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01.04.2009 Feature Article

NDC Must Settle Its Internal Rift

NDC yere sesa mu!!!NDC yere sesa mu!!!
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Every political party at one point in time has had its internal crisis due to the fact that human beings have their different shades of opinion that they bring to the table. But when a party is hit with internal crisis members who have the party at heart normally rise above the plate, settle their differences by agreeing to disagree in the paramount interest of the party. As a result, the current bickering within the NDC party which led to the series of allegations by former President Rawlings again President Mills and the swift rebuttal by the office of the presidency, needs to be settled as soon as possible.

Rawlings is noted as an action man who acts mostly on impulse. Other people including President Mills act differently. In fact the two personalities have different styles therefore the way they go about things is totally different. While R awlings is assertive, Mills acts on the quiet. Therefore, the way Rawlings looks at issues of the day and how to resolve them is totally different from the way President Mills perceives them. This is what has led to the current wrangling, which if not addressed promptly would divide the NDC and throw it off course in its quest to steer its agenda for the next four years.

Every political party that has won elections has had its own difficulties in the distribution of appointments to party members. There has never been a situation that the winning party has been able to fulfill the wishes of all the party members especially the foot soldiers by rewarding them with various kinds of positions. The truth is that there are not enough positions for everybody. While some party members would get some of the positions they covet, others would be put at different positions that they might not initially like with some not getting anything at all. This is due to the limitation of positions out there. If any political party has been able to satisfy all its party faithful including foot soldiers by finding jobs for all of them after wining the elections, then I am yet to find one. Even during Rawlings' presidency there were bickering by some foot soldiers who felt they have been left out after fighting hard to ensure the party's victory. If Rawlings did not hear about it, he should not assume that it did not exist during his time as president.

The other day I was reading an article in the Washington Post in which the writer expressed his disquiet about the fact that Senator John Kerry, the 2004 unsuccessful US Presidential Candidate, who introduced President Obama to the world by allowing him to give a prime-time speech during the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, Massachusetts was left out of the cold during the cabinet appointments even though Kerry had expressed his interest and willingness to serve in the Obama's administration.

There was another article in New York Times which also caught my attention that I want to use to buttress my point. In that article the writer was not happy about the fact that Howard Dean, former Chair of the US Democratic Party, who worked tirelessly towards the election of President Obama was not considered for any position by Obama. The writer even noted that Dr. Dean who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic Party's nomination in 2004 was the first Democratic candidate whose use of the internet to raise money to support his campaign opened the floodgate for President Obama to build on leading to the record amount of $730 million Obama raised towards his 2008 successful presidential campaign.

If these two instances in the US are to serve as a guide, it goes to bolster my point that when elections are won not everybody gets the positions they want. Unless Rawlings wants everybody to believe that during his time as president every single person who contributed towards his campaign was rewarded with a position. I want to repeat myself here. There are simply not enough positions for everybody in the NDC party today. And judging by the clout that Rawlings have on the party, I think he should have been the last person to raise that sentiments that some NDC party foot soldiers are getting disillusioned because they have been left out of appointments.

Like it or not whatever Rawlings says carries a lot of weight. That is what the opposition feeds on, which is why when Rawlings' keeps quiet newspapers like the Daily Guide, New Crusading Guide, The Punch and the Mail among others, have total news blackout or nothing else to write about. I cannot agree more with Dr. Nicholas Amponsah, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana , Legon, who warned the NDC during an interview with Joy News that the NDC gags or ignores Rawlings at its own peril due to certain uniqueness surrounding Rawlings.

I would therefore recommend that President Mills initiate moves and hold high level meeting or meetings with all the p olitical heavyweights in the party and try to resolve these issues immediately. The way these issues are coming into the open just three months into his presidency does not portray a good picture about him and the NDC to Ghanaians at all. As long as there shall be political parties, there shall always be bickering. But when these differences crop up, it is important that all the stakeholders meet, put their parochial interests aside, deeply look into the issues at stake and resolve them amicably in the interest of the party.

Rawlings is the founder of the NDC, but to me this august position should not be used by him to have his way in everything. He may have a point in some of the issues he raised, but to me if he has not brought them into the open but consulted with President Mills it would have better served the party. Many people in Ghana today perceive Rawlings as too overbearing, something that would be extremely difficult to erase if he continues to rant from time to time. And as long as people perceive Rawlings in that fashion it becomes a negative trait for the NDC party.

There is no way Rawlings would like everything that anybody does. I don't think he even likes everything his wife does all the time. Human as we are we may have our differences, but for peace to reign and in the interest of the NDC party as a whole, Rawlings should try and keep certain things to himself. There are certain things that are better not said than said. He cannot load everything off his chest at all times. These issues affect not only the individuals he mentions but goes a long way to tarnish the image of the NDC.

I am waiting to see if the NDC would hold a crisis meeting and resolve these differences. The longer the news stay and the issues remain unresolved, the longer it drifts members of the party apart. With this hard won victory in the 2008 elections, nobody would have predicted three months ago that the NDC would find itself in such a situation today. Everything must be done by all the stakeholders to help President Mills to succeed. If the NDC people do not know, their collective success hinges largely on how President Mills also succeed as president.

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Ekua Kwansema
Ekua Kwansema, © 2009

The author has 75 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: EkuaKwansema

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