Koku Anyidoho: NPP flies high internal democracy and well-choreographed acceptable unity

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I open this piece with the caveat that, I am examining the issues purely from the angle of being a, Communications Expert, a Professional Public Relations Practitioner, and also an accredited International Elections Observer.

Also, as a Ghanaian politician of substantial repute, I am allowed to examine happenings on the nation’s political landscape irrespective of which political party is on the examination table.

Saturday, November 4, 2023, came and has gone never to come back but it has left in its wake, a glowing memory as far as the decision by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to choose a new Flagbearer and Leader, is concerned.

The fact that, four (not two), elephants went into battle and there is no evidence that a blade of grass suffered, is most definitely a glowing feather in the cap of the of New Patriotic Party.

In the build-up to the Election Day, there is no denying the fact that the fiery sparks that flew in certain directions left many believing that there was going to be a conflagration and a lasting inferno that would take till eternity to douse or quench.
Indeed, there was a huge appetite and craving from certain quarters for the sparks from Kennedy Agyepong in particular, to light up, burn and consume the NPP in the immediate aftermath of the declaration of the results.

To the extent that the world is full of all sorts of appetite, it may not have been inappropriate for some persons to have had such an appetite for as long as it was going to inure to their wishes and political desires.

As fate would have it, and as the NPP itself remained very conscious of the wishes of the naysayers and ill-wishers, the Party succeeded in putting in place the relevant mechanisms to absorb whatever shocks that may have occurred – and the shocks have been very well absorbed. Kudos!

The unpalatable happenings after the Super Delegates Congress certainly raised the protective antennae of the NPP and all was done to ensure that, that part of their political history would not have a not-too-interesting way of repeating itself.

The well-choreographed ceremony to announce the official results by the Electoral Commission, the appearance of all the four contestants with their wives, the appearance of President Akufo-Addo with his wife, the presence of the Council of Elders led by Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the presence of the Elections Committee chaired by Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the presence of the relevant heavyweights, and, the presence of reps from the British Conservative Party (the international flavour), was something that caught the eyes of Ghana and the world.

To a man, all the three persons who conceded defeat, spoke with maturity and I salute them for exhibiting such political maturity and savviness. Nobody allowed himself to be a crying baby, and that is highly commendable. Indeed, the excited manner in which their wives stood solidly by their sides, was eye-catching and very unique.

Francis Addai-Nimo, Dr. Akoto Afriyie, and Kennedy Ohene Agyepong, all spoke the language that has set the tone for the NPP to unite behind a common purpose into the 2024 general elections.

Certainly, the speech of Kennedy Agyepong, is what everyone waited for, because many wondered if he was going to give the NPP a “showdown” at that auspicious moment and spoil the celebration for the Party.

Was Kennedy Agyepong going to be a party spoiler? Was he going to feed into the adage that, “when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers”? The apprehension was palpable.

Indeed, at a point in time, there was a bit of anxiety as to whether Kennedy was going to appear at the event or not. Alas, he showed up, and did what he had to do: concede defeat in sincerity and also congratulate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for emerging as the winner and new Flagbearer/Leader of the NPP.

Kennedy did not allow only his voice to speak, his body language also spoke – and it was manifestly clear that in, body, soul and spirit, he genuinely accepted the results and his pledge to work in the supreme interest of the NPP was not contrived for the cameras.

For a fact, all the contestants accepted that the processes leading up to the congress and the voting process itself, was, FREE AND FAIR. The freeness and the fairness, is one of the glorious high points of what the NPP has achieved by way of allowing its internal democracy to reach glowing higher heights.

The fact that all the contestants were present to speak and later hold hands and hug each other before the eyes of the nation/world, is certainly a glowing tribute to the NPP, and nobody can take that moment of glowing glory away from them.

Personally, I am of the considered opinion that the 61.4% garnered by the Vice President is more than respectable and as the NPP itself posits, it is a record that has been set because it is the first time that a “virgin” candidate has secured that high a percentage.

Additionally, I believe that a landslide victory would have had the tendency of walking in complacency, which would not have been good for the appropriate reality check that the government and party needs to re-tool necessary aspects of the national agenda as regards the needs and aspirations of the wider populace.

The handing over of the NPP Flag to Dr. Bawumia by President Akufo-Addo, was highly symbolic of a person who acknowledges that his time as leader must give way to a new order, and is prepared to let go of the position with an open heart as well as pouring all blessings on his successor. The optics of that moment was extremely amazing and I am sure the NPP is etching that part of its newly-created credo in indelible ink.

What is left, is for the Leader, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia (as he was advised by Professor Mike Ocquaye), to show heavy doses of “magnanimity”, and reach out genuinely to all the necessary nooks and crannies of the Party and lead with an open heart and open mind so that the rancor of the past does not become unsurmountable mountains that would block him from being a visionary leader.

It is early days yet but I cannot help congratulating the NPP for a job well executed and I take this opportunity to congratulate His Excellency Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for taking over as the new Leader of the New Patriotic Party, and I wish him well as he begins his new political journey.

As the new NPP Leader himself noted in his acceptance speech “… the task ahead is not an easy one and the journey is not going to be easy ..:, but with a firm determination to look above pettiness and embrace positive criticism, I hope that Dr. Bawumia would surround himself with selfless Ghanaians who are prepared to sacrifice for the good of all, and not for the good of themselves.

His boldness to say in the presence of President Akufo-Addo, that, “I have my own vision”, resonated well, and he should always wake up knowing that some of us shall always dangle that soundbite in his face so it is up to him to ensure the soundbite does not become a noose around his neck. Once again, I salute and congratulate the New Patriotic Party for a job well done.

Complacency must not set in because there is a lot of work to be done to convince majority of Ghanaians that what happened on, Saturday, November 4, 2023, was not a flash in the pan. Ghana shall always be the only country we have and we must all work to protect and preserve what we have.

Ayekoo to one and all and Ayekoo to Ghana’s democratic dispensation.
Ghana shall not die; Ghana shall live to give glory and honour to God Almighty.

Samuel Koku Anyidoho
(Ghanaian/Nationalist/Patriot and International Elections Observer).


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