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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Columnist: Fuseini Abdul- fatawu

The NPP government must be watchful of its appointed MMDCE's

It is often said that anyone who doesn't learn from history is bound to repeat mistakes that will give him/her unending problems. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) after been in opposition for eight good and long years is currently in government after "cruising comfortably to victory" after the 2016 elections. The party is to manage the affairs of Ghana for four years and ask Ghanaians for a renewal of their mandate in December 2020. Ghanaians will then judge them based on their ability to deliver unto their promises.

Before Ghanaians talk in 2020, operatives of the party, be it their polling station or constituency executives, area coordinators or regional/national executives will have to sell the good policies of the party to the good people of Ghana. They may not be paid a penny in doing that but they'll end up doing it for the love of their party and government. They may end up doing it for the love of their country. That's their role and they always love to spread it faster through any media and medium they find convenient.

Under the NPP 1 of former president Kuffuor, some of these gallant party soldiers complained of being abandoned and neglected. They saw themselves thrown faraway from the government they suffered to bring in after three decades of being in opposition. They complained but it seemed their cries were not heard. They wept but there wasn't any sympathetic hand to wipe their tears and console them. Everyone who thinks him/herself big in the party was satisfied with his/her own actions and position.

Our soldiers lost hope. They were ridiculed and mocked by our rivals. They were insulted by the daily arrogance of the government appointees especially the MMDCE's. They became frustrated and dejected. They lost their voices and passion. They are humans, they couldn't contain it for long. In this situation and in their pain, dejection, frustrations and rejections, some of these gallant soldiers joined our rivals in the NDC. Some saw it so demeaning to join the or any other party so they refused to campaign for us. Others kept their quiet and waited to revenge at their right time. When the time for voting came, despite several pleadings from our elders, some voted against us and others refused to vote. They stayed at their homes and we lost the 2008 elections after two/three rounds.

We started life in another opposition in 2009 and this time, the NDC planned to deal 'very well ' with the NPP. They promised their footsoldiers that a lot of NPP leading members will be imprisoned. The NDC really tried to fulfill these desire of theirs but the gallant soldiers of the NPP wouldn't shake. They stood by their party folk,defended them everywhere they go, followed them to their court sessions and some even contributed some monies to help these NPP leaders against the then NDC government's desperation in prosecuting and imprisoning them. They did this knowing that it's very dangerous and that the very people they are suffering to defend never supported them whilst they were in government and never thought of helping them. But they see them as their own and thought that given a second chance,some of these people will change. They felt that even if these people aren't given a second chance, others who will take over from them will learn from their predecessors and treat them better. But that unfortunately is our current challenge.

The current NPP government started very well with the appointment of its Ministers and Presidential Staffers. With the exception of some very few cases, majority of the appointments were very well received by the party faithfuls and Ghanaians in general. A lot of people who suffered enough for the party whilst at the same time competent enough were given suitable appointments. The problem then came with the appointment of the MMDCE's. The truth is that the MMDCE's are always more closer to the people than any other government appointee and as such party faithfuls take keen interest in their appointments. It is therefore of no surprise that there's still so much noise about the appointment of some MMDCE's.

A lot of effort, pleas and negotiations were made before some MMDCE's were approved. Truth be told, some of the appointed MMDCE's are so uncaring, cunning, corrupt, divisive and lacked true party(NPP) values. Thus, I must sadly admit that, massaging people and thereby ensuring such appointees were approved meant that we're admitting putting those districts or municipalities on a death trap. It's more like the government doesn't wish those districts well. A very sad situation I must once again painfully admit.

Somehow, we thought that despite several misgivings about some of these appointees, they would have advised themselves and perhaps changed for the better. But that isn't the case. Some of the appointees have grown so arrogant and pompous in less than six months of their appointments. They refuse picking calls of party members and never make an effort to call back. When government social intervention policies forms are given out, they hoard it from party members including constituency executives and give it to people of their choices. They never appreciated the efforts of party members and were bold enough to tell some party members they'll die of hunger as far as they're in control of affairs. There's a case of an appointee in my region, the Upper West Region, who with the support of the incumbent NPP MP, hoarded forms meant for government's "Planting for Food and Jobs". Unfortunately for him, the forms became public knowledge and people went to the District Agric Office for late registration. Others also had it through the constituency executives and other benevolent individuals. Similarly, forms meant for school feeding programmes are currently being hoarded from party members. A party member who suffered to campaign and bring this party into government is all of a sudden told he/she must belong to a certain faction before he/she can get the form to buy. Fiancees of government appointees who didn't contribute a penny to the campaign and were never interested in the success or otherwise of the party during the 2012/2016 elections are those who are given assurances of getting schools of their choices under the school feeding programme. Polling station women organisers who are very qualified and capable, who have applied for zoomlion work are sidelined, rejected and abandoned. They are denied the school feeding and are also denied "common" zoomlion work. Sadly, like in the past, nobody cares and nobody seems to be interested in helping the helpless party folks who are suffering from the aggression of perhaps, HEARTLESS government appointed MMDCE's. Nobody wants to wipe their tears for them.

There is a lot going on and there's a lot to say. The NPP as a party in government desiring to retain power in 2020 must call a lot of its appointees to order. It's early days yet but the head of the snake must be cut whilst it's young, as our elders will say. There too much arrogance, divisiveness, wickedness and slander at the various MMDA's. The government and the party must take charge and correct this canker. I'm interested in seeing the NPP being in government for 32years or more but our actions and the action of our leadership must justify it.