In one ominous cycle, it is emerging that the saga of constituency executives and inward-looking parliamentary candidates, which combined in 2008 to disrupt the focus of the New Patriotic Party in an election in which they were favourites, is here with us again.
That, unfortunately, indicates that party activists on the ground, who ought to know better, with history as their guide, are the very people committing acts that tend to undermine the governing NPP and oil the weapons of the opponent, in dimming the party’s positive aspirations to maintain power in 2020.
What therefore appears to be normal, friendly and democratic exchanges during constituency, regional and national exercises to select parliamentary candidates, are turning cancerous sores that are refusing to go away – even when the leader of the party and President of the nation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called for a truce.
That, in the opinion of the Daily Statesman, doesn’t only show respect, but also in several respects dishonours the governing party, which has shown magnanimity and tolerance in managing conflict during these turbulent congresses and follow-up mediation sessions.
For a party in power with a huge record of success to be assailed with disunity is the last to be tolerated or encouraged, when the party’s opponents, hell bent, are fighting tooth and nail, using fair and foul means, to dislodge it from power.
What those fanning the flames of disunity fail to grasp is that every party has a philosophy that guides its operations and structures, which undergird its vibrancy and relevance. That is aside of the crucial fact that you need to win elections before you can enjoy any material rewards.
That is why it is important that all the forces and groups embroiled in the discordant decision to run as independent candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections must wise up to the fact that peace and harmony at constituency level is in the mutual interest of the governing party and all players.
Additionally, it is important to remind members of the governing party about the history the party is making, not only in building a globally resilient economy and attractive investment destination, but also as a governing party poised to hand over power to itself in 2024 – with 2020 well in the basket.
Worse still, when such interest groups persist in having their way, when logically and lawfully they know that the party is greater than them, we believe they should not blame themselves when the family decides that ‘enough is enough’.
Fortunately, we have cases like Akwatia and Korle Klottey where sanity has prevailed, and the resultant healing processes are working wonders to help the NPP retain or capture the seats. And, we hope others may yet fall in step with the dictates of the leadership of the party.
Heeding the President’s appeal
It is against that background that we call on the aggrieved persons to look at the larger picture and respect the President’s appeal for calm and unity, in lighting up the party’s collective path towards a well-deserved victory in 2020.
While we believe a couple of such aggrieved persons may have grounds to complain, we still believe “every dog has his space and opportunity for people who don’t give up”.
As they themselves would admit, the NPP is a one big family capable of creating space for all its sons and daughters around the country.
It may hurt, but we must understand that the game of politics and democracy, for that matter, also requires tolerance and consensus.
‘Skirt and blouse’ voting may be a characteristic of the NDC, not a virile and vibrant party like the NPP. That’s why we call on the constituency executives to refrain from taking sides and help build confidence on the grounds, in helping the party to retain power.