PRESS FORUM ADDRESS BY THE CENTRAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE
6/8/2012 9:43:38 PM -
ADDRESS BY THE CENTRAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE (SoDA) AT A PRESS FORUM HELD ON THE 6TH OF JUNE 2012 AT BYWEL, OSU, ACCRA
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
Many thanks for your presence here this morning despite the rather short notice.
We have called you here to assist us in igniting a progressive intervention that will address the negative trend of developments in the politics of the country within past three and half years.
As published on several social media net works last week, SoDA is a broad activist platform of progressives, Nkrumahists, socialist youth leaders, community organizers, speakers, writers, and current and former student leaders. Guided by the ideals of popular democracy, SoDA aims at assisting the struggle for social justice and economic democracy by means of opening up the national political space for popular participation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the 2008 electoral defeat of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was mainly a product of the self mobilization of ordinary Ghanaians inspired by the promise and prospect of major changes in the structure of our society and the birth of a new society in which their legitimate needs and aspirations will not be subservient to the greed of an acquisitive political elite.
The capitalist New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership despite losing formal political authority but still wielding economic power over the Ghanaian market has been able to wage an almost successful war against the national interest and has been able to shape institutions and conditions in defence of narrow elitist interests and about to put the nail in the coffin of the prospects for real social change. This, we young adherents of social democracy will ensure they do not succeed.
They could afford to do this because they employed state patronage in their eight year rule of the country to entrench themselves into the entire fabric of the Ghanaian society. Its leaders still represent vast local and international business interests; including conjuring of unholy alliances with sections of the governing party; and maintaining commercial control of sections of the media and an apparently decisively corrupt influence over the judiciary.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the recent Supreme Court decision in favour of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey legitimizing the theft of state property exposes a degeneracy that calls for an urgent intervention of all progressive organizations in the politics of the country.
In the same way the courts have insulated the perpetrators of major economic crimes against the state and people of Ghana on frivolous and questionable grounds.
The Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey issue is only one among many events that demonstrates the anti-people war Ghana's current opposition leadership is waging. In every other respect it has defended the most unreasonable and the most anti-people positions. In the infant oil sector it courted the support of foreign political and commercial interests to interfere with the sovereign right of the people of Ghana to ensure the stealing of the peoples' natural resources as was in the case of the historic EO/Cosmos saga.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the actions of the NPP leadership over the past three and a half years has been nothing but a class war against the working people of Ghana which has accidentally but fortunately found expression in the regressive 'all die be die' mantra. This war of a few against all could only be possible by enforcing ethnocentric and other vertical social divisions. The young man who is forced to choose between destitution in the streets in Accra or rural backwardness in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo or Northern Ghana can not be saved by a leadership that has no commitment beyond the looting of state assets for a few.
Already the tribal war song is beginning to have negative consequences on the national economy. It has caused a sense of insecurity amongst the investor community causing a rush for the dollar and the expatriation of profits. This panic demand accounts in part for the steep rise in the value of the US Dollar in relation to the Cedi.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the unprecedented strides attained in the social and economic development of the country particular in the agricultural and social sector under the leadership of H.E. President JEA Mills despite the challenges of the global economic situation, regional instability and the viciousness of internal and external opposition.
Although we have reservations on the fundamental direction of national economic policy, we also recognize that politics is after all is about the realization of what is possible at any moment.
Thus we have identified the consolidation of the Mills regime and its re-election as the most urgent of tasks for all forces on the side of national cohesion and progress.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, as progressives we are only worried that the regime had only responded to the crises by resorting only to means of virtual and bureaucratic action and seemed to have abandoned possibilities for mass mobilization and organisation. We understand that neither the courts nor any institution in the country is sovereign. This calls for broad and active political participation of the people of Ghana who are the only sovereign authority in the Republic.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the ruling party is facing organizational challenges precisely because it has abandoned the social organizations, actors and forces that assisted it in the 2008 electoral revolt and has locked itself up in media mobilisation and a dead weight party bureaucracy at all levels.
At the youth front most of the leaders were abandoned and isolated from the political process after the 2008 elections. A few people have therefore now monopolized political participation for their parochial interest.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, FONKAR is a product of the politics of exclusion. The youth leaders excluded from the l ruling party's political processes provided Mrs. Rawlings with a desperate constituency of articulate and dynamic young men who were used to launch an assault on the regime.
An observation is gaining currency that, some of the youthful Ministers are only concerned with the maximization and expansion of personal power. Their high sense of insecurity had meant they elbow their colleague youth out of the government and party political processes. Thus, the well intentioned policy of rewarding youth leaders with appointments to strengthen the youth wing has had a decisively contradictory effect.
At the same time the National Youth Organizer is also caught up in the tight web of the bureaucracy.
NDC stands the prospect of losing the 2012 elections if this situation persists. Monopoly of political participation has to be purposefully broken for any rational expectation of victory in 2012.
The obsession of a section of the NDC leadership with the need of the Rawlings cult personality in the 2012 elections strategy shows a lack of willingness to open up the political processes for mass involvement. It also shows the contempt and lack of recognition for the sacrifices made by thousands of young political activists during the eight years rule of the NPP.
It must be understood that there has been a drastic change in relations of dependency between Rawlings and the NDC. Hitherto his nationwide popularity was the essence and rational of his control of the NDC. With the inevitable decrease in his popularity nationwide, Rawlings now begins to take more interest in the politicking of the NDC. He is now dependent on the NDC structure for his space in the political process.
The most significant consequence of Rawlings' opposition is the tendency for political actors losing focus on the core problems of governance, party building and ultimately the campaign process.
All discussion on party cohesion has focused only on the unity between the Leader and the Founder. But that does not matter as much as purposeful unity at the base of the party. The prospect of the absence of Mr. Rawlings from the electoral effort of the NDC is not as threatening as the absence of the core of the active youth cadre.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we take opportunity to congratulate the efforts of the United Cadres Front (UCF) in bringing to board the old cadres. SoDA is in the same spirit bringing the youth activists under its umbrella whilst working towards a strong youth cadre core to effectively represent the left of Ghana's politics. We hope for a relationship that will reinforce our commitments towards a progressive and genuine activist politics.
The NPP's war is against the people. Our war is on the side of the people. The battle lines have been drawn. We cannot depend on a mere top-to-bottom communication tactics in an election year. We do not fight for the people, we fight with the people.
Permit us to state that SoDA is a product of the years of struggle of progressives for a real social improvement in Ghana for social change. Perhaps, historically and circumstantially, it is the youth and activist base of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Chairman Mao said 'politics is war without bloodshed; war is politics with bloodshed'. We cannot let down the people of this country. We are calling on all progressives and Nkrumahist youth leaders to join the ranks of SoDA to defend Ghana.
On behalf of the rank and file of the SoDA I wish call on youth activist who have been left out of the process to come on board and join the fight for 2012.
Finally we wish to call on H.E. John Evans Atta-Mills to take personal measures to halt the politics of exclusion by opening up and involving all progressive youth organizations and cadres in a broad activist campaign to ensure complete and total victory in December 2012!!
Many thanks for your attention; we now invite your questions.
Aluta Continua! Victoria Ascerta!!
Cde Lord Koranteng Hamah