I just read a story in which the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) declared that the party is ready to govern Ghana. I don’t know the source of Mr. Kwabena Agyepong’s confidence, but if it is based on the party’s performance in opposition, then we should all be terrified by the prospect. The NPP has been a disappointing opposition party.
The NPP won 47.74 percent of valid votes cast in the presidential elections of 2012 and garnered 115 seats in Parliament. In fact, if executives of the NPP are to be believed, their candidate won the presidential elections. This was why the party challenged the results of the presidential election.
Throughout the hearing of the election petition, the party insisted it was fighting for Ghanaians. It wasn’t about power, but depriving them of the opportunity to implement their policies meant depriving Ghanaians a chance at improving their lives. Even though they lost the election petition, I didn’t expect them to be this weak, ineffective, and petty in opposition.
The leadership of the party has failed to question government or hold government accountable to the public. Except for some painfully repetitive press conferences, the NPP has not presented any alternatives to government policies. The leaders of the party refused to attend the national economic forum claiming their invitation arrived late. Then it took three weeks to respond to the Senchi Consensus.
We are yet to hear their outrage about the blackouts, the wobbly economy, and the shady deals like GYEEDA. Not even the recent World-Cup-related foolishness of government has caught their attention. That citizens had to take to the streets to demand accountability from government is proof of how detached the NPP is. But the party has been in the news alright. We know every little detail about the party’s internal wrangling. They have been busy infighting!
I’m concerned because it is the biggest opposition party and it could win the 2016 elections. The conduct of the party in opposition makes me even more worried about Mr. Kwabena Agyepong’s claim. We have already lived under a party with no ideas or strategy on how to turn this bedlam around. We don’t want to do that again.
If Mr. Agyepong and his team truly want to govern, they better get their act together. Quit bickering. Engage Ghanaians with their policy alternatives and be present in national conversations. If they don’t, they could win the 2016 elections and become the joke, the NDC currently is.