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NPP, How did we get here? – Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng

Frimpong Boateng

I woke up this morning with a barrage of calls and messages from friends, acquaintances and many NPP faithful. These distress calls have just one purpose; to complain about an attack by some thugs who have now been identified as members of the NPP on a media outlet, UTV. This attack I understand was carried out on a live program which was airing late in the night because these individuals find the content of the program unfavorable to the NPP.

After watching various footage of the events, and reading the responses from the Ministry of Information and the party, there is only one question that has been lingering in my mind; NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

When President Kufuor was campaigning to win the first elections for NPP in the 2000 polls, a major message that sunk not only among Ghanaians but also the world was how the NPP represented hope to ensure the protection of the rule of law, freedom of the press and respect for human rights.

This message was anchored on the ideology of the party which resonated with people like me to continue to be part of the party. President Kufuor took various steps to ensure the media was given the safest environment to operate and thrive. I am puzzled that, a tradition that has long been associated with believing in the exchange of ideas, and respect for the rule of law will have its members attack a media house.

Perhaps, these thugs have taken cue from how the government and the party have allowed impunity to fester and grow in the NPP. If I recall, no one was allowed to be punished when similar groups went to the seat of government in the Ashanti region to attack the then-national security coordinator. Again, no one was made to face the law, when these brutes attacked a court in Kumasi making the lady judge who was sitting on that case run for her life in the full glare of the public.

These events have led many to believe, that leaders have lost the moral control of the party or they benefit from these barbaric acts. So, I ask, NPP HOW DID WE GET HERE? I am equally amazed about how some members of the NPP are going about their daily routine as if they do not know the mood of the majority of Ghanaians and the potential danger awaiting the party in the near future.

Prominent and credible economists have predicted that considering the miserable and near-hopeless state of the national economy, it might take Ghana at least 30 years to witness any semblance of recovery, even if we do everything right from now. Other knowledgeable, and equally credible economists tell us that they have not seen any country that has recovered from a malaise similar to what the NPP has visited on the country. The year 2024 will be turbulent economically, I am told.

Instead of addressing the challenges confronting us, the government appears to have resigned itself as if it had finished its job and Ghanaians should wait for the next administration to address the myriad of problems facing the country. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The present configuration of the NPP has no resemblance to the tradition that gave birth to it. At the personal level, I look at some of the people in political authority, others running the affairs of the party and still others claiming to be elders of the party and I don’t see what I have in common with them. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

I had always believed that in Ghana the New Patriotic Party is the only major political party whose foundations are based on the principles of the rule of law, respect for the rights, opinions and dignity of the individual, fundamental human rights, pluralism and above all the separation of powers.

The NPP tradition, as far as I know, does not believe that political power should be entrusted into the hands of one individual or a group of individuals and their family, friends, and concubines. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are given to human beings by God which is why they are called fundamental rights. They are not given by a benevolent government. Therefore any person or system that tramples on these rights acts against God and is not qualified to rule.

A political system that respects the rights of individual citizens and seeks their well-being and prosperity, when in power, supervises real socio-economic development and prosperity for them. What is happening in Ghana now appears to be the opposite. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Any political tradition that has despotic beginnings, or acquires despotic practices, to my mind, goes contrary to the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. Any tyrant, dictator, or despot (congenital or acquired) who assumes the responsibilities of lawmaker, judge, and king at the same time becomes a god unto himself and practically does not respect the sovereignty of the Almighty God.

About eight years ago the NPP in opposition was broke. It opened a Mobile Money (MOMO) account and appealed to its members and sympathizers to donate “bits and pieces” for the party’s campaign efforts. The party won the elections and formed the present government with the fight against corruption as a major campaign pledge. Now, some people in the party and government appear to have become so rich that they don’t remember where we were eight years ago and are spending billions of Cedis to bribe the electorate to vote for a preferred candidate in internal party elections. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

There are people who claim to be stalwarts of the party; they have neither political appointments nor positions in the party structure. They appear to wield so much power that one of them is described as ‘de facto Prime Minister’ of the country.  Apparently, they have what it takes to get their friends and favourites appointed to prominent and powerful positions in society. At the same time, they have the tendency to disrespect and make life difficult for Ghanaians. This is unlike the NPP we know. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

We are being served with a variation of “family, friends, and concubines government”, and control of the press not through violence but through bribery and intimidation. We are witnessing the weaponization of state institutions to silence transformative voices while allowing patronized corruption to flourish. Instead of development in freedom, we are witnessing unprecedented intimidation, economic retrogression, and suffering in silence. NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

To make matters worse, the ‘NPP establishment’ is busy promoting a presidential candidate, who to my mind is the most vulnerable and has more baggage than all the aspirants. It is like shopping for a problem when they already have an answer.

NPP, HOW DID WE GET HERE?

By: Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng

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