14.07.2011 Feature Article

Unity in NDC is a religious duty. It's time to be brothers again

Unity in NDC is a religious duty. It's time to be brothers again
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I have heard some of the most ridiculously wild, unscientific and hugely flawed arguments made by commentators about the influence of former President Rawlings on the party he founded following the inability of his "double sweetheart" - Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings - to win the ruling party's presidential primaries despite a gallant showing.

Some of those claims are that, President Rawlings' hand in the NDC has been hugely weakened, that the party has finally purged itself from the overbearing influence of its founder. Others have suggested that, Rawlings' influence in the ruling party is at an all-time low, and that the former President has been cut down to size.These analysis are at best insincere.

The contest between Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and President Mills was not about the popularity of Jerry Rawlings in the NDC; the election was never about how much of a stranglehold the former President has in the NDC and the result can certainly never be a verdict on Rawlings' popularity in the party or country at large.

President Rawlings supported J.E.Mills in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections against former President Kufour. Candidate J.E.A. Mills lost both elections. Rawlings supported Nii Lantey against Haruna Iddrisu for the position of National Youth Organizer and again the former President's candidate lost. He's alleged to have supported Kweku Eshun against Johnson Asiedu Nketia for the General Secretaryship of the ruling party. Eshun lost that contest, and I must say the allegation of support for Kweku Eshun couldn't be true.

The fact that Eshun run that race on the coattails of President Rawlings did not in any way imply he was supported surreptitiously or publicly by the former President. Nana Konadu never said delegates should vote for her because she is the spouse of the NDC's founder though he supported her bid. She entered that race on her own merit as Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings - the bold activist and savvy political operative.

But, did all of these and other instances where President Rawlings showed preferences for candidates who eventually lost reduce him? Absolutely not. He is still the NDC's holy-grail and people who wished otherwise are doing so out of insincerity. President Rawlings' charisma and public appeal will still churn out votes for the ruling party.

It is unfair that most commentators are misleading the public with such unscientific analysis of the Sunyani Congress. It is public knowledge that party executives at the highest levels were in support of President Mills even before Nana Konadu threw her hat in the ring. We listened to some regional executives, and read reports of their meetings with President Mills where they pledged absolute loyalty.

And in a situation where the influence of the Executive arm of government is overbearing on the Legislature, you were unlikely to get more than ten MPs from the majority side supporting any candidate over the President who can give positions and take away positions.

I shall not go any further into the circumstances that led to the defeat of Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings because it is unhealthy for the reconciliation process and an unnecessary distraction to government.

However, we must not forget what the election was all about. It was about the health of the ruling party, it was about a much more important issue than the influence of Jerry Rawlings. Delegates were asked to decide whether they wanted to be ruled by an elected government or by people Ghanaians never voted for; people who remain quietly behind the scenes.

They have made their choices. The time has come for everyone in the NDC to put the election behind us and make the welfare of Ghanaian families the centerpiece of our debate.

The National Chairman of the NDC, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, showed leadership in a recent radio interview. It is the way forward and every member of the NDC must endeavour to follow his lead. Dr. Adjei and his team must do more than make passionate appeals for calm.

I still maintain that we had a monumental managerial crisis in the party. Problems, complaints and difficult decisions had been swept under the rug and allowed to fester and get out of hand. The NDC is an institution, and it must not be afraid to make painful and difficult choices even if it hurts one's dearest comrade and friend but we must apply the law based on common sense.

The calls by some beneficiaries of government to dismiss spokesperson of President Rawlings and Deputy General Secretary are unhelpful.Kofi Adams may have breached the code of conduct of his office as Deputy General Secretary, and so did all ten Regional executives who publicly showed support for President Mills; so did ministers and other government officials who at one point or another campaigned for President Mills on the taxpayer's time. Are we going to call for their dismissal or resignation too? What a crisis that would have been.

This is the time for brotherhood.It is not in anybody's interest if President Mills fails. As much as I disagree with some of the decisions and style of the executive, the time has come for us to be brothers again, hug each other and stop shouting at one another.

We cannot learn from one another until we speak quietly enough,so that our words as well as our voices can be heard. Ghanaians expect us to get the work done and the only hope of getting the work done is to go forward as one. All members and sympathizers of the ruling party must extend a hand of brotherhood and strive for an NDC where all members are brothers again.


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One thing I have learned from being a politician is that Money can't guarantee victory in an election if an opponent is equally well financed and orchestrate a better campaign. But whilst money is no guarantee of political success, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose if you don't have it.

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