“In politics, nothing happens by accident, if it happened, it is because it was planned that way”—Unknown.
It is very true that the cadre front was a strong vehicle on which the NDC built its political validity, existence and power. It served as an impetus for popular participation and universal support from the grassroots who formed the core base of the party until today. It cannot go without adding that, the NDC to a large extent owes it’s existence to the cadres.
Indeed, and worth recounting is the fact that before the party began to mature into a living adult, the same cadres started pulling its limbs. Right from late 1990s with the breakaway of the National Reform Party which was largely borne out a group which emerged as Founding Members for reform in the NDC, the struggle for entitlement begun. Worse of it happened when the wife of the founder with the tacit approval of the husband, also broke away to form her party. Since then, most of the elders who are engaged in anti-party activities are largely founding members and cadres who are living today and hovering around with enormous political clout because some people had to lay their lives for them to live.
If there was a Ghanaian politician who suffered political abuses, sabotages, vilification, and internal backstabbing then, Kwame Nkrumah will come next to John Dramani Mahama. This was a man who only became President for four years (2013 to 2016). Surprisingly, the hurtful national conversations mostly triggered by the NPP and filtered by some of their rented media and their surrogates make it sound like all the problems of Ghana and those that are yet to come were and will be the doing of President John Dramani Mahama.
As if the above isn’t enough a load to carry by a man whose only crime was to serve his country, some of the cadres and founding members of the NDC are trying hard to unreasonably heap the problems the NDC has faced in the recent past and even those that the party picked up after the Swedru declaration on the head of John Mahama. The foregoing attempt to whip and frustrate John Mahama’s future political exploits are well hatched and executed by some of these cadres and leading members of the party.
Unfortunately, this sense of entitlement by the same cadres and leading members caused the NDC in 2000 and 2004 general elections. The same feeling of ownership and sense of entitlement have taken over these same elements, and indeed their scheming's have made the party to lose two elections again (ie 2016 and 2020). This is not to take away other principal factors in both elections which might have contributed to the NDC’s defeat.
Today, a biggest beneficiary of the sweat, toils, and blood of ordinary members of the NDC, out of envy and rusted greed can describe John Mahama as a “stranger and an opportunist” in the NDC, implying, John Mahama doesn’t fit to lead the party. Koku Anyidoho’ s attacks on John Mahama and his obvious vexations are not isolated incidents and conducts. In fact, they are part of the bigger scheme by these same faceless cadres who feel they own the NDC, and that a man without a cadre name tag is not fit to lead. This sounds like an analogy of a fire service officer leading military majors in a deadly war front. Ridiculous though!
The activities that preceded the formation of the National Reform Party by Goosie Tanoh and his ilk to fight the NDC in 2000 and 2004 are finding their way back in the scheme of things in the NDC. Goosie Tanoh and his cabal are almost back to their old selves. His posture and remarks at GIMPA in 1997 at the instance of the then Vice President, Late Prof Mills are mysteriously creeping into the conversation yet again.
Unfortunately, those who have no right to complain are those playing the victims and attempting to hoist the stranger and an opportunistic tag on John Mahama. Ambassador Dan Abodakpi, Dr Benjamin Kunbour, Goosie Tanoh, Martin Amidu, Hon ET Mensah, Koku Anyidoho, ejusdem generis, who hide in the shades of United Cadre Front to shoot their missiles at John Mahama, have no reason or right to complain about the woos and weaknesses of the NDC. If the party is now likened to a weak and lame horse as they want us to believe then, they are part of the problems and invariably, beneficiaries of the current state of the NDC.
It is part of the party’s reorganization to do timely assessments after every election, especially when it has lost two successive elections. It was on this note that they party leadership organized a retreat in the Volta Region and not to close conversation around forcing a Flag bearer on its members. So, to have a leading member like Dr Ben Kunbour to choose to speak on sensitive internal party issues on a parallel platform organized by the United Cadre Front to foil the efforts of the leadership of the NDC isn’t only a mark of insubordination but a sense of entitlement and ownership which are obliterating the progress of the NDC.
Interestingly, Koku Anyidoho who has been conveniently flirting with GAME and FONKAR has been recruited and energized as a mercenary of the so-called owners of the party who disguise themselves as caring cadres to engage in the vilification and unsolicited attacks on the person of John Mahama. Speaking on the same parallel platform organized by these people at Tema, Koku Anyidoho kept emphasizing the point that the NDC belongs to the cadres, and they must do everything possible to take it back. Since then, he’s redirected and refined his attacks on the person of John Mahama, even after his dismissal.
In the beginning when the cadres felt left out of the circle by President Rawlings, which led to the formation of the National Reform Party, John Mahama was just a mere Deputy Minister without a strong standing. Ultimately, the angry cadres succeeded in getting the influence of Rawlings beaten down, which reflected in the outcomes of both 2000 and 2004 general elections.
Of course, the formation of the NDP by the wife of the founder of the NDC was one of the biggest cracks that ever happened to the NDC. For a wife who was not an ordinary passive participant but an integral part of the political life of her husband, to come to undo a status quo of allowing sitting President to run unopposed for their second terms, was enough a communication of what was wrong with the NDC. This coincidentally happened at a time when Mrs Rawlings was the first Vice Chairperson of the party.
For an idol figure like her in the party to leave and form her own party at the time she comfortably shared same parlor with the founder of the NDC cannot exculpate blame as the biggest challenge facing the NDC today even after the demise of the Founder. Was John Mahama the reason the NDP was formed? Was he the figure face in the GAME and FONKAR debacle?
These were the words of the Interim General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Manboah Rockson, in announcing his resignation in Tamale… “The party that Prof Mills led since 2009 developed a very stubborn character; it developed elitism, cabalism which was not a good omen for the people of Ghana; it resulted in corruption and insults rained whenever the founder of the NDC wanted to comment on situations in the party…”. This of course was not the doing of President Mahama.
Interestingly, the exiled Koku Anyidoho was one of the leaders of the “babies with sharp teeth” who Prof Mills was accused of recruiting and packed in his government to stand against the authority of the founder. I want to see how President Mahama contributed to this predicament Koku wants to heap on the head of the Bole Warrior. In any case, was Late Mills one of the cadres? This attempt by Koku to draw sympathy from the demise of the humble Prof and attempt to absolve the government he (Koku) commanded unfettered power and influence, from the so called woos of the NDC today is not only nauseating but an act of wickedness and senselessness.
Did President Mahama exclude the cadres in his government? A big NO! Dr Ben Kunbour, a very refined Lawyer whose academic credentials, stock of knowledge and wisdom cannot be questioned, is one of the frontline cadres. He’s currently part of the NDC legal team and council of elders. The man first served as a Deputy Minister of Health and then became the substantive Minister in the government of Prof Mills.
Dr Kunbour who suffered a parliamentary defeat in 2008 partly as a result of same schemings by some of his comrades in the then Lawra-Nandom Constituency occupied several key positions in both Mills and Mahama’s governments. He ended as a Defense Minister with John Mahama as President in 2016. At this time, Comrade Kofi Portuphy, another astute cadre was the National Chairman with General Asiedu Nketia, another cadre as the General Secretary. In fact, Chairman Portuphy came to unseat another cadre(Late Kwabena Adjei).
Between 2013 and 2016 when Mahama was President, although he injected fresh blood into his government which is not new especially in the NDC, some of the top men in his government were cadres. Some of these fresh blood who have now been described as the problem of the NDC in fact, transition from Mills government. If one cadre wasn’t a Board Chairman, another was an Ambassador. Most of them served in various capacities in both Mills and Mahama’s governments while the rest served at the party level from Constituency through to the National Headquarters.
So, at what point did the horse became lame, tired and sick which cadre Dr Ben Kunbour, Ambassador Abodakpi, Goosie Tanoh, ejusdem generis, are trying to communicate to the world.? If one of the problems of the NDC that led to its defeat in the 2016 general elections, which Dr Ben Kunbour predicted as a sitting cabinet minister, then he was an integral part of it. The time higher standards of not above a “C” in WASSCE was such a precious requirement to enter any of the forces, Dr Benjamin Kunbour served as both an Interior and Defense Ministers. The standards have since been lowered to their lowest ebb since his exit in 2016. What happened?
If NDC is likened to a lame and tired horse then, some of the cadres who put it together, rode on its back to their current glory were those who unreasonably whipped it to its lameness and not the “non-cadres”. A great party like the NDC cannot be left to the dictates of only the cadres. The party is a moving train which gather masses along the way. Some joined the cadre front in the 1970s, others join in the 1980s, some others join in the 1990s when the party was given birth to, and their hard work and unity of purpose inspired many of us to join later in the 2000s.
For a party which came strongly in less than 4 years to take back 31 seats to rob shoulders with the NPP which went all out into the election, that structure can’t be described as weak, tired and can’t be reorganized into an election winning horse. If cadres want to take their party, they should prove that indeed they own and control the grassroots and not to recruit hungry political mercenaries like Koku Anyidoho who was only 8 years old at the time the cadres front fought their first battle in 1979, to mount incessant, unprovoked attacks on the person of John Mahama.
This is John Mahama’s time and so, if anybody wants to challenge the waves nature is blowing then, he/she should lace the boots and contest him in the next Flag bearer race when he decides to contest. For now, John Mahama is equal to the NDC, an equation that is balanced and can be proven mathematically.
The time has come for President John Dramani Mahama to put a pen on a paper and make a wish by scribing what he wants and how to get it. Nobody can do so for him unless himself.
By Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
(Youth Imam from Laribanga)