NDC IN UPPER WEST - POLITICS OF EGOCENTRISM

By Abdul Musah Sidibe

6/30/2010 3:49:15 PM -

The National Democratic Congress (N.D.C) is a social democratic political party in Ghana which was formed on the 10th of June, 1992, it has one of its hallmarks as equality and justice but, as it travels along the political ladder, these core values started to dwindle because some of its members do not either understand the philosophy of the party or are pretentious. Dear reader, I have taken the pain to study the current trends of political events with regards to the N.D.C party in the Upper West Region from all its echelons and it appears , every thing is wrong.

In the aftermath of the Tain elections which was the last straw that broke the camel's back, virtually all the streets in Ghana were full with NDC party jubilants dressed in party paraphernalia all by virtue of the fact that the long awaited change has come. But, as human beings, we all have diverse ambitions and plans, some good others, diabolical.

It took me the pain to observe all the constituency elections in the region and I discovered a lot of discrepancies right from the constituency vettings to that of the regional. It will interest you to know that, the NDC constitution which is the supreme and binding document for every party member got a precipitous twist by the vetting panel. This was the genesis of the feud among the rank and file of the party in the Upper West Region. Astonishingly, some loyal members were disqualified based on insubstantial reasons. To cite an instance was the situation where one gentleman from the Wa central constituency vying for the position of a propaganda secretary was disqualified based on the mere fact that he could not suggest another name for the word propaganda, this is ridiculous! Much of these injustices took place in my constituency - Sissala West, where the chairman of the vetting committee threw verbal threats on aspirants. Among some of the comments he made include; “I know my left from my right and my decision is final” he further went on to say that “no body can threaten me, don't forget that I am the vice chairman of the regional security council, just a simple phone call and the commander and his boys will come here” these and many other vulgar statements were made by many other party members especially with a lot of them coming from the highest echelons of the party in the region. We should not loose sight of the fact that commanding language when addressing party faithfuls will create disenchantment and that can have horrendous ramifications on the popular support base of the party.

Surprisingly, by virtue of rapacity, party members who were considered as 'adversaries' to the chairman of the vetting committee in the Sissala West Constituency were treated with stark while those considered to be 'chums' of the chairman of the vetting committee were given royal treatment. As I speak now, some had their party ID cards seized from them and they have since not been returned to them. The drama on this vetting day took stage when the chairman ordered his 'pals' who were equally vying for the same positions with those of his 'antagonists' to be part of the veting committee. For heaven sake, how on earth could some body vet his opponent? I will leave it to your judgment. This, I considered as bizarre in the political history of the party and has the might of dragging the party in to mud within the constituency.

The situation during the constituency elections was not different. Across the region, some people were coerced to step down for others, all in the name of consensus building which is one of the pillars of the party. But, we should not forget that the party's constitution should equally be held in high esteem. Once there is the willingness by a legitimate candidate to contest for a position, any move to heckle him will amount to an infringement on his inalienable rights as a party member. In Nadowli West, and Wa West, attempts were made to skew the election process towards the interest of some people but some were able to call for justice and it was given a natural flow. Candidates in Wa Central and Sissala West could not liberate themselves from the boorish tentacles of these political piranhas when there was a massive imposition of executives on them.

Regrettably, little do the people know that all these unwarranted disqualifications and forcing people to relinquish their positions for others, were to emotionally blackmail the electorates in the name of party unity and formidability. These were the futuristic plans adapted by a section of the party's hierarchy to achieve their selfish desires.

After planting their favorites in the various constituencies, it was then crystal clear that, such will reflect on the regional executive elections. But, the campaign of pressurizing people to step down for others did not stop especially those vying for the regional chairmanship position were the hardest hit victims of this inhumane decision. Interestingly, I, per se never saw any thing wrong with that since it was to enhance party unity and cohesion, until I realized that it was just the genesis of an intraparty feud in the region.

In every human set up, conflict is very necessary; it is when it results in to violence that we tout it distractive. We should however be persuaded by this to seek the best alternative ways of resolving our impasses, should it be so. The upper west region is not completely detached from challenges, this does not also means that these challenges can never be addressed; It depends on our approach to how to arrest these challenges. There are proper channels for addressing every problem but as soon as the invisible hand starts to intervene, then it leads to more disastrous situations.

Trust and confidence was entrusted on the regional executives chaired by the regional chairman of the party in areas of conflict resolution, it later turned to be a battle for booty and supremacy. After betraying the trust of the various constituency executives, the regional executives attempted going round just to flimflam them. It is high time we try to draw a line between selfish course and party course.

In pursuance of their egocentric agenda, a section of the regional executive revolted against the ex-regional minister using miscreants who, besieged the premises of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and made away with precious documents (tender documents). As if that was not enough, burnt these documents in front of the regional party office. The nagging issue is that, the goons of the ex-minister are yet to come out to explain to the people of upper west, the main reason why Mahmud Khalid was removed.

I feel so ashamed when I cast my mind back to the events preceding the removal from office of the former regional minister; it was such a horrifying scene. As soon as any of these unfortunate party members sees any body purported to be a confidant of the ex-minister, you are seen to be a non-party member. Still, the egoists will down play all these skirmishes and say upper west is 'cool'. These people have continuously sent wrong signals to the castle in an attempt to bulldoze their way. These acts actually received public disgust and one of the crusaders against this was the writer of this piece .I have always been a harbinger of truth and against injustice.

Of late, the scrambles for contracts have preoccupied the minds of both the old and the young in the upper west region. No wonder it was the prime cause of the agitation of some youth and their associates to remove the former regional minister. But is this the real cause? Many people who had their contract process initiated by the former regional minister have been abrogated by the now 'men in-charge' and reassigned to the 'tender box vandals'. My candid opinion on this virulent situation is that, in our quest to amass wealth through questionable ways, we should also think about the possible questions the millions of electorates will be asking the NDC as a party and a government. This was what one of the victims of 'contract snatching' in the Wa West Constituency told me “I went to my constituency and I was told the regional chairman of the party had asked for an embargo to be placed on my contract until I tow along his line” the question I want to ask is that, is Khalid not an NDC member?

One can say with certainty that, with all the sacks that have taken place so far in this regime, the one that bordered the minds of many Ghanaians was that of Mahmud Khalid. His removal led to several press conferences and counter press conferences in the region which is a clear manifestation of what is happening in the region. Several accusations and counter accusations were made with regards to the proposed removal of the deputy regional minister from office by a section of the youth. Scathing allegations were leveled against the deputy regional minister. He was accused of hypocrisy and connival with some regional executives which culminated the removal of the ex-minister. Evidence on tape is available according to the youth, it will be an indictment on the party should it be gazetted. They still insist that the deputy should be removed based on the president's submission when he was swearing in some deputy ministers. This development has led to the polarization of the party in the region and something must be done now!

Painfully, after granting live radio interview to a private radio station on this issue, some people believed to be architects of this malignant act, connived with my constituency secretary to write a supposed suspension letter to suspend me from my position as the deputy youth organizer for Sissala West Constituency. I wrote a rejoinder to this effect and copied the regional youth organizer and the secretary but it has taken them centuries to act on it, a close source revealed that they share the same values. This made me to believe that they have an interest in the matter. Attached is a copy of the supposed suspension letter.

Many party loyalists will attest to the fact that, since the removal from office of Hon. Mahmud Khalid, the Deputy Regional Minister and his compatriots never thought it wise to go and say good morning or evening to him. Their prime concern these days is to work out modalities using baleful means as to how to make the Deputy Regional Minister a substantive minister. The next morning after Khalid's removal, kale Caesar quickly teamed up with the regional secretary to organize a press conference just to project him. Many people expressed their dissatisfaction with this development. Even in our traditional settings, when your father dies, you do not begin to talk about inheritance until he is buried, any of such will let people hold you responsible for your father's death. What he now tells people is that “Khalid now belongs to the past” and that no body should follow him. There is a tape to this effect.

On Monday, 14th, 2010, Daily graphic carried a story believed to be the handy work of Kale Caesar through a journalist, who lined up strong and die hard NDC gurus in the Upper West Region and passed insinuations on them just because he wants to become a substantive Regional Minister.

Since the assumption of office of our great NDC party, some party bigwigs have always been showing their mettle of getting the regional ministerial position to the neglect of building the party for 2012, elections. Notable among them is the current Electoral Commission voter registration exhibition, instead of some Regional Executives focusing and directing their efforts at getting an efficient and reliable voter register for the Upper West Region, they are routinely trekking the Osu Castle for positions to satisfy their egos.

But all is not lost. The skirmishes and all the ills that seek to bedevil the party in the region can be laid to rest by just a single word - 'fairness'. We should also be mindful of the fact that there can never be peace without justice. Since there are two strong interest groups, I will suggest that both groups be represented when ever it comes to sharing the regional cake so that one side is not left out.

The bottom line is that, come what may, 2012 we shall once again get to the grassroots to seek for their mandate so we need to be careful for, they are watching us. Let all of us be wary of the malevolent consequences of party factionalism as we have seen in the 8 years of the opposition NPP. The infighting that has of recent rocked the NDC in the upper west region is a novelty. Any way, there is a saying that, until you fight with your friend, you will never know his weight. The NDC is a family; let us treat it as such for victory, 2012.

Long live Ghana, Long live Upper West, long live NDC. EYE ZU, EYE ZA

(BY: ABDUL- RAHMAN OSMAN (BABS) - N.D.C DEPUTY YOUTH ORGANIZER FOR SISSALA WEST)

0208350400/0240380758 E-MAIL: [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Abdul Musah Sidibe.