18
Thu, Oct
17 New Articles

STATESMAN OPINION: NDC – QUIT LOOKING FOR MEDIA FRIENDS TO FIGHT YOUR BATTLES

Politics

The opposition National Democratic Congress is proving that it is not only good at intimidating its opponents, mismanaging the economy and tolerating greed, but also inefficient when it comes to initiating and sustaining the national conversation.

The opposition National Democratic Congress is proving that it is not only good at intimidating its opponents, mismanaging the economy and tolerating greed, but also inefficient when it comes to initiating and sustaining the national conversation.

 

The NDC showed a shockingly skewed sense of priorities in 2017, wasting precious time and national resources trying to implicate New Patriotic Party MPs in two cases of alleged corruption relating to the appointment of Boakye Adjarko as Minister of Energy and to Alan Kyerematen’s conduct at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Even as it did so, the NDC was patently turning a blind eye to instances of naked corruption during its own tenure, unveiled in the last embarrassing report by the Auditor General. Some of the more egregious scandals on the NDC’s watch were the ones involving SUBAH, GYEEDA, SADA, the Smarttys bus rebranding and several sneaky deals at Cocobod and SSNIT which have stripped the national treasury bare.

The opposition, in our view, can help take the war against corruption to a higher level not by being the mouthpiece of the media, but by initiating policies that will facilitate the war against corruption, such that the nation and public will be the winners. This would make the NDC look more credible. We believe that, as a self-styled government-in-waiting, they should be the last to spew propaganda when there are all sorts of policy conversations they can raise that would elicit the support of the public in putting the government on its toes.

Cheap smears

What we at the Daily Statesman see them doing is rather allowing the media to initiate these conversations so that they can find a propaganda angle to wound the government. That, in our opinion, would not only help their cause but position them less credibly in the estimation of voters and other actors in the political space who are looking for alternatives to enrich our governance.

The NDC appears merely to be trying to form an unholy alliance with the media to get a propaganda lead in their scramble to return to power in 2020. Their old-style attempts at media manipulation are an outdated weapon. That much is obvious in the current exposé of corruption in football. The opposition has decided to attack President Akufo-Addo.

Rising above their efforts to drag his name and reputation through the mud, the President has decided to take the matter into the appropriate arena for a determination under the rule of law and by due process, rather than irresponsibly protect the perpetrators in the Ghana Football Association scandal.

As always, the NDC’s modus operandi appears to be to look for petty opportunities for the scandal to continue and reach no resolution. This is the same sort of thing as the failed brouhaha following an allegation of bribery last year against the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, and the Minority’s attempt to smear him.

Public pressure

What the opposition NDC should be doing now, in our view, is to discuss processes that will ensure a credible inquiry and point the way forward to ensure that the GFA undergoes reform and the perpetrators are punished.

They could do this and demonstrate some minimal competence by joining forces with strong civil society groups to discuss such issues as a formula for restructuring the GFA. In this way, the interests of clubs, club chief executives, players, spectators, referees, the public at large and the state would be satisfied.

A better example of a political party moving the public debate forward is how the New Patriotic Party, with support from civil society organisations, consistently raised flaws in our electoral laws until we moved from using pencil and eraser on pink and blue sheets to electronic collation and counting without destroying mechanical evidence. Another instance is the public pressure on Parliament that will soon give birth to the Right to Information Bill. After a 19-year gestation, the new legislation will enhance transparency in governance and reduce corruption at all levels of public life in Ghana, including odious organisations such as the GFA.

The NDC must realise that it lost the 2016 election miserably because it betrayed Ghanaians. If it ever lost their confidence, it did so with good reason. We are not in an election year.

Serious governance calls for serious thinking and action. The opposition must try to step up, find its raison d’être and play its part.