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FEATURED: Let's Embed Rawlings' Values In The National Psyche — Parliament...

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23.01.2009 General News

Should The Sparks Should The Sparks

By Michael J. K. Bokor, Ph. D. - Ghanaian Chronicle
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In other words, he did not want to be at the beck and call of any so-called voice of authority in the political sense. Now in government, the first effort at pushing him and the President around is being made by Rawlings. How will he take it without impairing working relationships?

Granted that Rawlings' manner or method of issuing the admonition is part of an arsenal of strategies for “proactiveness” through open criticism of President Mills from forces within the NDC, it may have its good sides; but, generally, it will also have very negative long-term effects as far as governance is concerned.

First, it will tell the public that President Mills is dormant and needs prompting from the “Almighty” Rawlings to do the “appropriate thing.”

Furthermore, it will tell the public that President Mills doesn't understand the enormity of the tasks facing his administration or that unless poked in the ribs, he cannot act. And if he goes ahead to fire these MCEs and DCEs, will it not portray him as a conveyor belt for Rawlings' promptings? Any impression of this sort will not help him and his administration.

Criticism from within is good, especially if it aims at alerting President Mills to things happening on his blind side that he must adjust to; but if the immediate method for issuing the criticism is what Rawlings has opted for, then, the criticism will lose its value.

It will rather do more harm than any good for the government at this early stage of its existence and portray a bad side of President Mills to the political opponents who are sitting at the flanks and eagerly waiting for any demonstration of weakness to tell the electorate: “Ah, huh!

We told you so but you didn't listen to us! Now, have you seen how President Mills is being manipulated to do his 'Master's' bidding?”

Rawlings has to know that every leader has his or her own ways of effecting change and that the approach being used by the new NDC administration might be in consonance with the Social Democratic agenda and the Atta Mills government's avowed determination to present a better posture to the world than the “buga-buga” approach that he (Rawlings) used in ruling Ghana.

This “buga-buga” leadership style is heavily criticized for its negative impact on the NDC itself and the constitutional democratic dispensation of the Fourth Republic that began in 1992. The reality today is that the days of “buga-buga” did not create a good name for the NDC and should not be brought back; otherwise, the NDC will quickly lose face and public support.

I have a funny feeling that Ghanaians will be more willing to sympathize with (and to support) a new NDC government that makes genuine mistakes and accounts for them than they would do if the military-influenced brutal approaches of Rawlings are reintroduced into the conduct of government.

No matter what the NDC achieved under Rawlings, it still has to do more under a new dispensation to be able to move into the future with hope.

That is why the NDC functionaries must understand that each leader has peculiar worldviews and different approaches to tackling the tasks of governance.

The party must present a united front as it exercises the mandate given it by the electorate.

It means that all those whose postures and utterances will clash with the new image of the party must recede to the background and adopt better ways of making their sentiments known.

After all, firing the MCEs and DCEs from office can be done without intensifying the animosity between the two political camps or destabilizing local government machinery during this transition. I will continue my discussion in the next segment.

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