After careful and thorough deliberation on the issues raised by the Anlo NDC Constituency Executives, I am without further hesitation compelled to issue a rejoinder for the reasons below among others:
a. The Internet, and before it the print media, has become a permanent record, which shall inform the way history is written long after we have left our short stay on earth. It is, therefore, necessary that only the truth be recorded and, whenever falsehood and malice slips through, truth must stand up for discerning people to see the difference.
b. That the Anlo NDC Executives should pick on me, Mayor Agbleze, rather than the Anlo Youth Council, whose statement they sought to rebut further demonstrates the characters that determine the politics in our localities and consequently nationally.
c. That in paragraph two, of their rebuttal, they have asserted to be speaking for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a whole seems to give an entirely new dimension to their otherwise diminutive stature within the Party structure. • I, Mayor Agbleze, am a barefaced, impenitent, steadfast member of the National Democratic Congress, having served the preparatory structures of the Democratic Youth League of Ghana, National Youth Organising Commission, the Civil Defence Organization and the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution which gave birth to the NDC. My colleagues and mentors in these organisations can better write my testimonials. My unshaken commitment to the values of humility, probity, accountability, transparency, merit, fair representation, human dignity and civil liberties, can be attested to by these testimonials. I have served the NDC faithfully and will continue to do so within the tenets of the party regulations and to the best of my ability.
• I also have a native and an educated opinion of the reasons for the laxity in development of our locality and the nation at large. Therefore, I have spoken plainly to the fact that undeserved political patronage and bootlicking are the bane of our development.
The statement of Anlo Youth Council, which the NDC Executives, now purport to have been written by me, is most erroneous, lacks substance, and is at best misguided. Perhaps the Anlo Youth Council may lack several things but the sheer brainpower, talent, and energy of the group is unsurpassed by any other organised group in Anlo. The Anlo NDC Executives are completely no match for the AYC now numbering over 3,000 on the Facebook platform, and residing in every nook and cranny of the globe. In terms of the intellectual and analytical capabilities, the AYC has demonstrated these abilities succinctly over the years since its formation in 2007. I am most honoured to be credited with the statement of the AYC, but unfortunately I am just an individual in the ‘Parliament of the Youth of Anlo,’ and very privileged to have been elected to its Presidency.
Where were these same NDC Executives when the politics, “politricks” and “polithiefing” of the day turned Anloga into a shooting range on a market day of Thursday, November 1 2007? Where were these same NDC Executives during the Presidential run-off of 2008? Did they not find Anlo Youth Council invaluable at each of these junctures of our lives, albeit not a political group with the largesse which the Anlo Executives have now become so accustomed to and for which they think the AYC is a threat.
Dear reader, I will now take the issues one by one as the Anlo NDC Executives presented them.
Para. 1 The Imposition of Candidates.
The use of the very example given by the AYC suffices as an example, which the NDC Executives failed woefully to debunk. In the example given of the Honourables Gbeho and Sowu, the NDC party machinery simply failed to pick the winning choice for the people, period! It had nothing to do with political pluralism. What then is a skirt and blouse in Ghana politics if not the victory of Gbeho as an independent candidate against the party-elect Sowu? Which of these Executives did not know the hell through which the same NDC Executives without respect or shame made Hon. Victor Gbeho go through just to secure the nomination forms from the Party at the Constituency level? Do they think what we know is what they tell us?
Para. 2 Speaking for the NDC
I am not aware that the Anlo Constituency NDC has the mandate to speak for the National Democratic Congress. However, be it as it may, I wish to ask a question ‘what is political pluralism’ by their definition and understanding? The AYC is saying that whatever mechanism the NDC has used in making their choice and how the people vote in a general election had not always been congruent. I am by the experience of two decades and more in the Party, a witness to this fact --. ‘You cannot educate us for unequal opportunities.’ The victory of Victor Gbeho I am surprised that the NDC Executives could cite this example to rebut the very point we are making. If the Electoral College of the NDC primaries did not get it wrong, how then did Gbeho win? Why did the people vote massively for the presidential candidacy of Professor John Evans Ata Mills and ignored the Squadron Leader Hon. Sowu? For this, I am in agreement with the AYC that this may be the tip of the iceberg in the development and comprehension of politics in Ghana. In a country where the President must appoint the majority of ministers from Parliament, the ICT terminology of GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) aptly applies. When the constituencies do not allow the best materials to emerge and lead the people, the GDP growth of the country suffers. It is akin to having a slow moving car ahead of the traffic on a busy motorway; the fastest cars will move at the pace of the slow-leading car ahead of the pack.
Do my NDC Executives in Anlo Constituency understand that even if economics is taught at Bleamezado JSS, there is an unquantifiable relationship between the growths of the country’s GDP and that of the people at the helm of affairs? The NDC Party, and indeed all political parties, have a primary responsibility to attract or find the best human resources and present them in a competition called an election. Whichever party does this very well, would be the better.
The 2008 Primaries The year 2008 was most interesting for me politically. AYC was at its active best, having shouldered the responsibility to return Anloga to peace and normalcy despite the odds. Before I could convince myself that I may be a parliamentary material, I have had several admonitions from highly placed NDC personalities not to contest Honourable Humado. Even though many of them agreed that I have the qualities, they were quick to sternly warn me to leave Hon. Humado to complete a two term. For all of these reasons I found the admonitions strange because I was not even nursing the idea at the time.
With time, however, two clear forces emerged. The ordinary Anlo Constituents who were urging me on and the so-called power brokers up there, who were saying “you do not belong up here.” At most of the meetings I had with these power brokers, I chanced on good fortune to have attended in the company of one person or the other. I mean there are credible witnesses to these issues if push comes to shove. I kept my cool, and remained undecided.
Then the nominations opened for primaries and it became obvious that Hon. Humado was going to go unopposed. This was decision time, I felt Anlo Constituency was too matured to have only Hon. Humado without a challenge at the primaries. Little did I know that the authorities had designed it as such – a one-horse race. I decided to pick the nomination forms all the same. After the initial tango and hostilities by the very Constituency Executives who claim political pluralism, I had great obstacles placed my way. My fortitude came from my nativity and relationship with the constituency. Having realised that I was determined and knew the tricks they had used against others like Hon. Gbeho, they surrendered the forms to me with very little time to complete them. In the short time available to meet the deadline, I had to depend heavily on people to get the endorsements. There were great difficulties as the list of qualified card-bearing members who could endorse the forms was a closely guarded secret. I was, therefore, not surprised when FONKAR and Dr. Spio Gabrah had the same problem recently, way up the political ladder in the NDC.
Contrary to the hostilities earlier by the Constituency Executives, they were very receptive when I was presenting the completed forms. Unsuspecting that I had fallen into another snare hitherto set by these same executives. I submitted my forms knowing I had satisfied the requirements to the letter. Dear Reader, paragraph 5 of the Executives statement read, ‘despite these abnormalities the constituency executives forwarded the nomination forms. They did this without drawing my attention to the mistakes and fraud they now see, even after their own vetting at the constituency level. As an ordinary Party member, I do not give serial numbers to party cards, the Executives do, so whose error would it be to have given the same numbers to two different cards?
It is a known fact that since Hon. Humado became an MP for the Constituency, it has become most difficult to obtain NDC party membership cards in the constituency. Several protests have gone up the Party structure without remedy. It is also on record that people who had contributed money to obtain cards, had their monies returned to them after a long wait. It is also on record that one Mr. Prosper Yao Tsikata, Secretary of the AYC, had attempted a membership drive in the run up to the 2008 elections and was rudely thwarted.
How then was it possible to get endorsement from wards that had cards only for the endorsement of one candidate? It was, still is and now I have FONKA and Dr. Spio Garbrah as witnesses to a difficult assignment, that is, to get the endorsement forms completed even if inaccurately.
May I humbly take this opportunity to thank Messrs Abraham Ocloo and Brass Dedzo, local ADCs for Hons. Sowu and Gbeho, Ms Mercy Logah (former Assembly Woman), Mr. Francis Fiadu and their teams for the difficult work done. These indefatigable Party people and many more are living witnesses to the intrigues and deceptions associated with the Constituency primaries.
The protest letter of Mr. Gershon Adzogble
Sometimes, the sages say, it is better to allow sleeping dogs to lie. My naive nephew, Mr. Gershon Adzogble of Fiaxor is well known to me. Today with hindsight, I appreciate his role. Time and experience give meaning to many situations that may be difficult to comprehend at the instant they happened. Every Christ must have an Iscariot; otherwise, there can be no saviour or salvation. Now that I know how the NDC Constituency Executives and my contestant Hon. Kofi Humado procured that protest letter against my candidacy, based on the confessions to me by the principal actors themselves, I have forgiven them all. Much more I have a better opportunity now among peers to serve them as the President of Anlo Youth Council. I appreciate that the position of the Member of Parliament is a higher calling. For now, I am content with this service to my people selflessly. Nevertheless, when the call comes and the opportunity is right, I would not disappoint them, I believe I can certainly serve them better.
At the vetting in Ho, I BOLDLY declined to contest the primaries before the Vetting Committee, HONOURABLY withdrew my candidature, and graciously DONATED my GH¢1000.00 (One Thousand Ghana Cadis) to the Party’s 2008 campaign. Why did I do that? That is Mayor Agbleze.
When Gershon Adzogble’s letter was given to me that morning in Ho, just few minutes before the vetting, I saw it was written some months back, and routed through the NDC Constituency Executives. I know from the many Fredrick Forsyth and Sidney Sheldon novels I have read that I was up against the system and had found myself inadvertently on the opposite side of the establishment. I have lived long enough on earth to see the fictions of Forsyth and Sheldon play out in reality. The rumours associated with the unfortunate death of Mr.Gideon Osabutey, a self-declared contestant of the Anlo Constituency primaries yet to take place, makes me very grateful for the lives of the Judases in my quest to serve humanity. To him I say REQUIESCAT IN PACEM!!
After all these clear acts of betrayal, I now find meaning in the ‘love’ attitude that the Anlo Constituency Executives showered on me after I had submitted my forms The Kiss of DEATH of the Judases.
Those Who Live In Glass Houses Don’t Throw Stones At Adisadel College, I was taught that, ‘others have laboured and we share their glory’ and certainly, it is NOT ours to strive to destroy their gain. The NDC Constituency Executives knew how Mr.Kofi Humado obtained his party card, became a parliamentary candidate and went on to win the Anlo Seat in Parliament. It is interesting to know that the Constituency Executives now want us to believe that Hon. Humado won 2008 elections with 91.87% indeed. Was it the NDC that was voted for or Mr. Humado? I am challenging Mr. Humado to shed his NDC garb and contest 2012 without the NDC colours for us to see who maters, the NDC or him!
Figuratively and with due apologies to the visually impaired, “if the blind get to lead those who are endowed with clear vision, they must do so in conscious humility.”
I wish all contestants of the 2012 primaries of the Anlo Constituency and Ghana at large a successful contest.
The AYC has taken it upon itself, the Aegean duty to clean the stables of the political parties, at least in Anlo. I would take the opportunity to urge all well-meaning young people to take up the challenge individually and collectively wherever they are.
For two decades and more, the trajectory of our political and democratic dispensation has never augured well and those who think otherwise can continue to the play Ostrich. I cannot.
As President of the Anlo Youth Council, I am most grateful to everyone who has supported me in his or her own way to steer the affairs of AYC. With their support, I believe those who will come after us would gallantly take up our story and act.
Question Dear reader, please permit me to leave you with a question. If the NDC Constituency Executives in Anlo want us to do the right thing as stipulated by the Party’s constitution, how different is that from what the AYC seeks to do that they refer to as ‘unwarranted comments?’ Verily verily, “Hlofiwulae sea kpo dodo”.
Mayor Agbleze President, Anlo Youth Council.