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Opinions of Saturday, 1 April 2017

Columnist: Joseph Ackah-Blay

Dumsor to be blamed for NDC internal wrangling

By: Joseph Ackah-Blay

It has been a week of severe verbal battle between key members of the Opposition NDC. A party, whose flagbearer never ceased to describe as the most united, now on the brink of collapse according to some analysts.

A battle that the party seem to have envisaged hence the decision to set up a fact finding committee led by a man with the accolade “Ghana’s longest serving finance Minister” as chair. Long before the Prof Kwesi Botchway committee is billed to release its report, party faithful have no interest.
MP for Yunyoo Joseph Bipoba Naabu posited that while Samira Bawumia was busily campaigning, Mrs Lordina Mahama was busy attempting to buy votes.

That remains not, the only comment to have gained prominence recently. Former chairman of the party Dr.Kwabena Agyei had his turn; resources were looted by inexperienced hands that made gaining access to the President impossible for him, could be a succinct paraphrase of his point.

National organizer Kofi Adams, who led the party’s campaign as coordinator beat a retreat on Joy FM’s Top Story with Evans Mensah. A week ago, he had described the attempt to block a hearing of the Botchway committee as a sign of heightened interest in the need to get the party back in power. He opined on Thursday on the same show, that the party may consider cracking the whip if need be.

Many other members of the party have gained prominence in the news space for uttering far more damning comments.

“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

These are the words of 19th century British politician Lord Acton. I am certain he thought not of Electricity when he made the point; fact that too much power gets people to often act in ways they ordinarily won’t act if they had no such access to it. I have seen power corrupt others from a close view. During my days as I teacher, I watched with keen attention how little roles I handed students changed their ways.

Simply ask young Kofi to collect the assignment of students and you will hear him scream for the first time. If Ama who seldom speaks, is asked to write the names of those who are talkers, all names off the list need to get her something at break time. I nearly forgot the fat boy at the back who won’t wait for Akosua to finish writing once I ask him to clean the board. Lord Acton got it right!

He may have forgotten to tell us more about how power unites. Emmanuel Clever may have come a bit close when he stated “There is more power in unity than division”.

The missing ingredient is the fact that power leads to unity. It brings persons of different leanings together. The greater power you wield, the more likely it is for you to get others to obey. Outsiders will see your group as a united one.

A flagbearer of an opposition party wields power, but not as much as that of a governing party. In Power, there is much to share and much to lose.Many expect more and that shuts them up. The lesser you have to share; the more likely you are to have team members voice their concern. After all you have nothing to offer them.

Our ancestors knew this; hence they unequivocally put across that maxim that advises against hitting the head of a man in whose mouth your hand lies.

Former President Kufuor is associated with a statement that inadvertently encourages such thought. The claim that it’s better to be the lowest ranked in a party in power than to be the highest ranked of a party in opposition.

You can call it fake unity, political parties still need and want this.
Prior to the 2016 general elections, Then President Mahama called on electorate to reject the current President. He boldly roared “if you disagree with him, you get suspended”.

His argument was pretty simple; Nana Akufo Addo could not be trusted to govern if he cannot hold his party together. Fast forward to March 2017 and the NDC has gained that spot save the absence of a flagbearer. How did their unity boat lose steam? Like incessant power outage nicknamed dumsor, the party HQ is engrossed in darkness.

The EC boss was responsible for the outage this time, not former Mahama or Dr. Kwabena Donkor. Simply declaring the NPP candidate winner took the rallying point out of the party.

Ever wondered why some who hitherto could not openly criticize John Mahama have finally gained their voice? Same was done to J.J Rawlings, such is the outage. Sadly for the NDC, Ameri or Karpower cannot help. They need some kind of plant that seems likely to work in 2020.

They may well get a quick power barge in the form of an early congress than can present fresh faces that will let some forget their wounds.

For now, the centre can no longer hold, dumsor ‘aba’!

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