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Opinions of Saturday, 28 November 2015

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.

This kind of rogue politics by the NPP MPs won’t fly

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Folks, I know that the NPP’s kind of anachronistic politics is best practised with a huge dose of roguery and useless book-long. And you know it too. It is the kind of politics that thrives on feelings of some stinking superiority, obtuse self-righteousness, absolute disregard for dissension, physical acts of intimidation, misguided ethnocentricism, and verbal attacks on just anybody perceived as a threat to their kind of political grandstanding and bombast.
What we see happening now to destroy their foundation is the boomerang effect of such tendencies. And they seem not to be satisfied with the extent to which they are shooting themselves in the foot and are adding more to their plate of woes. No day passes by without their doing and saying things to deepen their internal crisis. Yet, they claim to be “interrectuals”. Yes, “interrectuals” they may be; but productive politicians they are not.
We see them criss-crossing the political landscape, making all kinds of annoying utterances and frightening the citizens with their blood-letting instincts. Why can’t they do genuine politics without preaching violence if their demands are not met? Why can’t they descend from their high horses of self-importance to do politics in a more congenial manner than always seeking to put their parochial interests (“We want power” as wailed by J.H. Mensah) above all others for the good of Ghana?
The other day, it was their street demonstrations; yesterday, it was their troubles at their party’s national headquarters; today, it is their MPs who are refusing to act responsibly in Parliament; tomorrow, it will be another street demonstration to protest at whatever they dream of as inimical to their quest for political power!! Why are these NPP people so wrapped up in themselves?
In view of what their MPs have chosen to do, I want to take them on; and I will do so without any fear of anything or anybody. Once I know them for what they are, I am prepared for them. Here we go, then.
No sane politician will do what these NPP neophyte politicians are using their presence in Parliament to do in the vain hope of undermining the Presidency or appealing to anybody's conscience to make the country ungovernable for President Mahama's administration.
Every sane Ghanaian will expect MPs to act responsibly and contribute their quota toward nation-building. MPs are where they are because our democracy enjoins the electorate to put them there to do specific assignments.
We have over the years condemned our MPs for various reasons, especially their not performing well yet seeking the best slice of the national cake to enjoy. Some of them have even gone out of their way to do criminal acts that dented Parliament's image; but they haven't been punished because of the weaknesses in our system.
We know why our Parliament is the weakest link in our democracy. In revealing one aspect of that weakness, President Mahama recently pinpointed taunts by the NPP MPs and leaders about his government's contracting loans, querying him as to how the loans came about and how they were spent.
President Mahama wondered why they would go that way, especially when all the loan requests made by his government were laid before Parliament, deliberated on by MPs and approved with their conviction that everything necessary had been done to warrant the loans. He questioned why the NPP MPs would turn round to behave as if they had no hand in the matter. Thus, he returned their taunts, asking them if they were sleeping during the proceedings leading to the approval of the loan requests. Nothing wrong about that wisecrack, one may say.
Not so for the NPP MPs who have been spoiling all this while for a fight with President Mahama. As if looking for a spark of that sort to cry "Fire!! Fire on the mountain!!", the NPP MPs have gone "mad" and are fuming, frothing at the mouth, and flexing muscles needlessly. They have already written a letter of complaint to the Speaker of Parliament, alleging that President Mahama had insulted them. Without even waiting for the Speaker to act on their cry-baby antics, they have chosen to do things to confirm their notoriety.
They seem to have graduated from boycotts to something weird. This time, they have chosen to abstain from proceedings in Parliament, thinking that it will be a good move to frustrate President Mahama's administration. They think they are paying him back in their own kind of coin. Hoodoo!!
The news reports make it clear what they have up their sleeves: "Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have begun withdrawing cooperation from the Majority in Parliament as a protest to President John Mahama’s comments that they are sleeping on the job." (See…/Minority-paying-Mahama-back-over-…)
They absented themselves from Parliament when the government's budget statement was to be debated.
This kind of childishness won't add any political capital to the NPP. It will rather annoy the electorate and prepare them for Election 2016 to teach them a bitter lesson. After all, these NPP MPs were not elected to serve the Presidency or to lock horns with it but to cooperate in all ways possible to improve governance and ensure that the citizens' needs are met.
If abstention from important national assignments on the slim and porous beef of being insulted by the President is their political weapon, they are plainly stupid. What is the connection between their being insulted and their refusing to do the national assignments for which they were placed in Parliament? Are they in Parliament because of President Mahama? How do these NPP MPs think at all?
I wish it would be possible to punish them. If it is possible for their salaries and allowances to be withheld or curtailed for the period that they refuse to do assignments, the government must go ahead to do so. President Mahama must not bow to their kind of pressure; he shouldn’t apologize to them either because they have said worse things about him than he has done to them. If they have a light skin and cannot take insults, they should learn not to hurl insults at others, especially the President, the Number One Citizen of Ghana. What makes them think that they can insult at will and not be insulted in turn if need be? As Peter Tosh puts it, if you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones; and if you can’t take blows, don’t throw blows!!
By choosing to intensify their rogue politics this way, they come across as petty, ill-tempered, uncultivated, and misguided. They don't deserve anybody's respect. By this unconscionable conduct alone, they are preparing the grounds for their own doom, especially when the citizens decide to act—and they will act appropriately. The clock is ticking for such idle-hands and trouble makers masquerading as MPs to be taken on. Useless people!!
I shall return…
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