What about the NPP makes it attractive? (Part II)

Sat, 27 Jul 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We continue our discussion of reasons why some elements in the society will prefer to align with the NPP and not the NDC, as is evident in the allegations from the NDC quarters against leaders of identifiable civil society organizations for hiding behind their organizations to do politics in favour of the NPP. We have identified some factors to buttress our arguments on those allegations.

4. Other factors

There are many other factors, some of which have to do with the very militant nature of the NDC (of course, tracing its origin to the military savagery that brought it into being under the Rawlings euphoric governance style), which repels some sections of the populace. Victims of the “unprecedented revolutionary action” of June 4 and 31st December are still nursing their grievances and infecting others with their anti-NDC sentiments.

The practical reality of the situation under which some have suffered adversely as a result of the government’s draconian policies scares other segments of the population away from the NDC’s cause. Some also consider the NDC as not a political party worth their bother because it sprang out of one man’s morbid desire to rule Ghanaian according to his own “dreams” (and after nearly 20 years on the throne, the situation didn’t change for the better. Thus, despite the killing of those accused of plundering the economy or committing other anti-state activities, the situation at the end of Rawlings’ rule wasn’t any better. Corruption has, thus, remained a major national canker).


Those castigating leaders of civil society groups, the clergy, journalists, chiefs, and all others identified as sympathizers of the NPP should spare us their noise and help solve the problems that turn such people away from the NDC. Instead of complaining, they should help re-strategize to make the party attractive.

The NDC leaders can tackle these problems and re-engineer the party to attract followers if they and re-direct their energies and resources toward refining their strategies for the political game. The rough edges that repel people should be smoothed and better strategies devised for that purpose. The days of “TAKASHI” are over, and must not be revisited. That understanding and change in outlook should be effected through in-house conscientization/sensitization exercises.

That is why a proper approach toward membership drive must be adopted. Indeed, the party’s leaders themselves have to be more amenable to change and must ensure that the factors that promote in-fighting are eliminated. One major factor is the murderous greed and insensitivity to the plight of the party’s foot-soldiers on the part of those leading the party.

As I have already hinted at, it is clear that the benefits of party work don’t trickle down to reach the foot-soldiers. Even the crumbs that are expected to fall from the high tables for them to pick up don’t.

One will be mistaken not to admit that the NPP does better in this regard. Just consider the fact that under Kufuor, there seemed to be a tacit agreement by which the benefits trickled down the line to reach many. The sharks took their lion’s share but left the crumbs for the small fries to enjoy. The fact is that no matter what happened, the NPP leaders didn’t hide their activities. If they went for the spoils of politics, they did so in the open and boasted of their acquisition. Did they not boast of their landed property and others?

On the contrary, it seems the NDC hawks are more eager to snatch everything with their talons than bending over to make room for others beneath their upper rungs on the ladder. They behave as if the benefits of politics are reserved for them alone. They strive hard to cover their tracks, fearing to leave behind any trace that might expose them as thieves. Of course, aren’t they haunted by the “revolutionary spirit” that swept some off their feet many years ago?

They know how not to expose their deals; but from the goings-on (the judgement debt payments, the corrupt practices being revealed at SADA, GYEEDA, NHIS, and many others), we know that they are even not the angels that they might portray themselves. Their problem, however, is that they don’t have the spirit of sharing, which clearly separates them from the NPP. And which is why they can’t prevent those they are accusing now of shunning their party for the NPP. I am being brazen here and don’t have any regrets for being so.

I have also observed that the NDC can easily neutralize the NPP’s machinations if its leaders and activists adopt better strategies than what they have been using all these years. Take, for instance, what happens in the various districts, municipalities, and metropolises, where the Chief Executives are more poised to lock horns with anybody with dissenting opinions and strategies for local governance.

Many instances of their total disrespect for the traditional leaders and public figures and opinion leaders have occurred, leading to demonstrations against the government or the causing of disaffection among the people. Such government functionaries can’t win support for the NDC or the government if they turn themselves into matadors goring every “cow” they come across. They must be educated properly on how to attract goodwill and not alienate the people. The spate of demonstrations against the President’s nominees for those positions is another example of how the lack of consultation creates problems for the party. The right thing isn’t being done.

No amount of shouting themselves hoarse will solve the problem. The fundamental problems that repel people from the NDC must be identified and tackled. Then, concerted efforts must be made to solve those problems to make the party more attractive.

For instance, instead of standing toe-to-toe with political opponents or critics to exchange hard words, the party’s activists can be diplomatic in reacting to criticism. Blatant and outright uncouth behaviour won’t win anybody’s heart.

Respect for authority is another area. In most areas of the country, those in the NDC still wear their so-called “revolutionary fervour” on their sleeves and carry themselves in a manner as to alienate people. They can’t understand that times have changed and that doing politics successfully in contemporary times calls for dialogue and rapport/rapprochement and not head-butting. Of course, old traditions die hard. Having emerged from the militancy that ushered Rawlings into office, these “cadres” are at pains to shed their spots. Well, the tiger/leopard/cheetah in them is still active, but its impact isn’t beneficial and must be toned down.

The party/government must find better ways to conscientize its followers. Diplomacy does it all. Consultation at all levels should be enforced so that unity can be attained and group work encouraged for the good of the party.

If these problems are not tackled, they will continue to nag the party and make it unattractive. In that sense, then, those who are not well disposed toward it will dig in and make pronouncements and take actions to the detriment of the NDC. What has been identified by Dr. Percy may be just one of those strategies. The good old adage (“A stitch in time saves nine”) still holds good. And for the NDC, it must serve as a forewarning for which to be forearmed.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.