27th May 2024

By Kwasi Frimpong

The governing New Patriotic Party is shooting itself in the foot and it is surprising.
One would have thought that the tree whose fruit killed the legendary Ananse would have frightened Ananse’s son Ntekuma such that he is not tempted ever to doze under it.
Unfortunately, the NPP are not only dozing under the tree, but are actually eating the same fruits with both hands.

Its poor handling of the process ahead of its parliamentary primaries gives indication that the party is, probably, missing life in opposition faster than many thought they would.
With the benefit of the history of how the party cheekily lost the 2008 elections still glaring the party in the face, one wonders why some elements are happily welcoming a repeat of that dispensation with open arms.


The governing party on Monday January 20 opened nominations for its upcoming presidential and parliamentary primaries. The exercise is slated for April 25 2020.
Announcing the opening of the nominations, the party’s general secretary, John Boadu, disclosed that aspiring presidential candidates will be required to pay GH¢200,000 as filing fees and a non-refundable application fee of GH¢20,000 for nomination forms.
In the case of the parliamentary primaries, he said aspiring candidates will pay a non-refundable filing fee of GH¢20,000 and a GH¢2,000 application fee. Additionally, all aspiring parliamentary candidates, other than sitting Members of Parliament, are to pay Party Development Fee of GH¢30,000.
However, women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs), according to the party, will enjoy a rebate of 50 per cent on the filing fees and Development Levy. By this, they will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of GH¢27,000,

Rumours of protection

Following the announcement, rumours were ripe that some constituency, regional and national officers were planning to deliberately deny some aspirants the opportunity to contest with the view to protecting some sitting MPs.
It was even rumoured that the huge cost of the filing process was deliberately set by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) as a ploy to deny some hopefuls.
The rumours were even more profound in the two strongholds of the party, Eastern and Ashanti regions.

Rumours confirmed

Subsequently, the rumours were confirmed when the Ashanti regional chairman of the party, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, popularly referred to as Wontumi, was reported to have said that some constituencies in the region had been penciled “for protection”.
In the Eastern Region, the party’s regional leadership has called for no primaries in the Upper Manya Krobo constituency.
According to the regional vice-chairman, Alhaji Omar Bodinga, anybody who wants to contest the incumbent MP would have to meet the regional leadership to explain to them why he should be allowed to contest.

Level playing field

There have been calls by several leaders of the party to eschew the manipulation that is currently ongoing and ensure a level playing field for all aspirants. Among the many who have expressed concerns about the bad decisions being taken by some leaders of the party is former President John Agyekum, who is largely considered as the most successful leader of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition.
The former president reminded the party that lack of level playing field in the selection of parliamentary candidates in the 2008 general elections led to the party’s painful exit from office, warning that such practice should not be entertained this time around.
His call followed similar calls by the general secretary, John Boadu, and other leading members of the party.
Other party big wigs such as a founding member of the party, Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffour, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and, Frederick Fredua Anto have all added their voices to the issue.

Deaf ears

But it appears that the party is bent on bending the rules to favour the whims and caprices of a few at the expense of the larger interests. There has been a deliberate attempt by some leaders of the party not to pay heed to all the voices of reason that have spoken. The sages have said “those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make blind”. Such people ‘see no evil, hear no evil’.
The counsel of the wise has therefore become but noise in the ears of such people. If not, what on earth would push a party that seeks to maintain power and continue to get Ghana working again go back to the very things that caused it to lose power in 2008?
A special seed of tyranny is being sown at the heart of democratic establishment in the name of protecting people. “You cannot step twice on the testicles of a fool” is an apt Akan saying which describes the folly going on.

Kofi Ofosu Nkansah

I have decided to single out this gentleman out of the many whom injustices have been meted out to ahead of the primaries.
Kofi prides himself as the foot soldiers’ president. I do not know him personally, neither have I had any personal encounter with him before. Indeed, I had never heard of his name until recently when I did an article about the new premium Passport Application Centre (PAC).
He had shared the article on his facebook wall and this made me receive more calls than usual on the article. That was when I started following him on social media.
Following Kofi will give one enough reasons to understand why many of the party’s foot soldiers are up in arms against the party for the treatment meted to the young man. Kofi has showed interest in contesting the primaries in the Asante Akyem Central constituency, Ashanti Region.
For years, Mr Nkansah has been one of the NPP’s leading activists on social media.
In government, he is believed to be one of the main guys who have been committed to ‘sorting’ the youth of the party with jobs, scholarships, among others.
Many of the party’s youth look up to him.
However, with few days for the party to close its nomination, this young man is still struggling to get nomination forms to purchase.
All attempts by him to get the forms have proven futile. Interestingly, a lady, working at Flagstaff House, who was suspended, allegedly, for insulting party foot soldiers has had forms to buy and has since filed to contest in the Tafo Pankrono constituency.
This is has left many wondering if the NPP is really a party worth dying for. If Kofi Nkansah can be treated this way, what motivation is there for the youth to kill themselves for the party?
The party has decided to sign pact with the aspiring candidates, to prevent those who lose from contesting on the ticket of any other political party or as independent. Should this not be enough reason for the party to let as many as possible contest in the primaries? At least that bars them from running as independent candidates after losing the primaries.
And in any case, what is there to lose by giving forms to people? I had thought that just buying forms and filing alone do not mean one has qualified to contest on the party’s ticket, or is it a case that the party does not believe in its own vetting processes?
Doesn’t it believe in the competencies of its own delegates – the very delegates that elected the current leaders?
The NPP must get serious if they want to stay in power for #4moreyears.

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