Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Should The NDC Become A Radical Party In Order To Return To Power Again?

It is perfectly understandable that the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) leaders take umbrage whenever former President Mahama is belittled by his political opponents in any way.

However, whiles it is politic to defend President Mahama's administration's record,  it is also vital that the NDC's leadership focuses on what will enable their party to be returned to power again.

That future, of necessity, must preclude President Mahama's active participation in the party's affairs - for, unfortunately, his very person personifies and symbolises the past incarnation of the NDC, which was so roundly rejected  by a majority of voters in the December 2016 polls.

Unpalatable though that might be to many NDC bigwigs, unfortunately, that is the truth of the matter.

On a purely human level, President Mahama was an affable leader, who got on well with all those he interacted with during his tenure. Literally. So in that sense he was a good leader who strove to keep the country unified during the period he led Ghana as president.

However, his time  in active politics is now over. That is the reality the NDC's entire membership must come to terms with. With respect, John Mahama is now history - from the NDC perspective.

The good news for the NDC's members, is that it is also a fact that history has  always been kind to those in the world of politics, who gave their all in serving their people, whiles in power.

That is why this blog is confident that in time former President Mahama's legacy will come to be properly recognised. He will then be given his due by his nation. He was, after all, very successful in keeping Ghana stable and peaceful throughout his tenure as president.

One is also absolutely sure that former President Mahama will eventually become a much-loved figure in our  national life.

Having done his best for his country, we should agree with those in his family who counsel that the time has now come for him to retire from active politics.

No doubt, like former U.S. President Carter - who also was destined to serve only one term in office but has become a global icon of good causes -  former President Mahama will in time become a well-respected African statesman who specialises in conflict prevention and resolution across the continent.

This blog humbly suggests that President Akufo-Addo encourages former President Mahama to bring the warring factions in Southern Sudan to Ghana, to hold discussions that will help end the civil strife there, with backing from the government of Ghana, which should facilitate the talks for the sake of the people of that benighted sister African nation of ours.

Such vital peace-building and conflict-resolution  work is perfectly suited to the affable and welcoming nature of former President Mahama who luckily is widely respected and admired by virtually all the continent's leaders. So perforce former President Mahama must move on - and leave NDC internal politics behind and rise above national party politics to the statesman-plane.

Having now moved on with his personal life, the members of the NDC need to halt their knee-jerk reaction to criticism of their former leader, by his political opponents. There is no point to that anymore.

Former President Mahama will always be OK - and is in fact actually OK as it happens. An exciting career as an 'elder' African statesman awaits him going forward into the future. He gave his all to his nation and its people - and deep down in their hearts most ordinary Ghanaians know that.

Perhaps Providence made him lose the presidency in order to make John Mahama's very  considerable governance  experience available to  the rest of Africa - so that the continent's leaders can tap into the invaluable governance-store-of-knowledge  he built up as Ghana's leader.

So it serves no purpose - in a nation  now agog and giddy with the euphoria of great expectations raised by the many promises made to voters by the New Patriotic Party  (NPP) during the election campaign - for the NDC to fight many-fronted-battles against those disrespecting their former leader. It is pointless. Period.

President Nkrumah, whose nation-building legacy is today recognised by all Ghanaians - many of whom can still see solid evidence of his achievements all around the country - was also accused of piling up debt after his overthrow by his short-sighted and narrow-minded political opponents: who did everything they could to erase his name from Ghana's history.

In the end they failed miserably  - so the NDC's members must stop tripping (to use a word favoured by an African American friend who sadly passed away years ago) when President Mahama is belittled unfairly by his political opponents. That meanness of their political opponents, shall pass. Soon.

Over time, John Mahama's period as president will come to be seen as the era when the physical development of Ghana was accelerated to provide the solid infrastructural base needed to transform the national economy. So the NDC's members must take heart.

Although it is obvious that many of them are suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, after their painful defeat in the December 2016 polls, nonetheless, the NDC's members need to also understand clearly that their party has to become a radically different political party, if it is to survive, thrive and become electable again.

It can no longer be business as usual doing the old-style politics of sabotaging the nation-building effort whiles in the political wilderness - something  the NPP excelled at throughout the period it was in opposition, incidentally. 

The NDC must put the past behind it, and work hard to end its life as a party dominated by clever wheeler-dealers who are consummate deal-makers able to generate billions in secret public procurement  kickbacks to fund party activities.

Let them leave that old fashioned opaque way of doing politics to the NPP.

The NDC must now be transformed into a grassroots political party dominated and led by altruistic individuals of unalloyed integrity dedicated to empowering Ghana's base-of-the-pyramid demographic - through party social entrepreneurial  programmes that directly help disadvantaged Ghanaians to bootstrap their own climb out of poverty.

They can adapt Hezbolla's social relief programmes in the Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps to our situation here to help  empower disadvantaged communities and individuals.

The NDC must also become a party that advocates radical societal change, such as the passage of new laws permitting the legal takeover by grassroots communities of all lands in Ghana held in trust by Chiefs for their people.

Such lands will then go to landless families countrywide to: build their own homes on if they so desire; to landless young people wanting land to farm on; and for community projects for the common good of local people nationwide.

And given the widespread use of mobile phones, ordinary people must be given the right to benefit from what after all are  public resources given out to telcos to profit from: radio frequencies.

Free access to an agreed minimum amount of talk time and data ought to become basic human rights for all Ghanaians. The new NDC  must advocate for those rights for ordinary Ghanaians.

And it must make the ring-fencing of profits from the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) to fund truly affordable well-designed and well-built housing in green gated communities nationwide a key policy objective. Access to affordable housing must be made a human right n a Ghana under the next NDC administration.

The new NDC must demand constitutional changes that will make gender parity in Ghana a reality. It must aim to make Ghana a nation in which half the seats in Parliament  are reserved for women. Ditto half the president's cabinet members - and half of all appointments to positions in the upper echelons of the public-sector should be reserved for women.

Above all, to protect vulnerable people - both male and female - in relationships, the new NDC must demand that the legal rights enjoyed by married couples ought to be extended to all relationships lasting more that 6 months. Will that not stop promiscuity in Ghana in its tracks, I ask?

The NDC's leadership are always welcome  to approach this blog for further free consultancy tips.
Because one loves Mother Ghana passionately, one will always be happy to help every political party that  approaches one. For free.

In the case of the new NDC, I will still help that party out, despite the fact that some of its members (who were in the Mahama administration) were behind  illegal gold miners who destroyed my family's organic cocoa plantation at Akyem Juaso: apparently to punish me for constantly criticising their hard-of-hearing regime. But I digress.

Luckily for the party's members, the NDC  does not have to go far, to find an altruistic servant-leader to eventually lead it back to power again.

They currently have in their midst a very capable, dynamic and  sincere  servant-leader-type who might very well lead them back to power again (in either four or eight years hence) as a radical party of fundamental change in Ghana: Hon Ezenator Rawlings.

She must lead that transformation of the NDC into a radical party for fundamental change in Ghanaian society and the transformation of our country into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.
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