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Opinions of Thursday, 16 March 2006

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

Resignations from the NDC? "no a big deal"

The recent resignations that rocked the NDC is rather a blessing rather than a curse. Party politics is about like mindedness and ideals, it is about compromise, and it is about consensus building. A political party is by definition a group of like minded people who share the same ideal, and by so doing seek political power for the purposes of actualizing those ideals. Therefore if a member of a political party decides to leave whether for good or bad reason, it should not be a national or an international news. All the world over politicians defect from one party to another. Some form their own parties, as Obed Yao Asamoah and his group are trying to do.

Followers of multi-party democracy the world over will not be suprised at political defection and forming new political parties. Followers of party politics would also argue that defections per say don't affect the fortunes of political parties in elections. Defections from NDC will not affect the fortunes of the party in any elections. Whether the NDC wins the 2008 elections or otherwise will be because of defections, but how the party organises and present itself to the Ghanaian electorate. The experience of other countrie, including advanced democracies such as Canda informs this arguement. In Canada, conservatives like Scott Brison, and Blenda Strojnik defected to the liberal party because they disagreed with certain postions of the conservative party. It did not prevented a conservative victory in the just ended Canadian elections. So will the defection of Obed Asamoah and Professor Wayo Seni, not affect the NDC in any elections.

The rational behind this proposition is simple, political parties are not organized arround their defectors. More often political defectors usually use their defecting politcal parties to advance their political goal, they defect only when those goals fail to materialize. The NDC is not organized arround Dr. Obed Asamoah. In fact Obed had very little support in the rank and file of the party. He had always relied on the support of the founder of the party to build his credentials within the NDC. The result of NDC Koforidua congress and those of the last congress at legon attest to this fact. Obed came out of the Legon congress as the chairman of the party by a marginal victory over his close rival, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu.. Some leading members of the party were not enthused with the outcome of the congress, yet they agreed to a marjority decision and moved on. Some of them comtemplated resigning from the party. But upon consideration of the wider interest of the party decided to rescind their decision and move on with party. This writer remember the negociations involving Professor Mills and the aggrieved party members and commends the humble Professor for his efforts.

By the time the party converged at Koforidua, delegates and concern members of the party were already fed up with the manner in which the then chairman of the party was managing party affairs. Obed Asomoah not only support Dr. Kwasi Botwea against the rules of the party banning elected party officials from endorsing candidates vying for the flag bearership of the party, but also denied Professor Mills of his support after he emerged as the Flag bearer of the party in the 2004 elections. There were rumors, this writer could verify the truth or otherwise, that he personally denied Professor Mills party facilities in his custody and that some members had to intervane and talk to Dr Asamoah before he even attended party rallies. It therefore came as no suprise that Dr Obed Asamoah was crushed at the Koforidua congress. It is the view of this writer that no party, be it the NPP or the PNC, would accept the kind of torment and divisiveness that became the hallmark of Obed Asamoah during his tenure as the NDC party chairman. It equally of no suprise to some us that he left the party. In fact his regnation is in the party's best interest. NDC will survive with or without Obed Asomoah and his like minded people.

Dr. Obed Asamoah's reasons for leaving the NDC is as outrageous as the manner in which he managed the party as chairman. He claimed of violence and lack of internal democracy in the party, yet the very process that elected him chairman was democratic, and was supervised by the EC. My question to Dr Obed Asamoah is when did he know of violence and lack of internal democracy in the NDC? I guess his attention was drawn to violence and lack of internal democracy within the party when he was crushed at a congress he organized, which was duly supervised by the country's electorial commission. As the incubent chairman, the organization of the congress, including security matters, are his responsibilities. It is fair to argue that the blame for the violence that characterized the NDC congress at Koforidua should lay solely on Obed and his team. It is therefore ironic that the very people responsible for the violence are resigning from the party reciting their mismanagement and lack of foresight as reasons for leaving the party.

As argued earlier, the fortunes of the NDC in any elections will not be dependent on how many members of the pary defected to other parties, but on the way the party organize itself to confront the challenges ahead. In this regard, I am not at all impressed at the way and manner the party is managing these defections. It seems to this writer that the current hierarchy of the thinkst convincing those defectors to come back is a preriority. The challenges facing the party does not include convincing Obed Asamoah, Professor Wayo Seni, or Mr Adamafio to rejoin the party. By doing so the party is assigning some importance to this hippocratics and political "whores". It is my view that this people should be treated with the utmost contempt they deserve. Trying to convince them amount to appeasing some of them still in folk and giving political amunation to our opponent and the hostile media. It is in the light of this that I fully support the position of Mr. Ankrah (NDC propaganda Secretary) and Tony Aidoo that those willing to resign from party should come and annouce their resignation in bulk "no big deal". It is within their constitutional rights to do so, and it is our right as party to continue with party affairs.

Our short democratic history should serve as a lesson to our current party officials. Before the 1996 election, NCP left the processive alliance made up of the NDC and EGLE party. It left with some leading members.The NDC won the 1996 elections with a wider margin than it did 1992. Before the 2000 elections, Dr Charles Wereko, a leading member of the NPP defected and formed his own party. The NPP defeated the NDC in that elections. Before 2004 elections Professor Wayo Seni, a vice chairman of the NPP resigned and later joined the NDC. The NPP the government was re-elected for another term. History, according to wisemen, should serve as a lesson.

As a party our appeals should not be to the defectors. We should rather be appealing to the people Ghana to compare and contrast our government and policies to those of the ruling government. The NDC should be on the offensive. There are very important national issues the party could use to clinch power in 2008. Many of them as a result of government mistakes and corruptions. Why should the NDC spend most of it time talking our defectors when an NPP member of parliament is sitting in the United States jail facing charges of drug trafficking? Why should the NDC talk so much of defectors when foreign companies in Germany and Finland are facing charges for bribing Ghanaian public officials? Why should the NDC make so much of defectors when a Minister in the NPP government is facing judicial enquiry and he is still holding office? The party should spend most of it time and energy talking and informing Ghanaians about failures of this government, and how they are leading our country to ransom. The NDC should move from being defensive to being offensive. For politics, in the words of famous Germany political philosophy Carl Von Clausewitz, is war though other means. The best way to defend yourself in such a duel is to attack your opponents until they submit to your will.

Welland, Ontario.

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