Ghana’s NPP wins Election 2020

Continued from previous issue


According to former General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong, the NPP has more than 3000 volunteer groups, most of them young people. If it is true such a force for dynamism exists in the party what must have happened?  In a political climate so contentious and competitive, youth in politics provides a verve so different and vital for growth.

So far youth in politics in Ghana has always been a force for dynamism that moves the party into areas never before fathomed. While the powers that be in the political process are always conservative, youth participation in the process is revolutionary and ready for change. The NPP since 2016 has seen the party developing into an active and dynamic party with the likes of George Boadu, Sammi Awuku and Nana B shifting the party’s slow gears faster. As remarked by Kwabena Kwakye of Oman FM radio, the party’s youthful executives were never complaisant in the campaigns. It won 2016 with an executive most revolutionary and very active. A septuagenarian president with a fifty something year old vice president showed Ghanaians that age is just a number. The Party won the elections on the strength of the work done by the two leaders. But for a margin of one the Party could have gone into the minority in parliament.

According to Article 93 (2) of the 1992 constitution, “legislative power of Ghana shall be vested in the Parliament . . .” Consequently, the principal function of the Member of Parliament is to make laws for the nation. Perhaps the most important role of the Member of Parliament is the provision of development projects. And campaign rhetoric has to include promises of roads, schools, and many more, something that should be the remit for local governments. The parliamentarian has to lobby to provide the projects. In the main, such projects determine the tenure or longevity of the legislator and his success as a politician.

In reality, almost all the MPs wear many caps: political, social, and economic among others in addition to their legislative duties. These extra- legislative functions, include, but not limited to attending funerals, weddings and other socioeconomic, religious and civic events in the constituency. Until the advent of the fee-free Senior High School policy, parliamentarians used to pay school fees for their indigene constituents. Matter of fact, young constituents would call on their MPs to help pay for their weddings and other social engagements. They are also expected to arrange for jobs in such institutions as the Immigration, Police, military, Customs, among others. Added to these demands are churches, mosques and other places of worship which place premium on their MPs to help in so many projects and functions. Quite a number of the MPs experience financial constraints exacted on them by their constituents and therefore limit their visits and presence till election time.

Many of the scandals that afflicted the NPP in its first term could not affect the party’s electoral fortunes the way it did. The loss of 33 members of parliament cannot be ascribed to Martin Amidu’s resignation and thereafter. The Agyapa deal, a strategy to raise capital from the proceeds of the extractive industry and its subsequent political fallout could not affect the president, neither was it the reason for the NPP’s parliamentary misfortune. The loss was caused mainly by factors internal and external and even personal.  It is the party’s own internal squabbles that haunted it.

Before the 2020 December elections, some NPP MPs could not get on well with their MMDCEs and could not cooperate to campaign for the continuity of their representative. Mutually undermining themselves, they could not see the party as a common platform. Both sides claimed authorship of development projects and the constituency became the grounds for conflict. Such intra-party conflicts also affected individuals in positions of trust to the detriment of the party breeding distrust among party members.

Some MPs were accused as non-people oriented and aloof, uncaring and arrogant. In a case in point, one MP worked so hard providing development projects, including roads, bridges and schools, but he lost. He was perceived as too arrogant and ignored advice from his constituents listening only to his cohorts at the constituency. This person paid the price for not returning the favor of rendering gratitude to those he personally solicited votes from, including churches and mosques and individuals.

The Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition has a history of internal feuds, perhaps like other political parties. It was in consequence of such schisms in 1971 that party leaders Messrs. Victor Owusu and William Ofori-Atta broke away to form their own parties. The NPP had to wait for two decades to return to power. Without sounding as the devil’s advocate, the party’s performance in 2020 must be a wake-up call. For a party that has had to struggle to achieve leadership, it is not a healthy sign for growth and unity. Hopefully, this should be a galvanizing force to bring the party together. After all it is the longest existing political party in the country.

The writer is the editor-in Chief of Amandla

Posted by on Jan 2 2021. Filed under Analysis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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