LESSONS FROM NPP PRIMARIES

The nationwide primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came off on Saturday, and ended with certain important lessons for the nation.

Although generally, the exercise was successful, the reports of violence and thuggery at some of the constituency centres are quite worrying.

Gradually, politics in this country is degenerating into a do-and-die affair, with the various players adopting all means, overt and covert, to win. They would not hesitate in breaking bones, if that would ensure them success.

This is what we witnessed on Saturday, among members of the same grouping, in what was supposed to be a family contest.

The various candidates were expected to show friendship and cordiality to each other in a peaceful election, with the losers patting the victors on the back, and pledging their support for them.

The opposite rather transpired at the primaries, and the wounds already created through mudslinging during the campaigning, were deepened. This is bound to have serious repercussions for the party.

Aside from the acts of physical violence recorded, the results also offer the nation some vital lessons.

For instance, the primaries recorded many surprises which might, possibly, have sent shock waves through the party hierarchy.

Many of the well- known and influential personalities in parliament, who are also regarded as stalwarts of the party, lost the primaries and cannot consequently contest next year’s general elections, and, in essence, would not return to the national assembly.

By this shocking development, the delegates sent the message clearly that “obia nye obia”, to wit, nobody is impregnable, nobody is indispensable.

The nation has reached a stage in its democratic dispensation where the populace is beginning to demand accountability from its leaders, and asserting their status as those from whom power truly emanates and originates.

All persons in leadership positions should, therefore, take a cue from what has happened in the New Patriotic Party and assess their relationship with those who put them there.

Our leaders must acknowledge the immense power the masses wield, and refrain from lording it over them. The people are the true source of power; any leader who takes them for granted does so at his or her own peril.

This is the clear lesson all must learn!

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