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NPP is blowing chances to regain power


former-SA-policeWe are seven months removed from the general elections and the political parties, much like the political animals that they are, have marked their territories; they are indeed entrenched in their positions and are unbending, to say the least. Flexibility is in short supply here.

The upcoming elections will be consequential; in other words, they will have a lot of far reaching implications. So, it is absolutely crucial that we exercise a great deal of restraint in whatever we do prior to November.

While there is hope that the elections, like previous elections, will be peaceful minus mayhem and chaos, there are some who hold a dark view of how we will conduct ourselves before, during and after the elections.

Reinforcing this pessimistic view is the puerile actions of the two major political parties, the NDC and the NPP. In fact, their petulant behavior the last four years has created an atmosphere of hostility, distrust and frustration.

One irritating aspect of the abysmal conduct of the parties is their penchant for macho men. These groups of young men are ubiquitous at political rallies, meetings and conventions with the expressed agenda of protecting their employers.

For those of us who have railed passionately against Ghanaian political parties and their insatiable appetite for the services of Macho Men, news that the major opposition party, the NPP has engaged three former South African police officers ostensibly to train its presidential security detail came as a shock. The decision, unfortunately, does not bode well for our nascent democracy.

Viewed through a non-partisan lens, the decision to bring in the South African, besides being toxic, (THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT WON’T TOUCH THE ISSUE WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE) has the hallmarks of absurdity written all over it. It was also ill-timed, coming as it were seven months before crucial elections.

The NPP is working overtime to rebuff accusations that it is undermining our democracy with the “importation” of three South Africans, one of whom, is said to have visited Iraq numerous times. The government hasn’t provided any evidence to support this assertion, I should emphasize.

Yet, despite its protestations, Ghanaians are not buying the NPP’s argument that the decision was purely an internal affair and that the three men don’t pose a threat to our national security.

What is not being discussed is the fact that all our presidential candidates require protection at all times, and our national security apparatus are capable of providing all the protection they need.

Oftentimes, you wonder if these political parties in taking such momentous decisions really have their thinking caps firmly planted on their heads. I say this because if the South Africans are in the country to execute the terms of their contract, why didn’t it occur to the NPP to report their presence to the appropriate authorities? It is the prudent and most logical thing to do. It is just baffling that they glossed over this very important fact.

Assuming that there is nothing sinister with strengthening the party’s security apparatus, however, bringing in foreigners, especially South Africans, was just mind boggling and plain stupid. All it accomplishes is raise a lot of eyebrows.

Even if the party meant well with this arrangement, it just doesn’t look good. The optics are bad. But more importantly, the sad aspect of this decision is that the laws of political physics are on the side of the NPP but it appears to be squandering its chances of regaining power.

Some questions invariably come to the fore against the backdrop of the din and controversy generated by this awful decision: why didn’t the party’s hierarchy realize that its opponents would jump on its poor decision to bring in the South Africans and milk it for what it is worth? Apparently, somebody up there in the upper echelons of the party was not doing due diligence.

Also, why didn’t the party employ the services of retired Ghanaian army and police officers who possess the same skills the South Africans do? But better still, why didn’t the party dispatch its top security officials to South to acquire the skills and knowledge that could later be imparted to the party’s young Turks?

Much as we love to pin the rap on the NPP for the latest political faux pas, let us not absolve the government from blame. If the government had been proactive as it should be be on  matters of security, it should have provided police security detail to Mr. Akuffo Addo and Dr. Bawumia the minute they were nominated last year to be the flag-bearers of their party.

All the brouhaha we are currently witnessing would have been diminished if only the government had gone out of its way to ensure that its arch political foe received the police protection it needs to campaign. It is important to remember that the provision of security for all presidential candidates is the constitutional responsibility of the government.

All said, I am doubtful that Ghanaians will sink to a new low by engaging in pre-election and post election violence. There is so much at stake here; the integrity of our nation, our ability to live in harmony despite our political affiliations and the creation of a prosperous environment for future generations of Ghanaians.

Going down the slippery slope of political violence is a chance Ghanaians are not ready to take, no matter how much they are prodded by the naysayers.




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