Feature Article of Sunday, 10 August 2008

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah

O No, Not Another Gorbachov … !

In the early eighties, a young man who had worked in the Soviet establishment for a very long time, by providence, positioned himself for appointment as chairman of the Politburo - the highest decision making organ of the Soviet Communist Party, this man, who was now at the helm of affairs of the Soviet Union had some very positive in nature. How the soviet secret service, the KGB could not unearth the true nature of this man is what defies all scientific and logical norms.

But, be as it is, this man found himself at the helm of affairs of the then soviet union. He began with what he termed Glasnost- the act of open discussion and perestroika-the act of rebuilding economic, political and social changes. This gave autonomy to many of the Republics which then constituted the Soviet Union. Satellite countries like Bulgaria, Romania and the German Democratic Republic were equally affected. The iron curtain which had hitherto been a “no go area” was laid bare. Nothing was shrouded in secrecy any longer. It was like what happened at the Temple when Jesus Christ was crucified. The shroud which before then had been used to separate the Holiest of Holies was torn apart and the inner Temple lay bare.

The restructuring and reforms embarked upon by the then Chairman of the Politburo which resulted in the eventual dis-integration of Giant Soviet Union. That man of Great Destiny whom history chose to perform that historical feat was none other than Mikhail Gorbachov.

Today, nearly three decades later, a similar scenario is likely to unfold in our Great party founded through the blood and toils of our founding fathers-Joseph Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah and Kofi Abrefa Busia.

The party in question is the New Patriotic Party otherwise referred to as the Nnipa pa party.

Somebody might ask,” What is this man up to and why has he recounted or depicted such a scenario?” I have done so because a great danger lies ahead of the party if we are not circumspect in the selection of our running mate. Truth is bitter but it is better to tell the story the way one sees it and damn the consequences than to keep quiet and pretend all is well.

Some names have cropped up about the possibility of any of them securing the nod to be so selected. But before it happens I want readers to ponder over what I have recounted Let me say in all sincerity that I have nothing personal against any of the candidates this write seems to portray in the likeness of Gorbachov. I am buoyed up with love for the party and I can go to any length to ensure the success of the New Patriotic Party.

As soon as Nana was elected the party’s flag-bearer, I gave him advice on how to go about the choice of a running mate. Let me confess at this stage that as soon as I made known my intention to write on the running mate issue, my immediate constituency which in this case happens to be my blood relations, colleagues, friends and those of the pen fraternity cautioned me not to dabble into such no go areas where even angels at times fear to thread. But poor me, my restless spirit would not rest until I have poured out all that my mind and heart tell me to do.

I strongly disapprove of making any candidate with antecedents from the NDC. What is the proof that they are genuine believers in our tradition. It is true that since they joined the NPP from the NDC, they have contributed a lot to enhance the fortunes of our party. But it is equally true that such people were compelled to leave the NDC because they felt they had been short-changed by the NDC during the party’s parliamentary primaries. They never left the NDC on their own accord. And even if they did, the fact still remains that such people might harbour some few undemocratic traits of the NDC in them. In fact, a leopard could hardly change its colours. Let us be careful else we create a Gorbachor in the party.

During the Good Morning show hosted by Randy Abbey with Mustapha Ahmed, spokesperson for Nana Akufo –Addo and Hon Twumasi Appiah, MP for Sene as the discussants, the Honorable MP referred to some names being touted as running mates to Nana Akufo –Addo as card bearing NDC members when John Mahama was Minister of Communications. Yes they were card bearing members and that is why we should be extra careful in selecting any of such persons as a running mate to our candidate. They need to be put through a period of debriefing to shed off the toga of NDC which is full of vendetta, violence, indiscipline, intolerance, and disrespect to constituted authority, chaos, mismanagement and lack of vision. Can we say that a period of less than a decade and half is enough to remove every NDC toxin from these aspirants? No! I don’t think so. We should therefore be very careful, lest we create an opportunity for a Gorbachor to emerge in the party.

This is my candid advice to the party Elders and National Executives. I have nothing more to say on this. But they should not say one day that I did not warn them. We are moving forward.

Daniel Danquah Damptey