ANALYSIS: No “con” politics will save the Rawlingses – By Dr Michael J.K. Bokor

The writer, Dr Michael J.K. Bokor
Once again, Kofi Adams, the ventriloquist for the Rawlingses, is out to foul our air with the announcement that the Rawlingses are likely to form a new political party. The sweetness of the pudding is in the eating. Let them bring it on!

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We are told that speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem today, Adams—while not being emphatic about the formation of a new party based on the principles and ideologies of the Rawlingses—told show host (Adakabre Frimpong Manso) that: “Don’t be surprised if a new party is formed with the intention of salvaging an existing party.” (Myjoyonline, June 25, 2012).

We won’t even wait for anything from the Rawlingses themselves before reacting to this announcement. They may come out to deny it but behave clandestinely to pursue that mission. We know them all too well for this kind of con politics.

Forming a new party is not the solution to their woes. What will save them is simple: that they end their self-seeking quests and agree to work with others whose strategies for party work and nation building conflicts with theirs but may turn out to be better. They have only one option, which is to reconcile with those they have hurt and remain where they have been all these years under the umbrella of the NDC.

Aren’t we fed up with their kind of leg-pulling? If they think forming a new political party is the best move to re-establish their shattered political career, let them go ahead to do so and end this testing of Ghanaians’ patience. The political scare-crows that they have turned themselves into, they are neither here nor there. They have proved that in Ghanaian politics, we have “bats”—neither animals nor birds but bearing features of both.

By their own admission, they will not campaign for the NDC although Rawlings still retains the NDC founder-and-father accolade and chairmanship of the National Executive Committee of the party. Nana Konadu lost her First Vice Chairman position because she allowed her parochial ambitions to overtake her genuine desire to build the NDC.

Now, they are hamstrung with one foot outside the NDC camp while keeping the other one in it. How do they expect to make any progress in this manner? The choice is there: to either listen to reason and make peace to return the other foot into the NDC camp or to be bold enough to drag both feet out of it. No more testing of pulses!!

What prevents them from following the laid-down procedures to form and announce their party instead of playing hide-and-seek with the public as is implicated by their dilly-dallying? We are fed up with this wishy-washy spate of confirmations and denials of their political intrigues. Not long ago, this same Kofi Adams came out to deny rumours that the Rawlingses were contemplating breaking away from the NDC to form their own political party.

Even before that denial could sink, happenings in the Rawlings camp suggested some clandestine moves to destroy the NDC from within. Nana Konadu’s clamour over the NDC’s logo and her warning to take it away if the internal problems of the party were not expeditiously resolved or if she and her husband were not given the recognition they deserved came to notice. She hinted of going to court over the logo, which she had claimed as her brain-child only for others to emerge with that claim of ownership.

Nothing has so far been done by the party’s leaders over that claim and it has subsided as one of the problems undermining the integrity of the NDC. As if that isn’t enough, Rawlings himself picked on the very name of the party to suggest that it was his own coinage.

That claim over the NDC’s logo and name appears to be nothing but an attempt by the Rawlingses to blackmail their so-called opponents in the NDC who have virtually divested them of control over the party. They might be seeking to use it as a trump-card to twist arms and seek a resolution of the internal crisis in their favour. It has turned out to be a wishful thinking.

Their bluff has been called off and they must now look for another means to threaten the party. Much as the role of the Rawlingses in the life of the NDC is acknowledged, there seems to be no need for them to continue behaving as if without them the party can’t function.

Probably, realizing the cul-de-sac to which they have allowed their miscalculations to drive them, they now have no other option but to wave another issue, seeking to use it as a bargaining chip.

This hint that the Rawlingses will come out with a party of their own won’t frighten anybody. At best, it will rather make the separation complete to eliminate this constant head-butting session and leave those who know how to rebuild the party a free hand to do so.

Here are some implications of their action. It will definitely shake the NDC to its foundation and take away a good portion of those following the Rawlingses, which means that the quantum of votes for the party will not be the same as one might expect in the absence of this factionalism. But there is another side to the issue. The voter population has increased astronomically.

Considering the waning influence of the Rawlingses (based on their own self-destructive agenda) and the fact that most of those now at the voting age were not old enough during the era of the Rawlingses to appreciate their worth will care less about whatever the Rawlingses represent. They are not likely to be swayed by the herd mentality that seems to be influencing those still rooting for the Rawlingses.

Knowing very well that the Rawlingses are mostly driven by personal quests and intolerance for dissenting views and strategies for governance, these new voters will be cautious enough not to allow themselves to be baited into the Rawlings camp.

There may be some relief for the part of the NDC that sees good things in what the incumbent government is doing to achieve its “Better Ghana” agenda. It’s then a 50-50 affair. Hoping that floating voters will fill the gap to be created by the departure of the pro-Rawlings faction, the incumbent may not panic, after all.

It is nonsensical for Kofi Adams and the Rawlingses to think that they can form a new party “with the intention of salvaging an existing party.” Do they think that those in the NDC not supporting their machinations will desert it in droves to follow them? Or that their new party will have more attraction for Ghanaians than the NDC that they contributed to sustaining for 20 years now?

A more intriguing implication concerns the Rawlingses themselves. Because it is now clear that their venom is fed by nothing but acrid vainglory and the morbid desire to return to the citadel of power (with Nana Konadu pushing herself to all lengths and her husband uplifting her as a better candidate than the incumbent Atta Mills), any party they form will be constrained at birth.

Certainly, the upshot is that the Rawlingses will establish themselves as potentates whose word must be the command of anybody wishing to be a functionary of the party. Dictatorial tendencies have always been the main ingredient in the political life of the Rawlingses. Because they haven’t been allowed to exert such dictatorial influences on the NDC, they are aggrieved and will carry that streak along with them into their new party.

Who in that party will dare oppose them and still hope to survive? I will never want to identify with such a political party. So should all others who see democracy in a better light than what the Rawlingses may perceive it to be.

Any party formed by the Rawlingses will have a long way to go in making any impact on the political situation. The main point is that even if Nana Konadu contests the 2012 elections on the ticket of such a party, she can’t win. By 2016, she will present herself again and lose disastrously.

Probably, by 2020, she will be too old, broken down, and worn out to contest the elections. That’s when a new face may emerge. But as the influence of the Rawlingses wane, so will be the fate of their party too.

Eventually, it will become clear that their decision to break away from the mainstream NDC to form such a party will not become only childish, petulant, and wayward, but also counter-productive and extremely foolish. Cutting off their noses now to spite their face later will definitely turn them into ugly caricatures a few years hence. Such political scarecrows have no place in contemporary Ghanaian politics.

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The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of and