Build a Home for Believers in the UP Tradition: Open Letter to Alan Kyeremanten
We hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit. Before we touch on the substance of this
letter, we wish to congratulate you and your inner circle on your wise decision to withdraw from the
NPP’s presidential race for the election of the Party’s Flagbearer slated for the 4th of November,
We know that this decision has been received with mixed feelings among the blue-blooded followers
of the Busia/Dombo tradition. On one hand, some followers of our tradition feel that their hope that
aspirants like you, Boakye Agyarko, Kwabena Agyapong, Kofi Konadu Apraku etc, would fight to hoist
the flag, your decision to withdraw was a bit premature and disappointing.
To this group of followers therefore, your withdrawal from the presidential race was a betrayal of
their trust and hope. Moreover, these people think that your withdrawal was occasioned by the
violence and threat thereof that characterized the August 26th contest.
However, for those of us who are steeped in the history and culture of the Party know that your
decision was a culmination of several factors that have become the hallmark of the NPP today.
We have no doubt that your decision was triggered by the bastardization of the noble UP tradition by
those who are steering the affairs of the Party today.
While the violence, intimidation, and injustice employed to muscle you out of the contest was the
immediate trigger of your decision to withdraw from the race, the remote cause was the
bastardization of the values and norms of the UP tradition. This is where we diverge from those who
attribute your decision solely to the events of the 26th of August.
This is the reason why those of us with deep roots in the UP tradition have wholeheartedly
embraced your decision and applaud you for it. We do this in the belief and hope that this decision
will eventually afford us the opportunity to preserve the values and beliefs that defined the Party in
It is time to call a spade a spade and let Ghanaians know that the UP tradition is no longer
recognizable under the present leadership of NPP. The Party of Busia, Dombo, Victor Owusu and
Kuffuor that metamorphosed into the Progress Party (PP), Popular Front Party (PFP), and NPP (1.0)
has been stripped of the moral and ideological tenets that served it so well in the past and made it
attractive to noble men and women.
The UP tradition has fallen so far apart from the core values the Founding Fathers imbibed in and
nurtured disciples such as Da Rocha, Safo Adu, Appiah Minka, J.H. Mensah, J.A. Kuffuor, Agyenim
Boateng and many more over the years of the tradition’s existence.
Former President Kuffuor took a calculated risk to move the Party from the Right to the Centre-Right
on the ideological continuum when he introduced such myriad social intervention programs as the
School Feeding Programme, Free Maternal Care for Pregnant Women, the Capitation Grant, LEAP,
and the National Insurance Scheme to ensure social inclusivity.
Today, in place of this social inclusivity that led to the formation of this tradition in the form of the
United Party in the first instance, has atrophied into an oligarchy by a few Ethnic Chauvinists who
have ethnicized the country’s politics and polarized the country along ethnic lines in the process.
Since oligarchies are a precursor to authoritarianism, the democratic ethos that have always
characterized the Party both internally and when we are in power have all but diminished through
the transfiguration of the current leader into a cult or demi god whose wish has become everybody’s
command, so to speak.
Since its inception, the UP tradition has been known by Intellectualism as its innate attribute but
what we have today is a Party that has, through its autocratic leadership, become emblematic of
anti-intellectualism. The shortcomings of the Free SHS policy are the result of this antipathy toward
the role of ideas and debate in today’s NPP.
The lack of intellectual rigor as far as the free SHS policy’s implementation is concerned was the lack
of intellectual input with regard to the proper conceptualization of its implementation and
measurement. Moreover, the lack of any financial modelling of the policy was again a function of
this hatred for intellectualism.
In short, today’s NPP is no longer the Party of Busia and Dombo; either is this the Party of Victor
Owusu or J.A. Kuffuor. Today’s NPP is simply, the Party of autocrats, propagandists, charlatans,
pirates, braggarts and underachievers.
In conclusion, dear Alan, unlike those who think that you have hanged them out to dry with your
decision to withdraw from the presidential race, we, the silent majority, are calling on you to take
this opportunity to build a comfortable home for those of us who believe in the ideals, values and
principles of the UP of yesteryear.
In other words, be bold and cross the proverbial Rubicon and spearhead a new political grouping or
Movement that will welcome all blue-blooded UP traditionalists in the country because many of us
are crying for such a home to run to.
Acheampong Yaw Amoateng, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, based in the USA
Kwadwo Obeng Busia, Ph.D (based in the USA).