By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The internal crisis facing the NDC has now reached a ridiculously harmful level. Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings is claiming the ownership of the NDC’s logo and has written to warn the party’s leaders not to use that logo for their political activities. She is all out to behead the NDC!!
She hasn’t indicated what she wants to use that logo for or how she intends to preserve it. Probably, as a memento to remind her of the art classes that she took at the then University of Science and Technology, Kumasi?
In any case, her demand is not only weird but it is also mind-boggling for whatever dire consequences it may have for the NDC and its place in our democratization process. One needs no reminder that the NDC is a formidable political force whose contributions have helped define our democratization, and anything that destroys it will have a far-reaching effect on it. Let its opponents sing “Halleluia” but there is a price to pay.
That is why it is important for the political parties constituting the wheel on which our democracy runs to be properly managed and taken beyond the deplorable point of personality cult and stringent control by individual financiers or power brokers. If we allow our political parties to be “possessed” by such characters, they will not be viable enough to carry the burden that our democracy has imposed on them. Nana Konadu’s destructive machinations are a clear pointer.
She may be embarking on a vengeful and spiteful course, but her actions must teach us useful lessons. Our political parties are the engine of growth of our democracy and must be managed as serious corporate entities that no single individual member should be allowed to tuck under his/her armpit.
Let me indulge in some speculative work here to probe Nana Konadu’s reasoning for this latest twist to her revenge against the very political party that has made her who she is—and which she is undercutting for reasons best known to her and us too:
“Give me my logo and let me do whatever I wish with it. Without this logo, the NDC couldn’t have stood the test of time in the rough seas of Ghana politics. This logo is my brain-child; I own it and don’t want you to use it for your purposes. If you reject me, why should you accept my product and use it without recourse to my political interests?”
Certainly, a party’s public image is reflected by its logo and what it represents. The spirit behind the party is housed in that logo and its praises sung in the slogans and party anthem to win public trust and goodwill.
As a corporate entity, a political party cannot be said to belong to any individual. That party’s image and property (moveable or immoveable) must be deemed to belong to the corporate entity that the party is as registered. Why will one person lay claim to vital paraphernalia of the party?
Nana Konadu’s demand reinforces the Rawlingses’ claim that the NDC is their brainchild to be possessed by them and used to achieve their political objectives. Those who have thought otherwise and succeeded in preventing them from tucking the NDC under their armpits seem to have underrated the power of the Rawlingses to cause havoc at will.
This demand for the party’s logo is motivated by an implacable anger and irresistible urge to avenge the humiliation to which the Rawlingses think they have been subjected. The time seems to be ripe for them to strip the party of its paraphernalia, starting with this imposing logo, which is the bulwark of the NDC’s public image and the force behind the slogan “Eye Zu, Eye Za.”
If the umbrella is torn away from the NDC, what will become of it? It seems Nana Konadu is on a war path to dismember the NDC. What does she hope to gain, anyway?
I have said it several times already, and will continue to do so, that that the Rawlingses pose a serious danger to our democracy at several levels. What Nana Konadu has begun is designed to torpedo the NDC just because she can’t any more use it to advance her own political ambitions. Surely, she is the woman that one must feel reluctant to deal with. So full of her own political ambitions—and taking an implacable offence for being thwarted—she is now like a raging bull on the rampage to gore anybody or anything in its path. And when a cow behaves like a bull, there must be a lot wrong!!
Why is she claiming that logo now? Again, what does she intend to do with that logo to further her political ambitions? Can’t she promote her own political interests with any other logo than what the NDC is using?
There are many more questions: Does Nana Konadu really have any proprietary right (patented or copyrighted) for that logo? If she does, then, her demand may have some weight even though it will definitely lead to a legal tussle to dampen the spirit of the party’s followers. If she hasn’t, then, her demand will not be met and she can choose to do anything else she has up her sleeves.
In the end, what will the NDC lose without that logo? Produce a new one, re-design and re-engineer itself to be recognized as a new NDC by the electorate? Or will the party’s leaders simply call Nana Konadu’s bluff and let her go and burn the sea in protest?
We can see many twists and turns already. First, Nana Konadu’s demand may be the inkling we need to know that she intends to use that logo for other purposes, probably, to form a political party with which to pursue her ambitions. Time is of the essence for her in this case. Second, it may help us know that she is on a course to destroy the NDC at various levels, which will definitely not be strange because that is what she has been doing ever since she decided to toe a different line. At least, that is what she has given us to see for some time now.
The long and short of all that she has embarked on is to actualize a morbid desire to worsen the internal crisis of the party and, thereby, hold the government to ransom. Probably, she is using this logo as her trump-card to force the party and the government to bend to her deeper-level demands. This is one possibility that will further aggravate the situation if heeded.
We are too familiar with factionalism in the party and the forces behind it not to know at this stage what the rationale behind this head-butting is. But the overarching question is: Are these people destroying the NDC from within doing so to sink together? If not, why are they bringing the roof down on themselves? Or have some found an escape route to avoid being crushed by their destructive acts?
The problem worsens by the day despite efforts by some outsiders to help solve the party’s internal crisis. The recent manouevres by a group of chiefs from the Volta Region comes to mind. Even before their peace-brokering initiative could gain momentum, unguarded utterances from some who claimed to be privy to the discussion at that meeting threw everything out of gear. I recall Michael Teye Nyaunu’s misguided utterances that the Spokesman of the Rawlingses denied. But some harm had already been done to deepen the gulf.
The NDC’s internal crisis is definitely proving to be insurmountable for several reasons, the most important of which is the inability of the main players to accept that they are the problems to be solved. It is they who are the real problem in and for the party. These individuals include the leaders of the party and their followers—as individual politicians who are fixated on the pursuit of selfish, parochial but vested personal interests, using their sphere of influence in the party for that purpose.
Some can also be identified as groups of people bound together by common interests that they can achieve only under the aegis of the party; hence, their manouevres to have a stranglehold on the party for that matter. Either collectively or in tandem with like-minded people in the workings of the party, these elements have entrenched their positions and engaged in acts detrimental to the general wellbeing of the party and the government it has given birth to.
Names will be mentioned. First on the list is former President Rawlings, the so-called father and founder of the party whose persistent ranting has become the hallmark of the internal crisis. Rawlings’ trademark vilifying labels—“Greedy Bastards,” “Who Born Dog,” and “Atta Mortuaryman”—give a glimpse into the problem that he is to the party and the government.
Characteristically, Rawlings hasn’t made any secret of why he is not in favour of the government. He is all too embittered for several reasons, the most obvious of which is his claim that President Mills has refused to heed his advice on how to deal severely with members of the Kufuor government whom he has accused of committing atrocious acts of corruption and deserve nothing but stiff punishment. President Mills will have none of that, sending Rawlings on a nosedive into mudslinging and accusing the Mills government of being equally corrupt.
Were the problem to end with Rawlings alone, the story would have been different. It didn’t. Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has turned out to be another headache. Thus, the two Rawlingses have combined to present the NDC (as a party and the government in power) a major conundrum that has so roughly rocked its boat as to threaten its very survival.
Nana Konadu is a peculiar problem because of her insatiable appetite for political office. We know her behind-the-scene manouevres that culminated in the Sunyani Congress whose outcome rent her into ugly ribbons of sharp disappointment, disillusionment, embitterment, disaffection, and revenge. Having had her political ambitions to bear the NDC’s flag at the December elections shredded, she is in no mood to be on the same page with those in the party and government whom she fingers as her “enemies.”
The combined forces that the Rawlingses have arrayed against the NDC faction rooting for President Mills are designed to cause havoc, and havoc they will cause, at least, as we can infer from what has begun unfolding.
The list also includes President Mills and his followers (both in the party and government), especially those who have openly come out to condemn the Rawlingses. Lack of commitment, mutual suspicion, and an unforgiving spirit seem to have taken the better part of some. Internal problems can’t be solved when the main characters adopt hardline positions.
The battle lines have been drawn and crossed; the crisis point has been reached; and the actions continue to unfold with varying degrees of excitement, incitement, and anxiety. Now, what we have begun seeing is the near-climactic aspect of the drama (not a point of resolution in the NDC’s case) before the denouement.
Very intriguing moments are in the offing. Who else will come forward to demand his or her pound of flesh from the NDC? Nana Konadu has set the pace to dismember the party, and I won't be surprised if her husband follows suit to demand that the very name of the party be given to him as his coinage.
Property-owning has now been taken to a whole new sordid level by the very people who claim to detest property-owning, the very people whose reign of terror gave Ghanaians the most dreadful experience of ruthlessness against property owning. Having turned full circle thereafter to hanker after material gains themselves, it is now time for them to direct their venom at their own party to strip it of its paraphernalia for possession. That is what happens when people pretend to be more Catholic than the Pope.
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