The 2020 General Elections was one that was heavily contested partly as a result of the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election Petition which had led the Law Lords to declare that elections are won or lost at the polling station. With that firmly at the back of the minds of all political parties, they all put in place measures that ensured that they were able to police the electoral process. Admittedly also, the NPP crafted a campaign manifesto that was heavily anchored on the provision of Free Senior High School Education (FSHS) and the One District-One Factory (1D1F) programme among other initiatives that were carved in high sounding and catchy slogans.

Indeed in the election itself, the NPP received a lot of praise for an elaborate internal collation centre it set up. That centre ensured that they had the full complement of its results within twelve hours of the polls and its margin of error between that and that of the Electoral Commission was indeed admirable.

Following from that, the victor, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was sworn into office on 7th January 2017 alongside 275 Members of Parliament (169 of whom were NPP members with 106 being from the NDC). The President swiftly moved into action and Ghanaians were soon to be served with a large Executive made up of some 123 Ministers of State and Deputies as well as other Special Assistants, Aides, Spokespersons, etc. The President justified this by indicating that its ambitious programme of transforming the country within the four-year period required those numbers.

Towards the middle of 2017, the NPP organized a delegates’ conference, its first since forming the government. The Central Region which had heavily rewarded the NPP in the 2016 elections was selected to host the conference under the theme, “NPP, Our Promises, Our Roots, Our Strength, Our Future”. That NPP Congress held on 27th August 2017 could best be described as a carnival and rightly so. Party leaders and loyalists were in full flight celebrating the hard work that had catapulted them into government and reflecting on what the future held for it.

Among the party leaders present was His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, the revered only living former Head of State from that tradition. During his message to the conference, the former President had something for his party folks. “Our DNA is to come and discharge a duty – equality of opportunity for all… This is an age of technocrats and it is a requirement for leadership to be looked at again. We certainly will elect leaders at the top but we need to allow the backroom to be equipped with full-time people who think and strategize(communications, think tank, etc).

Not everyone is meant for public office but we need everyone on board one way or the other”. The Ex-President was advocating a shift in the structure of party leadership to enable it attract the best of human resource to work in their backroom shielded from the typical politics of party administration which tended to push such people away from party work. Did the party listen to its father? Time was indeed going to be their judge.

The next NPP National Delegates Conference was held in the Koforidua Technical University on 7th July 2018. The theme chosen for the programme this time was “Building a Stronger Party; Delivering Prosperity to Ghanaians”. His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor was again in attendance and delivered a fifteen-minute address in which he challenged the party
leadership about the future direction of the party. In his speech, he said among others that, “Ghanaians have seen the light that Dr J.B. Danquah advocated and indeed Ghanaians trusted that it was the NPP that could deliver economic prosperity for them.

Ghanaians also believed that it will deliver the goods and that is why they voted the way they voted in 2016.
But fellow party people, power has a way of tricking even people of good intentions and making them feel funny. Power corrupts and as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely. So at every turn, we are making progress under the current government and, we are making very serious progress in all endeavours (social interventions, thinking big on the macroeconomic front, looking into the future and achieving sustainable development growth), this government is doing very well and this is not only Ghanaians who see it.

The international community are also saying it. This is why we have long streams of international visitors coming into the country and our President just one and half years into government is being invited all over and being consulted and to be encouraged. But like I said, power can trick you if you are not careful and you become complacent. If you are not careful, you become conceited. If you are not careful, you become discriminatory. If you are not careful,
you think you do not need to look critically at the grassroots.

As an old uncle and an elder, I have just come here only to remind our leadership and all of us within the party that we are only one and half years into power. Unfortunately for us, the tenure of our governments is so short, only four years. Four years, you don’t change the world. You can’t change the world in such a short time. But we want to take the world and we want to transform Ghana.

To be able to do this, we need a solid and a very united party as the undercarriage for the great visions and great policies the government is launching to be given the chance of the day. To win elections over and over again at the national level so all these policies and programmes will be realized for the people of Ghana as a whole and to
be able to do this, I just came here to pray with you, please, please, please. And here, let me remind you of what our late Chairman Mr. B.J. da-Rocha used to say, ‘That, we are in a party does not mean we are friends, but at least we must share the common vision’.

We must know the destination that we all want to reach – good governance for prosperity and for this, we must all swallow our individual egos and (with all respect), vanities for the greater good of our country and for humanity at large. Let us all together not do anything that will begin to splinter us and will begin to create rancour within our ranks. If we can overcome this, I assure you, the people of Ghana will vote for us in 2020, vote for us in 2024, vote for us in 2028 and to eternity and we would become the party of the nation. I believe in this sincerely and this is what I have come to tell you once again”.

This message by President Kufuor was indeed profoundly deep as he sounded a warning to his party faithful about what to do if it really intended to stay in office long enough to deliver to the great expectations for which Ghanaians had entrusted power to it. In the circumstance, I wonder if the big wigs of the party did a deep listening of that!

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