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14.04.2008 Feature Article

Why Mills and the National Democratic Congress can`t win an election in Ghana

Why Mills and the National  Democratic Congress can`t  win an election in Ghana

From the ravages of confusion, greed, ethnicity, favoritism, corruption, dictatorship, intimidation, dashed hope and torture, the country is systematically warming its way back into the embrace of democracy, decency, freedom and justice. This has been made possible by the mature and efficient way of our ship of state, and has been captained by the ubiquitous John Agyekum Kufuor.
Now we are engaged in a titanic life struggle over the very soul of our dear nation, Ghana. The Stabilizer, Agyekum Kufuor, incumbent President is leaving office in January, 2009. The baton of leadership will be passed on to another person, an Elijah. WHY AKUFO-ADDO?

The purpose of this write up is to assign reasons why the masses will reject the candidature of Atta Mills, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress and vote for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.

The NDC as it stands today is a party of pathos. The members look at tomorrow and see nothing but a dark void. The NDC Politicians of today is the opposite of the past when they were the masters of all that they surveyed. Despondency is written on the faces of every member of the contraption.

But why is the party crumbling like a pack of cards? The answer is not far-fetched. There is no doubt that, of all the legacies of Rawlings, the NDC stands out as one that can endure and ingrain his name in the sands of time. He has become an institution in the country today. Here is a man whose movements, statements, actions and silence usually arouse much interest in this country and beyond.

Unfortunately, his actions and utterances appear to have alienated a lot of floating voters and party men alike. I have come across top members of the party complaining in secret that they shudder to the marrow anytime, Mr. Rawlings unleashes his salvos. This is no exaggeration and I mean members from the top echelon of the party. His regime and even his action after he had lost power could be described as “A Romance with Anarchy”. He always wants to be top dog. It is also true that forgiveness and reconciliation cannot be found in the dictionary of the Rawlingses. Ghanaians have it at the back of their minds that should they make the mistake of voting for Atta Mills, Mr. Rawlings will overshadow him in all aspects. Mills doesn't have the same depth of character as Rawlings.

Mills is Rawlings' puppet

Coupled with this is the fact that Mills has openly confessed that in the unlikely event of he (Mills) being elected president, he would consult Rawlings every morning; afternoon and evening. Consultation, as we all know, is a very positive leadership trait. But where it becomes the only leadership trait, it makes the leader a puppet and a weak one for that matter. Such a leader could be said to be bereft of ideas. This could be one of Professor Mills' Archiles'heel.

President Kufuor has brought dignity and respect to the Presidency it is expected that his successor would build on what Kufuor has done. A weak President is the last thing the country needs at this time of her development. Mills has shown through his actions and utterances that he is not the expected messiah. Why should Ghanaians vote for him?

The NPP's Manifesto, built on a free market economy with equal opportunity for all is what is enticing a lot of people to her camp. People are yet to forget the ordeal they went through during the brutal and callous regimes of the Rawlings and his P (NDC). The forfeiture of peoples property, the unlawful arrest and detention of innocent citizens, the disappearances of critics of the regime in the night, the brutal murder of citizens and the denial of fundamental rights of individuals are some of the harrowing experiences, Ghanaians would find it difficult to forget. They are too numerous to recount here.

The demolition of a hotel at the airport on the eve of its opening under a civilian dispensation is what Ghanaians will find difficult to forget.

Their fears of a Mills presidency are that the Rawlings scenario may be replicated once more to the detriment of Ghanaians. Mills, people say, is an errand boy for the Rawlings.

The fact that Atta Mills, Flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress has not spoken up against these atrocities lends credence to the fact that he is no different from perpetrators of such callous acts. “Birds of the same feathers” they say, “congregate together”.

The NDC, led by Atta Mills

The NDC, led by Atta Mills, lacks the relevant experience to enable it regain power. The truth is that in modern day politics, like any great enterprise, experience matters a lot. And this is one area the NDC cannot match the NPP even if it remains in opposition for donkey number of years. The NPP has spent longer years in opposition than any other political party in the country. It is not easy to win an election against an incumbent party or President. It is like fighting your way from the Division Two to the Premier Division of a football league. One needs to have a lot of resources to persecute the agenda of gaining political power. Unfortunately, the NDC has been wobbling and fumbling in this aspect and unless a miracle occurs, the party is bound to meets its Armageddon, never to recover again.

The NDC has had the misfortune of relying on its sitting MPs to fund its activities. This is one area the party will pay dearly for. He who pays the piper dictates the tune, so the saying goes. Is the party going to retain sitting MPs so that money will continue to flow into its coffers or allow democracy to prevail and risk losing the money coming from its parliamentarians?

About two months ago, I attended a wedding ceremony of an elder of our church at Agogo Presbyterian church. At the end of the function, I, together with two elders of our church went to a restaurant near the church for lunch. A plate of fufu (two big balls) with big pieces of “akranti” meat and nkate–nkonto (special apologies to Baffour of Spectator's fame) was sold for GH¢1.30. Were my eyes and ears deceiving me? But no, they were not! Everything was true.

WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT MILLS & Akufo Addo

At the end of the whole show, I took the opportunity to sample people's opinions at the gathering. I asked them what they thought about Akufo Addo's presidency and the prospect of Mills winning the election. The response I got to those questions was almost overwhelming. They referred to Mills as a non – starter: they listed instance of positive achievement they have been enjoying under the NPP administration. They said the cost of living was low, transport fares were reasonable, and the road network was splendid. They spoke lofty about the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which has made it possible for people to attend hospital even if they have no money. The liberalization of the air waves which has made it possible for people of different political shades to speak up their minds on any issue was also given higher marks.

They attested to the fact that all that they were concerned with was to have a conducive atmosphere (without let or hindrance) to enable them pursue their legitimate business in peace. Well, this is no exaggeration. It is from there horse's own mouth.

If you doubt it, take a trip to Agogo and you will be shocked at what you will see and hear. At Agogo and its environs, the people will tell you the cost of living is reasonable. On Akufo Addo's candidacy, the people had a lot of positive things to say. They said his selection was a dream come true, claiming they had been praying to God to give them a person of Akufo Addo's pedigree and now that God has acceded to their prayers, they are going to vote overwhelmingly for him. They attested to the fact that Nana has a charismatic personality and that his presence illuminates a gloomy atmosphere. Well, the people of Agogo have spoken.

WHAT WILL SPELL DOOM FOR NDC

Another factor which will spell doom for the National Democratic Congress has to do with the personality traits of the candidate himself. He has no message for the people of the country.

The only message for Ghanaians is “mete ase, mennwu ye o” (“I am alive. I am not dead yet”). Every where one goes, the message is the same – a refrain of the chorus. Mean while other parties have captured the political landscape and are telling the masses their plans for the country.

The National Democratic Congress has not changed a bit from its campaign based on lies, distortions, harassment, intimidation, insults, character assassination and violence. The leopard, they say, cannot change its colours, and so it is with the National Democratic Congress.

What happened on Friday, 28th March, 2008 at the residence of Sheik Uthman Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief Iman gives credence to the fact that the NDC is yet to renounce violence as an instrument of gaining political power.

If the allegation that the NDC MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda led a group of thugs wielding dangerous weapons to surge towards the NPP flag-bearer, who happens to be his colleague in the highest law making organ of the country, then, it means democracy died on that day. They should make available to us video clips of an enraged Collins Dauda charging at the NPP. This will lay to rest the allegations of whether or not the NDC is a violent party.

Again, the statement attributed to the Director of Communications at Mills Campaign Office, Koku Anyidoho, that, were the NDC a violent party, it would have beaten up the NPP members present as the NDC members greatly outnumbered the NPP members

Does the NDC know good?

Again, why should the NDC refuse to heed the advice of the police to use a different route if the party did not want to orchestrate violence? The party was borne out of violence and it is this violence which will lead to its dis-integration. Remember George Orwell's Animal Farm?

By the way, who wants to associate with a loser? Nobody! The NDC has been losing elections in the country and it will continue to lose till thy kingdom come. Atta Mills, three times serial loser has shown no inclination that he is ready to shed off the toga of losses. Whereas Nana Akufo Addo has put in place an effective campaign strategy to prosecute its political war, the NDC is relying on its outmoded fire-brigade approach with occasional violence and intimidation to achieve its nefarious end In conclusion, I would like to borrow from what Festus Keyamo. A Lagos lawyer told “The Comet” in an interview. “I know I'm holding something important. It is a live-wire I am holding and unless it shocks me, I'm not going to let go”.

Nana has the mandate of the people. He will not let go of it!

Daniel Damptey Danquah
Daniel Damptey Danquah, © 2008

The author has 286 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: DanielDampteyDanquah

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