Foot-Soldiers´┐Ż Disaster

It is unfortunate and regrettable that the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) evokes political undertones when it is mentioned.

For some, we are no exception the mention of the establishment reminds them more about fixing party faithful in gainful employment than the management of force majeure.

It has come to pass that some workers of the establishment ordinarily an important state appendage, have vented their fury over unpaid salaries and expectedly making the headlines in the media.

Massing on the corridors of the finance ministry as the furious foot-soldiers did, offered curious Ghanaians to have a rough idea of just how many idle persons are on the payroll of the organization.

Only foot-soldiers can do what they did and go scot-free without being subjected to the fangs of ruling party propagandists.

Much as these “hungry Ghanaians” deserve our sympathies, their plight puts the establishment on the spotlight vis a vis local partisan politics.

We have observed painfully the almost metamorphosis of the disaster management body into a near full-fledged unit of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) – suspicion which is informed by the mostly party foot-soldiers peopling it.

Those for instance picketing on the corridors of the ministry of finance over unpaid remuneration have been rightly identified as foot-soldiers put there soon after the NDC came into power.

Some of these foot-soldiers took their desks at the place even before their appointments were formalized. It was like the action of triumphant medieval soldiers after over-running enemy territory.

Although they deserve to be paid, since after all they have been duly appointed, the need to consider reversing the status of NADMO as a political wing of the ruling party cannot be overemphasized.

During polls, be they by-elections or the bigger ones, NADMO becomes as busy as witnessed under emergency situations such as June 3. The reasons are not far afield: stuff reserved for distribution during disasters is lavishly doled out to win votes in various electoral areas, depleting dangerously the stockpile of relief materials.

When a local television station captured some staff diverting relief items meant for victims of the June 3 twin disaster of water and fire, many found it difficult to be convinced about the authenticity of the report until one of the officials was ensnared.

The appointment of a deputy head of the establishment did not help matters. Although Anita has since resigned her appointment, her sojourn at NADMO was another evidence of how the place has been turned into a receptacle for party loyalists.

The NDC chairman held on to his position as head of NADMO simultaneously with the chairmanship portfolio until it would appear public opinion compelled him to drop one.

In recent times NADMO has received more than ever before and to the detriment of the professionalism of the establishment, many more foot-soldiers in furtherance of the “jobs for the boys” theory.

The newly appointed head of the place, Brig. Francis Vib-Sanziri, will soon discover how he is sandwiched by a plethora of party activists whose engagement is the ruling party’s expression of gratitude to them for their yeoman’s role during the elections.

To steep a disaster management organization in excessive politics does not augur well for efficiency. It can only spell disaster for the foot-soldiers and eventually for the state.