The memory of the dead, it is said is a warning to the living. The National Democratic Congress (NDC), is without doubt one of the biggest if not the biggest political party in Ghana.
It is so, because it is a mass movement that accepts persons from all walks of life, regardless of background, be it education or family.
It is also a truism that, the party is living its formation; you are only regarded and accorded the needed respect and recognition, as long as you matter in the scheme of things.
I remember vividly the words of the former press secretary of the NDC, Vincent Assiseh, who told the world that “the NDC is not a political party, but a machine put together with the aim of winning an election”.
Event, after event, goes to confirm the assertion of the late Vincent Assiseh, who despite his sacrifice to the party, although fell out with the party along the way, not a single notable person from the NDC attended his funeral.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), is a party that respects tradition, up till today the founding fathers of the party, even though the party had metamorphosis and gone through various transformation are still revered and given their pride of place.
The elders of the party, who had been with the NPP, when it was formed on July 22, 1992, are always given a front row seat and accorded the needed respect anytime the party is in power or organizes a programme.
When Prof. John Evans Atta Mills went the way of all mortals on that fateful day of July 24, 2012, we all saw the crocodile tears, appointees falling over each other to name school buildings, streets etc after him, but seven years after his passing, even his memorial lecture, comes and go without the party fully participating in its organization.
The John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library, situated opposite the Cape Coast Castle, became a subject matter of controversy, because the contractor, refused to hand over the facility two years after commissioning, because his work has not been fully paid for and he cannot hand over until that is done.
This was someone, who won and election for the party, was a sitting president, when he passed, until his passing, this country had achieved many first, including maintaining a single digit inflation for two years, as well as hitting a million metric tons of Cocoa.
The implementation of the Single Spine Policy (SPP), the best period for the local currency, against its major trading currencies, the list is endless, yet after his death, the NDC, has failed so far to celebrate him.
June 29, will mark exactly one year of the passing of the former Vice-president, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, it is my fervent hope that, the party, will do something befitting the late Veep.
On Tuesday March 12, 2019, another big tree in the party fell. Dr. Kwabena Adjei, died at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, three days after celebrating his 76 birthday on March 9.
As custom and tradition demand everyone who mattered not only in the NDC, but in the country, including the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was informed.
Let us trace back his journey, when he ventured into politics, to understand, why as a country and a political party, both failed him in his final hour of need.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei, ventured into politics in 1978, getting elected as a Council Member of the Jasikan District Council in the Volta region.
When Ghanaians voted in a referendum to return to multi-party rule, he got elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Biakoye in the Volta Region in 1992, 1996 and 2000 and was the Majority Chief Whip in 1994.
President Jerry John Rawlings appointed him as the Deputy Minister for Lands and Forestry and later became the substantive Minister.
In 1998 to 2000, he was the leader of the House [Majority Leader].
The NDC, lost the 2000 general elections to the NPP, led by John Agyekum Kufuor. The party’s outing in the 2004 election, was a disaster, as the leadership of the party, worked at cross purpose with the presidential candidate, John Evans Atta Mills.
After the 2004 elections, the party needed someone, whose vision and interest aligns with the party that is when Dr. Kwabena Adjei is popularly called “Nana Okumkra or Togbega Dadi Wula” the first and the last which literally means the unprecedented chief cat killer, stepped in.
The NDC, went on to win not only the 2012 election, as chairman, but the 2016 elections.
This is someone, who has served the party from the local all the way to the national level. He was a pillar in the party until his sudden and unfortunate demise.
His passing presented an opportunity for those who came in contact with him in his life time to recall his contributions to the development of humanity.
For him all that mattered was service to the nation in whatever capacity, a testimony to his fabled humility and dedication to service.
But not the NDC, which has shown time and time again that, loyalty means nothing to it.
The Cat Killer was laid to rest on June 1, 2019 .
What are the events that broke my heart prior to his burial and during his burial?
Associated with funerals in this country is the need for advertisement in the dailies, on radio and sometimes on Television.
I took pains since his passing, till his subsequent burial to be going through especially two newspapers in this country; the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times. These two newspapers have wider audience and reach and most importantly they are state-owned.
Not a single advert was run by the NDC to remind and assure his family and friends that, indeed the party appreciates his contribution even in death.
As a political party that just left power in January 2017 and having been the most successful political party in Ghana, it will be fair to argue that, a call by the leadership to the management of Graphic Communications Group to plead for a space in the Daily Graphic, will not be granted.
It is sad and disheartening, as small things like this, tell the young ones, what await them in the future.
At the funeral grounds, every name that has weight in the NDC, was present. From the former president, to the Chairman, General Secretary, Organiser etc, were all present to say their final goodbye.
They all went there empty handed. The NDC, was compelled to make a pledge, only after the representatives from the NPP, led by the National Organiser, Sammy Awuku, donated some money.
A pledge is only a pledge until it is redeem. It is my fervent hope that, the party, will at least redeem that pledge, as it is shameful and disgusting.
Not everyone goes into politics to make money, not only those who have money to spend must be given their right of place, money alone cannot win an election, it takes human beings to work with the man and actualize the dream.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei, might not have made enough money to contribute to the party, but he used whatever resources he had, including his strength and intellect to help the party win election in 2008 and 2012.
We all saw the party’s outing I 2016, when he was voted out.
There are a lot of elder statesmen in the party, who feel neglected and let down. These people founded the party, nurtured it, until it is what it is today, they deserve to be recognized and celebrated.
The party can organize an award scheme for them, so that one day their grandchildren and generations to come after them, can see the plague an say, our grandfather was once appreciated by the party and it is a legacy, I wish to continue and hold dear.
The party should stop leaving things to chance. Gone are the days, when joining political parties, was like a family heritage, these days, people join politics for reasons including selfish interest.
We go to Church on Sundays and Mosque on Friday, depending on whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, because of a promise of heaven, how much less political parties.
Until the NDC becomes more than a mere vehicle to get power for its own sake; until it has some clear organising principles, develops and honours a system that recognizes and nature leaders, it would continue to drift.