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The Men at the Exit and Entrance of NDC

Sun, 17 Jul 2011 Source: Ablorh, Raymond

The

ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Ghana is undergoing some

political evolution with very interesting happenings in recent times. Just

before and after the party’s congress in Sunyani recently, it became

obvious old ‘friends’ are becoming ‘enemies’ and old ‘enemies’ are

becoming ‘friends’ in the party, as Prof Mills virtually part ways with

his political parents. As the new friends walk in and the

new enemies advance towards the exit of the party, any political analyst

would wonder how these movements would impact on the electoral fortunes

of the party in the 2012 General Elections and beyond. The

Rawlingses haven’t announced their departure yet; but, whether they

stay or not, one couldn't imagine how they could campaign for President

Mills in the 2012 General Elections. Even if they do campaign at all,

they wouldn’t be able to do it as active as they did in 2008. But,

as they continue to be in opposition in their own party’s

administration; with their belief that the Mills administration has

developed a sleeping habit with the former NPP administration to cover

up corrupt practices in both regimes; one could clearly tell that the

Rawlingses may seek the party’s exit sooner or later. Should they go, what would

that mean to the electoral fortunes of the NDC party? It

is obvious that the Rawlingses aren’t as popular in both their party

and in Ghana as a whole as they were before the 2008 elections. But, not

even a political infant would underestimate their popularity. Within

their party, some would think they aren’t been fair to president Mills;

but, some of those at the grassroots would side with the Rawlingses

that the President doesn’t make them feel that their (the grassroots')

party is in government. This is, perhaps, because of how

previous governments had run this country. Party members, whether

competent or not, had always found themselves working in public offices,

and, benefiting from government opportunities which, they otherwise

don’t merit. This has become part of our political life,

hence, when a party comes into office, its members think they must take

control of everything. When the NPP came into office in

2001 we all saw what happened as party members run everywhere sacking

NDC members from public offices and taking over government properties;

and we saw what NDC ‘foot soldiers’ did; are they even done with us yet? Over

here, party supporters don’t support a party because they want to

benefit from the effective implementation of the party’s policies for

the good of all. No! Not, at all. Hence, if you don’t give them the

opportunity to amass wealth indiscriminately, or give them positions in

government, it means you’re a failure. This attitude of

‘our party is in government’, hence it is our time to ‘chop’; and, the

gap which grows subsequently after the election between the grassroot

party member and the government official who once ate with them in the

same bowl is what breed disappointment and frustration at the grassroot

level. In the case of President Mills, he is caught

between a promise of being ‘a father for all’ and his role and function

of being a party leader in government. Thus, he is so careful in

responding to the needs of his party, especially so, when the leading

opposition party is making conspicuous effort to label him a hypocrite. This

is where the Rawlingses could remind the grassroot supporters of the

better days in the past and set some of them against the party leaders

and the men in government. Thus, one of the major factors which threw

the ex-first lady into the defeater’s arena at the just ended NDC

Congress was that those who could dance to her political beat were the

grassroot members who had no vote. Should they go out of

the NDC today, they would obviously go out with some of the grassroot

members, especially, those in the Volta Region, Northern Region and the

Zongo Communities. But, not long after their departure they would melt

into political oblivion as they wouldn’t be able to take a large number

enough to have a solid political party to challenge the NDC and NPP.

Moreover, the men who helped them to organise the whole Ghana behind

them aren't in their camp anymore. It is, however,

important to note that just as some people voted for NDC because of

Jerry Rawlings; so others voted against the party because of him. One

couldn’t easily tell the exact numbers which voted for or against the

NDC because of the Rawlingses. But, what is easily

predictable here is that those who didn’t vote for the NDC just because

of the Rawlings; and, those who think President Mills is a good leader

but he’s in the wrong party because of their past might vote for NDC

this time. One cannot also blind himself or herself to the

fact that those people who perhaps didn’t vote for President Mills in

2008 because they thought his former boss would control him in office

are likely to rethink their positions as the President has proved that

he could be his own man as he promised. What about those people who want a president

who would pay more attention to the entire country than to his party? Furthermore,

unless one could say that those who voted for NDC because of the

Rawlings are far more than the about 40,000 votes the NDC’s candidate

got over the NPP’s candidate’s votes; or, those who voted against the

NDC but for the Rawlings are far less than the difference in the number

of votes between President Mills and Nana Akufo Addo, the Rawlingses

departure wouldn’t cripple the NDC completely as much as some might

think. Nevertheless, it is obvious their departure could

create a huge crack at the grassroot level in the Volta Region, the

electoral world bank of the NDC, as I’ve already indicated, and that is

where the main threat to NDC’s victory would be felt since the party

wouldn’t get the traditional support it has enjoyed since 1992. If

what happened to Nana Addo in Ashanti Region in the first round of the

2008 presidential election happens to Prof. Mills in the Volta Region,

all other things being equal, NDC would find it extremely difficult to

walk to victory.Especially so, when the Ashanti Region

practically showed signs of electoral repentance towards Nana Addo in

the second run of Election 2008 and has pledged full support for him in

election 2012. Certainly, in the short run, the Rawlingses

departure would heavily affect the electoral fortunes of the NDC; but,

in the long run, the NDC would grow beyond an individual's interest and

influence and become a strong mass party thereby saving itself from the

woes of the CPP in future. Meanwhile, cunningly, the

Rawlingses could inactively stay in the party, pray and wait for the NDC

to practically join them in opposition then make efforts from the

grassroot to reclaim power in the party. Now, what about the Dr. Obed Asamoah,

Gossie Tandoh, etc, re-entering the party and what are they coming with? Well,

Former President Rawlings handpicked Professor Mills without consulting

other leaders of his party, according to Dr. Obed Asamoah, so they

opposed their boss vehemently since to them Prof Mills had made

insignificant contribution towards the party’s development and they

didn’t think he had enough experience to run the country. However,

apart from their efforts to protect their own political interest at the

time, what perhaps they didn’t tell us was that, like members of the

NPP, they suspected the ex-president wanted somebody he could control

from outside. They knew he didn’t like the idea of leaving

the presidency; and, Rawlings didn’t trust them either. So, Rawlings

fought everybody who opposed his choice and managed to consolidate his

position. After they left the party; Gossie and his reform

members before the 2000 General Elections; and, later Dr. Asamoah and

his DFP members ( after a good beating they got in Koforidua in 2005);

they realized they couldn’t find a political home outside NDC; and so

with the humiliating defeat of the Rawlingses at the Sunyani Congress,

they now think they could enjoy some freedom of expression in the party

they helped built. The smart old man, in particular, knows

he couldn’t be trusted in the NPP fraternity and doesn't see the CPP

coming into government anytime soon; moreover, it’s obvious his DFP

wouldn’t be able to survive, especially, when Frances Essiem, for

instance, is busily enjoying marriage with the NPP, and Dr. Kwesi

Botchwey has eagerly accepted an impressive petro-chemical post from

President Mils. If you were him what would you do? He is

just re-entering the NDC to save himself from political death before his

actual death. Apart from his own vote, one couldn’t tell how the old

politician, who should be resting by now in statesmanship, is going to

bring votes to the NDC. The more energetic and relatively

young ones coming with Dr. Asamoah, on the other hand, could perhaps be

of some help than him. Moreover, they could associate with the new brand

of NDC, unlike Dr. Asamoah. Their message is simply this:

if they knew Prof. Mills could perform the way he’s doing now they

wouldn’t have opposed him at all. Isn't this a good message to warrant

their acceptance? Moreover, this game is all about numbers, eventhough

some numbers could be dangerously deceptive. Whatever

happens, the NDC would lose and gain some votes; but, where the

electoral pendulum would swing to, one can’t easily tell because of

human behaviour. Raymond AblorhWriter’s Email: raydelove@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Ablorh, Raymond