A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, has charged the party to re-strategize to combat the ethnic tag that has been placed on their heads.
He also took a swipe at what has been described as attempt to save NPP female Parliamentarians, including Ursula Owusu, Irene Naa Toshie, Adwoa Sarfo, Gifty Klenam, Gifty Kusi, Patricia Appiagyei, Elizabeth Agyeiman, Ruth Abora, Elizabeth Sackey, Hawa Koomson, and others.
According to him, “The best way to combat the ethnic tag is to condemn and isolate the few ethnic bigots in the NPP and to celebrate people like Chairman Afoko, who are winning openly contested elections.”
On reserving some 16 parliamentary seats for females in the NPP, Dr. Kennedy said, “If, as Ursula claims, the silent majority supports the women, why won’t the silent majority vote for them in open contest? This ill-considered scheme, will only cost us seats, including some of those held by women”.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s former Director of Communication, charged on his party saying “Let the leadership retreat, rethink and return with something more sensible and lawful. Otherwise, there will be wahala!!!”
The NPP, has been criticized for condoning ethnic sentiments, instead of condemning it.
Some of its members, including their presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, Kennedy Agyapong, Ursula Owusu, Victor Owusu, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and recently Osafo Marfo, have been criticized for making alleged ethnic pronouncements of which the party leadership failed to address.
Arthur Kennedy, who has been provoking critical debates in the NPP, further questioned the rationale behind the new directive by the leadership of the party to secure seats for women and indigenous Gas.
The directive by the NPP, has received mixed reactions from members of the party, including supporters storming the headquarters of the party, Constituency offices and the home of the flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, to registered their displeasure.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Kennedy Agyapong has said, “it will be dangerous” for the main opposition to go ahead to carry out its affirmative action directive.
Mr. Agyapong, together with Sammie Awuku, John Buadu and Paul Afoko, National Youth Organizer, National Organizer and National Chairman, respectively had rejected the various roadmaps pushed by Nana Akufo-Addo during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Monday, to no avail.
The Northern Regional NPP chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, was nearly lynched by some angry supporters of the party for being vociferous in his support for the controversial affirmative action policy.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at the entrance of the office of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akuffo Addo, when he went to visit him.
Confirming the incident to Citi News, Bugri Naabu, said he was worried about the situation and asked the supporters of the party to remain calm since it was within the purview of the NEC to vary the decision.
“I was going to see Nana, they opened the gate and I entered and they surrounded me, they wanted to spoil my vehicle, but some of the members prevented them, but they really made me worried, but I had to understand that. It’s a decision which is taken, so I cannot change it, because it was a decision that was take not by me alone.”
Below is the full statement from Arthur Kennedy:
QUOTAS IN POLITICS
The NPP, already under pressure following ethnically insensitive remarks in the last few years by a number of its leaders, including the flagbearer, is in trouble again. It’s Parliamentary election guidelines have arbitrarily set aside seats for women and indigenous Gas.
The set-asides are unconstitutional, undemocratic, divisive and smacks of immorality. Why does a Ga born in Ashanti have a stronger claim to Krowor than an Ewe who was born there? Why reserve Krowor and other seats for Gas and not Asawase for indigenous Ashantis? What is next? Reserving Volta seats for Voltarians?
Why would a man who has been a good and loyal party member for years lose his right to contest a Parliamentary seat because his incumbent MP happens to be a woman?
While the goals of promoting Diversity and fighting the unfair Akan tag are worthwhile, the implementation lacked consultation and consensus.
It is tragic that 6 decades after Gas voted for Kwame Nkrumah of Nkroful over native son Obetsebi-Lamptey and Fantis sent the Ashanti Kufuor to the Presidency over
native son Atta – Mills, politicians still can’t trust voters to vote their conscience and interest.
One cannot legislate everything. A half-century ago, our tradition, led by Dr. Busia, needed J.H. Mensah to be in Parliament on his way to being Finance Minister.The man the people wanted was the celebrated lawyer Barimah, father of Kofi Barimah. The party pleaded with him and he yielded.
A half-century later, another leader, Kufuor pleaded with his son for the same sacrifice and he yielded– again. Let our leaders do the hardwork of persuasion, which is the essence of leadership and stop dividing us.
If, as Ursula claims, the silent majority supports the women, why won’t the silent majority vote for them in open contest? This ill-considered scheme will only cost us seats, including some of those held by women.
The best way to combat the ethnic tag is to condemn and isolate the few ethnic bigots in the NPP and to celebrate people like Chairman Afoko, who are winning openly contested elections.
Let the leadership retreat, rethink and return with something more sensible and lawful. Otherwise, there will wahala!!!
NPP to review controversial decision on women MPs
Meanwhile, the leadership of the NPP is planning an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to review key decisions related to the party’s Parliamentary primaries which has been set for May 24.
The meeting which has been scheduled for next week will review the controversial decision that said only females will be allowed to contest incumbent female Members of Parliament (MPs).
Citifmonline.com gathered that the NEC is likely to review the GHC30,000 [GHC20,000 development fees included] being charged as filing fees for new aspirants.