Sydney Abugri Writing and Editing Services

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Every developing democracy like ours needs a strong political opposition to balance the forces of domestic power, hold the government accountable for its actions and inactions and constantly remind the government that there is a viable political alternative waiting eagerly in the wings.

The New Patriotic Party whose ideology derives from the Danquah-Busia tradition represents that alternative to its neck-to-neck political rival, the National Democratic Congress in Ghana’s politics.

The Danquah-Busia political tradition in Ghana has a rich if also controversial history and is held in considerable esteem at home and abroad for the intellectual stature and organizational ability of its founders who held the tradition high up to pugnacious glory in years gone by.

Having inherited the legacy of this political tradition, the leadership of the NPP has in the wake of recent developments in  the party, got a tough choice to make: To tell those who criticize its approach to internal party organization and administration to go to hell and mind their business once they get they get to hell or take the necessary steps to reunite the antagonistic forces whose actions threaten to bring the NPP down like a pack of cards

Thanks to its history of militancy symbolized by the “cho-boi!’ battle cry which has roots in the violent and bloody political upheavals of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the foot soldiers of the NDC came to symbolize rebellion and violence in the country’s politics but some say the actions by some NPP supporters seem to suggest that they have picked up the same traits. In recent times, foot soldiers of the party have made a virtual pastime of raiding party headquarters and engaging in acts of vandalism when in disagreement with any development in the party.

The brisk trade in accusations of financial impropriety among some leaders of the party, the suspension of party chairman Mr Paul Afoko and the prevailing atmosphere of disunity and apprehension within the NPP, cannot bode well for the party coming as they have, close to scheduled national elections.

If the NPP is weakened or divided which could happen if the party and its leadership make a pastime of behaving like disgruntled housewives in a polygamous marriage, the growth of the nation’s democracy could be the worse for it.

If disunity weakens the opposition, the incumbent’s power gets entrenched and the probable result is a virtual one-party state disguised as a democratic nation. A twin problem then emerges: The incumbent runs the risk of lapsing into complacency with the attendant problem of poor governance and the opposition now finding power as elusive as the pie in the sky, runs wild!

Confronted with the challenge of a democratically elected government which the opposition nonetheless considered a one-party state, the opposition persisted with unrelenting attempts to kill Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah so that the opposition could come to power.

Yet consider what Nkrumah himself said about the opposition: "We need a strong and well organised opposition party in this country. My advice to the political parties has always been that they should produce a national policy the people can accept. They can then contest the elections and let the people decide. lf their plans are bet­ter than ours, they win... If ours are better, we remain in power!"