In a democracy the right to dissent is the most important right granted by the Constitution: To question, to challenge, to verify, to ask for accountability from the government or those in authority/leadership is the right of every citizen under the constitution. These rights should never be divested otherwise we will become a dying society accepting without thinking or doubting, which won’t help the country to develop.
The introductory paragraphs to the Constitution provides for the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Article 21(1) Clauses (a) to (e) provides these entrenched rights:-
Freedom of speech and expression;
Freedom to assemble peaceably and without arms;
And the freedom to form associations or unions;
These three freedoms serves as springboard through which dissent can be expressed. The right of freedom of opinion and the right of freedom of conscience by themselves allow for the very, very great important right to disagree.
The right to disagree, the right to dissent and the right to take another point of view is vested essentially in each and every citizen of the country. When viewed all together, it is more than obvious, that, the right to dissent is the biggest right and, in my view and judgment, the most important right given legally by the Constitution.
I don’t like to dissent but when my hands are tied in an obnoxious way I will be forced to evoke my right to dissent. We are all be reminded to be careful when dealing with people, especially those who take delight to stab others – I just want you to know this: if ever I get the chance to betray a principle, surely will do so. If the opportunity arises to pay you back, surely they’ll take it. When you breach my confidence and loyalty you’ll never be trusted.
Sometimes on our travels through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. We oftentimes fail to understand the art of revenge. To exact revenge for yourself or your friends is not only a right, it’s an absolute moral or legal obligation to act and never be afraid to scrutinize your loyalty. Always have an aptitude test and, question where your loyalties lie. Because people you trust will expect it, your greatest enemies will desire it, and those you treasure the most, will, without fail, abuse it.
Why would any one of good conscience get scared when they right thing is to be done. Why label the MPs that dissented as “traitors”. Why did the NDC’s National Executive Committee fall for Johnson Asiedu Nketia artful machinations and maneuvers so easily? Wait a minute!! Could the NEC be complicit?
If NEC is complicit, then they’ve lost the battle and that of the war. The moment you recruit people to put another person down, in order to convince someone of your value it’s the day you dishonored yourself. If that was case, then, that’s where they whole plot failed. They were upstaged by the Chairman, and got engrossed in a witch-hunt that has exploded beyond expectation.
To the dissidents (MPs), you did the right thing by standing up to those that underrated and underestimated your ability and capacity wreak havoc. If someone doesn’t see your worth the problem is with them, not people outside your relationship. There is always a good reason not to abandon the boat. Say to yourself, don’t worry, I’m not quitting. I’ve decided I’m going to stay and make life a living hell while I run his business into the ground.
When a woman decide to strike at the heart of another, she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.
To punish someone for your own mistakes, for your own actions and inactions, with the view to harm another by shifting blame that is rightly yours, you could said to be a wretched and cowardly person who commits immoral act/acts.
I state without evocation that, the dissidents (MPs) understand the science of war. In the art of war, if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the approaching battles. But if you know only yourself and not the enemy, for every victory, there will also be defeat. The case confronting Chairman Johnson Asiedu Nketia and his bandwagon.
The very thrust of this article revolves around the ‘groupthink concept’.
The NDC Party and supporters are breaking bones, invoking curses and claiming some of their MPs has betrayed the Party. To every rule and regulations there’s a caveat. Such as freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and of choice.
The problem that has cropped up from the ‘Voting Debacle’ had its mushrooming from the manner or better still, how Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, Hon. Muntaka Mohammed and Hon. James Klutse Avedzi were humiliated and treated. If there is a disaster, it must be laid at doorstep of Asiedu Nketia’s led group and those short-sighted people who failed to recognize seriousness of how the three (3) people were injured. Their reputation has been dragged through muddy waters and the Elders of the Party sat down unconcerned, leaving Asiedu Nketia to have a feeling of great authority or skills.
Disasters do occur, however, it could been averted and properly managed to assuage the rippling effects. To be frank, there should be no reason to sympathize with those who saws nothing wrong in the manner the three MPs was ushered out from leadership status. It is the exact response to the humiliation suffered.
Revenge! revenge! revenge!!
It is a fact of life that, a lot of unexpected and sudden events by members of groups are traceable to a group’s insistence not to listen to dissenting voices.
People are of the view that the MPs that parted company with the Party are traitors. It is never the case. I think of them as dissidents and not traitors. A dissident is someone who’s in opposition to official policy. It was route the MPs decided to travel, against the Party’s proposition. To reference a former Member of Parliament of the NDC, he said “We don’t eat principles”.
Let’s travel the memory lane. A well known incident or a situation that comes to mind is the space shuttle “Challenger disaster” of 1986, which resulted in the death of seven crew members in that tragic incident. The unfortunate tragedy was transmitted by television across the United States of America. The end result resulted in emotional disturbing occurrence with the attendant injury on the psyche of the nation.
A formal inquiry about this serious accident or catastrophe unknown to the public was, engineers had shown disturbing anxiety and worry with their managers concerning the safety of the “shuttle’s O-rings in cold temperatures”. Nevertheless, hidden behind intense deadline influence and its effects, managers decided or failed to consider the dissenting voices of the engineers. Seven lives were lost all because most people in leadership role hardly accept dissenting opinions.
The lesson involving the “Challenger” similar in nature to “Voting Debacle” on Friday, March 24, 2023 is oftentimes used as a case study of ‘groupthink’. Citing the rippling effects of most ‘groupthink’ cases as very disastrous. On hindsight, advocates of ‘groupthink’ are of the view or a belief that a team may have to disregard dissenting voices to keep the team’s cohesion but not all is always true.
The NDC MPs ‘voting debacle’ shows that for a group to make or take or achieve the desired or intended result of decisions, it must accept dissenting voices and give support and advice to them when needed. There are advantages and gains from encouraging dissenting opinions. It brings on board prompters to share different perspectives and facts it provides.
The Party’s leadership failure to see the harm done to Haruna, Muntaka and Avedzi – the failure to recognize the ability and capacity of the supposed “traitors”, as referred to, in directing its influence on dissenting opinions within the caucus to upturn the victim-hood as a revenge for the deceptive actions of Johnson Asiedu Nketia and his group of bloodhounds executives.
No one wants to be humiliated and ridiculed and in addition, subjected to avalanche of attack on their reputation and couple with insinuations for asking, what gave rise the sudden change in the leadership without a hint. This should give leaders who cares the best information to act on.
From where I stand, the “groupthink concept” provides leaders with access to stimulate critical thinking in leadership teams and to dismiss superficial compliance with standards.
However, and perhaps of situations and abilities in such times, leaders not aware of the full facts may return to ‘groupthink’ thus making it a fertile ground for promoting people who provides them ease of freedom and security, at expense of thoroughness and quality. A shortfall that usually confront leadership role, is the inability to select the best people to help realize a vision: leaders may choose people who shore up a power base that it undermines progress for the end result is a focus-based which serves as a protection of oneself rather than vision.
The absolute task of a leader is to assign job or role to people who see a thing that exists in a realistic way that is not same from leaders and be prepared to accommodate dissent: an appreciating and understanding where they are requested to share what they see. The question raised for asking for information with dissenting opinions, it is, imperative that as leaders we must as of necessity come recognize that we don’t have all the answers. And this can be tough. The best leaders I worked with selected people who best help them realize their vision. They were leaders who wanted to hear and relate to all team members, so they don’t run their ship ashore.
Why am I raising concerns about this? Presently, John Mahama, Alan Kyeremateng, Kennedy Agyapong among others are crisscrossing our country. Equally, party leaders are busy appointing new leaders for 2024 elections and reshaping their teams.
The end game is that of promoting people who they agree with, but is tempting, and not the best interest of party members. I hope Party Leaders are brave and have other means needed to appoint people with the skillsets and perspectives to address their prospects of success and challenges, even, if by doing so it makes them feel a little unease with awkwardness will be good. By doing that they will achieve the best of outcomes for the supporters and Party which is at the heart of their journey to success.
To conclude, ‘group thinkers’ should always be mindful that dissent is a good tool that make important inputs and must never be overlooked, underrated or underestimated. Leaders do so at their own peril. The MPs who voted against the acted most likely based their convictions and conscience deserve commendations not threats of inquisition.
The NDC should very, very careful or worried about decisions of their Chairman, “Mosquito”. He has an agenda to prosecute. The manner in which he ditched Ofosu Ampofo clearly depicts him as being brutish, ruthless and unreliable person, more so, savage and unrepentant, in whatever he deems right. His is disposition, demeanor if allowed to continue unchecked, will hurt members, supporters and sympathizers.
The rank and file of the NDC must be minded that Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka Mohammed and James Klutse Avedzi are persons who are weighty, have solid base in the respective constituencies that their feathers should not be ruffled. Any misstep or bad judgment can backfire and wreak havoc and the ravages will be detrimental for the NDC.
You guys aren’t traitors but dissenters. Confidently, be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
You don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
You don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend
And be the change that you wish to see in the world.
The French citizen would say “tu ne vis qu’une fois, mai si tu le fais bien, une fois suffit.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.