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Opinions of Thursday, 5 February 2009

Columnist: Agbodza, Kwami

Comrade Spio-Gabrah ,Hold Your Fire.

Sometimes you have to pretend to be someone to understand him or her. I do sometimes feel lost why we still have lots of NPP functionaries still running the affairs of Ghana in political position when my government has been handed over the administration of the country almost one month ago. Some say it is the way we can show the country we are different form the NPP. If this is the feeling of Spio Gabrah, well, he has got some point but he must consider the following points I want to make.

First of all, I wish to say I am surprised to read an article on Ghanaweb attributed to ‘Friends of Spio-Gabrah’. The use of the words ‘Friends of Spio-Gabrah was coined by some people prior to the NDC Congress that eventually elected President Mills with over 80% of the valid votes cast. Here in the UK,’Friends of Spio Gabrah ‘is not known as an affiliate of the NDC. The use of the name ‘Friends of Spio-Gabrah’ to publicise his anger or let’s say dissatisfaction is regrettable. Spio has got enough experience in politics to know that his outburst could lead to unnecessary tension in the party. I remember similar story about Spio was the Daily Guide, an avowed anti-NDC news media, did Spio speak to them? Spio, please hold your fire.

Spio-Gabrah rightly pointed out some considerations to be made before the President makes his appointments, yet, Spio could not understand why he was not appointed. Unless Spio considers himself to be an automatic good candidate for ministerial or any appointment? If so, how did he arrive at that conclusion? First of all, if it is about the fact that he contested the Primaries with the President, Spio would realize he was not the only one who contested, there are two other. If it is about his experience, there are hundreds of those in the party or thousands in the country. If it is about his contribution in the media, I but you, there are millions of them, he should start by listening to London Based Radio stations and he can understand how much ordinary Ghanaians have contributed in many ways to return our party to government. If it is about financial contribution to our party, I believe he knows a lot have contributed more than him. I believe those who attend our meetings realise etc on empty stomach have also contributed. Others gave us free water, free accommodation etc, all contributed to our success, so my point is that it does not take only money.

Spio also mentioned a couple of names who should have been appointed as ministers of state or in other positions, to me that is where Spio is getting it all wrong . To suggest that the names he has mentioned were all suppose to be ministers tells me Spio does not even acknowledge the contribution of the foot soldiers, the youth etc. Lots of the youth I work with in both UK and Ghana continue to work in the same capacity as foot soldiers, serial callers etc, is Spio saying these people don’t matter? In any case Spio has benefited a lot under our previous NDC government as an Ambassador and Minister of State at the time. At the time of those appointments he was not known to have contributed a lot to the party, he was appointed at the will of President Rawlings and we accepted him. There were people who questioned his appointment those days because we never saw him on any political platform or function before those appointments.

I don’t believe greed is playing part of this outburst, after all Spio has got a lucrative job, but his outburst is a bit surprising. Spio please hold your fire.

I don’t really want to know if there are any feuds between President Mills and Spio, because firstly, I really don’t care and secondly it is not the reason the road to my hometown is like a footpath.

What we should all be thinking about at the moment is what we are going to do individually and collectively to deliver on our social contract with the people of Ghana. The schools, hospitals, water projects etc. I don’t hear a lot of that coming from among us, all I hear is why is this man here and why is that woman not there; please let’s not lose the focus. We have been given a mandate based on a clear manifesto; this must be our primary concern. For Spio to assume that he has got a constituency inside our party that acts on his orders is misguided. I agree he is respected but he should just look back at the Congress and see the votes he had and would understand he is not any huge force in our party; he is simply one of us. There is only one NDC; we do not have Spio NDC, Mills NDC etc. Spio please hold your fire.

Now that Spio has spoken for himself and the ‘bigmen’ on his shortlist, who would speak for the ordinary party member, small boys and girls. In the mean time I urge all who are true the NDC calling to continue to do whatever we have been doing before the election I know President Mills cannot appoint all of us, but I believe we can all play a role in the successful implementation of our manifesto.

Kwame Agbodza-Member NDC UK/IRE