A Kumasi-based legal practitioner, Mr Yaw Boafo, has said it is too early for some people within the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to call for the retention of their defeated presidential candidate as the party's flag bearer for the 2012 elections.
“Having failed to win elections less than two months ago, it is politically dangerous for some people within the NPP, especially leading members, to call for the retention of their defeated presidential candidate in the 2008 elections as the party's flag bearer for the 2012 elections,” he stated.
Mr Boafo, a member of the NPP and son of former Chieftaincy Minister, Mr S.K. Boafo, told the Daily Graphic that, "It is sheer naivety to think that Nana Akufo-Addo is the most popular person to lead the party to victory in 2012 and should therefore be the candidate at all cost.”
Already, party giants such as Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo and Prof. Mike Oquaye had publicly announced Nana Akufo-Addo as the best person to lead the party to battle in the next elections.
Mr Boafo, however, thought that such pronouncements were not in the interest of the party, stressing that, "We have to wait for the appropriate time, and not now.”
The legal practitioner emphasised that at any given period, there should be a contest to elect the presidential candidate.
He said the NPP needed to learn its lessons from the developments in the last presidential and parliamentary primaries, so that the mistakes were not repeated.
In selecting the presidential and parliamentary candidates for the party, the lawyer stated that parochial interests should be put aside.
"We should select flag bearers who should be able to win beyond the core NPP areas," he said.
Lawyer Boafo stressed the need for the amendment of the party's constitution to ensure that every card-bearing member in good standing should be able to vote in the presidential and parliamentary primaries.
He noted that the situation would be a fair reflection of the popularity of the candidate who won.
"It would also take away all those people who only woke up to say that they wanted one person or the other to become President," he added.
Mr Boafo said even though his suggestion could also be opened to abuses, they would be minimal, compared to the prevailing system.
On the party's failure to retain political power, Mr Boafo said that Nana Akufo-Addo and his campaign team should be held responsible.
"Let’s face facts. When generals go to war, they don't fight, but take the blame for defeat and the glory for victory," he explained.
Mr Boafo said any objective observer could easily establish from the beginning that the campaign strategies were bound to fail.
"It is, therefore, surprising that some people in high authority within the party blamed former President Kufuor for the party's defeat," Mr Boafo said.
He said some party members had gone to the extent of saying that some of the policies of the Kufuor administration were counterproductive, which contributed to the defeat of the NPP.
"This is absolutely false, and that if anything, we have to congratulate Mr Kufuor on the great efforts he put into the campaign, sometimes leaving his national assignments to be on the campaign trail for days," he said.
Mr Boafo said it was time for the party to sit down and have a dispassionate discussion on the way forward, adding that, "Now, we have to begin looking at things differently, because we have to fight for power from opposition.”
In looking at the way forward, the lawyer suggested that the party must tap into the experience of former President J.A. Kufuor.
"Kufuor is the greatest asset the NPP has now, and we can tap into his experience rather than destroy such an asset," he noted.
He emphasised that the name Kufuor had now become a tradition and suggested that the name be added to the old tradition to make it Danquah-Busia-Kufuor tradition.
He pointed out that while Danquah always lost elections to Dr Nkrumah, Busia could not hold on to power and was overthrown in a coup d’etat.
"It was only J.A. Kufuor who won election in opposition and went ahead to retain power four years later, so we have to give all due respect to the man," he said.