Opinion: Loyalty and Politics

The first and major factor which confirms a leader’s position is the force of party or supporters loyalty. Political activists interpret loyalty in different ways depending on where they stand at a particular period. Some describe loyal supporters or aides as bootlickers, sycophants etc and some loyalists also describe supporters and aides who may have withdrawn their support  for solid or trivial reasons as traitors, unfaithful etc.

Like I stated in one of my write-ups, in considering the nature of party loyalty, it is important to set aside the idea that it depends in any significant way on coercion or reward or that it is the product of the alleged spinelessness of executives. As stated in my introduction, one key virtue all leaders need to consolidate their base is loyalty. Nkrumah at a point encountered disloyalty problem some of the comrades he relied on betrayed him and released sensitive internal information to his opponents. But Nkrumah had very dedicated or loyal comrades around him one of them if not the most loyal, was Kofi Baako, father of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako. His show of genuine political loyalty didn’t start with Nkrumah, he and Saki Scheck, were the the young men UGCC who courageously opposed the formation of a political party when the UGCC executives started their anti- Nkrumah moves.

They insisted that the CYO must remain the driving force for the UGCC. The  young man got attracted to Nkrumah because of his ideological inclinations, inspired by his friend’s (Nkrumah) speeches and political moves,young Baako wrote an article entitled ” My Hatred of Imperialism ” which landed him into trouble,he was sacked from his job but later became the editor of the Cape Coast Daily Mail in his twenties. He displayed genuine loyalty and was with Nkrumah throughout the struggle. After Independence, he served in various capacities in Nkrumah’s government and one significant point noteworthy is the decision to fix him at sensitive ministries by Nkrumah and became the youngest minister in the whole of the British Commonwealth of Nations. He stayed committed to Nkrumah’s agenda and defended his party’s principles and decisions with dexterity because of his vast understanding of the CPP’s philosophy.

Some of the trusted friends of Nkrumah at a point got intoxicated with power and wealth and started dinning with the opposition and at point joined some UP elements to kill their leader. Busia also encountered same problem. Disloyalty at a point shattered the base of his administration leading to the Acheampong coup which was supported by some of Busia’s own allies. Acheampong was not spared, his own aides and close allies plotted his removal and  but fortunately for him the move was revealed to him but did not act on it. Okomfo Oparebea (akonode of Larteh) in the presence of B.B. Bismark, Adu Bediako and others, told Acheampong that Akuffo and others were planning to overthrow his government but Acheampong took it lightly leading to that palace coup. Limann suffered same, the struggle between the young elements and the old culminated in the abysmal performance of his administration and the many internal problems leading to the 31st Dec coup. Loyalty is one critical virtue all leaders must protect in their organisations and there must always be available mechanisms to test the loyalty of people around them to avoid shocking betrayals.

Between 1992 and 1996 people supported the NPP as a party to win power not their leaders,loyalty was titled more to the party than the elected leaders but this phenomenon changed when Nana Akufo-Addo took over the leadership of the party. He enjoyed amazing loyalty from many of the supporters and the focus was fighting to put him on the Presidential seat. In government, John Mahama enjoyed same amazing support and it reflected in the party’s 2012/2016 campaign.But the genuineness of  loyalty he enjoyed and how loyal his supporters and his close associates are,would be seen in opposition. “The best or true character of a person could be seen in his best days” but I will say here that the loyalty of those around the former president, his friends,party executives etc will show clearly in opposition.This is going to be his first opportunity to do litmus test on all those who claimed were loyal to his course during his days in office. In government leaders experience loyalty challenges the case between Al Gore and Clinton over the fate of Elian Gonzales, the six year old Cuban who was the only survivor of a group of 13 Cubans who tried to escape to the US.While Clinton wanted Elian to be sent back to Cuba, his vice advocated for permanent residency status to Gonzalez, we heard the cabinet brawl between Rawlings and Arkaah, Kufour and some of his cabinet members. P.V Obeng was the most trusted ally of Rawlings but became enemies at a point.

People’s political career ends abruptly because of disloyalty and there are many practical examples across the world. Monetary influence, inability to critically analyse situations and others inability to read into the future expose them to clever manipulations. Politicians and activists of political parties in the developing and less developed countries fall into these traps because of poverty and crave for wealth. Few detach themselves from their leaders based on solid principles but many of them cross carpet because of hardship and crave for wealth.

Supporters and close pals loyalty also depends on the leaders actions and demeanor. A leader must always be identified with his support base, detachment could lead to disloyalty, getting close to understand and know happenings in and around stables of your support base is very important. Apart from the party’s own arrangements to bring the people closer, the leader must also embark on his personal facts finding and familiarisation visits.

The most dangerous political animal on earth is that politician who easily shift his loyalty and does that in times of crisis but the interesting thing is that history teaches us that such characters end up shattering their own political career and has destroyed many fine politicians across the globe. Close to eight years some young souls in the npp stood solidly behind Nana Addo and fought hard to ensure the victory they enjoying I pray Mr Mahama enjoys same genuine support from persons who posed as holy loyalists when he was the President. That notwithstanding, all who have also decided to throw their support behind other candidates must do that with clear convictions,must show genuine loyalty….

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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