Opinions Mon, 25 Sep 2006
Dr. Edward Mahama and Prof. Dowuona are to blame..Ghana’s democracy is one of the best managed in Africa and yet Ghanaians are still waiting to experience the full benefits of good governance due to the consolidation of power in the hands of two key political parties. Many prominent Ghanaians have spoken /written on the need for a third force- a party that can rival the NPP and NDC and play a more influential role our democracy.
At the end of the last election in 2004, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya of the NDC stated on receiving the news from a number of polling stations that he was worried about Ghana’s democracy because the smaller parties were not winning enough votes to swing the election. This statement was a very important observation because it went beyond his immediate desire for the NDC to get back to power. For me it was about the need for a strong opposition capable of holding the government of the day accountable.
Alhaji Hudu Yahaya was undeniably right, but everyone knows that the NDC was instrumental in minimizing the role of the smaller parties, by its mechanism designed in 1991 /1992 to kill-off any viable alternative to NDC- including outlawing the use of the name ‘CPP’. The scheme failed to weaken the NPP, but completely frustrated and weakened the Nkrumaist tradition. Although it was good at the time for the NDC, the negative effect of the scheme hit home in 2004, as manifested in Alhaji Hudu Yahaya’s comment.
In the 1990s, the opposition NPP and small parties were not effective against the NDC and today the NDC (alone) has no power to nullify any adverse policies being pursued by the ruling Government. Ghana is more likely to be governed alternately by these two parties, who are becoming narrow-mined unless a third force is created to pressurise them into widening the latitude of their views on governance in Ghana.
In my opinion, the lack of a strong third force is due to the disunity among the Nkrumaists. Unfortunately, many of the articles on the disunity among the Nkrumaist have been very general with no direct reference to personalities within the Nkrumaist groups who hold some of the important cards required to transform these small groups into a third force. This short article sends a direct message to Dr. Edward Mahama, and Professor Nii Noi Dowuona, who have been at the fore of the PNC and CPP for a considerable period of time now.
I believe that both Dr. Edward Mahama and Professor Dowuona have qualities to lead the Nkrumaist to achieve great things for Ghana, but have been wasting their intelligence and resources. As leaders, these two personalities are to blame for the current state of things in the Nkrumaist camp. Both have been in responsible positions since the mid 1990s and should have pushed for a united party at least in the 2000 election but they failed. Prof. Dowuona does not appear to be interested in political leadership, ( which astonishes me) but Dr. Mahama has been a presidential candidate on many occasions but has never gone beyond 3 %. What surprises me is that both men don’t seem to realise that they can NEVER WIN an election in Ghana unless they are united. I always wonder whether they are really serious about their rhetoric of “…..we are going to win the election” . Can’t they see that it is not possible?
I have come to the conclusion that both Dr. Edward Mahama and Prof Nii Dowouna are comfortable sitting in opposition rather fight to serve in Government and contribute to strengthening both their parties and our democracy.
Unfortunately, this is a case of wasting quality human capital (two great minds, with enviable qualities being under-utilized )……… they have been ‘sitting’ for about 10 years now doing nothing, except matching in the same spot and digging remarkably big gullies with their shoes.
The one other thing that their lack of political will has achieved is that some very powerful / capable people like John Ndebugre, Kwesi Pratt, Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, etc who could make a difference in Government are wasting their brains. In parliament today, Dr. Ndoum, Ndebugre and others are no formidable opposition and can never be a formidable opposition, because they are isolated in ‘their pockets of no power. They are like the 46th Chromosome on a developing foetus, which should have been a positive thing but rather causes serious developmental abnormalities in the new baby. Both PNC and CPP parliamentarians are a real waste at this time. I pity those parliamentarians because the Nkrumaists saw the problem after the 2000 election and yet repeated the mistake in 2004.
I have seen John Ndebugre in political life. He was one great doer of what he said he would do, but believe me, John Ndebugre will never again have opportunity to be in government unless the CPP and PNC unite. How long can you bear to sit in opposition where you have no influence on what the government is doing? Is that all the Nkrumaists are capable of achieving? Dr. Mahama and Prof Dowuona, your ideas and works are not impacting on the lives of Ghanaians in any meaningful way. Are you satisfied? Ghana needs a strong third Party.
It is high time that Dr. Edward Mahama and Prof Nii Noi Dowuona and now Dr. Edmund Delle woke up to the indisputable reality that they can never have an impact on our national political landscape unless they unite. If the PNC and CPP don’t unite, they are just going to continue wasting personal and community resources for another decade until all of them pass away and their works will be like history written on water- fades away as if it never happened. Any one of you can become president of Ghana, but you have to accept to be patient and to work towards it. For me, I would be happy to see a strong Nkrumahist party that is not only that capable of holding the balance of power and making any ruling government (NPP or NDC) become more accountable to Ghana, but capable of winning an election. Believe me, Drs Delle, Mahama, Dowuona, Ndoum, you can never do this unless you come together. Your disunity is only denying Ghanaians their right to good governance.
If our democracy is to be propelled to a stage where the ruling governments will become proactively responsible, then we will need a third force that possesses at least ‘one of the Aces’ in our political card game.
Columnist: Kuyini, Ahmed Bawa