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16.07.2008 Political

The Nkawkaw political sociology

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Peter Mac Manu, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman is reported to have hinted that the NPP 'is considering the amendment of the … party's constitution'. He is also reported to have urged NPP 'supporters to help promote and protect the good name and unity of the NPP'. (The Ghanaian Times, Friday, June 6, 2008 : 13)

Isaac Akwetey of The Chronicle (June 6, 2008 : 4) writes: 'Hon. Okerchiri K. Adusa… is seeking a second term bid…in parliament.'

He further his report stated that following a disqualification slapped on Seth Adjei Baah (aka Shaaba), 'an Nkwakaw Circuit Court… ruled in favour of the party'. Akwetey gave no account of Adusa's post-election comments. But The Ghanaian Times did. Hear him: 'My victory is for the party and for everybody in the district. Let us unite now than ever before to ensure total victory for the NPP in December.'

Yaw Owusu Addo, who contested Adusa in the primary poll, 'disclosed to The Chronicle that the party would laugh at the wrong side of its mouth if the executives in the constituency fail to work hard to retain the seat… the sitting MP has lost the favour and sympathy of the constituents, who voted him to power… and are now, calling for a change.

SKIRT AND BLOUSE LOOM

He continued that it would be suicidal if the top goons of the party failed to immediately embark on damage control in order to restore confidence in the people, since they have indicated their readiness to vote what they have described as “skirt and blouse”. He gave an instance where the MP attended a programme and when he got up to address the gathering, they started to hoot at him… Owusu Addo added that the MP was re-elected because the delegates lacked political maturity'. (These are the words and construction of Akwetey, expressing the thoughts of Owusu Addo).

On Peace FM on June 9, 2008 on a 'Kokrokoo programme', Hackman Owusu Agyeman (MP, New Juaben) spoke of 'the need for the retention of some MPs in parliament to promote the cause of the party'. To him, the only old MPs in parliament now from the Eastern Region are himself and Okerchiri Adusa.

I have taken the trouble to present the foregoing in an attempt to assist everybody to digest the political sociology, or if you like, the rule-making processes in society and how such rules are obeyed. In this case, I am concerned about the Nkawkaw constituency in relation to the antics by the leadership of the NPP and the people's representation.

I believe expanding the scope of the electorate at the constituency level may abate the perceived or real commoditization of the ballot.

INSULT ON INTELLIGENCE OF NKAWKAW NPP SUPPORTERS

By urging the NPP 'supporters to help promote and protect the good name and unity of the party', has the leadership of the party , or some members thereof, analysed the harm they have done to the conscience of the Nkawkaw constituency by their deliberate attempt to force a candidate on them? How can Mac Manu, for instance, attempt to urge supporters of Nkawkaw to help do the impossible by assisting 'to help promote and protect the good name and unity of the NPP'? Was he alone, or was he not the veto-wielding official of the party to have his way, to keep off credible opponent to Adusa in the Nkawkaw primary poll? Was he interested in seeking a fruitful poll, or was he only interested in a cosmetic one?

The veiled reason underlying the persistent attempts on Adjei Baah to drop his intention to contest the Nkawkaw primary election in the party's name was that he was cut to win, ready made!

When the regional secretariat of the party gave him the green light to run, emissaries from Accra summoned him from Accra to Nkawkaw to persuade him not to run. His mental torture did not end there. He travelled to and from Kyebi several times on invitation to see a Council of State member to be stopped in his track. When he would not budge, then the national chairman had 'to dig the past for a DNA test'. The results? 'You have been a former independent candidate, so you are not fit to contest! No questions! No explanation!' he roared, behaving like a principal of a teacher training college in colonial days; or a military leader.

In my studies in public administration, I learnt that 'leadership is a style'. In the military, my friends there tell me 'command is a style'. Does anybody remember when Ceaucesceau of Romania ordered troops to fire on members of demonstrating Solidarity Movement in the 1990s in that country, they refused? That is a fast example of what a 'command is a style' means.

SHAABA'S CHARGE

When the Church of Pentecost, for example, sets rules and regulations to govern its members, such rules and regulations do not, naturally, extend to the members of the Methodist church, or any other church for that matter.

Do they? It is in the light of this that the charge against Adjei Baah for having attempted an independent candidature was ill-applied against him. At that time (2004), he was not an NPP member. Was he? He got his party card in 2006, after several frustrations from 2000 by the Nkawkaw NPP constituency. Why does the MP, for instance, arrogate to himself who should be issued with a party card? He did it to Adjei Baah; he did it to Owusu Addo. Owusu Addo's filled-up form, it is alleged, was ordered to be returned to him at the instance of the MP. There is a slogan at Nkawkaw to the effect that only genuine members should apply for a party card.

Who is, and who is not, a genuine member to join a political party? The disease with the Nkawkaw NPP is the unfortunate reality that anybody who is likely to be a parliamentary candidate will not find it easy to be registered, so long as the current MP remains the MP. Does Mac Manu not know this? Has he taken the trouble to address this? Is he up to the task of being a cut leader? What type of logic is the MP up to? The reasons will follow shortly.

Akwetey's claim that the MP 'is seeking a second term bid' is a complete fallacy. That a court ruled in favour of the party is also not very correct. What the court did was to strike out the case at the instance of the plaintiff! I hope journalists his calibre will do well to feed the public with hard facts.

Okerchiri Adusa first entered parliament on a silver platter in 1996, following the automatic disqualification of the 1992 candidate on a chieftaincy caveat. In 2000, the feeling was that he should be retained since the NPP was then migrating from opposition to government, where he would be made a Minister of State. He therefore had no challenger. He re-entered parliament. He never got the position of a minister! Then in 2004, he, again, went to parliament.

The claim then was that the President had promised him a ministerial position in his second term. He never got one. The joke doing the rounds then was: Even an Assemblywoman got the position of a deputy minister in the Eastern Region. Has Akwetey now gotten the impeccable facts about the Nkawkaw MP's tenure? Could our journalists be a little bit more investigative in their work?

The determined effort of the MP to get Shaaba out before the race was that the latter was the key impediment to his avowed aim of becoming a Minister of State, provided Akufo-Addo won the December polls. Who says anybody at all with a university degree can become a Minister of State, or a good leader? My goodness! A rich slave is no less a slave than a poor slave! Look at the divisiveness that the MP has brought into the NPP fold at Nkawkaw!

ENTER ABANKWA

In 1996 when the MP entered the fold, Abankwa was the constituency chairman. Later, the MP manouvred to get him out because Abankwa criticized him for his low output, both in parliament and in the constituency. Ampadu Adjei (Obo Stores) was brought in to replace Abankwa. After the 2000 elections, the MP crossed swords with his chairman. Why? Ampadu Adjei had asked for a refund of one million cedis he gave the writer to disburse to students who needed to be sponsored to go to their hometowns to vote. The demand for the cash erupted following the knowledge that party headquarters had made cash available to the MP for that sponsorship exercise.

While the local office needed the money to advance to the students to make the trip, the MP who had the custody of the money, was not immediately available. Later, the MP failed to reimburse his chairman. But others like the writer and the vice chairman, Anim, got theirs. When the chairman's demands became incessant, the MP sought to get him removed. The next chairman came. He is still in office. But are they faring any better? No, sir; no, madam! Who ever told you the MP needs anybody's advice, especially from mature and older somebody? Anybody who thinks this is an improper motive, or want of honest belief in the truth of this assertion can make the trip to Nkawkaw to find out. They would be shocked to learn of the intrigues and divisiveness in the NPP; the scorn, contempt and fury of the NPP family about the personality of the MP who wants to be a Minister of State!

The sages have said 'Performance is the reality of man. Words are words; promises are promises; explanations are explanations. Only performance is reality.' If performance is the reality of man, then the world does not owe anybody anything.

SHAABA TO GO INDEPENDENT

The defeated candidate's admonition that the party 'would laugh at the wrong side of its mouth' is an unhealthy observation and assertion. He may be right; he may not be right. He may be right because there is so much pressure on Shaaba to go independent again. If Shaaba does, he will win hands down! But I keep reminding him of the last thought of W.E.B. Du Bois to the world in 1963: 'One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in Life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.'

The writer is privy to numerous calls and representations to him to persuade Shaaba to contest the office of MP as an independent contestant since as Owusu Addo puts it, 'the sitting MP has lost the favour and sympathy of the electorate… and are calling for change'. If on the other hand Shaaba does not go independent, can anybody force the Nkawkaw electorate to vote for the NPP? They may choose to vote or not to vote. They may opt for 'skirt and blouse', or 'shirt and trousers', if you like. But the NPP may wish to have 'up and down' results to secure a decisive win.

OWUSU ADDO

Back to Owusu Addo who complains about 'the immaturity' of the people who voted for Adusa.

There is an advert running on GTV, sponsored, I think, by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation. It is about a man applying for the post of a Supervisor in a company. He was one hour late for the interview. When he got to the venue, one of the panellists met him at the reception and asked:

'What did you apply for?' 'Supervisor,' he said confidently. 'I'm sorry you need to be supervised!' The lady panellist said and left him. Does this episode ring a bell in Owusu Addo's ears? Owusu Addo exhibited gross immaturity in his attempt to get to parliament. He may, or may not get angry with me. But I need to say this. According to Goethe, the German poet and philosopher, 'If a man is taken as he is, we make him worse, but if taken as he ought to be, we help him become it.'

Owusu Agyeman says he and Adusa are the only old MPs from the Eastern Region who are likely to go back. That's not very true. What about the MPs from Kade and Asuogyaman? Experience is good. But who told him new officers to an establishment or institution cannot perform to satisfaction except only the old ones? Is he conversant with Asante history having regard to sterling performance by their Kings? In the same manner, the University of Ghana came into being in 1948. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Cape Coast University came later. And yet KNUST and Cape Vars have set the pace for Legon to follow in many respects: the In-Out- Out-In policy; financial assistance to students with poor background; reservation of places to students from deprived schools; were started by KNUST; Cape Vars before Legon copied. On distance learning, etc. How about that?

One of the reasons why people marry is to help prolong the family tree. And I believe the NPP is a family that should afford its young to explore, to aspire to greater heights. People like Owusu Agyeman should refuse to think everybody, apart from them, is naïve! Owusu Agyeman and Adusa will not be there for ever. They should not undermine the intelligence of people to be fast to learn to achieve positive results. They should, please, give us a break.

The divisiveness of the MP of Nkawkaw; the frustrations and fury of the NPP family at Nkawkaw; the pressure gushing out of the people who are yearning for change; the GYIMI GYIMI concoction at Nkawkaw; covert manipulation, cheating and commoditization of the ballot by unseen elements in the party having regard to the 'imposition' of a non-performing candidate on the people of Nkawkaw, can all be summed up in this proverb: 'Old age is like a bank account, you draw what you put there.'

Lest I forget. Is it the case that the NPP national chairman told Shaaba he could go and form his own political party? I do not believe he did. Was he also deceived, as others, that Shaaba is not well educated? Some people hardly trumpet their fortunes. Shaaba holds a University of London degree in Business Administration. Have you ever heard of university without walls? People will soon be shocked to learn more about his academic exploits. Let the MP and his cohorts at Nkawkaw go on air again to say Shaaba is not well educated. And who says the journey to parliament is only through the gates of a university? That is an ill-defined concept. People should stop being limited in stature.

When the NPP loses at Nkawkaw, the NPP national chairman will have lost nothing. The twists and turns have come and gone. However, the anger, frustrations, disappointments, pain and the bleeding of the people's hearts persist.

Akufo-Addo will have a huge task trying to erase an intangible something from the mind of the Nkawkaw electorate to accept him and the doll candidate of the NPP national chairman. The people's very soul has been punctured. Mere appeal to 'supporters to help promote and protect the good name and unity' of the NPP by the national chairman with particular reference to the Nkawkaw constituency, is hollow and immature in the realms of political sociology. 'Leadership', or 'command', indeed, 'is a style.' Let Akufo-Addo know the leadership of his party is making very serious preventable mistakes. Let him also know: 'Due, due mu wo due.' To wit, 'Among a group of sympathizers, only a few are sincere.'

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle

The Chronicle
The Chronicle, © 2008

The author has 68 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: TheChronicle

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