The NPP was formed in 1992, exactly 30 years ago. Any Ghanaian who was 18 years or above at the time, who believed in the ideological philosophy and tradition of the party registered to be a member.
Right away, some individuals were compelled by the circumstances at time to become financiers of the party, as most of the well-to-do businessmen who could have helped, were afraid to support the party financially because of what Jerry Rawlings had done to the businesses of some known politicians in the country.
This situation inspired the likes of Alan Kyerematen, Peter Mac Manu, late Courage Quarshiga, late Baah Wiredu, Kwamina Bartels, Kan Dapaah, Kwabena Agyapong, Joe Ghartey and others to give birth to the Young Executives Forum to become the financial backbone of the party. The group, led by Alan Kyerematen, raised money to purchase the party’s first headquarters at Kokomlemle.
Besides, those who weren’t sure of their decision to join or not to join the NPP, waited for a year or two to know more about the political situation in the country before joining the party in 1993 and 1994. Yet, there were others who were inspired by the struggles of the party to become members in 1995, 1996 to join the fight to get rid of Rawlings.
Furthermore, there were others who joined the party in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 when it became somehow obvious that the party could win power in the year 2000 against Prof. Mills, who was seen not to be a strong candidate. Those people also walked to the party’s offices across the country to register their names in the party’s book of records.
In addition, when the party eventually won power for the first time in 2000, more people for obvious reasons also went to the various party offices in the country to register to become members of the party. The NPP had become attractive, thanks to power, but greater thanks to those who fought hard for the power to be won.
The party won power again in 2004 for the second time and more people acquired party cards to become members of the party. The party became more attractive to people and so the membership of the party kept growing. At this stage some people still didn’t see the party to be attractive.
Then came the year 2006! In that year, Prof. Ken Attefuah, a very close friend of the President at the time, (just a reminder that Prof. is the man who recently said the President instructed him not to employ any party man at NIA), approached President Kufuor to appeal to him to consider his best friend for the position of a Deputy Governor at the Bank of Ghana.
The President did respond positively to the request of his friend and made the Professor’s friend a Deputy Governor at the Bank of Ghana. In spite of the President’s kind gesture, the Professor’s best friend didn’t see the party attractive enough to join, mainly because of his NDC background. So, he decided to remain a non-member of the party while he enjoyed the position. He liked the juice from the mango but not the mango itself.
Then also came 2008! In 2008, Nana Addo had become the flag bearer of the NPP, following the 2007 Legon Congress, during which Alan Kyerematen magnanimously decided not to contest the second round and allowed Nana Addo to become the flag bearer, even though he couldn’t secure the required 50% plus one. According to Alan himself, he took that decision to foster peace and unity in the party.
Candidate Nana Addo (as he then was), knowing that it had been the party’s tradition and strategy to choose a Muslim from the North, as a running mate, decided to choose Hajia Alima Mahama, the current Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA, as his running mate, even though some persons had suggested Alan Kyerematen to him. However, Nana Addo’s decision was vehemently opposed by some senior Muslims in the party.
At that point, Nana Addo became opened to suggestions, largely from the senior party people from the North. Some names were suggested, including Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, but Nana Addo himself shot them down. The issue of the person’s loyalty to him was of greater essence to him.
Eventually, Prof. Attafuah’s best friend who had become Deputy Governor and still wasn’t a member of the party, and had never contributed anything to the party in terms of money, sweat, tears and blood at the time, was suggested by someone to the candidate. The candidate, after accepting to go with him, put the name before the elders of the party for consideration. After a marathon of discussion, the party agreed to go with the choice of the candidate.
At this stage, Prof. Attafuah’s friend wasn’t eligible to be on the party’s ticket as a running mate, since the party’s constitution requires at least five years membership. In order to cure his ineligibility ailment, to make him qualified, the biggest waiver in the party’s history was activated by the then General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow.
So, this friend of Prof Ken Attafuah, eventually became a party member, 16 good years after the formation of the party not because he loved the party and believed in the ideological philosophy and tradition of the party. He became a member because the party was looking for a Muslim from the North as a running mate to partner Nana Addo as a strategy. Interestingly, the very formula or strategy through which he was considered to become a running mate and eventually the Vice President, is what he is fighting to overthrow with cash. That’s politics for you.
Obviously, if Nana Addo’s first choice, Hajia Alima Mahama had been accepted, Prof. Ken Attafuah’s friend would have still remained in the party he voted for in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. So, the man joined the party because the opportunity to become the Vice President of the Republic was offered to him on a silver platter ahead of people who had suffered so much for the party. Why wouldn’t he think he could pay his way through to be considered again ahead those who have been with the party for 30 years as against his 14 years?
Thus, unlike many who ‘killed’ themselves for the party without knowing what they would get, Prof. Ken Attafuah’s friend, ‘killed’ himself, not on the altar of loyalty and love for the party, but on the altar of personal ambition to become Vice President. Who wouldn’t ‘kill’ him or herself knowing that in the end, he or she would become the Vice President of the land. He worked for himself and really got his great reward.
Now my five questions for you to ponder over!
Firstly, can the faces of LOYALTY and LOVE for the party be spotted in the picture painted above relative to how Prof. Ken Attafuah’s friend became a member of the party?
Secondly, should a conservative party like NPP abandon his tradition and certain electoral advantages the party has been enjoying and elect someone who is seen to be an outsider and highly numerically disadvantaged relative to religion and ethnicity, to lead the party in a very crucial election like 2024 election?
Thirdly, would anyone be right to say that if Prof. Ken Attafuah’s friend is not allowed to become the presidential candidate of a party he has reaped so much for sowing just a little, it means the party has used and dumped him?
Last but not the least, shouldn’t he, for the sake of the unity of the party, rather write a letter of appreciation to thank the party for the honor done him, and exit quietly with the one who brought him, and allow those who are better placed and more marketable to compete to lead the party they toiled and sacrificed their lives and careers to form and nurture with their money, sweat and tears?
Fifthly, is he not being overly selfish and opportunistic, after enjoying the presidency for 8 years?
The ball is in the court of you, NPP delegates.
Citizen Attoh Quarshie
The James Town Patriot