The leadership of the New Patriotic Party began rolling out processes for the party’s polling station executives’ elections about a month ago. The exercise is a prelude to similar elections at the constituency, regional and national levels, which will be climaxed with a national delegates’ congress that will pick the party’s 2024 presidential candidate. Since the exercise began, the turf has released enough bubbles to indicate that all was not well with the processes.
As with any human endeavour, many are not surprised at the isolated nasty scenes in some constituencies. It is however important to bring to the fore that some greed and mischief had set in, blameable on interest groups and ‘goons’ with eyes on 2024.
We had thought that when the regional and national leaders came out on air to dispel some of the earlier rumours, and assured that nominations forms were not in short supply and that all that was needed was patience on the part of the feuding youth in the Ashanti Region and other flashpoints, enough measures had been put in place to contain the spate of agitations.
The flashpoints now include New Abirem, in the Eastern Region, and Fomena, which was already boiling, with the national executive having firmly resolved the issues and brokered reconciliation. In addition, the party was confronted with another spectacle at Manhyia North, ordinarily known to be one of the decent constituencies in the country.
While these may be considered microcosms in the larger ‘national pie’, we believe it still sends the wrong signals. This is because the NPP has been traditionally seen as reasonably moderate when such exercises are being conducted.
What makes the situation dire is that there appears to be a tendency among some constituency executives to be mischievous and arrogant during the conduct of such exercises.
Disregard for rules
Unfortunately, it is emerging that either the leadership is being overwhelmed by the burden of rolling out the processes or that some poison of vigilantism is being introduced into the processes by clearly lawless and incorrigible wolves in sheep’s clothing.
With the resurgence of violence on the turf across some constituencies, we may agree with former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko that a worrisome situation is developing that should attract the intervention of the Council of Elders, if the party leadership is not clicking.
In his opinion, these incidents are a culmination of built-up disregard for party regulations that had been brushed under the carpet for too long.
Speaking on Accra-based Peace FM, he insisted that the wanton disregard for the directives of the party’s leadership had allowed the chaos to fester, leading to the unfortunate development now unfolding.
So that the NPP sets an example in decency, we believe leadership must begin applying the rod by inviting the police to treat criminal cases as criminal, including reports about violence and attacks on appointees and MPs.
Individuals and groups may have interests, but the pursuit of such interests should not be allowed to undermine the collective interest of the party. The party’s rank and file must be made to understand that their interests only dovetail into the larger picture of what is good for the nation and the party.
That is very important if they genuinely agree that to ‘break the 8’ jinx, party activists at all levels need to follow processes in everything they do. At least, that was the prime message that was harped at the party’s last congress in Kumasi.