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The NDC’s priority now is not its flagbearer for election 2020

The NDC’s priority now is not its flagbearer for election 2020

Folks, there is no doubt that the NDC is still searching for how it can position itself to regain political power, having been thrown overboard by the electorate at Election 2016. Doing so means a lot more than has emerged thus far. I daresay now that things appear to be falling apart because the real focus and locus haven’t been identified to rebuild the party. I hate what has unfolded thus far.

Only three dimensions matter now to ensure a vibrant future for the NDC: rebuilding, repurposing, and refocusing for a determined, conscientious, and goal-oriented politicking. The culmination is a return to power within the shortest possible time for the NDC to regain its momentum in pushing Ghana where it should be in contemporary times. Its opponents have damned it in their vitriolic political propaganda; but its accomplishments by way of its stated agenda wrapped around infrastructural development remains admirable.

No amount of vilification can erode those projects. But there is more for Ghana beyond those projects, which a future NDC team should address. That brings to mind the need for a revisitation of what doomed the party at Election 2016 with the view to cleaning the stables for a brighter future. Doing so demands more than the showboating going on by all those declaring their desire/interest in leading the party to Election 2020.

I have carefully monitored happenings and can confidently say that they are building castles in the air; or, at worst, nursing ambitions that cannot fly. Truth be told, the NDC isn’t as united as one might expect it to be, clearly because of how the devastating defeat at Election 2016 tore it apart. Hopes had been really high that the NDC would trump the NPP; but the reality proved such optimism wrong and threw everything up in the wind.

Intriguingly, the ongoing posturing by those declaring their interest in leading the party to Election 2020 hasn’t changed the dynamics. All they seem to be doing is courting the support of constituencies identified as their long-time backers or whatever else. Nothing new is being added to the equation. Truth be told, these constituencies themselves are made of grumblers and disgruntled elements who will not hesitate to point accusing fingers or to complain about their bread not being buttered.

Where are the footsoldiers of the party in this situation? Which of the so-called aspirants has been able to connect properly with them to either appease them for the harm done them when the party was in power and things were done to their disadvantage? Or to reassure them that when the tide changes at Election 2020, they will be deferred to as the real backbone of the party?

(Of course, every political party that seeks to win political power and to retain it must consider its footsoldiers as the be-it-all-and-end-it-all for it. They know how to mobilize political support. Disdain them and you will laugh at the wrong side of your mouth. The NDC has done so and must have by now learnt the bitter lesson. What is any of these interested aspirants doing to make the clean break away from the past?).

It is not as if coming up with a “formidable candidate” to lead the NDC at Election 2020 will automatically return the party to power. There is more to it, which should force every reasonable observer of the political scene in Ghana to dig into other areas.

The implementation of policies by Akufo-Addo (the free SHS one, especially) constitutes a major barrier that the NDC will have to circumvent or break down to prove its worth. The electorate can’t easily be persuaded to root for the NDC just because it is good at damning those policies. Although such policies have their down sides, what is emerging suggests more than the NDC camp is capable of undermining in public discourse.

I don’t know what is motivating all these NDC flagbearership aspirants to test the pulse so early in the game; but all I know as of now is that they seem to be taking things for granted at many levels, especially within the party itself. They seem to have pumped themselves up to the point of establishing themselves as saviours of the party. It must not be so. How about being saviours of the country?

Even then, the real saviours of the party are the footsoldiers all over the country and beyond who have over the years sacrificed their lot because of their unalloyed for the party and its cause. What personal sacrifices haven’t they made to move the party forward only to be neglected and consigned to the backwoods by upstarts quickly learning the ropes as they walk the corridors of power and establish themselves as petty potentates capable of pulling strings?

The NDC administration headed by Atta Mills and John Mahama particularly gave us glimpses of such pesky pests. Some are still actively confirming their notoriety while those who made hay while the sun shone have adroitly withdrawn to the background to lick their honey-soaked lips.

Folks, I am going this far because I want to point out the basic fact that the factors that caused the NDC’s doom at Election 2016 might not necessarily be traced to the performance of its government (under Rawlings, Mills, or Mahama) but to others, which an awakened NDC leadership should by now have begun addressing instead of sitting down unconcerned for anything to go anyhow.

I have had cause to question the competence of the NDC leadership at all levels and to wonder why they have either become suddenly dormant or are virtually pushing themselves to the brink. They are irrelevant as of now.

So, what next? How can the party be built to face up to its opponents? Not by what is happening now with John Mahama and his internal opponents rushing around to seize every opportunity to flex their muscles. Not even with the so-called “Unity Walk” agenda. Something is missing.

Until that something is found and put in place, I am afraid, all that is coming from the NDC (particularly, its representatives in parliament) will cause more trouble than win public goodwill for it.

(Parliament passed the controversial 2018 budget statement and fiscal policy of this highly incompetent Akufo-Addo team of liars, thieves, and murderers. Ghana’s finances at risk!! But what effect will the Minority’s boycott have on governance? Very little, clearly because those representing the NDC cause themselves are carrying baggage that the NPP can finger and damn them thereby. No holds barred here.).

So much for the long talk. Where do we go next? We want to point out to the NDC folks that they have a lot of work to do to erase the negative impression that Akufo-Addo and his NPP cabal had stamped on the minds of Ghanaians to win Election 2016. Doing so means more than what is happening.

It must be a collective effort, based on a clear understanding of what the party stands for and how that can be accomplished. It means defining a new approach to politicking that will patch differences instead of reinforcing or widening them.

Where does it all begin or end? Right from the base of the party. Those who know how the party survives on grassroot or mass support should be resourced to do political mobilization. Those who are nursing ambitions of leading the party to Election 2020 should first find out what they have done at the grassroot level to warrant that huge ambition.

What have Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Alban Bagbin, John Mahama, or anybody else eying the flagbearership done over the years to build the party?

Let me be mischievous here to say that Alabi, Mensah, and Bagbin are washouts as far aws party-building is concerned. There is no record on anything that they’ve done all over the country to the advantage of the NDC. Let me take a brief look at them.

Alabi came to notice when he stood for the Krowor parliamentary seat, won it, only to lose it in circumstances that he can’t to date comprehend or accept as a major flaw in his political life. Counting on his success at the former Institute of Professional Studies (that is now granted a University status) has nothing peculiarly beneficial to the NDC’s cause. Neither will his wife’s academic exploits add any value to his political ambitions on the ticket of the NDC. She is a non-starter.

Sylvester Mensah? A lot in the Osu area should spell his doom, not to talk about his stint with the National health Insurance Scheme. I think he still has huge question marks hanging over his head. I won’t be surprised if Team Akufo-Addo hauls him before court. He is not known as a team builder capable of pushing the NDC out of opposition.

John Mahama may still be basking in the performance of his government; but he also has serious credibility problems to deal with. What caused his defeat at Election 2016 cannot easily be swept under the rug just because he is staging a come-back or that Akufo-Addo’s government isn’t delivering what it promised Ghanaians. Much of the psychological game will be played here.

Within this context, it will be politically reasonable for any of these characters jostling for attention to lead the NDC to Election 2020 to know their limitations more than they should their advantages. Whatever advantages they may have should be rooted in the party, not the general public. That is why it is imperative for them to concentrate attention on party building and not rabble-rousing wherever they show up. Of course, much of what has emerged so far from them amounts to nothing but that rabble-rousing. To hell with it!!

Folks, let me land, after all. I am more than convinced that what the NDC needs now is rebuilding and not the declaration of interest by anybody dreaming of leading it to Election 2020. There is much work to do (as the Kwesi Botchwey Report rightly says). Whether those with the clout will listen to reason and clean the stables—even as they energize the party’s base to do political mobilization—remains a crucial consideration of the NDC’s future. Forget about Rawlings and his wife.

The task facing the NDC now must be done and done properly so the party can re-position itself for a brighter future. Anything other than that will amount to a wasteful and painful exercise in stupidity. Successful politicking in our time calls for level-headedness, not hard-rock waywardness. And it must all begin from within one’s political camp. After all, charity still begins from home.

Can we neglect the great Chinua Achebe? Not for now. “A chick that will grow into a cock (and we should know what a cock means in the African context—power and authority for the good of the fowl/chicken community) is noticed the very first day that it is hatched”.

Transferred to the political domain, we can tickle minds to say that a leader who will do good for country and people is noticed the very moment he/she declares his/her interest in partisan politics. Got it?

I shall return…

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