By Ben Ofosu-Appiah, Tokyo, JAPAN
With the NDC delegates conference in Sunyani over and the endorsement of Attah Mills peace is supposed to return to the party and all factions are supposed to join hands, close ranks and work together in unity. However it is easier said than done and it looks like it is not going to be easy to mend fences. The refusal of Nana Konadu to concede defeat, congratulate the winner, raise his hand, give a concession speech and pledge support to Mills for the 2012 campaign is something that is going to hurt the NDC as 2012 approaches. Nana Konadu should have been graceful in defeat and Mills humble in victory.
Even with the contest over, acrimonious statements are coming from both camps. It looks like the proxy war is still on. FONKAR believes the process leading to the elections at congress was not democratic enough and if the electoral college had been expanded to give the grassroots supporters a voice Konadu would have won but it is worthy of note that Rawlings did not allow the grassroots supporters to choose a leader for the party when he imposed John Attah Mills on everyone through his Koforidua declaration and religiously supported him for three consecutive elections. Now it is ironical that the candidate he imposed on everyone refuses to acknowledge him. Now Mills listens to everyone around him including the Ahwois, and the octogenarian self seeking and delusional politicians near him, and also the small boys and girls but he stubbornly refuses to heed the advice of the person who picked him from obscurity and single handedly made him who he is now.
Mills is not bound to take every single advice of Jerry Rawlings but to be consistently and regularly ignored even though the issues Rawlings is raising are relevant smacks of negligence and arrogant display of power. Mills said in Sunyani that the wheels of justice grinds slowly. It needs not. Has he also heard that justice delayed is justice denied? A presidential term in Ghana is four years and does Mills need a reminder that he is already more than two and half years through his term? There is no guarantee that he will win a second term.
It is absolutely important that Mills do everything within his power to accord the Rawlingses the necessary recognition and reverence within the NDC fraternity. The NDC without Rawlings is unattractive, it is just another political party. Rawlings is the conscience of the NDC and the conscience of Ghana. The NDC is going to need his charismatic appeal in the elections. He and his wife Nana Konadu already have the grassroots support network NDC needs to prosecute election 2012 campaign. Nobody in the NPP dared criticized the party when they were in power. Rawlings criticizes his own party in government. The party founded on the foundation and principles of social justice, probity and accountability has been hijacked by a greedy gang worse than the thieving cabal in the NPP.
The principles of probity and accountability have been thrown out of the window, while the greedy gang are engaged in property grabbing left, right and center and the president looks the other way. Has the NDC turned into another property owning party like the NPP? You need a strong leader who can uphold the tenets of the party and the principles upon which it was built. Every revolutionary party needs a strong leadership to keep everyone in line. After the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had to work hard to keep everyone in line to prevent fellow revolutionaries from looting the very spoils they had salvaged.
Without such strong leadership based on principles, the NDC is a cabal of team B players, hampers and tractor thieves, gap toothed overnight millionaires, incompetent academics, dark faced mansion building self seekers, septuagenarian and octogenarian senile demented players coming back to loot one last time, fat 4×4 driving clueless boys and girls. The contest in 2012 is going to be between two equally corrupt political parties competing for the spoils to demonstrate who can loot the nation more. The NDC without the Rawlingses, trust me, is worst than the other parties. What’s the point in buying a hunting dog if it can’t chase, nor catch a prey. You must as well buy a sheep. The two leading political parties are playing watch my back and I watch your back, chop and let me chop small. I am deeply disturbed that nobody is fighting for the common man in the streets. With the NDC haven lost its conscience there is no political party to fight for the common man in Ghana.
It is never true that all we need is another political party, an alternative bunch of suit wearers in a tropical hot and steamy weather, a bunch of plane hopping conference attending, talk big do nothing ministers. Do you think all we fought for is to have another NPP? In every house you need a conscience. A friend put it this way: a Ghanaian who knows nothing about truthful living will rob a robber he has just arrested. It looks like the lessons of elections 2008 have been lost on the NDC so soon. Le no one be fooled by the crowds that meet the president when he travels. They are all staged. Big crowds, singing and dancing crowds do not win elections anyway. If you doubt this ask Nana Akuffo-Addo. You can always assemble those crowds with money and the trappings of power. Have you forgotten about the Kasoa NPP rally in 2008?
If the NDC manages to win 2012 (doubtful without the Rawlingses) then the party would have come out of all this stronger but if it loses it will be weakened beyond rebuilding and might be confined to opposition forever. All these people calling the shots now will take their loot somewhere to enjoy and will forget about rebuilding the party. It is up to Mills to reach out to all and unite the party but so far his lethargic leadership style does not give much to hope for. All that this president has been doing is cutting sod after sod but nothing concrete happens after that.
The author is a senior political and social analyst and also a policy strategist based in Tokyo. He welcomes your comments