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Opinions of Sunday, 30 August 2020

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Succeeding generations must know: How NDC founders disrupted Ghana’s forward march(I)

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In theory, a political party is a coalescence of diverse group of people who share same ideology with a consensus to work in valence towards election with a view to forming a government and implementing their manifesto promises to impact the lives of the masses.

Based on the extant definition of a political party, we can dare state that every recognised political party must have an explicit focus and direction.

In practice, therefore, in absence of clear focus and direction, a political party cannot be taken seriously in any sense.

It is, therefore, worthy to note that the widely recognised and dominant political traditions in Ghana have been the ‘Nkrumaists’ and the Danquah-Dombo-Busia.

Suffice it to stress that the phraseology, political tradition, is used as a descriptive label for a set of ideas and values about political parties in a democratic dispensation.

Political tradition, therefore, comprises the body of ideas that underpin the conduct of political parties.

In a historical perspective, the story is told, that the first political party formed in Ghana on 4th August 1947 was the United Gold Coast Convention(UGCC).

Indeed, it has been well-documented that the organisers of the UGCC generously extended an invitation to the equally intrepid and patriotic Dr Nkrumah in London to take an important role as the secretary of the organisation.

To his credit, and as expected of a true patriot, Dr Nkrumah of blessed memory graciously obliged and took the position.

But as it is with any other working team, unexpected dissonance ensued and the members, unfortunately, parted ways thereafter.

Subsequently, Dr Nkrumah, together with a few unhappy UGCC faithful broke away and formed the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) on 12th June 1949.

The other remaining members of the defunct UGCC then decided to form a new party which was called the United Party (UP).

Based on the obvious rich history of the Nkrumaists and the Danquah-Dombo-Busia traditions, the party faithful have the bragging rights about the authenticity of their respective ideologies.

Bizarrely, however, the supporters of the New Democratic Congress (NDC), a party that sprung out of a series of malicious coup d’états, have been parasitically holding on to the Nkrumaists tradition.

You may take my word for it, dearest reader that could never be right, because as far as Ghanaians are concerned, the NDC Party was founded on the ideals of coup-makers, who had no spelt out ideology back then.

The general belief amongst the vast majority of Ghanaians is that the coup makers bamboozled onto the scene out of envy and malice and nothing else.

The NDC faithful, so to speak, have over the years been hoodwinking and proselytising unsuspecting Ghanaians into believing that the NDC is a subsidiary of the Nkrumaists tradition. How possible?

The fact however remains that the NDC was founded on the ideals of coup making enthusiasts, who without doubt were novices in the political terrain.

Truth must be told, given the bizarre circumstances in which the NDC was formed, one would have expected a true probity, transparency and accountability within the elected NDC government, but that has never been the case.

The NDC’s founders bizarre posturing thus raises the crucial question as to how and why individuals go into politics.

We should, however, not lose sight of the fact that the reasons that inform individuals decision to enter into politics are multifaceted.

First and foremost, some people claim they go into politics for the love of their nation, and others just see power as an opportunity to amass wealth.

It is also believed that other people go into politics with a view to enjoying the power and satisfying their egos. Others are empowered by the convictions of political ideologies.

That being said, whatever their reasons for entering into politics, they, the manipulating and corrupt politicians have lost our respect, and, discerning citizens don’t trust them anymore.

Once upon a time, anyone elected as president, or gained a seat in parliament was looked up to and respected by all. But alas, this is not the case anymore.

How can we show deference to incompetent and corrupt politicians whose preoccupation is to create loot and share?

It would appear that some of the politicians do not care for the masses; they only scramble for power in order to pursue their vested interests.

There is no denying or hiding the fact that governance is a serious business and as such it requires forward thinking, serious and committed group of people to bring about the needed advancement.

Nevertheless, it has not always been the case in Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

The emergence of multi-party democracy has given birth to purposeful and maladaptive political parties.

It must, however, be noted that since regaining the independence from the British in 1957, the NDC tradition (PNDC and NDC) had governed the country more than any other government I can think of. In fact, that tradition had governed Ghana for approximately 27 years out of Ghana’s 63 years.

It is for this reason that some of us cannot get our heads around how and why some people would choose to bypass the worst culprit, the NDC for Ghana’s underdevelopment, and, would gleefully upbraid the likes of CPP, PNP, NLC, SMC, and NPP.

If we stroll down memory lane, the CPP tradition (CPP and PNP) governed the country for approximately 12 years.

Disappointingly, though, the last ‘Nkrumaists’ government formed by the PNP, and led by Dr Hilla Limann, was needlessly deposed by the founders of the NDC which was spearheaded by Ex-President J. J. Rawlings on 31st December 1981.

The military regimes of the NLC, SMC 1 and 2 ruled Ghana for approximately 10 years before the founders of the NDC revoltingly usurped power on 4th June 1979.

The UP tradition (PP and NPP) total share of the day-to-day management of the country is about 14 years to date.

In my humble opinion, in terms of useful infrastructural projects which put the country at a substantial and auspicious position, Dr Nkrumah’s CPP government did exceedingly better than any of the administrations that followed.

Even though Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government lasted for less than three years, he did his utmost best in terms of meaningful development.

The achievements of Busia's government include inter alia, the building of roads, housing, provision of healthcare facilities and water.

Besides, Dr Busia was the first Ghanaian leader to create a ministry responsible for rural development, a decision which was in consonance with his consuming desire to improving the socio-economic living standards of the rural dwellers (Daily Guide, 11/07/2013).

K. Badu, UK.