Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."
When the National Democratic Congress assumed office in 2009, the party had a pledge to build a better Ghana. President Mills made a commitment to an open government, take the nation into the government's confidence and make things better than we witnessed in the Kufour regime.
That commitment he made about throwing open the window, streamlining our creaking bureaucracy, cutting through the red tape and building a better country wasn't going to be achieved in the first 100 days. Nor was it to be finished in the first 1000 days, nor in his first term, nor even in our lifetime on earth. Most important point is that, he started something, knowing fully that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
However, not too long after taking off, discipline broke down in the party, with everybody doing what they liked. We are where we are now as a result of that breakdown of discipline in the party and every senior and lower member of the party is responsible for this.
The first step towards getting it right requires that everybody accepts responsibility and genuine repentance - a determination to change and repair breaches of our own making.
Secondly, we must continue to seek God's help to be the party that we once were and be willing to give the very forgiveness we seek; and to renounce what Bill Clinton called "the pride and the anger which cloud judgment, lead people to excuse and compare and to blame and complain."
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind – facing a ruthless party, the NPP which has announced it wants to win the next election by any means necessary. We now have before us ten months to the next presidential and parliamentary elections.
The task of the leadership and every member of the NDC in this time is to preserve the party from disruption from within and disruption from without and only by doing so that we can focus on the job of building a Better country.
A few years ago, when the life of this party seemed frozen by a fatalistic terror, when J.H. Mensah and his NPP said by the time they (then in government) were through with the NDC, it would have been obliterated; When the NPP showed an appetite to break our front, when no one gave us a chance of winning the last election, we survived; we proved that we were indomitable.
When Obed Asamoah, and others before him left, we were in the midst of shock--but we acted. We did not retreat and we were not content to stand still.
As party, we went forward, in the service of our country. We acted quickly, boldly, decisively and that action gave us the victory in the last election.
The base of the party is very uncomfortable over the tensions in the party. The young men and women in the party and the cadres are unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those gains we made before the 2008 election.
As we gear up for the next election, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate. The party ought to recognize that it cannot succeed by merely talking about the problems. We have to act.
The cadres, apparatchiks and the young men and women are asking for unity and action now. We must act and act quickly. There is no way we can go forward except together. The NDC cannot stand still or slip backwards. It must go forward together.
The NDC's policy from now on must be to wage war, with all our might and strength that God can give us against self-destruction; our policy must be to wage war against a monstrous selfishness.
And our aim must be victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all the lies peddled by our detractors, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the NDC, no survival for all that our democracy has stood for.
We have seen the NPP in government before - they may have changed a candidate but they haven't changed their plans.
The party NDC must articulate and accentuate government's successes and shortcomings and also explain to electorates that, Democracy takes time; whilst military rule is quicker, a lot of people get shot and we have choice between letting our democracy thrive or slip into the black and white television era. I am buoyant and hopeful; and I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men.
As JFK put it in his inaugural address in the winter of 1961, “United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do -- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.”
I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”
God bless the NDC, God bless our motherland Ghana.
NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Ablekuma North Constituency
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.