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Opinions of Friday, 12 February 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NPP, NDC won't score own goal

While campaigning for the nation’s presidency, the National Democratic Congress, led by its then candidate Prof John Evans Fiifi “Atta” Mills promised to deliver heaven to the good people of Ghana. But now in government, majority of the people have come to the consensus that the Mills-led NDC government is rather delivering hell to them.

This is amplified by the unusually harsh economic realities foisted on the masses as a result of the drastic increases in fuel prices, imposition of killer taxes, such as the recent astronomical increase in road tolls, and the unbearably high prices of goods and services in the country.

My people, where is the sincerity and the attribute of being God-fearing conferred on the President? Can it be seen in the fact that the “Asomdwehene” promised one thing and is doing another? Oh! Didn’t he promise drastic reduction in fuel prices and taxes? Yes! In view of his “sincerity”, he is rather promoting drastic increase in prices of the very commodities he pledged to reduce. That is the God-fearing “Asomdwehene’s” version of SINCERITY. God save mother Ghana.

One thing is certain, and majority of Ghanaians, including members of the NDC, have come to consensual agreement over it. That the ruling NDC did not “win” the political Champion of Champion’s football match it played with the opposition New Patriotic Party in 2008 because it scored the winning goal.

Referee Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan “declared” the NDC winners after the end of the match which went into extra time because the NPP put the ball into our own net. But who says an own goal does not determine the winner of a match?

How did the own goal come? The NPP certainly “feared” the rough tactics of its extremely hostile opponent, whose fans were inordinately vociferous, and were not ready to accept any results apart from being declared winners. It was clear the referee felt he would feel more comfortable and safer ending the match with the team with more hostile fans carrying the day.

The NDC team, led by the defender Prof Mills could not score to secure the required genuine win that could ensure sanity on the field after the match. What then would the NPP team, led by the striker Nana Akufo-Addo do? He had no option than to turn around to lead his team to score an own goal. PERIOD! That is how come the NDC, led by His Excellency Prof Mills, is now in government.

Brethren, if you don’t deserve to win a match and you employ dirty tricks to do so you cannot savour the victory. Was, is, that not the story of the NDC? Look at the inauguration ceremony and the 100 days in office. Why are many Ghanaians disassociating themselves from the NDC’s victory? “As for me I did not vote for NDC” is the slogan on the lips of majority of the people? How come they won? The NPP scored an own goal.

Here comes the big question. Would the NDC too score an own goal in the game slated for 2012? Time will certainly tell. But your Chief Apostle can assure you and expect you to take it serious, for you know it yourself: the NDC won’t score an own goal. To win the match, we have to play our hearts out for that golden goal, that convincing goal which could not be disputed.

Looking at the sheer ineptitude of the Mills administration, and against the background that majority of the electorate have regretted voting for the NDC, we are being presented with the golden opportunity to score that golden goal in 2012.

But we have to work for it. How can we do it? Chief Apostle offers some suggestions, in respect of who leads the party, communication, presidential candidate, and party posture. Apostle would definitely get the opportunity to hold discussions on these issues internally with those who are part of the powers-that-be in the party, and so would not put all the suggestions in the public domain.

WHO LEADS THE PARTY

The question of people who lead the party at the various levels is very relevant in our quest for a return to power in 2012. Already reports indicate that we have had enough of competent leaders at the polling station, constituency and regional levels. What is more refreshing is the fact that majority of them are ready to listen to the voice of the masses and give them the presidential candidate they are ready to buy.

What lesson is there for the delegates who will attend the 27th February Congress to elect national officers? They have to elect competent leaders who will show absolute and sincere commitment to meeting the aspiration of the voters.

In the political game of 2012, we already have our players. What is now left is the Board Chairman (National Chairman, in this case), the coach (National Organiser, in this regard) and other members. Chief Apostle would just like to draw attention to only the above two positions and reserve the full analysis in my next write-up for the 27th congress.

Let’s remember that on the Board (NEC) are party stalwarts like former President Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyerematen, Dan Botwe, Appiah Minka, B. J da Rocha, Aliu Mahama and all the top echelons of the party.

All strategies to win the game are engineered at the Board meeting. Who then is the master strategist who has got what it takes to chair successfully meetings that will have the above personalities in attendance? You have Jake and Ntim, choose the one who is better qualified for the job.

What about the coach who is in charge of recruitment and training of players. That person has to be knowledgeable to be able to teach or train the players. Remember the time is short so we cannot afford to send the coach to school. Even if he is sent to school what is the certainly that the ability to learn quickly is there for him to succeed? You have John Boadu, Moctar Bamba and Isaac Edumadze to choose from. Make the wisest decision. I trust your ability to do so for NPP delegates have always chosen the right caliber of leaders at any period.

COMMUNICATION

The ruling National Democratic Congress believes in telling lies. Let’s strengthen our communication system to tell the truth to counter their lies. It is painful that a party like NPP has never had effective communication machinery to tell our success story. No wonder, a laudable principle like property-owning democracy has been allowed to be basterdised by our opponents. What a pity!

Does the NPP have a party paper? No! Was The Statesman owned by the NPP? Is Daily Guide owned by NPP? Can we ‘force’ our stories on them? Certainly NO! Why then do we say they are NPP papers? The contrary story, however, is that the NDC has got party papers that carry the stories as the party wants them to be told. Why can’t we do the same? Are we serious?

Why The Statesman is is out of the news stands? The answer is simple: well, you may be right to talk about management problems, but the fact of the matter is that both the government and party did not see the need to resource the paper that had stood behind it religiously in the days of opposition and also in government. Yes, some people might have problems with the style of The Statesman but did that merit the treatment meted out to the paper by the party and government?

The party also needs to adopt effective techniques to communicate with the masses to attract them to the party. The Jehowa witness approach of winning souls for God is a good example to learn from. During the previous electioneering campaign we had planned to carry out house-to-house campaign, but we failed to do so. Why? Was it money problem? Certainly NO! Oh couldn’t we have used the large sums of money some people ‘stole’ for parochial agenda for that important exercise that could keep us in power.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

The candidate we present to the voters for the 2012 elections will determine to the large extent whether we can return to the corridors of power or not. It is not about what you want or what I want. It is about what the electorate wants and we have no option than to give them their choice. We are going to the political market in 2012 with the intention of making profit, winning the election. The buyers have given us a clue as to what product, candidate, they are prepared to buy (vote for). Why shouldn’t we give them the product they want to buy? I submit only parochialism, greed, sabotage and all the evil intentions one can think of could cause us to present the candidate they electorate are not ready for.

PARTY POSTURE Apostle wants to plead with our party gurus to seek ways to identify well with the electorate. This will present the party as a grass root party. Let’s descend to the level of the people and stop making ourselves unavailable even to party activists who travel from far away places to stay at the party office for three days just because they have vital information for the party.

The NDC is not a grass root party yet it has managed to create the false impression that it represents the interest of the masses. Let’s carry our party to the people, and they will always go with us. PERIOD!

CONCLUSION

The NDC government is in power not because it ‘won’ the champions of champion’s game we played with them in 2008. They won the game because we scored an own goal under circumstance many still find it difficult to fathom. The Mills-led government has failed; it is still failing and it is clear it will not be able to deliver to the satisfaction of the electorate. The electorate therefore wants us to return to power to salvage them from their predication imposed on them by the inept Mills-led NDC government.

We will however be living in the fool’s paradise if we should think that the failures of President Mills and his team will translate into a goal for us in the 2012 game. We will definitely have to play well to score that golden goal because one fact is certain: the NDC will simply not score an own goal.

By Kwabena Amankwah Former TESCON-UCC Secretary Mob: 0244-217504