The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, must, as a matter of urgency, take bold steps to stamp his authority on the party’s leadership and stop, once and for all, the senseless fratricidal war waging between the executives.
Nana Addo must also stop relying solely on the few people around him and involve the elected party executives, especially the party Chairman, Paul Afoko, and General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong in all his activities.
The two officers are the main link between the party hierarchy and the grassroots, and their involvement in all activities is crucial for party administration, and also, more importantly, for tactical public relations effects.
It is disheartening that Nana Addo’s present tour, which was discussed with party executives without fixed dates, should start without the knowledge of the party Chairman and General Secretary.
Even if the two could not be part of Nana Addo’s entourage throughout the tour, the Chairman and General Secretary should have started with the flagbearer. The absence of the two officers from the campaign entourage raises huge issues about party unity, and a supposed division between the flagbearer and the executives.
The NPP tradition is that the elected flagbearer becomes the leader of the party, but, at the same time, the party’s elected executives have assigned roles, which are expected to support the flagbearer in planning and executing his campaign.
It must be pointed out that it should not be the duty of the Treasurer, Abankwa Yeboah, and Vice Chairman Freddie Blay to open a new party account, or re-activate an old one without the knowledge and approval of the party Chairman.
That is wrong and the flagbearer must stamp his authority on such individualist show of power among the executives.
With Nana Addo’s call on party executives and members not to discuss party issues in the media, he needs to quickly follow it up with concrete steps to bring sanity into the party.
Nana Addo must also ensure that all future campaign plans, and his own itinerary, are well known to the party’s National Secretariat, which is supposed to deal with the regions and constituencies.
Party Chairman Afoko must also stop the practice where he authorises a faceless spokesperson to issue press statements on important party issues. Party statements on important issues must be signed by himself or the General Secretary.
If the NPP and Nana Addo’s aim is to win the 2016 elections, then all efforts must be made to ensure that the party is united. Like any party leader anywhere in the world, Nana Akufo-Addo alone cannot win an election without the full involvement of the entire party leadership and membership at all levels.
The NPP Council of Elders must also rise up to the present occasion, by calling for a
reconciliation meeting to iron out all differences and unite the party.
It must be emphasised that all political parties are public entities, and, as such, we all have stake in what happens in all the parties to ensure that their activities are within the national constitution, for the growth the country’s democracy.
Dr Frankie Asare-Donkoh
Political Scientist and Media and Communication Expert