Former President John Mahama says contrary to public perception, party ideological training schools are not about brain washing people to become “ideological robots”.
He said, beyond the teaching of ideologies, there is a lot of training dedicated to inculcating the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and community service into younger minds.
He indicated, the Ghana Institute for Social Democracy set up by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is therefore committed to addressing anaemic levels of patriotism in the country.
“Nationalism and patriotism have become very deficient today. Absolutely nobody thinks about the country first.
“We all think about ourselves first, our families second, our parties third maybe our communities fourth and Ghana comes a fifth or even 10th”, he said at the launch of the first cohort of students.
He said the lack of an ideological understanding often leads to a heigthened sense of parochialism, disunity and back-biting within a political organisation like the NDC.
He revealed that he is a product of ideological training in Russia where he studied for a Masters program in Social Psychology.
Fresh out of university, John Mahama said NDC leading figure, Alhaji Huhu Yahya was in charge of an ideological school that trained cadres in social democratic philosophy which would later become the ideological foundation of the National Democratic Congress.
He explained that he was selected along three other party cadres in 1986 to study in Moscow for two years. They returned in 1988 to find Ghana under international pressure to return to democratic rule.
He said, NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia was part of the constituent assembly that drew up the 1992 Constitution to signal a return to democratic governance.
The NDC founded by the leader of the PNDC military government, Flt. Lt Jerry Rawlings would go on to win the 1992 elections, 1996 elections until it lost power to the NPP in 2000.
Former President Mahama said the party failed to push for the establishment of a more formal ideological school after it won power in 1992.
“It has taken the party 25 years to come around the idea of a party school. Within that time frame, NDC activists have very little understanding of their ideological roots which he has not augured well for party unity and grassroots mobilisation.”
He congratulated the NDC for the initiative and asked that the school is extended to other regions.