The role of the opposition in a democracy is very important and cannot be over emphasized. Apart from the traditional role of checkmating the excesses of the Government, by far the most important role of the opposition is to provide an alternative programme and agenda for the country. This way the electorate can choose between two or more alternatives.
The newly elected (selected) leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be struggling from day one. As the euphoria that accompanied the national delegates’ congress in Tamale fizzled out, they were trust straight into their first battle.
The sacking of the Finance director of the party was the perfect opportunity for the Paul Afoko led Executive to announce their arrival in grand style.
This action did not go down well with the Finance Director, Opare Hammond, who felt the right procedure was not followed before he was giving the matching orders.
The second action the new executives took was to change the security personnel at the headquarters, this act led to an almost chaotic situation; it took the intervention of the Police to return calm to the party.
The latest and probably the straw that broke the Camel’s back, is the decision by the General Secretary, Kwabean Agyapong, who asked Perry Okudzeto, acting director of communication to proceed on leave, after four years of being the acting Director of Communication of the party, a position he says is voluntary.
Since the letter was handed over to Perry, kwabena Agyapong, has not known peace, as those who profess to love the party more than him, have descended on the innocent man, who was simply being objective and realistic.
According to Perry Okudzeto, it was a voluntary work, now if that is the case, why must people be demanding the blood of Kwabena Agyapong?
The implications of the apparent cracks and functionalism in the party would become manifest as we countdown to 2016.
My opinion is that the NPP is not strong enough and therefore cannot displace the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a free and fair contest. I have identified some self inflicted handicaps on the table of the NPP.
Whether the NPP likes it or not, there is a general perception by a significant section of Ghanaian voters that the party was established to project the interests of a group of people above others. While this may be true or not, a party that cares about her image and public perception must address this issue otherwise the perception of voters, would continue to influence electoral results against them.
Perception is different from facts, but the reality is that voters vote largely on how they perceive you or your party.
If the NPP is to be taken seriously by Ghanaians, it has to rise above this one man tyranny and make conscious efforts to make the NPP a party for everyone. Ghanaians would love a party that is built on our national pillars without too much attachment to one man.
Internal democracy is badly needed in NPP, if they are to make progress. At the moment if Nana Addo Dankwa catches cold the NPP would sneeze. This is an insult to Ghanaians.
One begins to wonder how the party will look like should Nana Addo finally retires from active politics.
The next problem with the NPP is that it seems to be the amalgamation of strange bed fellows only united in their lust for power, what is, however, worrying is that the differences instead of getting narrower is getting wider by the day and with every event.
The next problem for the party, is the apparent hypocrisy that is eating away principles in the party. The Constitution of the party, which many leaders and elders in the party are making reference to that the General Secretary has violated, are all sitting aloof and watching whiles even Members of Parliament, are undermining with impunity.
The Constitution of the NPP, makes it unambiguously clear that MPs are not suppose to publicly declare support for any candidate, in the contest for the flagbearership position of the party, yet not too long ago, when Nana Addo was launching his campaign, we saw and heard MPs, who showed up at the launch to publicly declare for him.
Some people, even Executives in the party had suggested that the man goes unopposed. The former General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, had claimed that even Nana Addo is in a wheel chair, he will represent the party in 2016. This Sir of Jokes, made this declaration, when he was still the General Secretary of the party.
The least of people, who have broken the rules for Nana Addo is endless, so what has Kwabena Agyapong done wrong that has not been done before and worse?
There seems to be no love lost among the top echelon of the party. The most probable prediction judging from the above is that an NPP government would be marred by crises and power tussle should they find themselves in power.
The NPP also lacks a defined ideology. Every opposition that wants to displace the incumbent must work hard to define and market the agenda to the People. Presently most Ghanaians do not know what the NPP stands for. Most People do not know what the NPP would do differently.
These are the roadblocks that may cost them dearly in 2016 and beyond, the only visible thing, Ghanaians knows about the NPP is Nana Addo.
He has become the alpha and omega of everything the party does, a party which not too long has a national character, has been reduced to a one man show.
Ghanaians want a healthy contest. At the moment the opposition is inadvertently helping the NDC to win another landslide in 2016.
Ghanaians want a credible opposition against the NDC, not a poorer version of it as an alternative.
Finally, Nana Addo must be enjoying the support coming his way, but he should remember that, God forbid should he win the 2016 election, he will have to face the reality of choosing Ministers and appointing people to occupy positions of authourity.
This swell of support, with everybody tilting towards him, is just for one thing and one thing only, appointments, how is he able to make his choice of Ministers, directors of public Institutions, Ambassadors etc, will be a daunting task and he will have some people to contend with, until then, Nana enjoy the support, whiles it last.