A leading member of the New Patriotic Party and former Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, has stated what many NPP supporters, sympathisers and well-meaning Ghanaians believe is not only the way to ‘a better Ghana’, but also an emphatic victory for the governing party in the 2042 general elections.
The call for concerns of the grassroots of the party to be addressed is relevant at a time when the party has hit the grounds, engaging foot soldiers, executives, supporters, sympathisers as well as floating voters.
Additionally, it is relevant because of the crucial timetable for the President’s appointment of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, and the heated political waves in which grassroots anchors, who are assembly members, are crying and competing for attention in participating in development activity.
It appears that, since independence, development has been more urban and more in favour of projects that benefit middle class residents, industrial communities and commercial towns to the disadvantage of rural communities largely made of farmers and fishermen.
The flip side is the drudgery found in Zongo communities, and urban slum developments where poor sanitation has been a huge source of drain on government; or pubs that harbour criminals, including cyber gangs and bandits, kidnappers and political tricksters who are ready to misreport, feign pregnancies or cook propaganda against government for political profit.
The situation is made worse when public sector workers, who should be implementing policies to support the delivery of basic services and infrastructure for grassroots consumption, go to sleep on their monitoring and maintenance responsibilities.
It is the hope of the Daily Statesman that as the party hits the grounds, exercises such as the ongoing membership registration and mobilisation will look at positive engagements with party and every conceivable stakeholder group the constituencies. This is an important means of getting the right feedbacks needed to strengthen true participation at grassroots level.
Particularly for party executives, the need to eschew the typical “everyone for himself and God for us all” mentality is necessary in projecting the party as true ambassadors of democracy in which mutual responsibility and benefit go hand in hand.
In all of that, the former Minister’s call should encourage the party’s leadership to design programmes that equip the party at grassroots levels in supporting actors and activities through empowerment programmes.
True leadership is about role modelling and building people, instead of playing God and breeding greed; or undercutting colleagues and spiting authority through disruptive activities that empower political opponents to run the party over.
Effective leadership that understands and deals with grassroots concerns is the only ingredient that effectively fights the tendency of vulnerable citizens and misfits in allowing themselves to be misled by vulgar political activists.
With the President himself out there engaging the grassroots, we see no reason why the MP or the MMDCE and other such appointees will continue to lock themselves up in their elevated positions, without rolling up their sleeves to hit the trenches to clean up the drudgery in their constituencies.
Thankfully, the party has the lessons of 2020 in which it suffered attritions to its seats in the legislature to guide it into 2024.