An unsettling anxiety is fast gripping the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the party laces its boots to elect a new National Executive body, all things been equal, by the end of the year.
The NDC is already lagging behind in electing national officers as the mandate of the current leaders elapsed as far back as January.
Though the party is yet to open nominations, vet candidates and announce a date for congress, there is a subtle but rather strategic campaign in full swing for all the positions at stake.
The position attracting the fiercest contest is the National Chairman, currently occupied by Dr. Kwabena Adjei, a former Minister and MP for Buem in the Volta Region who is also seeking another term, but may be contested by some four strong party heavyweights, including two of his current deputies and a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu.
Ahead of the election, a group calling itself NDC Zongo Youth for Victory 2016 has sounded a word of caution that the worst decision to be made by the party’s delegates at its upcoming National Conference is to return Dr. Kwabena Adjei as National Chairman.
The group also mentioned the incumbent National Youth Organiser, Ludwig Akpene Hlordze and his deputies as people who should be changed.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei touts himself as the best person to chair the party to an expected victory in 2016; and has asked that he be judged by his track record – having steered the affairs of the NDC through two successive electoral victories in 2008 and 2012.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s trump card of being the National Chairman under whose leadership the party won two successive elections, is however being flawed by persons who argue that no individual can claim credit for an entire party’s victory.
Friends of Abodakpi
A group calling itself Friends of Abodakpi recently asked Dr. Kwabena Adjei to step aside and said the NDC was in transition and needed a new face and an experienced politician whose exploits could lead the party to victory in the 2016 general elections.
According to the group, the best thing that happened to the NDC in recent times was the decision by the former Member of Parliament for Keta constituency, Daniel Abodakpi, to contest the chairmanship when nominations are opened.
Dan Abodakpi, until recently was Ghana’s High Commissioner to Malaysia; and is highly revered almost like a demigod in the Volta Region especially.
He was a former national coordinator of the defunct Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) and a senior cadre of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) – a military junta that eventually metamorphosed into the NDC.
Another leading contender for the chairmanship position is Kofi Portuphy, National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
Reports say Mr. Portuphy’s chances of becoming chairman soared after the New Patriotic Party’s recent conference in Tamale to elect its party leaders did not elect a Ga as chairman. According to Portuphy’s supporters, his election as NDC chairman would be a strategic move by the party to rake in more Ga and Dangbe votes from the Greater Accra Region.
His supporters argue that Kofi Portuphy has the requisite qualifications to lead the NDC to victory in 2016, and what it takes to give the party a major facelift and also restructure it to be more viable and attractive.
The name of Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, a vice chairman of the party, has also popped up as a potential candidate for the position, according to reports making the rounds.
Though his campaign has been relatively less vocal, Hudu Yahaya’s name has spread far and he seems to be positioning himself as a good match for NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko, because both of them come from Northern Ghana.
“I’m a vice chairman of the party, a member of the National Executive and member of the Constitution Review Committee of the party…I’m working to restructure the party and I don’t think I should be preoccupied with such intensions now,” Alhaji Hudu Yahaya was quoted by the Al-Hajj newspaper – a pro- NDC tabloid – to have said when the paper asked him about reports pointing to his ambition for the NDC Chairmanship position.
Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Madam Betty Mould-Iddrisu, is the only female in the race so far, if reports about her intentions are true. She was once speculated to be a potential running mate to the then candidate Professor Atta Mills of blessed memory.
Her posters have been posted on the social media, particularly Facebook, but it is not known if she is only testing the waters.
NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito seems to be heading for a third term victory as no contender has popped up so far. There were feeble speculations that Kofi Adams, Deputy General Secretary, also had an eye on his boss’ job but the rumours seem to have died down.
Meanwhile, the party is undertaking biometric registration for its members after which an electoral college would be formed. Speculations are rife that part of the money for the project had been misappropriated.