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05.02.2009 Feature Article

NDC must change constitution and keep eye on political Judas´

NDC must change constitution and keep eye on political Judas´

Life is a journey where each passing day, night or year comes with its share of challenges and bottlenecks. Life is eclectic and provides its fair share of good and bad fortune. It is bitter sweet. Some go through this long or short journey feeling tired and heavy laden by the time they reach their destination. Others go through it battered by difficulty and traps, mostly traps set by themselves, other humans, circumstances and darker forces from outer space. The journey is mostly shorter or longer depending on the mood of the Old Man, our Father who Art in Heaven. In the end, the story is never the same for everyone. Our Father, the Lord - General and Adonai bestows longevity on which He wills.

How well we cope with these challenges is what makes us weaker, stronger, richer, poorer, foolish or shrewd. The older one gets, the more challenges one may face in life. And everything, person, place or thing has a life and a season. I am sure you have heard of how powerful banks have collapsed recently - Lehmann Brothers, NetBank, Myrell Lynch amongst others.

The National Democratic Congress, NDC, by all account is a young political party going through the lessons of life. The party would win friends and lose friends at every cycle in its history. It had already lost some good friends or rather bad friends. The party had power, lost it and regained it. It would be most exciting to see what lessons the party had learnt whilst in opposition and how that plays out in its life in government.

When the party lost power, many people jumped ship or became passive members. There were those who loved the party only because it was in power and quickly switched as the NDC went out of office in 2001. Human beings would never change. When you have power, you have many friends, when you don´t have it many of the people you called friends would look elsewhere. By the way, where is Ghana´s longest serving Foreign Minister and Attorney General, 1981 - 1997- Dr Yao Obed Asamoa? I had a very good time gleefully laughing when reports emerged that some of the folks who abandoned the NDC in her hour of need are now shamelessly trying to inveigle themselves with the new government. I hope Obed was not one of them? I can't wait to see a leaked list of who these political Judas´ are. The list would serve as a good source of amusement for many of us who can't get to laugh out loud in the blistering European winter.

The framers of the NDC constitution, like many political institutions and even nations, did not envisage a situation like they have on their hands today where an executive member of the party is a sitting member of parliament and a nominated minister of state, who when confirmed would now have to grapple with the arduous task of running a ministry, work for his constituency and serve as an executive member of the party.

Hannah Tetteh is Director of Communications and Trade and Industry minister designate, while Ama Benyewa-Doe is National Women Organiser and minister designate for the Central Region and Haruna Iddrisu is a Member of Parliament, National Youth Organiser and slated to head the Communications ministry if all goes according to plan.

The return to power by NDC would not be as difficult as keeping it. Tough decisions would have to be made. The party must amend its constitution so that in the future, executive members who wish to stand for election as members of parliament give up their executive positions in the party. This would avert a situation where the party would be saddled later with the situation they have at hand now.

As expected, there's going to be a lot of demands on the time of these party executives and ministers and if they were to fulfill the "Change for a Better Ghana" agenda, then something would have to be done quickly to lessen the load on these ministers. The party needs fulltime executive members to keep operations of the party running smoothly.

There is talk of relieving some of these executive members of their positions later this year. But that is not good enough. It has to be now. Currently, the NDC is in the process of forming a government and that is taking the attention of everyone in the party. It might take about six months for the new government to find its feet. Meanwhile the party machinery has virtually grinded to a halt, nothing much is happening and nothing might really happen until the government settles down. But that is where the problem lies. They might end up having to fire fight the result of apathy by the many young and old men and women who contributed in the party's campaign back to office.

Non senior members and many sympathisers would naturally expect to be rewarded for their efforts towards bringing the party back into office. To avert disillusionment by members, the leadership would have to stay focused and that means quickly holding elections to fill in the positions of Youth Organiser, Communications Director and Women Organiser.

The next National Youth Organiser must set up an Education and Vocational Fund ostensibly to provide scholarship to brilliant but needy children of party sympathisers, support vocational training for those who can't make it into our universities and polytechnics. This would in a large way keep the rank and file happy and most importantly complement the efforts of the Youth Employment program which is under-funded to take care of everyone else's needs including non party members.

2012 is not too far away. It is better to do it now than to have to suffer the result of disaffection by its rank and file.

Credit: RAS MUBARAK
[E-mail: [email protected]]

Ras Mubarak
Ras Mubarak , © 2009

This author has authored 84 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RasMubarak

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