Great leaders emerge out of crisis, crisis are the defining moment for leaders, who rise to the occasion. As a leader, you do not fold your arms or throw in despair, when your house is on fire.
Chairman Portuphy is not a neophyte in Ghanaian politics, he has been around even before the 1992 referendum that ushered in the fourth republican dispensation, so the siren of ambition that drove him to contest for the chairmanship of the National Democratic Congress, was not out of place.
He bided his time, went through the mill, before the final launch. Recent happenings, have affirmed my believe that, we stand tall, when we walk under other peoples shadows. When it is time for us to step forward and take the leading role, we are usually found wanting.
Chairman Portuphy, was the toast of many people in the build up to the National Democratic Congress’s national executive election, which took place in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
The party rightly so, needed a fresh of breath air, fresh limbs to take the party forward, as the raise was getting tougher, after each election.
No better person, with the energy and charm than Kofi Portuphy and so it came to pass that, his wish and the wish of majority of party members were fulfilled.
I find his leadership as the weakest in the history of the party, the 2016 election, is a testament to it. Before the elections on December 7, I wrote an article, where I asked of the whereabouts of the Chairman.
I felt his leadership style was leading the National Democratic Congress to the ditch. His officers, especially the National Organizer was all over on radio, when his job as an organizer and campaign coordinator was not to be listening to his voice on radio.
Today, the chickens have finally come home to roost, with party activists going after each other’s throat. The steps the chairman took after winning the chairmanship, if was all inclusive could have averted some of the loose talks we are hearing today.
Black man prefers recognition more than reward, if the chairman had extended a hand to all those who fell in that contest in Kumasi, maybe the NDC, wouldn’t have suffered the humiliating defeat.
In both 2008 and 2012 elections, the National Democratic Congress led by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, beats Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party by a little over 30,000 votes, President John Dramani Mahama, beats Nana Addo, by a little of 300,000 votes, yet in 2016 the same candidate, who had earlier beaten Nana Addo, was beaten by close to one million votes.
For years to come, political scientists and students of politics will try to understand, how this could happen in a nascent democracy like ours.
A lot of people, who are airing their frustrations, are blaming the former president, John Dramani Mahama, for neglecting the old guards in the party. This call is misplaced and targeted at the wrong person.
The president, has a duty first of all to Ghanaians, irrespective of political party affiliations, his first responsibility is to Ghana, before the National Democratic Congress. The chairman was the one, who is supposed to keep the party cohesion. He is supposed to bring everyone on board.
He was supposed to go to the old guards and seek their views, as well as bring them onboard; all he has to do was report to the president.
President John Dramani Mahama was not a superman nor captain planet, who could lift a house or walk on water, he was human and so has his limitations. The executives led by Chairman Portuphy failed him and the NDC faithful.
After the defeat, a lot was expected of the Chairman, he was supposed to take the commanding role to inspire hope in the people. He is now, according to the National Democratic Congress Constitution the leader of the party, a position he will hold until the party elects another flagbearer.
People are disenchanted, disillusioned and need a direction, their energies could be channeled to destroy or build the party. Chairman Portuphy cannot only be seen to be reactionary but rather proactive.
The only time he was seen and heard was when the party organized a press conference to warn the president to call his goons to order.
Even that press conference was wishy-washy, weedy and weak. His off the cuff remarks during question and answer time were feeble, facile and forgettable. Every of his engagement with the public through the press since he became chairman tends to succeed only in confirming that he is out of his depth.
He must come out of hiding, leaders are heard and seen during difficult times, no soldier will follow a weak general. The party needs a leader, who can say, let go even when the way ahead is not clear.
Chairman Portuphy, so far represents the National Democratic Congress’s worst advertisement. He is the most toxic liability the party dared to parade, in the midst of very capable men, with the capacity to pull the party out of the chestnut.
His chairmanship has weakened, diminished and reduced to a hollow husk, the chances of the party in any future elections.
The delegates will come face to face with destiny again, to decide the future of the National Democratic Congress, they must be careful who they choose as the next chairman, because as they say, not everything that glitters is gold.