Political criticism also referred to as “political commentary or political talk” often relates to political policies, politicians, political parties, and forms of government.
Some contend it is of vast importance that political dialogue creates and promotes the variety of opinions necessary for a true democracy. The 1992 constitution of Ghana is often pointed to as support for the belief, ensuring all Ghanaians under its administration a free speech.
Critics of this philosophy affirm that the general public lacks the resources and capability to conceive opinions that are sophisticated enough to be taken seriously.
Thus, the abundance and fervent promotion of such opinions merely confuses and complicates political matters that, given an appropriate amount of factual education, are either easily understood or should be discussed only by those with sufficient intelligence to do justice to the matter.
Basically, the leadership of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) will criticize the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) for spending too much on welfare programs and increasing the size of government to monstrous levels at the expense of business and the free market.
They believe that the government is one big machine of waste and that only through privatization of government programs can things become more efficient and less costly for the average consumer.
Strangely, despite the constant NPP bombardment of the NDC, little did Ghanaians know that some leaders in the elephant fraternity “hate” to be criticized even by its own party members.
Call them the strong four forthright “Doctors” of the NPP and you will not be far from right. To them, they have kept the party on its toes over the year by criticizing straight-from-the-shoulders.
First on the list is a founding member of NPP, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe. Like him or hate him, he has been one person who does not hesitate to voice out when he feels the party is going wayward.
During the historic 2012 Election Petition hearing at the Supreme Court, it will be recalled that, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe was one person who openly criticized the trooping of court by leadership of its party, stressing it is “affecting the party at the moment”.
He notes that the situation created a vacuum within the party. He received his fair share of blistering verbal attacks.
Then comes the one many describe as a “man of no nonsense”. Also a founding-member of the main opposition NPP, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey once described Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as a confused and “clueless” Witness during the 2012 election petition trial.
Dr. Wereko-Brobbey wrote in an article that: “As far as I am concerned, and without prejudice to what their Lordships will decide at the end of the ongoing case, Asiedu Nketia mounting the witness box may turn out to be the one single act that SORTS OUT THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF in the public’s appreciation of and understanding of what really happens in the run up to the conduct of and the declaration of the outcome”.
Known for his blunt criticisms, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey also known as “Tarzan” described as a rueful “tactical blunder”, “the failure of the NPP to include one of its Election Managers or its Chief Executive, the General Secretary, as one of its Petitioners”.
His utterances during the petition hearing did not go down well with the party leaders so he was suspended and till now serving his suspension.
USA based NPP former Presidential aspirant and an expert in “open letter”, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy will never be left out among the “doctors” who speaks their mind concerning the NPP party.
Recently, he added to his numerous open letters to the NPP, a letter warning that the “NPP is on the verge of implosion”. Dr Kennedy in his open letter made some suggestions to the party toward forestalling the likely inevitable implosion.
According to him, “NPP’s General Secretary “Sir John” must stop acting like the Campaign Manager of Nana Akufo Addo and be the true and neutral Chief Scribe of the NPP. He is disappointing many of his ardent admirers, including myself.”
Adding that, “the National Chairman and Council of Elders must start acting to restore our party’s democratic credentials.
Their failure to act when they were so eager to discipline the likes of Tarzan is disappointing”. He also expressed disappointment in the NPP leaders “who are silent in the face of injustices that are destroying the party they profess to love”.
Last, but not the least of those with doctoral degrees on the neck of the party leadership is the man some NPP bigwigs have described as “Judas Iscariot”.
Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, one-time presidential hopeful, has come under a barrage of attacks from party members when he called on the party to change its 2008-2012 presidential candidate.
At a forum organized by the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the NPP in Kumasi, Dr. Apraku asked party supporters to elect what he called ‘a right leader’ to ensure victory in the 2016 elections. According to him, a right leader would help transform and improve the fortunes of the NPP and save it from losing power again.
Some might think his opinion must be considered but he has rather been summoned before the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party over his comments about the party. He has however stood his grounds, justifying his position with the explanation that NPP has suffered defeats in the last two presidential elections and should not suffer another in the 2016 elections.
The question many NPP faithful supporters are asking is that “what exactly do these doctors in NPP want?”
To some NPP activists, these doctors are sending negative signals and have gone beyond normal constructive criticisms or introspection which is unhealthy.
Some supporters believe that what Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, Dr. Wereko Brobbey, Dr. Apraku and Dr. Arthur Kennedy are doing is providing ammunition to its main opponent (NDC) to capitalize on in 2016 presidential polls. But only time will tell whether they are right or they erred by going public with their reservations.