Victor Owusu, Paa Willie feud must guide us
Leaders of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been advised to critically examine what led to the feud between former party stalwarts Victor Owusu and William Ofori Atta, also known as Paa Willie, in the run up to the 1979 elections.
According to the Cape Coast North Constituency Chairman, Mr Stephen Kojo Arhin, the party must be guided by the over four decades bitter history and avoid divisive confrontations.
His advice comes in the heat of raging debates regarding who is most qualified to lead the NPP in the 2024 elections, which has already seen camps being formed within the party
In an interview with The Chronicle, Mr Arhin posited that it would be suicidal if the party, at this early stage of the President’s second term, focuses its attention on who leads in 2024.
“In the 1979 elections, we failed to address a dire situation which consequences eventually came to hunt the UP during the election that was won by Dr Limann,” he explained.
“We would have won the elections hands down if the trivial issues between Victor Owusu and Paa Willie were decisively dealt with.
“I believe that we don’t deserve to inflict wounds on ourselves at this early stage if we want to break the eight years jinx for parties that seem to have come to stay,” he added.
“As a party, it is evident that our policies are loved by Ghanaians and we must not let this glorious opportunity to slip by in 2024, just as we did in 2008 when Mr Kufuor was exiting,” added Mr Arhin.
When former President Kufuor completed his second term of office after winning the 2000 and 2004 elections, seventeen party bigwigs stepped out to succeed him.
When the aspirants lined up in the run up to the party’s presidential primaries in 2008 in their quest to succeed Kufuor, many Ghanaians became alarmed by the unprecedented scenario.
It was believed that the NPP lost public trust and confidence following the number of hopefuls who showed up, as well as the jabs and punches that were freely traded.
“This scenario adversely affected our chances in 2008 so we lost to the NDC, even though President Kufuor had instituted a number of policies, including the National Health Insurance, which brought much relief to Ghanaians,” he stressed
He has, therefore, appealed to the leadership of the party to be firm and deal with the eminent danger that is currently rearing its ugly head, even before the new government would be properly formed.
Per the 1992 Constitution, the current President will not be eligible to contest the 2024 General Elections after he has been successfully elected to rule for a second term
This means that the ruling party would have to elect a new presidential candidate who would lead the party as its flagbearer in 2024 when Ghanaians will go to the polls to cast their votes.
Surprisingly, the battle as to who leads the party as its flagbearer has started even before President Akufo-Addo’s designated ministers would be vetted and hit the ground running.
Some political scientists have raised concerns about the current happenings in the ruling government’s party, while others have posited that the situation could spell doom for the party if the issues were not properly handled.
According to Mr Arhin, appointees, as well as those who desire to succeed and lead the party, should rather focus their attention on how they could collectively contribute to the success of the new government.