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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Columnist: Bawa, Abdul Razak

Please ‘Mfemfem’ Nduom, Desperation Is Not The Way

"You will never get ahead if you are always trying to get even."- Zig Ziglar According to Del Suggs, “leading with integrity is one of the greatest challenges of leadership. We often hear those phrases like ‘walk the talk’ and ‘lead by example’. Unfortunately, you can’t just lead by cliché. You really have to “put your money where your mouth is”.

We have read articles and heard pronouncements, detailing how pious and noble is the personal character of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, leader and founder of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), or as succinctly put by a friend Pathetic People’s Party, but when all that is put under the microscope would he and could he stand the test and be above reproach? I don’t think so.

Mfemfem Nduom in recent times has thrown so many salvos to score cheap political points, both against the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), all in desperation to remain relevant in our political discourse. Of course as an opposition figure I personally expected nothing less than what he is doing, my expectation is informed by the type of politics we practice here, where nothing good could ever come from your opponent. But what is intriguing to me is his desperate attempts to take all the credit for all the projects he superintended over when he was made a minister of Public Sector under former President John Agyekum Kufuor, especially the George Bush Highway.

This compelled the former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, to dismiss the assertion that Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom must be accorded all the credit for securing the $547 million, under the Millennium Challenge Account for the N1H1 Highway.

Mr. Kufuor in an interview on Citi Breakfast Show prior to the Commissioning of the project said “He was not the originator of the idea; in fact he came virtually at the tail end.”

“But the team that worked the detail of the compact was there right from the beginning. We started working the draft of the contract with a person called Mr. Ansah, a consultant and an accountant as well. He led the team originally, but he wasn’t committed as it was required and so another person came in” For a long time in our national discourse, politics has always being either you win or lose, there is no middle line and that has given rise to the culture of the winner takes all. The attitude of ‘mfemfem’ Nduom is going to re-enforce that believe.

This is because he is spitting in the face of former President Kufuor and anybody who agreed that Dr. Nduom must be given the opportunity to serve in the NPP government.

Sometimes when we are desperate for something, especially power, we tend to throw principles to the dogs. Dr Nduom is stamping an authority for being in that league.

When you are a team player, when your team wins or loses, you don’t take credit because you scored the winning goal, but you share in the joy that you were part of the team. Because if there was no goal keeper to save the balls from entering your post, you will lose, or if there was nobody to give you the pass, you would not have scored. So it is a collective win or loss. But if the humorous song as with Dr Nduom is, I did this and I did that , then we will go nowhere as a country. In one of his vituperations, Dr. Nduom questioned the rationale behind why school children must be allowed to go on parade on Independence Day. Is this call a betrayal of his own convictions and principles? This is a man who says we should hold the ideals and teachings of the First President of this country, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, even when he is dead and gone. Nkrumahism has now become a tradition that is still relevant today. “I will stop the torturing of our school children on Independence Day when I become the President of Republic of Ghana”, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, presidential aspirant of the Progressive People’s Congress has declared.

“I will make it a day of joy and celebration of our people and turn it into an opportunity to promote patriotism”, he stated in a goodwill message to Ghanaians to commemorate the celebration of Ghana’s Independence anniversary.

Growing up as a child an opportunity to be selected to what was referred to as ‘march pass’ on independence day, was a privileged one, and we always looked forward to it with so much anticipation and anxiety, coupled with the pride of being a Ghanaian and observing that solemn moment that our forefathers laid down their lives for us.

Times have changed, but certainly we can’t changed the day we had our independence from the British, so why try to even suggest that we change the way we observe that very important day? The parade is another way of instilling the spirit of nationalism in our youth, and I and many well-meaning Ghanaians don’t see it as a torture. My word of advice to ‘Mfemfem’ Nduom on that call is that, please ban People below 18 years from attending your Pathetic People's Party rallies before you open your mouth to condemn patriotic people marching to honor our independence! What principles do you stand for?

Dr. Nduom has recently admonished President Mills to back his commitment to ensuring a peaceful election in December with action.

He said President Mills should not hesitate to crack the whip on his appointees who go on insulting sprees to provoke their political opponents to react in a manner which would disturb the peace of the country.

This is a call in the right direction, but really the question must be asked, has President John Evans Atta Mills not proven beyond every reasonable doubt that he is committed to ensuring free and fair elections? Must I remind Dr. ‘Mfemfem’ that both in 2000 and 2004, when Prof. Mills lost the elections to former President Kufuor, he never went to court as did Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 run-off? Ever since the President took the oath of office in 2009, he has never missed the opportunity to assure all well-meaning Ghanaians of his commitment to our democratic process and his pledge for a peaceful poll this year. ‘Mfemfem’ Nduom wants to make a triumphant entry; he should do that by clearly articulating and outlining his vision for this country. His strategy of trying to walk in people’s shadows would not win him any votes more than he got in the last elections when he contested under a fragmented Confusion People’s Party (CPP).

Ghanaians have had enough of these empty “barrels making the most noise” attitude. They need solutions, a paradigm shift from the way things are done. The Pathetic Peoples Party emblem of a rising sun must truly guide Dr. ‘Mfemfem’ to rise above this politics of pettiness that seem to characterize and define the modus operandi of the PPP.