What is the National Interest Movement?
National Interest Movement
(NIM) is a civil society platform
to rally support for an independent alternative to Ghana’s electoral duopoly.
NIM’s objective is to radically change Ghana’s system of governance, its economy and its social attitudes for a more inclusive and prosperous society for all.
NIM’s agenda demands significant constitutional reforms that will be set a new foundation for governance of the nation. The proposed reforms are to be captured in a document that will be People’s Charter for a more progressive nation.
NIM’s mission is to arrest the widening gap between Ghana’s rich and poor by lifting faster the living standards of the masses that have the lowest incomes. And through merit and accountability, increase opportunities for pragmatically transitioning the masses into a middle class with first world living standards. NIM will “water the seeds of hope” sown at Ghana’s independence and uproot the “weeds of despair” that comes with selfish, greedy, divisive and destructive behaviour.
NIM’s philosophy is development through a human centred society that faces the reality of our contemporary times and pragmatism in the face of a global economy.
NIM aims to sustain the enduring vision of a nation united in its purposeful pursuit of a developed progressive 21st century nation embedded in a regional pan African political economy. Such progress being contingent on the reconstruction of the image, capacity and mind set of Ghanaians and other Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora throughout the world. NIM will aggressively advocate for a Pan African solution to attain our true emancipation from the entrapment of asymmetric global financial and trade systems that have kept us in bondage and denied us the full fruits of our sovereignty!
NIM argues that Ghana today is the sum of its entire history of good and bad. In spite of the great good, Ghana has grossly underachieved its true potential and is not the shining example on the hill as a first world country to beckon’s to all other African countries. The fractures in our national foundation from 1957 have been exasperated by fault lines in the all constitutions including Ghana’s 1992 constitution which is the basis of its current multiparty democracy. It’s contribution to creating a stable democracy is world renown. However, Ghana’s democracy has also degenerated into a two-party electoral dictatorship of “musical chairs” that has put the wellbeing of an elite political class above the needs of the masses and interests of the nation. Wasteful non-essential expenditures, non-transparent procedures for procurements and veiled but powerful interest groups have thwarted any posture to fight corruption and install a system of transparency and meritocracy no matter how well intentioned. The short term interests of a partisan pursuit of power has dominated long term national interests for development and positive evolution of Ghana’s society. Persistent calls for constitutional reforms to change the “playing field” in favour of greater inclusion, equity and accountability has fallen on the deaf ears of a duopoly obsessed with keeping power and therefore fearful of the outcomes of empowering other segments of society outside their ranks. The winner takes all mentality has ensured the non-adoption of a coherent long term development plan and also recommended amendments to reform to a compulsory 50% +1 electoral system. The ensuing enforced majority has encouraged the winner takes all mentality and annihilated the fortunes of the smaller political parties, forcing them into parasitic relationships with the dominant parties for survival.
NIM advocates for of a first past the post simple electoral majority system that allows for a coalition government. This would permit a more honest collaboration between political parties and also promote greater inclusion with increased prospects for transparency and accountability towards attaining the greater common good. However, to have the opportunity of implementing such a system Ghanaians must mobilize broad national support devoid of partisan consideration in order to support an independent candidate that is charged with the sole purpose of effecting the necessary reforms. The said reforms will be comprehensively detailed in a People’s Charter for a New Beginning. NIM will present to Ghanaians a People’s Charter that will entail the essential reforms for a comprehensive systems change. The ensuing new system will overcome the persistent impediments to Ghana scaling a transformative quantum leap into the status of a first world country.
To become a first world country, Ghana must reflect first world values of freedom, justice under the rule of law, accountability and a meritocracy that promotes equal opportunity for all.
Citizens will be protected, empowered and uplifted to attain high living standards through sustainable use of our nation’s natural resources. Such a system will reward citizens for doing the right thing and punish those that undermine and subvert it. Many Ghanaians currently feel impotent against corruption and corrupt practices because their experience is that those that resist are punished, whilst those that participate prosper. To be on the wrong side of the duopoly of corruption or remain unaligned to the duopoly is to exist in a vacuum absent of any opportunity to influence the system from within. NIM will therefore not join partisan politics to promote business as usual. NIM however fully intends to use constitutional means and the existing electoral system to change the current status quo of a duopoly mired in the stagnation of a unresponsive democracy.
To break the grip of the duopoly on power, the people must be galvanized into a single mass movement to win the electoral mandate for a Presidential candidate. The President elect’s primary purpose will be to implement the people’s charter and its required constitutional amendments. Effecting the People’s Charter will reset the system of governance and create new space for economic and social reconstruction.
NIM’s approach is to mobilize support for the People’s Charter as a vehicle that will win the electoral mandate for an Independent Presidential Candidate that will be bound by the National Interest and not partisan or sectional interests.
The NIM will rely on the National Interest Platform (NIP) to mobilize other civil society, non-partisan organizations of like mind through a consultative process. NIP will facilitate members of NIM to agree on a comprehensive list of reforms that will significantly change Ghana’s system of government in favour of:
- a restrained dominance of the executive Presidency in control of appointments and budget
- contained excesses of short term partisan expediency
- increased continuity through duration of tenure for governments to one term of 6 years,
- a realistic and genuine devolution of financial and political power to regions
- social reconstruction through nationally aligned education and compulsory military service for youth (16 to 26)
- Alignment of financial sector to support productive sectors of the economy through policy, controlled expenditure of public purse and out right capping of interest rates.
- A comprehensive and aggressive attack on unemployment especially youth unemployment through a cohort of intensive and persistent policies that support local entrepreneurship and encourage foreign investors to partner Ghanaians for reduced cost of doing business and ease of access to special empowerment schemes for domestic industry and commerce.
NIP will be the fulcrum to identify organizations with similar objectives and act as a think tank for fostering the emergence of a collective National Interest Movement (NIM) from among them.
NIM will primarily support an alternative political force (third force) that commits to pivotal constitutional and policy reforms in deliberate pursuit of a definitive paradigm shift in Ghana’s system of governance. The said paradigm shift must be defined in a manner that will positively impact Ghana’s electoral systems, economy and social fabric.
A summary of next steps to be taken to form NIM include:
- Formulate a reform agenda as a people’s charter that will be its social compact.
- Facilitate a meeting of like minds that will adopt and subscribe to the People’s Charter as a basis for forming a coalition pressure group cum a political movement called the National Interest Movement (NIM).
- Shaping and instituting NIM’s governance, structures and organizational procedures and programs.
- Fund raising and support for NIM’s operations budget.
- Launch of NIM and facilitating it to achieve its goal in partnership with other actors that have clear national interest agendas.
- Promote NIM as a vehicle for a convergence of all progressive forces that will give voice to the marginalized poor, the muted middle class and increasingly frustrated intelligentsia.
- Outreach to other African Countries whose democracies have stagnated and become dysfunctional duopolies. NIM will share its experiences and also examine viability and suitability of its template for emancipation from the yoke of an elite entrenched political class at home and abroad.
- Nurture a pan African network of similar organizations with similar challenges. Together these disenfranchised groups will be galvanized to denounce and renounce an entrenched political elite that has fritted away of opportunity for a far brighter common future through profligate expenditure and neglect that has not focused on the priorities that gives the masses the greatest dividends.
- Share and acknowledge Ghana’s successes not only the failures. NIM shall be the bulwark for resistance against a tendency for doom and despair in Ghana’s society. NIM reaffirms that our fate is within our hands and a new generation must rise to the challenge of the path chartered for our complete emancipation. There is hope and doom is preventable if we change our path from self-seeking to commit to a People’s Charter of change that will bring prosperity for all.
The above is achievable if the national interest prevails in favour of the greater common good, against the rising tide of partisan self-serving interests. Increasingly there is a pervasive view that an entrenched elite political class that have long bewitched the electorate have the same value that is derisively called the “Dukadaya Syndrome”. Their days of unchallenged manipulation of the electorate through intimidation, aggressive violence, abuse of state’s power and purse are at an end. A veil of mystic has been lifted by the electorate’s increasing familiarity with the operation of a monetized two-party electoral dictatorship akin to a “see-saw”, or more appropriately in local parlance, “kokofu football”. In 2020 and beyond their game is up, as political neophytes come of age. Much will rest on the ability of the enlightened to implement their plan to mobilize the masses.
Once in position after its launch NIM leadership shall formulate a strategy and an agenda for its roll out. NIM will also commission study groups to map its policy position through statements on key policy sectors and issues of current social, economic and political debate.
The NIM Advisory Council will be comprised of NIM executives and designated leaders from its constituent members be they organizations or individuals. The Advisory council will appoint interim Executives to coordinate the NIM secretariat which will in turn form a campaign team to prosecute the national elections as one amalgamated independent body. with its own independent candidates for parliamentary seats and the Presidential slot. NIM secretariat will coordinate implementation of programs aimed at realizing the objectives of the people’s charter for attainment of a new reformed operating system. NIM secretariat shall also facilitate a unified approach for prosecuting the systems change agenda.
So far discussions, meetings and/or consultations have been held with leaders of:
- Third Force Front/Movement
- Independent Voters Association (IVA)
- The People’s Democratic Movement, (PDM)
- The People’s Project (TPP)
- Ghana First Movement (GFM) and
- Ghana United Movement, (GUM)
Other movements and organizations are yet to emerge. We will be solicit their support and as them to join the NIM. NIM as an umbrella movement will bring focus of purpose, clarity of approach and efficiency of organizational structures for synergies that give optimal operational impact.
Political parties that declare support for the NIM’s agenda and NIM’s independent President candidate may be considered as allies. However, such parties may not present a Presidential Candidate in the same election otherwise they are strictly competitors. The focus of NIM’s agenda remains a systems change and not fulfilment of individual ambitions by prospective parliamentary or Presidential candidates.
Formulating a New Way Forward with The People’s Charter for Change.
Beyond galvanizing an independent movement for action on a reform agenda, the NIM will work with others to collectively define the substance of:
- A reform agenda and the mechanisms that will cause a systems change on all fronts.
- A campaign strategy, message and schedule as an independent alternative political force that seeks to mobilize the masses to break the duopoly of a two party system in Ghana
- A process for search and selection of suitable independent candidates for Parliamentary seats and the Presidential slot.
- A Diaspora Campaign to mobilize support and form alliances with other similar organizations in other African and Caribbean Countries.
- A media campaign to familiarize all stakeholders at home and abroad with the NIM agenda for Ghana and its implications.
Achieving the above will demand a sustained long term campaign to gain a majority in parliament and capture the Presidency. NIM must at all times demonstrate a propensity to work with Ghanaians from all walks of life independent of their ideology, religion, ethnic groups and even political affiliation. NIM will use all competent Ghanaians from across the political divide because NIM seeks the best for Ghana, not just better. Ghana must nit shine because those around us are dim.
NIM’s vision of Ghana as the shining city on the hill is assured because we seek to brighten Ghana through enlightened minds and dedicated hearts of true patriots. Join NIM NOW.