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Cracking the whip on Kofi Adams is good for the NDC

By Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.

3/22/2012 8:16:44 PM -

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For once, the NDC leaders have proved that they have the guts to act decisively in the interest of the party. They've quickly acted to halt one of the trouble-makers in the party, Kofi Adams, the Deputy General Secretary who also doubles as the spokesman for the Rawlingses.

The National Executive Committee of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has suspended him. The decision was taken at a crunch meeting by the NEC on Thursday in Accra (MyJoyOnline, March 22, 2012).

This bold decision by the NEC should send the shivers down the spine of those like Adams who think that they can do or say anything to harm the party's interests and still be accepted as party faithfuls. They shouldn't be accommodated to serve two masters under one roof.

For far too long, Kofi Adams has run riot, causing trouble left and right and behaving as if he is worthier than what he is known to be. No one needs to be reminded of his intransigence for some time now, deceiving himself that he is untouchable. Now, he has been touched!!And I am happy that the balloon in him has been burst by just one decisive pincer attack. Phoooooooooh!!

Regardless of the repercussions of this bold decision, the NEC deserves commendation for acting swiftly, not only because of the alleged complicity between Adams and the NPP's Gabby Otchere-Darko to doom President Mills' re-election bid, but also because it is a step in the right direction to clip his wings. Now relieved of his post in the party, he can devote all his time to the Rawlings cause.

And Rawlings himself can ramp up his anti-Mills rhetoric. Ghanaians will decide his fate based on what they know about him, not on the bad-mouthing that the Rawlingses subject him to.

Kofi Adams felt too full of himself. If he were wise, he would hasten slowly. He has felt too comfortable rubbing shoulders with the Rawlingses and doing their bidding, forgetting that he is nobody in Ghana politics. If he had paused to consider his circumstances, he would be cautious enough to tread carefully. He would look back to find out how many others hadn't preceded him, serving as spokesmen for the Rawlingses only to be used and discarded. What is the source of his foolhardiness, anyway?

Now, he has been axed, and I say it loud: Good riddance!

With this decision, the NEC has stood its grounds to assure the party's followers that it is wielding the clout which will fall on maladjusted party activists when they give cause for it. That axe should have fallen on Kofi Adams and others like him long ago, though.

Whether this action will stem the negative tide in the party or not is a different issue; but it is appropriate. We know that it will anger the Rawlingses all the more, which will worsen the strained relationship between his faction and the Mills one. But discipline must not be compromised.

Were the in-fighting restricted to the main actors, the crisis might somehow lend itself to eventual resolution. But that's not the case. This bad-blood relationship has seeped through the entire gamut of the party and poisoned its activists nationwide.

With Kofi Adams and others like him doing things to deepen the party's woes, it will be very difficult for the Mills' administration to reach out successfully to the electorate for re-election.

Probably, those calling themselves foot-soldiers (“cadres”?) and behaving the way Adams does will now advise themselves. They are free to declare their stand and leave the party instead of remaining in it and destroying it from within.

Their loud protestations and decision to align themselves with Rawlings speaks volumes. They consider themselves as the field workers whose sacrifices have restored the party to power and shouldn't be side-stepped in the distribution of the national cake because they have shouldered enormous responsibilities to keep the party alive.

They are behaving as if under Rawlings their circumstances were any better. They were used but not rewarded in anyway except being fooled with tag “Cadres,” and the interpellation by way of “Comrade.” Beyond that foolery lay the exploitation of their misplaced youthful exuberance—call it a revolutionary fervour if you will.

These foot-soldiers have publicized grievances that the Mills government can't address in the 9 months left for the party's fate to be determined at the polls. As they continue to fume at being used and abandoned, their loud protestations ring loud and will continue to haunt President Mills. But nothing justifies their tearing the party apart.

Now that the main electioneering campaign period is drawing near, one wonders what the Mills government can do to restore sanity in its relationship with these embittered and disaffected segments of the party if they are to contribute their quota to the party's electoral efforts.

But they will not escape the negative backlash if the NDC loses the upcoming elections. They may console themselves with their plight to suggest that their circumstances haven't improved whether in opposition or in power. This may be a defeatist stance because they will live to regret, especially under an NPP regime that will tighten the screw on them for whatever they may be regarded.

We have already established that the party's woes go beyond this level of negative factionalism. A more frightening spectre emerges in the nature of the party's national leadership. It beats one's imagination that while all the trouble was brewing in the party, those charged with managing the party's affairs did nothing to stem the negative tide.

The party's national executives, led by Dr. Francis Kwabena Adjei, have played the ostrich and taken no drastic action to assuage fears. They did nothing either to allay fears, doubts, and suspicions that they themselves hadn't been bitten by the factionalism bug. They looked on while both factions tore at each other, destroying the very fabric of the party.

For his part, Dr. Adjei found time to construct the Judiciary as a cat to be killed in many ways. While his own house (NDC) was burning, he chose to focus on the Judiciary, which he blamed for frustrating the government's efforts to successfully prosecute cases against its political opponents indicted for malfeasance. Dr. Adjei sought refuge in something that rather turned out to create more credibility problems for the government.

But this drastic action against Adams should change the tune; and those hiding behind the smokescreen provided by the Rawlingses to hurt the party's interests had better take caution. It will be better for them to be kicked out to allow the genuine supporters to work for the party and not be frustrated by those elements.

While all these developments add a new complexion to the party's problems, the government itself needs some resuscitation. As he is constantly buffeted by these “adversaries” in his own party, President Mills seems to be caught up in a whirlwind. Whether he will disengage from this spiral unscathed is anybody's guess.

As if paralyzed by the problems, President Mills and his government are also contributing much to worsen the problem. What will it take for President Mills to make moves to bring together all those tearing at him all this while? If he claims to be a pacifist, he must go beyond mere rhetoric to act expeditiously.

I don't think that creating conditions for negotiation or dialogue with those locking horns with him needs any strenuous effort apart from making overtures, recognizing one's limitations, and being ready to “jaw-jaw” with all of them. Unless he doesn't know the implications of the head-butting with these elements, he should get off his butt to reach out to them. He stands to redeem himself thereby and help the party rediscover itself accordingly.

I am happy that the NEC hasn't remained unaffected by Kofi Adams' waywardness and that it has duly taken the first decisive step. I expect it to remain steadfast in enforcing discipline as it deals with all other problems hindering oneness in the party. Anything short of that will sustain the finger-pointing syndrome and hinder genuine efforts to reach out to the electorate.

Our democracy needs the NDC just as it does the NPP and all the other political parties. That is why it is imperative for the leadership of these parties to act expeditiously to put their houses in order.

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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." © Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D..