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Opinions of Thursday, 1 December 2011

Columnist: Amenga-Etego, SaCut

Fall -Outs Of NDC Parliamentary Primaries

- A WARNING SIGNAL TO THE ‘GREEDY BASTARDS’

The past weekend has been an interesting one for all political watchers in Ghana and elsewhere. For some of us in the NDC, it was more than just interesting- it was vindicating and demystifying. For sure the Ahwoi name was the BUZZ WORD. An Ahwoi fell, and it had such a boomerang effect.

No one- at least no NDC member – is left with any doubt that the power of the people still reign over money lure and sheer intimidation. The weekend’s fall- outs also leave one clear message on our minds as NDC members and Ghanaians in general- there are still some people in Ghanaian politics whose conscience just simply cannot be compromised with money- and these people remain the real king makers.

It started with the northern sector primaries, which saw several district chief executives loosing the contest to ordinary party faithful. From Ashnati, tonorthern region right through the upper regions, many known appointees or government sponsored candidates lost miserably or narrowly after spending so much money in campaigning and luring delegates.

When the Sunyani congress took place, we heard apologists of President Mills conclude very conveniently that that verdict was a positive judgment of hisgovernment- a 96.9% overwhelming vote of confidence by the NDC delegates. And that it was a signal to a victory awaiting Mills and the NDC in 2012. Some of us argued that the national delegates submitted to money lure and intimidation in a manipulative environment. At the end, some of us concluded that the outcome was an apology of a democratic congress because we believed absolutely that the delegates did not decide based on the general will of the mass voters in the grass roots of the NDC but based on their own personal motivations and parochial interests. Those who rubbished our arguments then will now have to write new notes. Nevertheless, results were accepted and a new chapter began.

If indeed the president was re-endorsed based on his policies and popularity, then there must be a good explanation for the rejection of the president’s own appointee for food and agriculture- the backbone of our economy. This, despite the fact that the same government machinery that was deployed in Sunyani was replicated in Agona east constituency just to ensure the victory of Kwasi Ahwoi. And Ihave been reliably informed that Ato Ahwoi the pseudo president president of Ghana had to be aided before he could depart from the venue of the vote count resulting from the shock of his brother’s loss.

But I’m shocked to hear that Ato Ahwoi was shocked at his brother’s loss. What was he shocked about? After all, this is the first time any Ahwoi has ever run for an election in Ghana- and it was a false start. Yet, these are the people leading the campaign for the alienation and exclusion of the NDC founder Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings from the party- a man who hasn’t only won elections as president of this country twice, but has also been the key instrument in the political fortunes and careers of all these manipulating elements now championing a malicious agenda against the founder. And to think that thesepeople- unelectable as they are even at the lowest level- want to convince the rest of us that they can win the next general election for the NDC without the founder. Only those who want to loose power will follow an unelectable bunch like the Ahwois- and Mills is following them.

Considering tha five (5) out of ten (10) DCE’s who went into the contest in Ashanti region alone lost to ordinary party members after fierce contest is such a damning outcome for president Mills and his government that appointed these people into office plus, former ministers of state and even serving ministers in government blatantly rejected by the grassroots in loud protest and contrary to claims that the entire grassroots are united behind Mills and his appointees without J. J Rawlings.

And if a people reject a man as parliamentary candidate- a man maintained by the president as a minister of state or DCE- does it not suggest that such a man is an imposition on the people? What moral mandate do these rejected appointees have to continue to occupy such offices?

Or do some one wish to convince me that a man who is unfit to represent thepeople of his constituency in parliament have any justification in a democratic congress to represent the entire people of Ghana as a minister for Agriculture in a country where Agric is the backbone of the economy.

If the NDC were still a political party with men of integrity in public office, Kwasi Ahwoi, minister for Agriculture would resign for lack of credibility and to save his honour. Unfortunately, we’re not likely to see that voluntary action from him- and that’s why president Mills must rise to the occasion – for once- and sack Kwasi Ahwoi – unless that decision lies in the hands of Ato Ahwoi in which case the Agric minister will remain in office despite his loosing credibility- and that will speak so much of a so-called democratic congress.

For what is worth it, the disapprovals from the grassroots of the NDC of ministers and DCE’s are a clear indication of the gulf that exists between the popular vote- the people’s power- and the manipulative power of the so-called national delegate. In Sunyani, the delegates succumbed to manipulation whereas in the current situation the branches and ward levels are resisting imposition from the powers that be. This is where some of us have argued that unless and until the ordinary party members of the NDC emerge from the current state of apathy and disillusionment- a situation that can only be brought about by the party founder- there are no real chances for this party retaining power in the next general election legitimately.

We the grassroots supporters of the NDC don’t want any more promises from the leadership neither do we want assurances. The last time President Mills theleader of the NDC made a promise to us, it was in Sunyani immediately after he won 96.9 % of the delegate vote to remain flag bearer for the next general elections. I stood right in front of him in that coronation park and heard him loud and clear admit that without UNITY of purpose in the NDC, and without the active contribution of everyone one- big or small- the ultimate goal of retaining power will elude the party. He then promised to ensure a building of bridges and to converge the divergent opinions of the various groups and schools of thought that have emerged to propose different approaches to sustaining power for the NDC.

Not surprisingly, that promise has remained empty words, and the cracks within the party may have even deepened further. Undoubtedly, president Mills musttake ultimate responsibility, and this is something that the mass and disillusioned supporters are very much aware of, and have begun to seize the opportunity to register their disdain for this deliberate attempt to take the NDC back into opposition after holding power for only one-term. This is just the beginning of the grassroots protests, and it may just be a warning signal to the ‘greedy bastards’ who may not have much time to take the right decisions to avert an eminent defeat in the next general elections.

Make no mistake, what ever decision president Mills and his team may take regarding the way forward for this party, the outcome of such a decision issolely the responsibility of the president and his team of current leaders of the NDC and the youth of this party will not forgive them for wrong decisions and undesirable outcomes.

SaCut Amenga-Etego NDC youth activist

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