The ostrich called Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah…

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

A General Mosquito!!

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Monday, March 26, 2012

The NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, is playing the ostrich and will definitely smile at the wrong side of his mouth in the fullness of time. He claims that “the NDC is strong and solid. He explains that former president Rawlings is a faithful believer of the NDC and had been attending the National Executive Councils (NEC) meetings faithfully.

“These talks about OUR founder having left the NDC baffles me, and I do not know where it’s coming from. Founder Rawlings participates in all NEC meetings to which he has invitation,’’ he said (according to Radio Gold’s Samuel Ablordeppey, as reported by Ghanaweb.com, March 26, 2012).

In my many years on this planet, I haven’t heard any more dangerous lie than this one. In reverse, he is calling a cow a sheep (Baba Jamal’s expensive joke being tilted on its head). The NDC’s internal crisis is borne out by the deep cracks in the party. These cracks are big like cows to be seen as such and tackled. They are not to be reduced to the size of a sheep and neglected!!

Asiedu-Nketiah seems to be stuck in a time warp and can’t see what is going on around him and in the NDC. It is insulting for him to make such a terrible claim that there are no cracks in the NDC. What has his head been lying on? A pillow or a block of cement (the size of what his company supplies the Bui Dam Project); or what else?

Will he so soon forget the negative reference he made recently to Rawlings that provoked anger? Or is he denying the existence of the various interest/pressure groups in the NDC whose negative activities became very pronounced just before the NDC’s July 10, 2011, congress in Sunyani to elect the party’s flagbearer?

Or is he deaf to the loud noise that the pressure group called FONKAR has made ever since it emerged to fight the cause of Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings? Or that FONKAR is still actively involved in activities straining the relationship between the Rawlings faction and the one rooting for President Mills?

Is Asiedu-Nketiah so dishonest as not to know that Rawlings and his wife have a camp to which characters like Kofi Adams, Spokesman for the Rawlingses, Herbert Mensah (a son of the late B.K. Mensah whose International Tobacco Ltd. The Rawlings AFRC government confiscated), Michael Teye Nyaunu, the current NDC MP for Manya (who lost his bid for re-election and went to town to condemn the Mills government for orchestrating his rejection at the NDC’s primaries), and Ernest Owusu-Bempah (Operations Director of FONKAR who was recently arrested for smearing the image of President Mills’ wife, Ernestina Naadu Mills?)

Why does Asiedu-Nketiah want to throw dust into our eyes? Is it his way of damage control? If it is, I daresay that it is a sorry approach for solving the NDC’s internal crisis.

He used Rawlings’ presence at the NEC meetings to substantiate his claim; but he leaves me wondering what exactly he intends to do with his claim. If Rawlings attends the NEC’s meetings “faithfully” but turns round to condemn the President and his government in the foulest language that he uses, where is the guarantee that the NDC is not without fissures? Or is Rawlings’ presence at those meetings a confirmation of his support for President Mills and his government?

The problems facing the NDC are real. How many times has Rawlings used his attendance at those meetings as a factor to ensure unity in the party or to appeal to the “cadres” to remain loyal to the party?

In the face of all the evidence of in-fighting, Asiedu-Nketiah says all is well. He can’t help the party solve that problem by pretending that it doesn’t exist. The cracks in the NDC are wide fissures that everybody who takes a casual glimpse at happenings in the party will see. It is too glaring to be ignored unless Asiedu-Nketiah isn’t referring to the NDC that exists and which we all know to be heading toward an implosion as a result of the failure of the party’s leadership (including this Asiedu-Nketiah) to restore normalcy into its ranks.

The history of the NDC says much for the current problems that have beset the party and threatened its viability. Asiedu-Nketiah knows that the NDC is made up of characters from all sorts of political backgrounds who have found it very difficult to blend seamlessly.

I am talking about the variegated coloration of the NDC in terms of two main factions that existed even under the PNDC and Rawlings’ NDC administration.

Does Asiedu-Nketiah not know of the first faction, which is made up of those regarding themselves as the “cadres” (those with the so-called revolutionary fervour whose slogan in the early days of the PNDC said everything about them: “We no go sit down make them cheat us every day”?)? Or that this core of the cadres were those who constituted the PDCs and WDCs to whom Rawlings’ revolution was an empowering tool with which to participate in local and national politics?

I have it clearly inscribed on my mind that these cadres were the engine of growth for Rawlings’ political jingoism. They constituted themselves into authorities at different levels and indulged in all manner of activities—chairing the investigation and arbitration committees of the PDCs and WDCs even after they had been converted into CDRs; presiding over the Public Tribunals; going round checking traders and the business community over “control price” issues, and organizing political discussion forums to tout the virtues of the Rawlingses and the revolution.

These were cadres who greeted each other with the socialist-oriented tag “Comrade,” and were happy to be associated with June 4 and the 31st December Revolution. They were men and women who stood firm to defend the revolution and to still be behind Rawlings when he turned the PNDC into the NDC. They were young men and women who ended up taking the law into their hands and administering their own kind of revolutionary justice. The women were well entrenched in the affairs of Nana Konadu’s 31st December Women’s Movement and they wore red berets to announce their militancy.

This corps of cadres is made up of those regarding themselves as the foot-soldiers of the NDC. They are those who are quick to feel nostalgic about the Rawlings’ era and to wish that they could still use their self-constituted power to do as they please.

On the other hand, another crop of functionaries joined the ranks of the PNDC in its latter stages of existence. These elements are known as the “new entrants” who didn’t exhibit that much revolutionary fervour. They included President Mills and all others behind him in the current administration who, although were functionaries of the PNDC/NDC cannot be said to be part of the “old guards” who stood by Rawlings and his principles (“probity and accountability”) in those heady days.

The ongoing head-butting and jostling for position—or aptly qualifiable as “a turf war” in the NDC—has its roots in those key moments and points of of confluence, which brought together those cadres and the new entrants. An uneasy calm has always existed among these two factions.

What we see today as deep cracks in the NDC are traceable to those moments. It is now obvious that the return to power of the NDC under President Mills has exposed such cracks all the more for us to see and for the national leadership of the party to solve. So far, the cracks have been deepened and widened by the calculated moves by Rawlings and his wife to undercut President Mills and his faction.

We have all seen the gravitation by the so-called foot-soldiers of the NDC toward the Rawlins cause. It is an affirmation of their loyalty to the Rawlingses and not President Mills, a new entrant without charisma or revolutionary fervour for them to look up to, especially with his pacifist approach to politics, which runs counter to the Rawlingses’ tooth-for-a-tooth-and-a-nail-for-a-nail approach to doing politics.

From Asiedu-Nketiah’s warped reasoning, I am tempted to conclude that he is either being overly dishonest or that he doesn’t want the internal crisis facing the NDC to be solved. He alone must know why.

If, indeed, this loose talk from him is meant to throw dust into our eyes, let me tell him right-away that he has failed and has only come across as a confused and incredibly lazy party General Secretary.

If there are no cracks in the NDC, why aren’t Rawlings, Nana Konadu, and all those rooting for them working hand-in-hand with the Mills government as one would expect? Or in comparison with what happened under Rawlings when there was no open affront to his leadership of both the NDC and its government, what will Asiedu-Nketiah say is the situation under Mills?

Can’t our politicians be honest for once, at least, in responding to genuine cases of the sort that is draining the NDC of its lifeline and making it unattractive to the electorate?

Asiedu-Nketiah has done the NDC a big disservice and should be prepared for the consequences. In fine, he can pretend not to recognize the fact that the NDC is wobbling. Let him pretend not to know that the party is teetering toward an ominous future as a result of its internal crisis. Let him thump his chest in denying the existence of cracks in the party and refuse to patch them.

As these cracks widen and the party becomes unattractive because of the failure of its government to perform as expected and because of the party’s own internal crisis, no prayer or witchery can prevent it from crossing the Rubicon. On Election Day, we shall all know whether Ghanaians will vote massively for the NDC to retain the government in office or not.

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.