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Opinions of Monday, 11 April 2011

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

The NDC Congress: Let Us Wish Them Well

By Alex Bossman Baafi

At long last, The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had settled on an early congress to choose its flag-bearer for the 2012 General Elections. The all-important event had been slated for July 8-10, this year in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Capital. As part of the congress, nominations will be opened from May 3 – 10 and National Executive Members who are interested to contest the flag-bearer position must resign their positions honorably at that fateful day of picking their nomination forms in accordance with the constitution of the ruling party.

For now, nobody can deny the fact that NDC is in divisional crisis. Observers believe that there is a huge symmetrical deep crack with former president Rawlings and President Mills on each side of the divide such that all that the good people of the country could do is to wish NDC all the best in their impending congress. Whatever would be the outcome, the party must make sure to emerge stronger after the congress when the delegates finally settle on their choice in the interest of the party and the country.

In my humble opinion, if all that we read and hear from the media is anything to go by, the elders of the party has a herculean task on their hands to bring unity before, during and after the congress if the party is to remain formidable force to retain power in the 2012 General Elections. The feud between president Mills and his former boss is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in the faces of all NDC sympathizers.

The NDC party is at a cross roads, former president Rawlings had made his intention clear that should president mills emerge the winner of the primaries, he (Mills) should not count on his (Rawling’s) support. It stands to reason that, as far as the founder of NDC is concerned, President Mills is a one-time president. If the president is fortunate to go unopposed, though unlikely, he will definitely miss the charismatic crowd-puller Rawlings during his campaign for the 2012 elections. Such a situation will prove very expensive for Mills and the NDC party because winning will definitely prove notoriously difficult. In my humble view, whoever discounts the contributions of the former president towards NDC’s quest of retaining power, all other things remaining the same, does so at the peril of the NDC. Probably the advantage for president Mills and the country will be the absence of interferences from Rawlings thereby given president Mills the peace of mind to concentrate on delivering his Better Ghana Agenda for the betterment of the country.

On the other side of the coin, If the wife of the former president , Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, braves the storm to pick her nomination forms, in whose interest would that be? As to whether she has the magic wand to beat the incumbent is not easy to predict but it will be very interesting match to watch. I believe that in the contemporarily NDC, the former president and his wife carry a lot of weight and are in touch with the party grassroots including the foot soldiers. Their popularity is the best because of the mass joblessness associated with the foot soldiers. This is part of the mediocre performance of the government according to critics of this Mills – Mahamma government. In view of this, if all things remain the same, it will not be surprised that Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, backed by the support of her able husband, can give president Mills a run for his money and could go ahead to carry the day.

Conversely, president Mills stands the better chance because he is flying on the wings of incumbency with government machinery and pecuniary advantages. Therefore, as the founder had alleged, ‘vote buying’ will definitively be the order of the day to the advantage of the president. Nevertheless, because sometimes money is not everything in politics, anything at all can happen making the situation very dicey. There is one thing that is certain though, and that is, the situation of the NDC could be likened to the proverbial bird “ASANTROFIE”. If you take it, you have a TABOO with you, if you leave it; you leave the best OPPORTUNITY in your life. The party indeed is at the crossroads and it is only UNITY that can change its destiny for the better. Whether Nana Konadu or president Mills wins, if they do not bury their differences before, during and after the Congress, then NDC is doomed for opposition in 2012, though my mouth is not a gun.

Personally, I believe the elders of the party have not done a good job for not finding it a duty to resolve the differences, whatever it takes, between president Mills and his former boss, J.J. Rawlings. As good citizens of this country, we could feel the adverse impact because the Better Ghana Agenda is becoming a mirage. President Mills is facing a leadership challenge because of a catalogue of charges. They include widespread corruption, incompetence, weak leadership, joblessness of the youth particularly, the party foot soldiers and the neglect of the NDC Party on whose ticket he rose to occupy the highest office of the land. His critics from his own party think that he is a liability and could pose a threat to the electoral fortunes of the party in 2012. In the wake of all these criticisms, the presidents’ ardent supporters believe he has done remarkably well within a little over two years in office and therefore deserves the second term.

As keen observers and stakeholders of the country, all that we can offer at this critical time of the nations’ political history is to wish NDC all the best in their endeavors.

Email: abkbossman@yahoo.co.uk