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Opinions of Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

My Sympathizing Tears for NDC

By Alex Bossman Baafi

Ever since President John Evans Atta mills was sworn into the highest office of the land as President of the Republic of Ghana, after a slim defeat of Nana Akuffo-Addo of the NPP in the December 2008 general elections , the ruling Party, NDC had known no peace of unity.

What is vividly fresh in the minds of some political observers was the yeoman’s role of the former President and founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings, played in securing the narrow victory for his party. Not long into the NDC administration, the good people of the country witnessed a sharp divide between the president and his former boss. It is very difficult from my position to tell what is actually causing the misunderstanding, mistrust and enmity between these key figures in the leadership of the NDC party.

Some political scientists have analyzed the situation in a bid to identify the source of the conflict so as to find an amicable solution for it, but their efforts have proved futile. It is extremely difficult to identify the root and immediate causes for this unfortunate sharp divide unless we get the two parties to tell what has gone amiss between them that is feuding the conflict to date but that will be notoriously difficult to get them for open and frank discussions about that.

Judging from the pronouncements, actions and inactions of these leaders, many political pundits found portions to apportion blame. The political observers, scientists and interest groups first put the blame squarely on the doors of the ruling president. They believe that the sitting president knows the true nature of the former president, Rawlings having worked with him for a considerable length of time. He should therefore have developed the strategy to manage him by leveraging his character both positive and negative traits so that it will not impact negatively on his “Better Ghana Agenda Democratic Dispensation.

Where the sitting President has woefully failed is to know that the party through which he rose to power has its expectations against the constitutional requirement of the presidency. His inability to marry the two has landed him in trouble. As a president, Professor Mills has a large heart and that puts him in a good stead not to respond to the severe criticisms and outburst of the former President. That is a good mark of a matured statesman. What the president has failed to do however is that he has allowed “small boys” in his communication team, people of low political stature or clout, to handle the responses in rude and disrespectful manner that tends to aggravate the intolerant position of the former president. The president knows where he is coming from and how he has benefited from the political tutelage of the former president in addition to the yeoman’s job of former president Rawlings in securing his electoral victory to Presidency and therefore it is understandable to keep mute when the former president booms. What about the “small boys” and why is the president allowing them to do his dirty job for him is what baffles many because it is obvious it is these boys’ attack that is still fanning the frames of the conflict.

There is the adage that “if someone shows you life, you do not show the person death in return”. Why is the ruling party under the presidency of Professor Mills bent on ostracizing the former President from the party? Is the president more comfortable moving with “traitors” and “greedy bastards” and has forgotten so soon the sacrifices and support of the former President Rawlings? Is the president not passionate about his better Ghana Agenda delivery to the good people of the country that gave him their mandate in 2008? Is he still interested in another 4-year mandate and is looking on unconcerned? The president has lost focus partly because of the conflict. It does not give the president peace of mind in my humble opinion.

Even though the dynamic nature of the former president Rawlings is not in doubt because of his background and nature, it is like having troublesome father and mother; you cannot run away from them because the fact will still remain that they are your father and mother. The best way to deal with them is to take a sober reflection on what gives them causes for concern and try to find a panacea to them. At least you can minimize their distractive behaviors to enable you remain focus. Once you become the president and leader of the ruling party, for me, the number one priority is to ensure unity in the party and unity in the nation. In these two critical areas, the president has failed to deliver also in my opinion.

There are a lot of factors that are militating against the second term of president Mills. The first of them that carries incredible weight is lack of unity in the NDC party. The elders and leadership of the party have underrated the confusion between the president and his former boss. The conflict is the overwhelming heavy albatross around the neck of the ruling party that is slowly dragging it to its disintegration. In my view, little attention has been paid to this deadly conflict right from the time of the NDC Administration. Is it too little too late to resolve the crisis now? It is only time that can tell the end results as far as the impending general elections in 2012 are concerned.

Adding to the weight of the conflict, many believe the president lacks steam and has several unfulfilled promises to his discredit. The performance of his government does not meet expectations of the good people of the country. There is increased hopelessness as a result of lack of jobs for the teaming masses of our people. Businesses are complaining of high utility tariffs and taxes. The free fall of the value of the cedi in relation to foreign currencies and its impact on businesses leaves much to be desired. To the ordinary person on the street, cost of living is skyrocketing in the face of the so-called single digit inflation.

Above all, many have lost hope in the current administration because of its inability to protect the public purse. The typical example is the massive corruption that has engulfed the nation. Woyomegate Scandal has been described as the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps government will fall on its usual propaganda machinery to white wash the non performance, economic hardships and massive corruption issues that are hampering their second chance but I see differently. Even the welcoming back of their political colleagues from DFP into the NDC fold cannot repair the damage in the NDC Party.

Lack of unity, mistrust and incompetence led Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to mount leadership challenge only two years into President Mills’ administration. It has also led to the former first lady claiming ownership of NDC party logo as her registered intellectual property at this crucial moment of an election year. Her action has further deepened the cracks and woes of the party.

My sympathizing tears for the ruling NDC keep rolling down my cheeks because it is only unity between Mills’ and Rawlings’ factions that can throw a lifeline to the sinking NDC but that unity is not forthcoming. It is this basic truth that perhaps many party faithful, sympathizers and leadership do not want to hear but that is the gospel truth. Without that UNITY, the end of the political journey for this NDC government is in sight. The obituary of the Mills’ administration is being written. It will be read soon after the December 2012 general elections. As a concerned citizen of the land and a political observer, I will keep on shedding my sympathizing tears for the NDC and its government until the appointment time.

E-mail: abkbossman@yahoo.com