A few days ago, I made a statement calling for peace and civility in our relations and engagements within our great party. I thought the language had reached fever-pitch, but no! We were yet to be confronted with statements of immeasurable effect on the quest for internal healing and unity within our political family.
Comrades, in the past week there have been too many statements in the media that cast our own family members in bad light. These include public statements, inaccurate news paper reporting, scripted reactions, sponsored stories in the media, (with cheering squads on either side), comments on social media and outright gossip of agreements and disagreements.
While I remain a firm believer in the open expression of views, irrespective of age and status, I also cherish our traditional values of decency, civility and established order. Unhealthy attacks on the party and significant individuals and occasional tempestuous reactions have been a feature of our past. However, our desires, preferences, expectations and ambitions as our dear party searches for its best foot forward could give an excruciatingly painful twist to these rather avoidable banters between and among the very big, the medium and the not too small family members. Perhaps it is the perceived or real expression of interest in leading the party that is creating these “see through” attacks.
Brothers and sisters, once again let’s not allow politics to make us walk on our heads and see things the wrong way. We can engage one another with the same passion without attracting vile reactions if we stick to principles and engage on issues. NDC, like any huge and robust political family, cannot have a single corporate mind and it would be an illusion, if not deception, to assume a common approach or unanimity on the way forward.
Political decisions are always anchored by compromises and relative consensus building. “My way or the high way” approach is not consistent with modern democracy. Neither is a strong and resourceful cabal influence sustainable. Strong party leadership at all levels, strong party structure at the base, with a documented and detailed party culture and “standing orders” can rescue the chestnut from the blazing fire. Let’s not be too quick to destroy one another in the pursuit of our political desires and ambitions. These emerging public electronic and print media attacks are entirely unhelpful and totally avoidable. Let us all pledge to avoid targeted attacks on persons and our party, and further pledge not to respond to provocations directed at us – not even in retaliation.
The party may require gatekeepers of our media space with the authority to sanction offending members without fear or favour. Our younger members must resist the temptation to enrol in feuds. Let’s determine the intended effects of our statements with clarity before we communicate, in the knowledge and understanding that our statement must unite rather than divide our front.
I call on all stakeholders, interested parties and all layers of leaders to keep their gates and caution against acts, utterances and media expositions that only divide our ranks. Our real adversaries as we remain in opposition are not from within; not our own. Let us compete in love; let us pursue our individual and our group interest with respect; let us disagree on the basis of principles, issues, ethics, and what serves the collective interest.
As maintained by Martin Luther King, Jr. – “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”
We are one family and must allow nothing to divide our front or fragment our common goal.
We pray for magnanimity, circumspection, civility and caution between and among party cadres and comrades.
Above all, let’s remember that we are NDC, one big family.