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Politics of Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Source: The Lead

NDC misses, Clend Sowu

Who bells the cat in the current inferno?

By The Lead analyst

Current happenings in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) makes the party miss the late Clend Mawuko Sowu so much.
At least if the old soldier was alive, he would have made the effort to call people to order and matters would not have gotten to the level they have gotten to now, threatening to destroy the party.
The former Minister for Works and Housing under former president Jerry Rawlings, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Anlo, and board chairman for Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) passed away on the morning of December 4 at a time he had been working so hard to bring peace into the party.
About two weeks before his death, Squadron Leader Sowu had told Dzifa Bampo on Joy fm that he would try and mediate in the seeming unrest in the party.
He continued that he was surprised some people had started arguing that someone was not the founder, or someone was not a true member of the NDC, revealing that the party was a conglomeration of three forces, namely, the Nkrumahists, the Danquah-Busia elements as well as the revolutionary cadres.
However, alas, the brave warrior who fears no one’s face succumbed to death and the aftermath of his demise has seen very unhealthy and unfortunate developments in the institution he had spent the better part of his adult years to help build.
It would now take someone with the bravery of Sowu, who is not compromised through overt or covert support for either of the factions, and is genuinely concerned about goings-on in the party to achieve any meaningful mediation.
Certainly the national, regional, and some of the constituency executives are already compromised through open or tacit support for either of the factions.
As for the national and regional executives, their decision to rush to the Castle to declare open support for President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills from the onset of these disagreements was what made them lose their moral influence with which they could have whipped people into line.
At the same time, some of them are also known for their open or covert support for the former First Family, and so any attempt by the national executives to call a truce at this time would be taken with a lot of suspicion.
The party’s parliamentary candidate for Nsuta-Kwamang in the 2008 elections Donkor Fuseini summed it up well when he accused the national executives of ineptitude.
"We have our founder, who is the heartbeat of the party and if you have the wife of the founder himself coming to contest the sitting president who is the leader of the party, it means there is something wrong with the executives," he told Joy fm.
Mr. Donkor believes the earlier the executives embarked on an exercise to bridge the gaps in the party, the better for the NDC.
"Even the mere fact that she (Nana Konadu) picks a form is an indictment on the national executives. It means they are not doing their work well," Mr. Fuseini stated.
Then currently, executives of all 10 regional branches with some constituencies have also thrown caution to the wind to declare support for President Mills’ 2012 bid as soon as former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings announced her resignation to contest the sitting president at the primaries.
It this action was immature, then the announcement by Kodjo Ade-Coker that he would lead a team to approach the former president to declare support for him as the founder and that he should talk his wife out of contesting the sitting president is so infantile.
Another point that is worth noting is the impatience with which the two camps are attacking and throwing mud at each other.
The Mills camp accuse the former president of letting loose ‘his boys’ to insult the president and some of his appointees, while the former president’s camp also accuses Prof. Mills and his appointees of back-stabbing.
In fact some of the innuendos and open insults are as divisive as they are unpalatable: for instance the outburst by Julius Debrah, Eastern Regional Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) that “some of us are not Zombies” is now being considered as an insult to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the revolution which gave birth to the party.
So petty was he on both Peace fm and Asempa fm that he even went on to insinuate about being better than a ‘small boy’ “who took a helicopter seat to his house to sit on” and that “we don’t have time for rubbish anymore.”
After these outbursts, Debrah apparently having realized the damage he had done himself, went on Joy fm and started asking for the national leadership to appeal to the former First Lady not to stand.
His earlier outbursts were in such a bad taste that one wonders if the conciliatory talks he engaged in on Joy fm would appease anybody.
Meanwhile, the president and his group also have their misgivings about comments the former first family and their supporters have made about them. And so these are two feuding factions in the same political party
FONKAR is the most accused in this, as they are accused of name-calling against the sitting president publicly. For instance FONKAR says Mills is an opportunist, reaping where he has not sown, he is a backstabber and so many unprintable things.
It is therefore necessary at this stage for those elders left in the party, I mean people like Issifu Ali, the former Chairman, founding members, representatives of some of the overseas branches, some of the old guards including members of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council who have not taken sides yet.
In addition to these groups, would be the leadership of the party in parliament, and those members who have not yet taken sides- who will have the respect of both factions.
Meanwhile if the tension in Accra is bad enough, then there must be great concern over what has been happening in the regions and constituency branches over the past one week.
It might even be necessary to dissolve the current inept NEC and form an interim one which will take charge of the party and steer the party out of turbulent waters.
In Ashanti Region, there are reported open brawls between supporters of the two leading personalities, President Mills and Mrs. Rawlings.
At this time, one thing the party would like to avoid is, heading the advice of some so-called leading journalists. They must begin to understand that there had been peace in NDC, at least after the departure of the Democratic Freedom Party, but as soon as some so-called senior journalists started aligning themselves with the NDC, all hell broke loose again.

In fact, not even during the time of Obed Asamoah did the party witness so much acrimony, and the earlier the elders of the party did something about it the better would it be for the party’s future.
The public ridicule party members face these days from opponents of the party is becoming too much to bear.
Squadron Leader Clend Mawuko Sowu, although you might be turning in your grave at this time, may the soil lie light on you. May you enjoy eternal peace from these earthly feuds, and may you rest in perfect peace.
Who will bells the cat?