A lecturer at the Department of History and Political Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) can bounce back from its infighting that has plagued it and position itself to win the November 2016 elections.
The NPP has witnessed divisions that led to the suspension of three national executives – Chairman Paul Afoko, General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong, and Second National Vice Chairman Sammy Crabbe – for acts deemed to inimical to the electoral chances of flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The party is perceived to be split along two lines: the Kufuor/Alan and Akufo-Addo factions, with the suspended trio believed to be affiliated to the former faction and hence scheming against the presidential candidate’s ambitions.
The rift has also claimed two lives. The Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Adams Mahama died in May 2015 after a gruesome acid attack on him allegedly perpetrated by Gregory Afoko, the brother of the suspended chairman. In November of the same year, one party activist lost his life after being stabbed multiple times during clashes between supporters of both factions of the party at the Asawase constituency.
But despite these setbacks, Mr Abass told Abena Korantemaa Agyapong on Accra News Wednesday May 4 that all was not lost for the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition regarding the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
“We can’t say for certain that the NPP will lose the election like that, but we can say that what is going on can affect their chances because, at the end of the day, it is about confidence people have in the party, which has gone down,” explained the academic.
“Because if you listen to some of their supporters on radio, including even illiterates, what they are saying is: ‘We are tired of the infighting within the NPP.’ So it reflects a loss of confidence in their own party.”
He said he had been a panellist on a programme on one radio station on Wednesday May 4 when one listener called into the programme and warned that if the troubles in the party did not cease, he would mobilise people to campaign and vote against the party so the party loses the November elections.
“So, these are all very serious signals or sentiments that the leaders of the party should consider and know that these don’t help them or the party or Ghana’s democracy and the entire country,” Mr Abass warned.
He continued: “If they [the NPP] place the party’s interest above any individual’s, and at the end of the day they put things in order, they get confidence restored in the party,” adding: “But if what is happening now persists – the differences, infighting, insults, slaps – then the confidence the electorate, especially floating voters, have in them will wane.”