From August 25-27, 2017, our great party, the New Patriotic Party organized as part of fulfilling a constitutional obligation, the annual national delegates congress which brought together party leaders and faithfuls from Ghana and beyond. This was the first of its kind after the historic December 2016 election victory.
The theme for this august gathering was “NPP, our roots, our strength, our future”. But for the purpose of this piece, I’ll add our weaknesses. The New Patriotic Party has been in existence for the past twenty-five (25) years and has won three (3) general elections in 2000, 2004 and recently the 2016 elections. We are a party that prides itself on adhering to “property-owning democracy” values which focus on harnessing the energies of the people for the benefit of the state.
The party is arguably the oldest political tradition in the history of our country, tracing its beginnings from 4th August,1947. Seventy years on, the tradition of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) can be found in the NPP. For me, I do not like to call it a party but a tradition because of the roots of the party. Historically, the tradition was the first to bring together groups from every part of Ghana in the quest to fight the dictatorial tendencies of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Bringing together groups like the National Liberation Movement, Northern People’s Party, Anlo Youth Organisation, Muslim Association Party, Togoland Congress, and the Ga Shifimokpee. Let me leave you here on the roots. On another day, we’ll deal with the history aspect of it.
The strength of our party has always been in the sense of commitment and patriotism that is inculcated in members. From the lowest to the highest level of the party, commitment is what is demonstrated. A look at the motto of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy Network (TESCON) clearly affirms this claim. It is party that teaches “Commitment without Inducement”. This commitment is what we show in the face of difficulties and division. The party did not relent but campaigned hard, guarded the votes and monitored fantastically the results. It is this commitment that you see in Ghana’s leadership today in keeping true to campaign promises and bettering the lives of Ghanaians.
The future of our party like any other party in the world is the youth and the leadership’s ability to adapt to modern, best practices. When you look at the NPP today, there’s no doubt the future of the party is in the right direction because not only do they have the men but the boys and girls as well. The party is blessed with young energetic leaders like Mustapha Hamid (Information Minister), Antony Abayifa Karbo (Deputy minister,Roads and Highways minister), Sammi Awuku (National Youth Organizer),Honourable Ali Maiga (Dormaa West), Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Perry Okudzeto among others. The future of the party seems to lie in the hands of the likes of sweet-voiced Akbar Khomeini, the brilliant Obosu Mohammed and my own boss Salam Mustapha. Our future as a party and tradition is rest assured and to quote the Northern Regional Minister Salifu Saeed “You can be sure”.
“A politician is like a football coach, good enough to read a game but dumb enough to understand its importance” Henry Alfred Kissinger. The aim of every political party is to capture power and with the growing number of party faithful and the party in power, it comes with its own difficulties. If I find any fault in my party as a party man, I’ll choose the internal means but more importantly for us now is to manage expectations of party faithfuls like myself. Everyone entered the campaign with a motive, what political scientists call “political investment” and with the sweet victory, people will expect returns which might be difficult but with government appointees and party leaders finding a way to manage expectations so that with time, we can achieve more victories and as time goes on the dividends of democracy can as well sink down to everyone.
Let me end by congratulating the leadership of the party for the perfect organization of the 25th Annual Delegates Conference and also the delegates and party faithfuls for the way they conducted themselves. We are not the party of violence, or a party that was formed out of fear of losing power from military rule. We are the tradition/party of the people.
About the Writer
Iddrisu Abdul-Hak is the past TESCON President for the University for Development Studies, Wa.