Foot soldiers, whose activities have become central in the affairs of political parties in Ghana in recent times, are said to be pressing for bigger stake in President John Mahama’s government this time around.
Some foot soldiers within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) told The Finder newspaper that they have resolved not to use crude methods like they have done in the past to press home their demands, but will certainly want to play bigger roles in President’s administration.
Foot-soldier agitations characterized the early part of the Mills/Mahama administration in 2009, and with many of them seizing toilet facilities, unlicensed vehicles, and others, the trend appears to have subsided in the current transition period.
One foot soldier who spoke to 'The Finder' on conditions of anonymity said they want to move from the taking of small contracts such as the clearing of bushes around electric poles to being awarded bigger contracts like road construction because, as he put it, “we worked hard to retain the party in power.”
He said they would not be demanding too much if they asked to be put on public boards and corporations, as some of them possessed the required skills to occupy such positions.
“Let us say the last four years was that of an experience-gathering period where those of us who did not know how to go through tender learnt to do so; it is therefore time for us to move on to bigger things because it is only when we grow that the party will also grow,” he added.
This foot soldier, who said he was very happy with the appointments made by the President so far, also called on him to remember those of them at the grassroots when it comes to the appointment of people to District Chief Executive and deputy ministerial positions.
“Let me however, assure the President that one thing we will not do, and which I ask of others not to do, is the use of crude means in pressing home our demands; let us use the channels in seeking redress,” he added.
Foot soldiers of the NDC descended heavily on the Mills-led administration because, according to them, they felt slighted at the government’s inability to fulfill promises it made to them prior to the 2008 general elections.
Others also used violence and aggression to lock out elected officials, party offices, and influenced the dismissal of political officeholders who, according to them, were not working to expectation.
However, the foot-soldier agitations appeared to have died down after the ruling party reached a consensus with them. And even though President Mahama may only be a few days in office, the phenomenon appears not to be a headache for him.
Source: The Finder
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