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Opinions of Thursday, 10 August 2006

Columnist: Kwaning, Martin

The Disenchanted NPP Supporters

The recent increases in petroleum products and it’s associated reactions from some members of the ruling party and the general public demand a” new chapter of thinking” from the NPP.

Talk to many people in the field of energy and will confirm that with the current situation in the Middle East, there is nothing much the Government can do but to increase prices of petroleum products to conform to world market prices. It is, admittedly, a difficult situation that the NPP government finds itself and care must be taken in order not to dislocate the economy.

Seriously speaking, things are going to be more difficult in the days ahead if the Middle East and Iraq crises continue. Increases in the prices of petroleum products have of late become a daily phenomenon in the world. .

It is huge dilemma for the government for either to abandon the provision of social amenities at the expense of halting the increases in petroleum prices. The consequences of failing to provide social amenities for the electorate will be undoubtedly catastrophic for the government to bear, hence, no option but to increase petroleum prices to fund the provision of basic needs.

All over the world people are obsess to change and Workers Union have consistently rebelled against any change that governments think is the solution for future difficulties.

There is no doubt that past government took “vote-winning strategy “at the expense of prudent economic measures. Unfortunately there are many Ghanaians who prefer a better life today than the benefits that a good policy brings in the near future; this myopic thinking is increasingly destroying Ghana’s economic potentials. Hence the government must be encouraged to continue to implement strategies that will alleviate our present unacceptable economic conditions. When former US President Bill Clinton signed the” Welfare to Work” policy many Americans rebelled against this policy but today the benefits are being hailed by all Americans.

But I must concede that some government officials are their own enemies, for some have contributed significantly to the current uproar raging in the country. A good politician is the one who will be proactive and adopt strategy that will make the people /voters stick to you even in the face of harsh economic conditions. The allege defection of some NPP members to the DFP and the recent outburst by an NPP member in the Volta Region attacking President Kufour of neglect (I do not agree with him though) are but symptoms of disillusioned members whom all things must be done to address their concern.

Regrettably, some government officials and Party Executives have totally or partially neglected the foot soldiers and some members in the grass root, many MPs have neither email nor offices in the constituency for the people to be touch with them, they have virtually abandon the people and will only come to them during elections, and you expect the people to fight for you during hard economic decisions? When you have District Chief Executives (DCEs) who are not in good terms with MPs, and even Constituencies Executives and vice versa, how do you expect the foot soldiers to be united and fight for you in the midst of disunity? When the electorate perceived you as arrogant and living extravagant life style and not coming to their level, no good policies will they embrace and when the people feel that your posture has serve as a barrier, they will never have sympathy for you when the public is bashing you.

Look at the number of names that are been bounded around as Presidential Candidates-too many. It is very sad that some have failed to do a proper market research about their suitability for the Highest Office of the land. It saddens me that those respected NPP members have failed to analysis the negative impart of these many personalities vying for the Presidency- it brings about disunity which is totally unconducive to the current high political temperature facing the Party in the country.

A strategy accepted in 1992 and 1996 respectively cannot be accepted in our current political difficulties hence for Ministers to drive the foot soldiers and electorate behind them, they need to discard the idea that you can only serve your country through being a President. The idea that some of these respected Ministers cum Party Officials are vying for this position just in case they loose, they can catch the eyes of the eventual winner thereby giving them a Ministerial Position is totally naïve. I thought Alhaji Aliu Mahama nominating either Mr. Alan Kyeremateng or Mr Dan Botwe as his running mate, Nana Akuffo Addo choosing Malik Alhassan Yakubu as his running mate, and Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo choosing Prof.Mike Ocquaye could have be more than enough for the NPP unity, frankly it is a worryingly situation.

Am always astonished when I hear some so called politicians talk on radio or television; a good politician will not come on radio about an alleged assassination on his life (Tema incident), he report the whole situation to the police and he take extra protection, for when you accuse your own party members of an alleged attack and later found out to be a hoax you have invariably alienated many members from your side.

Frankly, I have lamented so much about the absence of good politicians in the country. A chief, or member of the public submits a petition or suggestion to a Minister or a DCE and they will virtually refuse to acknowledge receipt of he/her petition or suggestion and you expect the people to hailed you as a messiah?

The current economic” hurricane” facing the country greatly (ever before) demand that both Ministers, DCEs and party officials demonstrate the highest sense of humility, a desire to serve the people and a vocal signal that the emancipation of Ghanaians from their current economic deprivation is your priority. Ghanaians are by nature more accommodating and will surely appreciate the government difficulties if only they feel and realise that government officials think about them.

I have always maintained that if we consistently link ourselves to the electorate, come elections and not much money will be spent in wooing more people to your side.

The current political dynamics brewing all over the world on incumbent should serve as a wake-call to the NPP that, time should not be wasted in bringing all people back to the party. A time to act is now; a time to repair the broken home is now.



Martin Kwaning
Caernavon Close
Mitcham, Surrey
London, UK

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