I’ve followed the political evolution in Ghana for a while now and it amazes me how the leadership of the NPP acts like the Republicans here in America.
Barely a week after the 2012 general elections were over, some party stalwarts have already started promoting the name of Alan Kyeremateng as the next possible challenger to President John Mahama in 2016. These people don’t think that any candidate outside the Ashanti/Akyem tribes is good enough to run on the top ticket of their party.
The leadership and followers of the Republican Party also behave exactly like that. They don’t believe that anybody besides a white man should run on the top ticket of their party. They actually discourage diversity within their ranks and are intolerant to minority views and positions in their party platform. Mention African Americans around them, and the first thing that comes to their mind is “lazy people” or “Takers” who depend on government handouts.
Mention the Latinos, and they say “Illegal Aliens here to grab American jobs.” Mention the Chinese, and they shout “Currency Manipulators or American job killers.” Mention women, and they think women are “dumb” and thus are incapable of deciding what’s good or bad for themselves.
In fact, if President Barack Obama were a Republican, he’ll never have become a contender for the presidency or let alone become the president of the United States of America. This is simply because he’s black; and if not he’s not wealthy or belongs to the upper elites.
The leadership of the NPP perceives the other tribes in Ghana as either inferior to them or perhaps too “poor” to lead their party. Mention the Gas, and they feel the Gas are “useless.” Mention the Ewes, and they say “number 9 or too tribalistic for comfort.”
Mention the Fantis, and they point to “concert and comedians.” Mention the Brongs, and say “inferior.” Mention the northerners, and they’ll quickly dismiss them as good only for “herding cows and goats.” They’re quick at touting their superiority while denigrating every other tribal group in Ghana.
Thus let’s consider this question: if democracy means one man one vote and numbers are absolutely important in ensuring victory during elections, and they continue to dismiss other tribes, who do they expect to vote for them?
I thought the NPP comes from the Danquah/Busia tradition and as a result has a direct lineage to the UGCC. The UGCC negotiated Ghana’s future with the colonial British during the 1940s. The UGCC leaders were the “Big 6,” two of which were Obetsebi Lamptey and Ako Adjei, both Gas. In fact, Ako Adjei introduced Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to Ghanaians.
So if the Gas are that useless, would they’ve been able to contribute two of the six members that negotiated the country’s independence from the British? If the Brongs are inferior, would they’ve had an illustrious son in Dr.Kofi Abrefa Busia as the Prime Minister of the Second Republic? If the Ewes are that tribalistic, would they’ve produced former president Jerry John Rawlings who founded the NDC that most Ghanaians admire today?
If the Fantis are comedians, would former president and vice president John Atta Mills and DeGraft Johnson and current vice president Arthur-Amissah come from their tribe? And if the Northerners are cow and goat herders, would they’ve current President John Mahama, former president Hilla Limann, and former vice president Aliu Mahama?
The NPP must rethink their strategy and also work hard to broaden their party base to attract other tribal groups. They must as well promote other tribes than only Ashantis and Akyems to contest for the party’s presidency.
In 2008, they won only two regions out of the ten and lost the elections. The same was repeated last week. It’s really ludicrous if not outright ridiculous to believe that an election has been rigged against you if you only won Ashanti and the Eastern Region.
The Republican Party has largely become a regional party based only in the South; and it had seen its electoral base shrunk significantly as all the other demographic groups including Blacks, Latinos, Asians, white women, and young voters deserted them. This is purely because of their policies as well as their lack of efforts to include other groups in their ranks, and most importantly their insensitivity to minority positions and views.
The NPP must learn a lesson from the situation that the Republican Party finds itself today and change their ways. Otherwise they’ll continue to cry foul after every general election in Ghana.