Opinion: More of a Sermon than Practical Advice – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufuor

Ordinarily, I would have lauded President John Agyekum-Kufuor’s exhortation to the audience at the 25th Annual Delegates’ Conference of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in the Central Regional Capital of Cape Coast, not to wash their proverbial dirty linens in public; but I will not do so presently, because the former party leader for far too long, and selfishly so, allowed too many dirty linens to be washed in public. And all because he could not have his way. Yes, Mr. Agyekum-Kufuor let too many strategic affairs of the country’s largest and most progressive political party to get out of hand.

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And now, I sincerely feel that other than giving him the kind of deference that he definitely deserves, Mr. Kufuor has decidedly and effectively outlived the practical usefulness of any constructive criticism and/or admonishment that he may have for the rank-and-file membership of the New Patriotic Party (See “Don’t Criticize Party in Public – Kufuor to NPP” Citifmonline.com / Modernghana.com 8/26/17). Even as the prominent likes of Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s political scientist, have publicly intimated in the recent past, the factional wrangling that convulsed the party in the lead-up to the 2008 general election, until the lead-up towards Election 2016, could have been averted far long before, if the powerful and influential likes of Mr. Kufuor and Kwadwo Mpiani had not adamantly ranged themselves against the so-called Akufo-Addo Faction in the party.

Personally, it was only my steely determination to see Nana Akufo-Addo occupy the Flagstaff House and bring about the direly needed change on the Ghanaian political landscape that kept me writing and publishing reams of articles and literally burning the midnight oil. All the same, as our sages of yore insightfully observed generations ago, better late than never. In this case, of course, better too late than never. I also solemnly consider the fact that Mr. Kufuor is fast closing in on his 80th birthday; actually, his 79th birthday comes off this December. In theory, however, I perfectly agree with the former president that washing their dirty linen in public, with the cold calculated complicity of the Gentle Giant and the Ugly Dwarf it was that nearly brought the New Patriotic Party to the brink of an apocalypse.

I also, in principle, agree with Mr. Kufuor on the need for the establishment of a covey of backroom thinkers for the party – one would have thought that he would use his Agyekum-Kufuor Institute to do just that – except that here again, I think such advice comes much too little and too late. That backroom team of party strategists and thinkers was what foremost African-American scholar and thinker of his generation, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois memorably called “The Talented Tenth.” We already have such an establishment under the Monitoring and Evaluation Office of Dr. Akoto Osei. The latter portfolio can always be reviewed and restructured to effectively and progressively synch with the proverbial temper of the times.

But, of course, a Talented-Tenth Bank can also be established at the party’s National Headquarters, with platoons of strategy-savvy point men and women scattered across the various regions and districts of the country. My heart and soul continue to bleed profusely over the fact that too much time was wasted because some party leaders who would have made such a heck of an epic difference to the well-being of the New Patriotic Party and, indeed, the long-term destiny of the country at large, instead chose the primrose path of personal political vendetta and character assassination over our collective national good. We hope such morally and spiritually withering level of animosity never grips the party again.*Visit my

blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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