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Opinions of Friday, 27 November 2009

Columnist: Musah, Abdul

NDC!! Stop throwing 'meat to the dogs.'

Abdul Musah
A little over one year into its administration leading members of the NDC are engulfed with internal quivering that is threatening the unity and cohesiveness of the party, unfortunately the internal fight include the former president and founder of the party, the very individual whom the party would be counting on to calm tempers and put the house in order. Recent statements by Mr. Rawlings regarding the Mills administration will do nothing than to throw the meat to the dogs. One wonder if there is any internal lines communication between the government and officials of the ruling party officials. Senior members of the NDC are washing their duty leanings in public, and if care is not taken it will cause the party dearly.

First, it was Spio Garbrah who started by writing a damning article in the national daily challenging the competence of certain government officials. He claimed some of them are under performing, and others are just not qualified to occupy their current position. This drew another damning response from government officials, who called went to the extent of calling Spio names that this writer does not deem respectful enough to mention on this forum. One can understand Spio and those who share Spio’s position regarding the administration, after all, the NDC is big tent and whiles those in the tent might agree most of the times, there will be instance when member might disagree. NDC sympathizer should see no problem with Mr. Spio Garbrah’s position. As a party member, he owes it a duty to assess his party and show where it is going wrong. The only problem with Spio is the manner in which he attacked government officials and the forum he decided to use to express his concerns.
Surely, if Spio Garbrah had serious and honest concerns about the performance of some government officials, there are avenues within the party to express it. He could even request a meeting with the president to air his concerns and hear what the president had to say about it. But to lamp all government officials into one basket, some of whom he serviced with under the previous NDC as, as if all of them are incompetent is a kick in the abdomen, hence the harsh response of the administration official. Unfortunately, this back and forth between leading members of the party will cost, and not reward the party in the long run.
But the nerve wrecking aspect of all this hullaballoo is the recent threat and anger expressed by the Former Rawlings. Mr. Rawlings is the least person to threaten to resign from the very party he helped found, and fought tireless to see its victory in the 2008 election. Has Mr. Rawlings, so shortly, forgotten what happened to him and his family after he left office in 2001? Has he forgotten his agony and that of the party that ended just over a year ago? As the foremost party apparatchik, Rawlings should be calming down tempers within the party instead of borrowing in to them. Although he could be described as the God-father of the party, the Mills administration in not Rawlings administration, therefore the administration need not consult or agree with Rawlings at all time. Certainly, Rawlings would not be happy if the situation were reversed. We are all witnesses to his relentless demand for loyalty during the 19 years that he ruled the countries. It is therefore unfair to try and undercut a sitting president from his own party. If Rawlings want to be respected as one of the greatest NDC leaders, then it is imperative that he stays out of day to day running of the party. If Rawlings does not find his appropriate place in the party and acts like a statesman, he would single handedly destroy the party he had worked so hard, and suffered so much to see back into office.
But there is another twist to the story that most people seem to ignore, President Mills could be a tacit contributor to the problem that is threatening. The president, it seems, is so fixated with the good old NPP propaganda that his presidency is just a shadow of Mr. Rawlings. He is so obsessed with that definition that even good advice from either Mr. Rawlings or anyone close to him is ignored. Such an attitude can infuriate people who believe that they have contributed so much to the party’s victory. Therefore, President Rawlings, Spio-Garbrah, and those who think that the administration is not heeding their advice have some point. In a multi-party democracy, those who had contributed and suffered for the party for so many years deserve the president’s attention and their concerns should be taken seriously. When in government qualified candidates among them should be considered first before any others. Mills, it seems have lend the ears of his government more to those who were not in the NDC’s struggles for power than to those who were suffered humiliation, and sometimes even violence to see the party in office.
Some of the people holding senior government positions in the Mills administration would not regard themselves as NDC members a few years ago. Some of them have courted the previous administration, yet they are the ministers and deputy ministers’ whiles those who fought for party are sitting on fence line. As the saying goes “he who pays the piper causes the tune.” Mills had asked many people in the party to “the pay piper” but he is refusing to allow them to “cause the tune.” Moreover some of government’s appointees are just not proactive, others are just not suitable for the position they are occupying. That is what causing vocal members like President Rawlings and Spio-Gabrah to be angry and vent. Surely they too want the Mills administration to succeed.
The leadership of the party needs to sit up and address this problem before it escalates. Rawlings and Spio-Gabrah should be told to find the appropriate mediums to address their grievances because the collective interest of the NDC is greater than their individual interest. It is also important to point out that there is only one President at a time, and Mills is the president. His name and not Rawlings’s was on the ballot in the 2008 presidential election. Whiles the NDC is grateful for his immense contribution to the 2008 victory, it is important that Former President Rawlings provides President Mills the space he needs to govern. It is not necessary to be on the President’s throat at all the time, leave that to the NPP and the opposition parties that is their job, and the nation pays them to do just that.
After over one year in office President Mills needs to sit and critically examine his government and it officials with a wide lens. There are some truths in what his critics are saying. Some of his ministers need to move to department they can serve best, others need to be removed from their office because they are inexperience and have not demonstrated performance. The Government of Ghana is not an apprenticeship program. Finally, Mr. President injects some fresh blood in to the administration. Luckily, there are countless numbers of well qualified individuals within the NDC that you can rely on to effect the change that Ghanaians deserve. It is too soon into your administration to start throwing the meat in the mouths of waiting K9s.
You can read more about Abdul, his work and captivating pictures at I can be contacted at or 403-922-4091