A PRIVATE legal practitioner and New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist in Kumasi, Mr Yaw Boafo, has cautioned the party’s leaders against inciting party supporters to react violently when they are provoked by supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He said the NPP was built on the principles of peace and accommodation, which were key prerequisites for effective democracy.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic last Monday, Mr Boafo, the son of a former Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr S.K. Boafo, said Ghana needed peace to develop and no one should encourage violence as a means of settling scores with their political opponents.
Referring to the recent news conference by the former NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr Boafo said much as he had the right to speak his mind on national issues, “I think the issue of militancy which he raised was somehow unfortunate.”
“Our peace is more important and our leaders must learn from former President Kufuor, who always moved for peace,” Mr Boafo said.
That notwithstanding, Mr Boafo said Nana Akufo-Addo raised legitimate issues that needed to be tackled by the NDC government if it wanted to realise the “better Ghana” they promised.
He stated that the NDC government was confused and was driving the country into a ditch so anything that would bring them back on track was welcome.
Asked whether the news conference re-energised the NPP, the legal practitioner said, “That is very difficult to say for now.”
The NPP activist argued that it would have been better if the news conference had been organised by the leadership of the party, since all that was said would have been the official position of the party and not one person.
However, by virtue of the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo led the party in the last presidential elections, the legal practitioner said he believed that many of the things that he said received the attention of many people.
Mr Boafo stressed the need for the NPP to start building its structures instead of wasting time on who should become the flag bearer for the 2012 general election.
“We seem not to be interested in building the party at the grassroot and are thinking about who should lead us in 2012, which is very far away,” he said.
Mr Boafo said when it was time for the election of the presidential candidate, the party should look out for someone who had the capacity to win votes outside the traditional NPP areas.
“In 2000 and 2004 Mr Kufuor made inroads into non-NPP areas and that won the two general elections but that was the direct opposite of what we saw in the last election,” he said.
He said a winnable presidential candidate was not necessarily the most brilliant person, most successful or most articulate person but the one who could garner the votes.
Mr Boafo further stated that the NPP should also start looking at the causes for its defeat in the 2008 elections so that the wrongs could be corrected before the next election.