Many factors have combined to make the NDC steadily unattractive these days. Whether by design or miscalculated manouevres, the party is moving toward an unpleasant Fate. Obviously, the situation in the party has degenerated to such an extent as to alarm every genuine supporter of the party whose commitment, sacrifices, and prayer have sustained the party thus far.
Apart from the harm being done the party’s interests by internal wranglings and factionalism, it is clear from events happening all over the country that the party’s activists are more interested in goring each other than working in a concerted manner to build the party. No wonder, the party’s future viability is at stake.
It is an understatement to say that the Mills-led government has a serious credibility problem, arising from its inability to fulfill its electioneering campaign promises, inability to solve problems to improve the standard of living in the country, failure to create jobs and to instill confidence in the youth that their future will be bright, inability to curb serious crimes (armed robbery, especially), and many more.
The government seems not to be as productive as expected and its inadequacies have already angered many people (including the NDC’s own followers). Numerous allegations of corruption and the open display of self-acquisitiveness by government functionaries have already demoralized segments of the electorate and turned some against the government. As Election 2012 looms large, indications are becoming clear that the NDC will have it tough in clawing back the public goodwill and support that it once had.
MACHOMEN AGAINSAT NANA KONADU AGYEMANG-RAWLINGS
These problems notwithstanding, the NDC continues to shoot itself in the foot. The latest episode to deepen the party’s woes happened in Cape Coast yesterday when Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings was prevented from interacting with her supporters as part of her national thanksgiving tour. Of course, that sordid event has its own implications at different levels; but it goes to confirm that the factionalism that continues to be the party’s bane has now reached the highest level of nastiness.
Although I don’t support the physical action by those machomen against her, I think that she brought the vulgarity upon herself. I have always insisted that Nana Konadu’s real intentions are not good for the Mills-led government. She is still bent on damaging its interests, learning nothing useful from the Sunyani Verdict.
Does she really need this kind of thanksgiving overtures? If the Sunyani Verdict gave her the rude awakening to know her station in the party, and all genuine followers of the NDC agreed that factionalism and internal bickering be avoided after the Sunyani Congress, what justification is there for her to embark on this kind of tour to address those in the party she thinks still owe allegiance to her? In its scope, nature, and intent, this thanksgiving tour is designed to further her politics of division.
I hope this Cape Coast event will alert her to how fast she is sinking. Although I don’t support this kind of lawlessness, I think that it is a tune that Nana Konadu herself called, which she was only forced to dance to. She is the cause of what happened to her because she is still putting a wedge between the ranks of the party’s activists. It must sound the warning note to her. No one knows what will happen to her next time at another place. Nana Konadu acted on bum advice and is paying for it.
But the implication is clear that her faction will not be willing to work hand-in-hand with those they know as their detractors. How will she and her husband be expected to campaign for the government, having already suffered so much alienation and humiliation? The larger level implication for the NDDC is dire. That’s what the Nana Konadu factor holds in store for the NDC at Election 2012.
AMBITIONS OF GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES
There are other miscalculated moves that endanger the NDC’s chances. The ambitions and manouevres by Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and Presidential Aides to unseat incumbent MPs is one major happening that will rock the party, especially in areas that the NDC has enjoyed the unalloyed support of the electorate. I have in mind three main areas, where the jockeying by these government functionaries is creating needless tension and dividing the ranks of the party’s followers.
i. Nii Lantey Vanderpuije:
What Nii Lantey Vanderpuije is up to in the Odododiodioo Constituency readily comes to mind. We have read news reports about the clashes taking place between his so-called supporters and those rooting for the incumbent MP. There are allegations of hired thugs and land-guards leading the trouble-making squads in this constituency.
What does Nii Lantey Vanderpuije take the electorate in that constituency for? That they will abandon an MP whom they have trusted all this while to root for him instead? I don’t know what exactly is emboldening him to destroy the NDC’s standing among the electorate. I can say with all certainty that he is not the person to keep the NPP away from the Parliamentary seat in that constituency. Even if he succeeds in torpedoing the incumbent MP, he would have created so much division among his own party’s functionaries that they will either vote in protest or abstain from voting, which will give the NPP the edge.
ii. Fiifi Kwetey:
The Odododiodioo bummer is being replicated in the Ketu South District, where the Deputy Finance Minister (Fiifi Kwetey) is setting himself up to wrestle with the incumbent MP for the slot to contest the 2012 Parliamentary elections. No one needs to tell Fiifi Kwetey that he is on a mission to destroy the party’s well-being in that area.
Just like Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, what does Fiifi Kwetey think puts him far above the incumbent MP to warrant his current manouevres to unseat him? The NDC’s front is divided here, and the party will suffer immensely if Fiifi Kwetey succeeds. No matter the shortcomings of the current MP, unseating him as Kwetey is doing isn’t the best antidote.
iii. Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa:
There are reports of Okudjeto Ablakwa’s manouevres in the Central Tongu constituency to dislodge the current MP (Frank Hodogbe). This is another senseless move that will endanger the quantum of votes to be expected from this constituency if Okudjeto’s manouevres succeed. He needs go no further than contacting the electorate in that constituency to find out from them why they will not go for an Okudjeto.
The history dates back to the Second Republic when Sam Okudjeto represented the constituency on the ticket of the National Alliance of Liberals and created an impression that will always haunt an Okudjeto who seeks the votes of the electorate there. He is just embarking on a destructive mission for its own sake and must recant before he adds more to the NDC’s woes.
The electorate will not entrust their mandate in the hands of such over-ambitious characters whose only asset is the money that they will use to bribe their way through. They will collect all that money and the gifts accompanying them and openly declare their support for such people; but at the polls, they are not to be trusted to make good their promise to vote for such characters. After all, they know that the money and the gifts given them as bribes don’t come from the candidates’ own sweat and toil. They are usually the outcome of dubious deals concluded through the candidates’ manipulation of the system to advantage.
PEEPING INTO THE FUTURE
The time for any move for a positive turn-around seems to be ticking off without anything concrete coming from the party’s leaders to solve the problems. The party’s well-being cannot be secured this way.
By all accounts, the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Francis Kwabena Adjei is the laziest party chairman that I have ever known. I can’t understand why the National Chairman of a party in power will be so daft as not to know how to sustain the party’s vigour even as it prepares to face the electorate in a little over a year’s time. He and all the national, regional, and constituency executive officers are lazy and cannot solve the internal problems of the party to help it appeal to the electorate.
While the Mills government continues to stand paralyzed before the country’s problems, the very foundation of the party is in tatters. This kind of party can’t withstand the forces to be unleashed by its opponents (especially the NPP) as next year’s general elections draw near. The electorate will not entrust their mandate into the hands of such a party or renew the government’s mandate either. Surely, the NDC faces a daunting future. If it loses the elections, it will be because of its own miscalculations.
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor