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Opinions Thu, 18 Dec 2014

Re: NDC members blaming me for Gov’t’s failures – Kwabena Adjei

• Does anyone know what constitutional amendments are for Congress?

• Ken Dzirasah’s ambush again?

• Political entities are not grown this way!

Please grant me the space to respond to Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Mr. Asiedu Nketia, Yaw Boateng Gyan, and the loudmouth-dwarf-propagandist, Miss Anita Desooso. I wish to point out why they cannot escape blame for the tensions that have erupted between government and footsoldiers of the NDC since the NDC’s assumption of office in 2009.

The centrality of political parties as vehicles for the attainment of political power remains undisputed. From the mobilization of supporters to the fielding of candidates for the contest of elections, political parties remain instrumental in the life of any political organization, entity, or nation. It is for this reason that a well-managed political party is an asset not only to its aficionados but also a pillar on which a nation and a political entity can rest its hopes and fortunes. If the internal intrigues of a political party are healthy, they promote healthy outcomes which invariably benefit a nation and consequently its members. On the other hand, if the obverse is the case, where the internal dynamics of the party are counterproductive, the party suffers and the nation or political entity in question suffers accordingly.

The above observation is so true that, even a well-organized party in opposition is not only a party- in-the-waiting to form a government but it also provides the necessary safeguards that keep a government on its toes. And, by keeping a government on its toes, the excesses of political power are curtailed. For a ruling government, there is a symbiotic relationship between it and the political party that gave birth to it. This relationship is analogous to the relationship between a mother and the unborn baby. Just like the biotic process of gestation, dynamics within party structures, when properly managed sustains government; otherwise, the unborn baby is jettison in a miscarriage.

It is for the above reasons that the internal dynamics of any political party, either in government as a pregnant mother or in opposition as a bride waiting to pick that precious seed of the people, portends its future.

With that said, I am unconvinced that Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Yaw Boateng Gyan, and the dwarf-propagandist, Anita Desosoo, have provided the kind of leadership that should serve to connect government, the party and electorates, as a midwife would intercede in the complex relationships between the mother, the unborn, and the father-to-be, in ways that all sides view each other as partners with a common interest. What we have seen in the last few years is a complete disconnect between government and its stakeholders, especially the mammoth number of our grassroots supporters.

For a political party that prides itself as a grassroots entity, discontent, disconnection, and disaffection among its grassroots must be of utmost concern to its leadership. Some of us have been deeply concerned about the contentious relationship that has characterized the relationship between the NDC government and its grassroots, especially in matters where selecting representatives for the various constituencies and offices are concerned. I personally feel that any time there is a foot soldier uprising against the government, it does not only disrupt the smooth functioning of state machinery, for which all Ghanaians who are not NDC members equally pay a price, but it also demonstrates a tragic communication failure within the NDC party structures.

Even though Mr. Nketia and his cohorts are known to have led our collective efforts in bringing the NDC party back into office in 2009 and has successfully led the party in retaining power in 2012, it is sadly clear that they have failed to pay critical attention to the unhealthy internal dynamics of the party in keeping with changes that are required to grow a political organization like the NDC.

It is interesting that a few days ago, Mr. Nketia was congratulating Mr. Linus Njonolah, the NDC member who litigated against the NDC in court and won an out-of-court settlement with the party. The issues that led Mr. Njonolah to court are just a microcosm of the larger party transformations we seek to make the NDC a thriving party. Could the court case have been avoided if Mr. Nketia and his cohorts were on top of their job? What would have been the fate of Mr. Njonolah if the NDC had triumphed over him in court? Can we continue to loose fine brains such as Njonolah in circumstances similar to Njonolah’s, when those comrades were not fortunate enough to have prevailed?

I believe the case of Mr. Njonolah and many others would have been avoided if party transformations have kept pace with developments within the party and with other national events. It will be recalled that in 2010, during our national delegates congress in Tamale, where constitutional review and amendment of constitutional provisions could be tabled to reflect current needs of the party, the constitutional change process took the form of a one-man show, whereby Mr. Ken Dzirasa held some document in his hand on a podium and read “something” that was to be expunged. I, for one, as a party faithful, and many others like me, did not have a copy of what Mr. Dzirasah was reading, in order to understand or disagree with his point, so as to influence our delegates to vote in one way or the other. Instead, congress was expected to shout loud “ayes” after every such reading, drowning any “nays’ no matter how hard they shouted. So, after each reading we were told that the ayes have it. A process that required circulating what was to be expunged ahead of the delegates conference, so delegates could reflect and consult their constituents was reduced to an ambush. More instructively, whatever constitutional changes the party claims to have done since 2010 was for a long time not published for anyone to read and see. Yet, we have a very “successful” General and dwarf-propagandist whose duty it was to facilitate these important processes and to make these pieces of information available to the body NDC.

Paradoxically, our political rivals, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who we mostly accuse of being elitist, saw the unsustainability of a narrowed electoral college and initiated changes that led to the transformation of its Electoral College. I understand that, every institution in its status quo benefits individuals who will resist transforming or changing the status quo. But we are aware that the current Electoral College of the NDC has made its electoral processes an epicenter of corruption, where candidates are racing to outwit each other with regard to who can dole out the highest benefits to delegates. In the end, what we have in our hands is the unpalatable situation where people who have no business in leading the political and economic discourse of our country are in charge with dire consequences for party and nation.

If Mr. Nketia, Dr. Adjei, Boateng Gyan, and the loud-dwarf-propagandist were interested in the growth of the NDC, they would have been at the forefront initiating measures that would have taken care of concerns of Mr. Njonolah and many others who could not pursue legal means to challenge certain party positions and decisions; they would have been calling for initiatives from within the rank and file of the party that would have seen the Electoral College expanded; indeed, they would have been working in ways that hands power to the people, especially in the fulfillment of the NDCs grassroots philosophy. This would have greatly reduced the continuing tensions between the grassroots and the government, culminating in some of the ugly scenes we have witnessed in the last few years.

Knowing how well these folks have entrenched themselves, it was interesting to hear Mr. Nketia even threatening to quit the party if delegates do not vote for the candidates he has foisted on them. It is not strange that Mr. Nketia in particular, by extension, is suggesting that he can and indeed is capable of shepherding delegates to vote in a particular manner? Is this the political entity we have helped built, where some have become so indispensable to the political machinery that they can decide who is voted for and who is not voted for? The General has become so indispensable that the entire party will suffer a cataclysm if he resigns? I would have urged Mr. Nketia to resign now for us to see if the NDC would not survive without him. But that would be giving him an easy way out. I urge all our party members who want to see the NDC grow to wake up to the challenge of reinvigorating the party by routing out these stumbling blocks in our way to make the party once again competitive.

In conclusion, let me reiterate that a political party with healthy internal intrigues is an asset in nation building. It is for this reason that the media must create the space for the necessary conversations that will prune the NDC towards that end. Thank you very much for your attention. Eye Zu, Eye Za!

Prosper Yao Tsikata

pytsikata@yahoo.com

Columnist: Tsikata, Prosper Yao