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The Increasingly Intolerant NPP; Otchere Darko Tells Mahama to Clam Up

When the ruling National Patriotic Party was languishing in political purgatory— in opposition —for eight long years, it was desperate, angry and frustrated. It never stayed quiet on important public policy issues, and rightly so because if the opposition does not criticize or if it chooses to remain quiet on national issues, there is no viable alternative to the governing party, ultimately democracy is poorly served.

There was never a day that the NPP in close alliance and coordination with some so called civil society groups, did not organize, orchestrate or direct public demonstrations to highlight the difficulties of Dumsor, economic anxiety among Ghanaians and other perceived problems it claimed the then ruling National Democratic Party was causing the nation.

Pulling a page out of their political play book, the NPP gave former President John Mahama hell; he was relentlessly vilified, scorned and bullied by no less powerful individuals like Nana Akuffo Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.  The party had a field day excoriating Mr. Mahama.

Come to think of it, the NPP’s goal, its grand scheme, was to cast doubt in the minds of Ghanaians about Mahama’s competence and ability to govern the country and it largely succeeded in its efforts; Mahama was thrown out and the NPP now occupies the seat of government.

However, controlling the levers of power has completely transformed the NPP.  Sadly, it has become spectacularly intolerant of divergent views. It hates to be told that corruption has deeply permeated its ranks.

And when told in plain language that its policy prescriptions for Ghana’s struggling economy aren’t working which is massively reflected in the economic and financial hardships Ghanaians are going through, the party punches back, hard, assailing and disrespecting those who have the guts, the courage to pick apart its policies.

So, it was in keeping with its strategy of abusing and raining insults on its opponents that Mr. Gabby Otchere Darko, the-behind-the scenes suddenly powerful political play maker, scornfully told former President Mahama to cease and desist, in other words, to shut up when the former president questioned the NPP’s intentions to increase the Value Added Tax in the upcoming mid-year budget.

“And please can somebody out there tell John Mahama to shush. It is not his fault, though. The NPP has been kind to him on the havoc he caused to the economy,” Mr. Otchere said in a Facebook post.

What temerity!  The nerve of this particular individual to tell a former head of state to stay in his lane. Gabby Otchere Darko should know better. After all, he was one of those NPP loudmouths who savaged Mahama for years. And, he deliberately set up a think tank, the Danquah Institute and a newspaper, the Statesman, ostensibly to offer an alternative voice, but actually to promote his uncle’s political ambitions.

Ghanaians aren’t pushovers. They know a schemer when they see one, and Mr. Otchere is a schemer. He knows darn well that the economy is in a free fall, and Ghanaians are visibly angry at his uncle for not turning things around as he loudly proclaimed on the campaign trail in 2016. Being in power means absorbing constant criticisms from your political opponents.

Mr. Mahama has the right as guaranteed by our constitution to say what he wants on any national issue, so long as it is not subversive and injurious to the public good. Mr. Darko ought to stay quiet and stop launching verbal attacks on his uncle’s critics. He is better off working with his uncle to turn the economy around.

You see when the NPP was in opposition, it thought it was better schooled in the methodologies of governance than the NDC. Well, judging from its uneasiness with critics, governing has proven to be a monumental task for the party.





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