It was not for nothing that African politics in particular has been described as a dirty game. This is as a result of lies, corruption, thievery, insults etc that are associated with it. In Ghana, for instance, the 1992 Republican Constitution never gave room for “Religious Politics” to clean the political mess as enumerated above. Therefore, whoever enters Ghana’s political arena takes cognisant of the threats from his political opponents.
It is against this backdrop that all political parties select their leaders capable of not only winning their party political power, but also sustaining such power for the benefit of their parties. No two individuals are the same, so does the concept of individual differences teach us. Therefore, in selecting people to manage the affairs of political parties, factors such as experience, competence, demeanour, tribe, gender, educational level etc are taken into serious consideration. Sometimes, a knowledge of the leadership of a party’s main opponent forms an integral part of the criteria for Constituency Executives who select their national leaders.
Using the current leadership of the NDC as an example, one could see a number of strange characters, yet the leadership was able to win power from an incumbent government in 2008. They have “thieves”, “cat killers”, “loose talkers”, “trainers of special forces”, and “propagandists” manning the Presidential Candidacy through to Propaganda Secretariat. I cannot even count the number of “babies with sharp teeth” that also provide emergency response to criticisms from political opponents, not forgetting the ever powerful “Azorka Boys”.
It was therefore a God-sent to have had Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) General Secretary. This is the man who has fought the NDC vigorously since 2009. Even though Sir John has taken a heavy flak from NDC’s Kobby Acheampong and Co. for taking the Mills-Mahama-Amissah to the cleaners, his determination to keep Asiedu Nketiah in check cannot be simply glossed over. For close to five months in 2009, Asiedu Nketiah never appeared in public when Sir John exposed his palm wine tapping business to Ghanaians. What crime has Sir John committed this time around to deserve this maltreatment from his own party men? That; Dr. Bawumia’s accident was an assassination attempt by the NDC? That; President Mills should step down in the nation?s interest because he was unfit to rule? That; the NPP had won the presidential election but victory was being denied the party due to a over a million votes rigged for John Mahama? Is that what the “Popes”, True Democrats”, “Cleanest Politicians”, “Wisest”, and “Good Communicators” in the NPP call “unguarded utterances”? Which of the above allegations was false?
But if people have lost their sense of hearing, can they honestly tell us that their sense of memory is also lost completely? From “broken ecomini”, assassination of Ya Na, strike actions, through to all fraudulent judgement debts, cocaine business, corruption, and rumour of Prof. Mills’ and Aliu Mahama’s deaths, the NPP has been the brain behind them, yet not a single shred of evidence was provided by the NDC to prove the allegations. How many true NDC members criticised their leaders when such allegations were made against the NPP? And how many of Sir John’s critics of today defended our beloved party in this regard? Even the murder of 44 Ghanaians in far away Gambia was blamed on the NPP; the Kulugugu ?bomb on Nkrumah, serial killings of women,?May 9?disaster, TOR debt, tribal politics, politics of insults, falling standards of education, energy and water crises have all been blamed on the NPP. Besides, let Amina make a statement on armed robbery, quickly it is NPP making. Let somebody display Nana Konadu’s posters, it’s nobody barring the NPP. Talk about chaos in computer placement of JHS graduates, implementation of single spine salary structure, and schools under trees, they are all NPP making. So when did the blame game become problematic to the NDC and the NPP self-appointed critics? When did the “holier-than-thous” in the NPP see blame games as “unguarded statements”?
If people have nothing to do in the face of all the socio-economic challenges Ghanaians are going through under this visionless government, they should leave Sir John alone. It is the belief of some people in the?NPP that the party should conduct itself differently from the NDC and that is all well and good. But we must be careful not to write off or over-criticise those within the party who choose to act or speak based on their convictions that there could be a motive behind certain events. In 2009, there?was no official position statement released by the NDC when its Chairman, Kwabena Adjei declared to kill cats. Similarly, Yaw Boateng Gyan had the full backing of the NDC’s supporters when he was caught on tape planning to use “Special Forces” to cause trouble in the 2012 general elections. The NDC saw nothing wrong with John Mahama’s tribal quote; “It’s time for Northerners to rule Ghana”, but they still taunt the NPP with “We Akans”. Prez Kufuor was described as a “thief” because his son had purchased a hotel, but today, John Mahama is a “Saint” though his brother owns a private jet. If the above are not signs of hypocrisy, what else could we say?
For me, Sir John stands out as one of the most combative, intelligent, skilful, and efficient General Secretary of our time, looking at the character and strength of the secretaryship of our main opponent, the NDC. If Asiedu Nketiah was awarded with the Management of John Mahama’s 2012 Campaign Activities, it goes to underscore the effectiveness of his role as a General Secretary for his party. But this is the man that had the gut to describe his party’s founder as a “Barking Dog”, election petitioners as “idiots”, and NPP 17 Presidential Aspirants, as “thieves”. It has been the argument by a few that the NPP cannot match the NDC on “dirty politicking”. Personally, I don’t know how such people arrived at that conclusion. Are the NDC members “Special Creatures? You can’t sit in opposition and do “perfect politics”. The Ghanaian voter has come to accept lies as truths; he prefers GHC5 today to Free SHS tomorrow; and he is even willing and ready to throw acid on his political opponent to win power. When Hon. Martin Amidu began to speak the truth about the NDC, he was eventually kicked out from the party. It also happened to Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, but Alfred Woyome is adored for his GHC51.2m scandal. Could those attacking Sir John for lack of evidence also put the same question before the NDC to prove all their allegations against the NPP? Tit for tat, for me, is a fair play. Nobody should doubt the NDC when it comes to matters of this nature, for they can steal, destroy, lie, and kill at the same time with impunity.
We cannot always sit down for the NDC to attack us before we react. Like in modern football, it is always better to attack, if your aim is to defend the goals. As I keep saying, there is no single clear-cut way to win and maintain power. The Pastors in the NPP should continue to pray for us; the Angels should guide and protect us; the writers should continue to write; the talkers should talk, the thinkers should think and formulate policies, the advisors should advise behind the scenes; the foot soldiers should be encouraged to do their work; the financiers should continue to invest in the party; but they should never put impediments on the way of we the activists who are willing and ready to match the NDC boot for boot in this contest. In as much as any NPP member verbally attacks the opposition, there is no need in rushing to condemn the person. We should show comradeship. What we should rather condemn are the pronouncements made against our party by our own members as witnessed recently from Kwame Pianim, and Wireko Brobbey. When Nana Akomea used “stupid fool” against NDC’s Agyenim Boateng, when the latter insulted Dr. J.B. Danquah on a political programme, we all supported him. If we were to stick to NDC’s request to sack Nana Akomea at the time, P.C. Appiah Ofori for his comment against the Oguaa Paramount Chief, Hon. Ken Agyapong on his numerous comments, Anthony Karbo for his statements, Sir John for his utterances, Ursula Owusu and Kofi Dwumah for their utterances, and even change Akufo-Addo for using “Y3n Akanfuo” in context, what would be the strength of our party leadership? Let’s respect the sense of judgement of our party leaders to prove to all our competitors and the Ghanaian populace that discipline and loyalty are the hallmark of the NPP. Sir John only poses a threat to the NDC, hence the frequent verbal attacks and calls for his resignation. Until the NDC’s “General Mosquito” refines his language and utterances, the only “Sir” in Ghanaian politics would continue to play by their game.