General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament (MP) Sam Nartey George has said the appointment of young people by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to serve in various capacities is a practice the NPP copied from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He, thus, rejected suggestions that certain young politicians in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did not deserve certain positions leading to the loss of the party in the 2016 elections, adding that if it were a bad thing, the NPP would not have copied same.
He has, however, urged the party to build on the advantages of having young people in government, insisting that is what the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is doing – an idea it has copied from the NDC.
For him, the NDC needs to find ways to gain the maximum benefit of having the youth in government rather than thinking of sidelining budding politicians for older, more experienced hands, emphasising a blend of experience is the best.
He explained his suggestion is evident in the performance of the current NDC Minority in parliament which he said has been hailed as the best NDC minority.
He told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, July 10 that blending youth and experience has been a great success story for the NDC in parliament.
He said the minority “backbenchers” in parliament are very competent and sometimes take up debates while experienced Minority MPs observe.
“The NPP is trying to copy it. Look at the appointments, who would ever have believed that the NPP would make a 34-, 35-year-old Deputy Chief of Staff?” he questioned.
“Who would ever have believed that young people will be made chief executives, minister and deputy ministers in an NPP government?
“Previously when the NPP spoke about young people they were referring to the likes of Dan Botwe and co., people in their 50s. But today they are bringing in 30-year-olds, copying from the NDC, they are learning from us. They are taking our own success story and learning from us, so why should we throw it away. We can only make it better.”
Nonetheless he explained that the young appointees that President John Mahama worked with had their “flaws”.
“I’ll tell you something, the young people who worked around President Mahama, I will not sit here and say we are angels, we had our flaws, myself included. But I believe that we gave the best of ourselves, we did what we had to do,” he said.
In March this year, the NDC’s Member of Parliament for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Bipoba Naabu, blamed the young appointees of Mr Mahama for the NDC’s defeat in the 2016 elections.
According to Mr Naabu, Mr Mahama “allowed those working around him like Omane Boamah, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, Baba Jamal, and other presidential staffers like Stan Dogbe to influence him. These small boys who have not even rented a room by themselves, have not been able to buy a car, had this opportunity and they were just talking carelessly, insulting people and he was listening to them. Could you believe that someone like Bagbin went to him [Mahama] to meet him and people like Stan Dogbe gave instructions that he cannot see him?”
Mr Nartey George, however, said despite such accusations, Mr Mahama’s young appointees kept in touch with the seniors of the NDC. “… You know, when a problem happens in the family, it is the younger ones who always take the flak for it, the senior people always sit back. But I can tell you that many of us were constantly in touch with our senior people, constantly going to them and seeking their advice and opinion on many issues. I don’t want to mention specific names. … Those who you call the godfathers, they are our godfathers, we were always with them, we were always going to them and speaking with them …”
Mr Nartey George also said ex-presidential staffer Stan Dogbe is not to blame for the defeat of the NDC.
“If the suggestion is that Stan [Dogbe] is the reason for the defeat, I would categorically debunk that allegation. And let me put on record, I’ve worked with Stan Dogbe and I think that Stan Dogbe is one of the arguably hardest workers you can ever find. I mean Stan is a workhorse; his professional ethos [is] top-notch and world-class, you can’t take that away from him,” he stated.
In Mr Nartey George’s estimation, Stan Dogbe is a perfectionist who pushes himself as well as the people around him to achieve excellence, a situation that makes people see him differently.
“…When you see people who strive for perfection, at times they come off as being a little high-handed, a little as having their noses up in the air. I mean there is a certain standard of excellence that they have set for themselves, a certain benchmark, and if you want to lower the bar, they will not tolerate it,” he added.
“… For me, on a professional level, I would rate Stan Dogbe any day, anytime [as] highly world-class. I mean when it comes to social issues, like I said we are all not angels. … You need to understand who the person is, you need to understand the pressure that he also had to work under, and, so, for me when people want to judge people on just their weaknesses I say that you are not being fair to them, they are human beings, every human being has his strengths and weaknesses, judge them on a fair basis of the collective: the aggregate of their strengths and weaknesses. If I put Stan on that scale, his successes or his strengths outweigh his weaknesses.”