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Opinions of Monday, 10 September 2018

Columnist: Kenneth Gameli Korsi Dzadu

Repeating the past self-inflicted mistakes, a sure way to remain political captivity

Former President John Dramani  Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots - Marcus Garvey.

I have heard from the grapevine the supposed decision taken by some Ninety Four National Democratic Congress elected Members of Parliament including my Member of Parliament of Anlo Constituency, Mr. Clement Kofi Humado openly declared their unflinching support for Mr. Mahama in his second term bid attempt at the Presidency.

Whilst respecting the independent self will of these Members of Parliament to decide, I consider their latest decision if indeed it is true, not only irresponsible and worrisome but misplaced, since they have failed to respect the very Constituents on whose behalf and mandate they serve and earn their due.

Consulting these constituents to at least receive their express approval or otherwise before going ahead with this reckless but suicide mission would have been appropriate.

In the following analysis, I would attempt to explain what this supposed endorsement of Mr. Mahama mean to the NDC's chances of recapturing political power come 2020 as well the chances of these Members of Parliament to retain their parliamentary seats if at all they will contest.

Firstly, a brief historical account would be helpful in the analysis.

1992 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections saw the New Patriotic Party boycotting both due to what they described then as unfair electoral arrangement leaving the National Democratic Congress led by Flight Lieutenant Jeremiah John Rawlings and two other contenders slogging it out. That election ushered in the Fourth Republic from a military rule over a decade. In that election, the NDC Candidate JJ Rawlings won convincingly at the Presidential level and One Hundred and Eight Nine Seats out of Two Hundred Parliamentary Seats going for the NDC.

By 1996, the NPP now realizing that it wasn't in their interest politically to boycott another election, though their expression on the arrangements leading to the election was not quite different from that in 1992, they reluctantly participated in the 1996 both Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The NDC again, led by JJ RAWLINGS bagged 4, 099,460 valid votes to win the election. At the first time attempt by the NPP, they won 60 out of the 200 Parliamentary Seats Contested for leaving NDC with 133 and the remaining 7 going to rest. This actually set the pace for a fierce political activities in the country.

Again by 2000, when JJ Rawlings was exiting from office, the NDC's Candidate the late Prof. Atta Mills who was Vice President from 1996 to 2000 contested with NPP and other minority parties in an election that could be described as mother of all elections until 2008 elections. J.A. Kuffour beat Prof. Mills to win the election owing to the alliance formed with the single purpose of ousting the NDC from office. The NPP equally won majority parliamentary seats(100) with NDC retaining only 92 seats. That was 2000.

Soon came 2004 elections. The 200 parliamentary seats has now been increased by 30. J.A. Kuffour in his second term bid defeated NDC's Prof. Mills who was attempting the Presidency for the second time. NPP again won majority parliamentary seats 128 out of the 230 seats available and NDC winning 94 leaving the remaining 8 seats for the minor parties in the race.

Election 2008, undisputably, was described by many political bandits and the international community as the test of Ghana's democracy. Prof. Mills was a third time lucky defeating President Nana Addo who was then giving it his first attempt at the Presidency on the ticket of NPP who hoped to set a record to be the first political party winning national elections three times in a roll. For the first in eight years NDC won 116 out of 230 parliamentary seats and the NPP winning 107 leaving the remaining 7 for other minority parties to share.

Prof. Mills immediately, set out to reconstruct the economy and set Ghana on the path of growth and prosperity. This mission was unfortunately truncated as a result of the untimely passing away of President Mills in July 24 2012 barely five months to go for elections and to commence his second term in office.

By Constitutional arrangement, Mr. Mahama, Vice President then to President Mills ascended to the Presidency. NDC never expected that sudden departure of President Mills, so it was just a wise political decision to allow Mr. Mahama to lead the party into the 2012 riding on the achievement of the late President.

Little wonder that, the electorate rewarded the NDC and by extension, Mr. Manama with a resounding victory for the good work started by President Mills much to the displeasure and disagreement of President Akufo Addo who petitioned Supreme Court over the Presidential results declared by the Electoral Commissioner.

The Supreme Court was very diligent in their work and at the end, confirmed the authenticity of the results so declared.

It's therefore, the acceptation of all and sundry that Mr. Mahama would consolidate the gains made by his predecessor Prof. Mills to enhance the NDC's electoral fortunes but that was never meant to be.

He approached the Presidency as business as usual ignoring every constructive criticisms and voices of discern resulting in the NDC's unprecedented electoral defeat in the annals of Ghana in 2016. The NDC lost her majority seats in Parliament. From as high as 148 seats to as low as 104 seats a difference of 42 seats very unprecedented thanks to our intransigence.

This is certainly time for deep reflection, reorganize, restrategize and mobilize for electoral victory come 2020.

It is certainly not time to be immortalizing the very mistakes that caused our defeat.

It is not only destructive but evil.

It is wicked and posterity would not favour us if we let them down.

Now what does Mr. Mahama's decision to contest the NDC's Presidential Primaries and hopefully become a President for the second time mean to NDC?

At present, there is massive disaffection and dissolution within the rank and file of the NDC family. The intransigence of Mr. Manama and some of his appointees that saw our defeat is one bitter experience that will take a very long to forgive.

The least Mr. Manama and some of his appointees must do is to mend the broken trust by playing a backstage role apologizing for letting the hopes and aspirations of many true, loyal and committed NDC members down, certainly not this show of I care less that we have seen in recent times.

It doesn't require Mr. Manama to become a President again to do what he had all the time to do but refused to do.

It's my honest view that, Mr. Manama did the best he could as President and he will certainly be remembered as one President who led his party to achieved not only unprecedented but catastrophic electoral defeat in the annals of NDC and Ghana.

The harm has already been done and nothing can undo it not even if Mr. Mahama is given hundred years.

Mr. Mahama's latest decision to stage a back come backed by powerful forces in the dark if not rescinded, can be the beginning of the end from now.

To those Members of Parliament, I do not know if they fully ceased themselves with the effect of what their supposed action is likely to do to their own electoral fortunes and by extension the NDC.

It could be that some of these Members of Parliament if not have no intention of contesting to retain their parliamentary seats.

If the 2016 parliamentary results is to guide them, then rethinking this thoughtless decision could serve not only their interest but the party.

We cannot hope to wrestle power from this boondoggle and kleptocratic NPP government led by Nana Addo if we proceed from this tangent. It will be a mirage.

A word to the it's said to be enough .

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