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Opinions of Thursday, 14 July 2011

Columnist: Ofosu-Appiah, Ben

The NDC at a crossroad


With the NDC delegates conference
in Sunyani over and the endorsement of Attah
Mills peace is supposed to return to the party and all factions are supposed to
join hands, close ranks and work together in unity. However it is easier said
than done and it looks like it is not going to be easy to mend fences. The refusal
of Nana Konadu to concede defeat,
congratulate the winner, raise his hand, give a concession speech and pledge
support to Mills for the 2012 campaign is something that is going to hurt the
NDC as 2012 approaches. Nana Konadu should have been graceful in defeat and
Mills humble in victory.

Even with the contest over,
acrimonious statements are coming from both camps. It looks like the proxy war
is still on. FONKAR believes the process leading to the elections at congress
was not democratic enough and if the electoral college had been expanded to
give the grassroots supporters a voice Konadu would have won but it is worthy
of note that Rawlings did not allow the grassroots supporters to choose a
leader for the party when he imposed John Attah Mills on everyone through his
Koforidua declaration and religiously supported him for three consecutive
elections. Now it is ironical that the candidate he imposed on everyone refuses
to acknowledge him. Now Mills listens to everyone around him including the
Ahwois, and the octogenarian self
seeking and delusional politicians near him, and also the small boys and girls
but he stubbornly refuses to heed the advice of the person who picked him from
obscurity and single handedly made him who he is now.
Mills is not bound to take every
single advice of Jerry Rawlings but to be consistently and regularly ignored
even though the issues Rawlings is raising are relevant smacks of negligence
and arrogant display of power. Mills
said in Sunyani that the wheels of justice grinds slowly. It needs not. Has he
also heard that justice delayed is justice denied? A presidential term in Ghana is
four years and
does Mills need a reminder that he is already more than two and half years through
his term? There is no guarantee
that he will win a second term.
It is absolutely important that
Mills do everything within his power to accord the Rawlingses the necessary
recognition and reverence within the NDC fraternity. The NDC without Rawlings is
unattractive, it is just another political party. Rawlings is the conscience of
the NDC and the conscience of Ghana. The NDC is going to need his charismatic
appeal in the elections. He and his wife Nana Konadu already have the
grassroots support network NDC needs to prosecute election 2012 campaign.
Nobody in the NPP dared criticized the party when they were in power.
Rawlings criticizes his own party in
government. The party founded on the foundation and principles of social
justice, probity and accountability has been hijacked by a greedy gang worse
than the thieving cabal in the NPP.

The principles of probity and accountability
have been thrown out of the window, while the greedy gang are engaged in
property grabbing left, right and center and the president looks the other way.
Has the NDC turned into another property owning party like the NPP? You need a
strong leader who can uphold the
tenets of the party and the principles upon which it was built. Every
revolutionary party needs a strong leadership to keep everyone in line. After
the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had to work hard to keep everyone
in line to prevent fellow revolutionaries from looting the very spoils they had

Without such strong leadership based on
principles, the NDC is a cabal of team B
players, hampers and tractor thieves, gap toothed overnight millionaires,
incompetent academics, dark faced mansion building self seekers, septuagenarian
and octogenarian senile demented players coming back to loot one last time,
fat 4x4 driving clueless boys and girls.
The contest in 2012 is going to be between two equally corrupt political
parties competing for the spoils to demonstrate who can loot the nation more.
The NDC without the Rawlingses, trust me, is worst than the other parties. What’s
the point in buying a hunting dog if it can’t chase, nor catch a prey. You must as
well buy a sheep. The two leading
political parties are playing watch my back and I watch your back, chop and let
me chop small. I am deeply disturbed that nobody is fighting for the common man
in the streets. With the NDC haven lost its conscience there is no political
party to fight for the common man in Ghana.

It is never true that all we need
is another political party, an alternative bunch of suit wearers in a tropical
hot and steamy weather, a bunch of plane hopping conference attending, talk big
do nothing ministers. Do you think all we fought for is to have another NPP? In
every house you need a conscience. A
friend put it this way: a Ghanaian who knows nothing about truthful living will
rob a robber he has just arrested. It
looks like the lessons of elections 2008 have been lost on the NDC so soon. Le
no one be fooled by the crowds that meet the president when he travels. They
are all staged. Big crowds, singing and dancing crowds do not win elections anyway.
If you doubt this ask Nana Akuffo-Addo. You can always assemble those crowds with
money and the trappings of
power. Have you forgotten about the Kasoa NPP rally in 2008?

If the NDC manages to win 2012
(doubtful without the Rawlingses) then the party would have come out of all
this stronger but if it loses it will be weakened beyond rebuilding and might
be confined to opposition forever. All these people calling the shots now will
take their loot somewhere to enjoy and will forget about rebuilding the party. It
is up to Mills to reach out to all and unite the party but so far his lethargic
leadership style does not give much to hope for. All that this president has been
doing is cutting sod after sod but nothing concrete happens after that.

Ben Ofosu-Appiah
Tokyo, JAPAN.
The author is a senior political and
social analyst and also a policy strategist based in Tokyo. He welcomes your
comments; Send your comments to;