By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
February 23, 2011
The NDC’s chances of retaining political power will not come from the party’s swapping of horses midstream. They will come from a determined purposefulness to help President Mills move the country forward to win the goodwill of the electorate. That is why any attempt to discredit him (as has been happening) will not redound well to the NDC’s image or political fortunes. Jettisoning him will worsen the party’s plight. That is why Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings must stop flogging a dead political horse.
Viewed within the broad context of the NDC’s manifesto (couched under its ideology of “Social Democracy”), what about President Mills’ government runs counter to what Nana Konadu may be contemplating to usher in and for which she is feverishly positioning herself? Or what about the method of implementing this manifesto by President Mills so irks the Rawlingses as to energize them into mobilizing forces to undo the very party that they helped put in power? What do Nana Konadu and her backers uphold that President Mills and his “greedy bastards” (in Rawlings’ own words) do not?
I’ve asked these questions (and left many more unasked) for obvious reasons. From what has unfolded so far—and the many more that are yet to emerge—I can confidently say that the NDC seems to be heading toward an unplanned end to its hold on power if the ongoing machinations persist. Even before the 2012 elections take place, happenings within the NDC suggest that the party’s boat has been so badly rocked that unless common sense and honesty prevail, its sad end in power cannot be prevented.
I am certain that despite the disaffection among the so-called foot-soldiers and the genuine concern among Ghanaians that living conditions remain harsh under President Mills, the harm to destroy the NDC’s chances hasn’t yet been inflicted. A more dangerous move toward the party’s self-destruction is what Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has already initiated and taken to dizzying heights of over-ambitiousness. This kind of over-ambition has deadly consequences. She is determined to cause mayhem in the party as she insists on pitting herself against President Mills for the party’s flagbearership at a time when continuity is the best option.
The behind-the-scene manouevres to help her are undeniable, although she has still not openly confirmed them. She has chosen to play hide-and-seek with us; but we don’t need any divination to know what exactly she is up to and where she has reached so far in positioning herself for the bull-fighting. She was reported to have already informed the NDC’s National Executive Council of her intentions, although some in the NDC denied it. A Web site broadcasting her ambition has been created. Just a few days ago, the Daily Guide newspaper reported that she will officially launch her campaign on June 4, 2011, in Kumasi, where functionaries in the NDC Women’s branch in Kumasi Zongo have already openly rooted for her.
In all these happenings, Nana Konadu is working according to her secret agenda. She has remained taciturn, leaving the door to her house of ambitions open for anybody to look in. We have done so and seen where she stands. It is nothing to turn our crank because we know that she is not doing the NDC any good. The party cannot survive at the polls with her, no matter how visible she may think she is in Ghanaian politics. She will be no match for the NPP’s Akufo-Addo or any other Presidential Candidate worth our bother at the polls. What more does she need to be told before listening to reason?
I have already written about this issue but want to reiterate my concerns from another angle: Nana Konadu is carrying along with her the kind of baggage that will not appeal to the electorate. She shouldn’t deceive herself that her stature as the founder and leader of the 31st December Women’s Movement or as the former First Lady recommends her to the electorate. It doesn’t. Far from what she and her backers (especially the Friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, FONKAR) may be thumping their chests over, Ghanaians will not leave their destiny in her hands.
In critical times as we are in—and considering what is happening globally—Nana Konadu will not stand any chance of retaining the NDC in power. Political opponents and those in the NDC who have continued to sound this alarm bell will laugh all the way to the polling booth if she gets the nod to dislodge President Mills. They will vote down the NDC, knowing very well that Ghana deserves better.
Of course, some of the image problems that dogged Rawlings’ rule are still haunting the NDC. Under the Rawlings-led administration, the NDC’s agenda couldn’t be differentiated from that of its predecessor, the PNDC. Having been driven by the so-called mantra of “probity and accountability” (and registering itself as a military-backed brutal administration), the PNDC set the pace for what the NDC was to inherit. Although the military garb was shed off at the start of the constitutional democratic experiment, the very foundation of the Rawlings government and some methods of enunciating and implementing policies did not change drastically. Thus, some of the excesses that characterized the PNDC era were carried over into the 4th Republic.
The NDC government under Rawlings did its best but it will be better remembered by Rawlings’ singular personality, image, and “brutal honesty” than anything else, putting aside development projects and other noticeable accomplishments. A viable political system needs more than this “strong-man” mentality and image to move into a world that is running fast.
As we can see from the turbulence that has hit the Arab world, the persistent fixation of the NDC on the Rawlingses is a recipe for disaster. Memories of goings-on in the nearly two decades of Rawlings’ rule easily set up time-bombs that will explode with devastating repercussions for the party if Nana Konadu leads it. It is within this context that one has to be careful in doing what has the potential to cause harm, not do anybody any good. I insist that Nana Konadu is embarking on a fool’s errand that will hamstring the NDC and cut short its control of power.
Those of us who see things beyond the allure of the personality cult which seems to be driving Nana Konadu and her backers will insist that she is not what the NDC needs to ward off the NPP, especially. We will rather go for a President who eschews much of what our previous Heads of State are known for, and which hasn’t taken us anywhere. I have in mind the personality traits that clearly separate President Mills from all others.
We all know the depth of his self-denial, humility, and intellectual capabilities even though he may come across as too “slow” and uncharismatic. He may not be administering affairs in the fashion of “brute force” and browbeating as others are known for doing (and by which they are, unfortunately, judging him) but he isn’t a flop either to be pooh-poohed by the very people whose support he needs to succeed.
Continued in the next installment…