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Opinions of Monday, 3 February 2014

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Anita De Soso’s Ghc1m offer to buy NPP- A wake up call on parties

Don’t get worried about what is ‘going on’ in Ghanaian politics currently. Ghana will sail through the upheavals across all the major political parties such as New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Congress, Convention Peoples Party and the other parties. In some media circles, there are rumours stating that NPP is broke. This is sadly coming from people no other than members of the NPP making fun of the party. Anita de Soso, the women’s organizer of NDC says she would offer Ghc1million to purchase the party. People, especially members of NPP would take Anita’s statement as a political game and in good faith as a gimmick from an opponent.

This is why Ghana is peaceful and would remain so. All solemn minded Ghanaians know that, she was only pulling the legs of the great ‘kukrudites’. I believe the ‘kukrudites’ might ignore or react in kind. Yes, Ghanaians are great. The comic relief is important for the health of democracy and the people generally. We must learn to laugh at ourselves. Even within the NPP itself, leading members of the party are engaged in exchange of ideas on how to raise funds to run the party’s congress to elect new national officers and later the flag bearer. They know that, the ‘race’ for a new national executive and presidential candidate could only materialize when the party is financially solvent enough.

Some people I spoke to said that, the NPP seems to be waking up from their slumber. They must accept that they have failed to appreciate the enormity of the tasks ahead of them. However, you must trust the NPP for the ability to conjure the right plans to save the situation. They will definitely call on their members in the Diaspora to come to their aid. Local Donors and Stalwarts like Kennedy Agyepong who is good at ‘blowing his top’ and criticizing from within would definitely dole out money to save the situation. He is in parliament with Dan Botwe, MP for Okere, who are said to be running around with the other members of the party to solicit fund for the parties’ activities as they have been doing in the past. They have no choice as front liners of the party in the legislature.

The NPP like other parties in opposition is going through trying moments hence they are required to learn their lessons on how to operate in government and while in opposition. Each of the political parties; the NPP and NDC constitute more than one million supporters each across the country and abroad. If each of the members of the parties is levied one cedi a month, it will amount to one million cedis a month each which is not such a bad deal. With this amount of money what can’t the respective parties do for themselves, regarding payments of salaries, travels and payment of utilities costs?

When all members of the parties subscribe to the parties through regular payment of dues through texting, email and direct payment of cash, it would give them a stake in the party more or less as share holders. The amounts realized could be declared and made known to all party members and sympathizers and later, to the Electoral Commission of Ghana. All members would then be in a position to take major decisions such as election of national and other executives of the parties.

If the expenditures of the monies are known to all the subscribers, they would have the desire to make more payments. However, what is happening now without mass subscription is that, the party belongs to individuals who are ready to donate large sums of money for the running of the parties. This is wrong because in the event of the party coming to power, those ‘money bags’ are those who would dictate to the party as to who should or should not be appointed and even how the economy should generally be run.

This trend must change. It’s about time we learned from the best practices in Europe and other advanced democracies. I believe the political parties’ have the men with the ability to turn things around.

A message to all the political parties is that, you must embark on a membership drive to register all members of your parties. Get each member to pay a minimum of one cedi a month. An arrangement could be made for the majority of the members to pay their dues through their phones or emails. Those who could not pay through electronic means could be made to pay their dues in the parties’ branch offices throughout the country. This arrangement however, is not asserting that, well endowed members of the parties who can donate large amounts of money to the parties should stop.

This is only a recommendation to save the issue of shortage of cash in the parties intended to be carried out all year round. It will only motivate all members of the parties to feel responsible and a part of it as co owners of the parties whether in power or in opposition.

BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI

Executive director

EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT