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Opinions of Sunday, 12 February 2006

Columnist: Delanyo, Efo

Efo Delanyo Writes To Rawlings ? NDC Is Collapsing

Dear Prez. Rawlings,

My name is Efo Delanyo, and I am one of your many ?open? admirers, and an ardent supporter of the NDC. I have supported NDC since its formation in 1992 and I continue to be a very loyal and active member of the party. Like all your fans and NDC supporters, I am constantly insulted, ridiculed, and sometimes threatened by your enemies and the opponents of NDC, solely because of my ?open? support for you and the NDC. This brief self-introduction should inform you that I am not one of your avowed enemies. I must also add quickly that I do not belong to any of the supposed blocs within the NDC. If it was true that you and Dr. Obed Asamoah had some separate ideological, ?personality,? or whatever blocs prior to NDC?s last congress, or you still have one even now, I did not belong to any of such blocs, and I still do not, and will never, belong to any of them.

Dear J.J., if you believe what I have written so far, then I would expect that you will consider me as someone who cares very deeply for the NDC, and for Ghana, and therefore, you will give a very serious thought to what I have to say in the following paragraphs. I don?t have much to say than to simply point out to you that our great NDC is collapsing, largely because you are failing to play a proper fatherly role in the party, and instead, you are being perceived, rightly or wrongly, as contributing to the deterioration condition of the party. My own view is that you are actually contributing to the collapse of the party, which you love very much, although I know that this result is unintended. At least some of the influential persons who are leaving the party in recent times have directly or indirectly mentioned your influence as the reason for their decisions to leave the party.

Dear J.J., it is not good for anyone to resign from the party because of the actions of the founder of the party. I don?t believe that all those who were opposed to some of your views and actions and have carried it further to the point of resigning from the party were wrong, and the only person who was or is right is you, Mr. J.J. Rawlings. Even if the disagreements between you and some of the leading members of the party were as vehement as was reported, I think that you were better placed to handle the situation amicably than others. But this was not the case. I have said several times in the past that some of those who were seen as challenging your authority within the party were more willing to come to ?a working? compromise than you were willing to do. I have even said somewhere that it was your turn to apologize openly to the people you might have also wronged within the party. When I said these things, the only support I had came from our opponents, but not from fellow NDC members. I believe strongly that most of our members fail to tell it as it is only because of their respect for you. I have been very disturbed by your inability to ensure that we have a peaceful and coherent party. I know my colleagues have been trying to manage the news of the resignations and make it look deceptively simple, but the truth is that those who are resigning from the party are very leading and experienced members whose services are vital for the progress of the party.

Dear J.J., to tell you the truth, the attitude of not telling you the harm your actions or overbearing influence in the party is causing the party just because of the respect we must accord you is very dangerous for the sustenance of the party. With all apologies, it is very clear that some of your actions are tearing the party apart. This is why I have decided to write this open letter to you. I hope you do come to ghanaweb, and will find this letter. If not, I hope that someone will draw your attention to it and you would find time to read it and give it a serious thought. I don?t intend to drag this on for very long. My message is very simple; believe it or not, the NDC is not making any real progress as many of my colleagues are trying very hard to portray it. I can understand where many of our members are coming from and how they are operating, but it is a fact that we are getting weaker by the day when, in fact, conditions are very superb for us to grow in strength and boot the incompetent NPP government out of office in 2008. Please take note of the following paragraphs; they contain what I think you must do.

I do not believe that the present NDC executive is capable of bringing our ?resigning? comrades back into our fold. This is not because the executive lacks any leadership qualities; it is simply because most of those who have resigned do not see the present executive as the cause of their pain and decision to quit the party. They see only you as their problem and they think that you are always there, and your attitude will never change now or anytime in the future. The only person who is capable of mending the fence is you. If you decide to reach out genuinely to those who are leaving, I believe that you would make a remarkable impact. After all, disagreements are not in themselves bad; on the contrary, the clash of ideas actually provides the best opportunity for some of the best decisions to emerge. I wish to repeat that if you must reach out to anyone, it must be a genuine move. Some of the ?peaceful? moves that were claimed to have been made by you in the past were not genuine at all, or at least, were not seen by most of us as genuine, believe me. Your subsequent utterances and actions nullified the underlying purposes.

The reason why I am very concerned is that most of those who are leaving the party are very resourceful and experienced than those remaining, including your good self. I, of course, acknowledge your charisma and popularity, but dear J.J., we need far more than popularity and charisma to win elections and you must remember that some of you chief strategists who helped to chalk the previous electoral victories are now leaving the party, citing you as their reasons for leaving. Please, please, please! You need to do something about this situation. Please let?s all understand that those leading members who are resigning from the party are not doing so for any selfish gains. They will gain absolutely nothing from their resignations. If anything, they must rather be losing ?big time;? and yet, they are prepared to resign and ?lose.? Doesn?t this suggest that they are resigning only because of principles, which could be discussed, synchronized, and harmonized to further the common interest of the party? Why was it so difficult for you, our founding father, to accommodate the views of all of these leading members of our party to the extent that they think it is better for them to resign and allow you to control the party as much as you desire? Please, J.J., you have to reach out to these people immediately and bring them back to our fold. Do you remember how much we ?down-played? the potential effect of the break-away Reform Party? We were all witnesses to the impact on our great party. I believe that you are listening to me and you?d not ignore my plea. I hope you will not find me too straightforward; I am only trying to be like you.

Dear J.J., I think it should not be difficult for you, at all, to see that those NDC members who disagree with you, especially, those who have resigned, do not also necessarily disrespect you. I believe that most, if not all of them, still respect you as their boss, and as someone who has helped them in diverse ways. This means that they are only seeking the utmost interest of NDC but in a different direction from what you want. I don?t see why this should bring the sort of confusion we are witnessing now. I still think that you have not been provoked by any of them beyond endurance. I cannot say for sure, however, if you or some of your loyalists have not provoked Dr. Asamoah beyond the point. Dr. Asamoah has not resigned simply because he lost the bid for re-election; any such thought is only an effort to trivialize a very serious issue. Dr. Asamoah and other leading members who are resigning are doing so because of the party?s inability to tolerate and contain dissent in a civilized manner. That is not to say that Dr. Asamoah has not made any mistakes; in fact, he did make some mistakes, and you also made several mistakes. At the time when Dr. Asamoah made himself available for dialogue for the interest of the party, you and your loyalists ignored him and intensified the ?hatred campaign? against him in the open. A simple issue was mismanaged and our founder must take the most blame, especially when he is also seen as a party to the problem.

But, let me repeat here that because these people respect you, I believe, if you call them for an extraordinary meeting, and if they believe it is a rare and genuine move from you, they will respond, and you will be able to bring them back into the party, restore peace in the party, and organize a big news conference to announce the tranquility that we desire for in the party. I wish I could explain this a little further but I must go now. Dear J.J., as for the manner you are keeping the clueless NPP government on its toes, I love it very much; please keep it up. I would have agreed with the school of thought that says you must be a ?statesman? and make no partisan political statements, if there were other brave Ghanaians who could do what you are doing, but since most of the opposition voices besides you, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., and Kofi Wayo are cowards, I would urge you to put more fire under Kufuor and his incompetent lieutenants.

I wish you and your family well.

Yours sincerely,

Delanyo, Efo

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