeve for 2016.

The way forward

Consequently, the least NPP needs, as the party prepares for the battle of 2016 where the Supreme Court has actually legitimsed all forms of electoral fraud through a highly questionable verdict in the election petition, is a well-united front backed by a well-thought-out strategy to do just two things;

1. Prevent NDC from cheating
2. Jealously protect NPP votes

So, any acts of omission or commission on the part of any individual or group of persons that will seek to divide the party’s front must be resisted with vehemently vehement vehemence.

Asuch,the current attitude of hegemonically hegemonic hegemony being exhibited by an infinitesimal clique of party hierarchy by way of seeking to turn the party’s constitution right on its head,vis-à-vis,chronologically chronological chronologic chronology of electing officers from polling stations,constituencies,regionals,national and ultimately the flagbearer,which is a clear recipe for disastrously disastrous disaster of dividing the party’s front, must be discarded with utmost alacritously alacritous alacrity. NPP WILL BE BACK!!!

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
E-mail: justnoff@yahoo.com