'Blows' over NDC's unity walk
The hijacking of the so-called ‘unity walk’ of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Cape Coast in the Central Region last Sunday by members of the party supposedly loyal to former President John Mahama is causing uneasy calm in the opposition political grouping.
The ‘dog fight’ appears to have been started after a former Consul General under the Mahama-led NDC government, Daniel Osei, criticized the way the organizers ‘skewed’ the whole programme in favour of the former president.
Former President Mahama was the only speaker allowed after the walk, although almost all the other NDC gurus who have declared their intentions to lead the NDC in 2020 were present.
Currently on the various social media platforms, especially WhatsApp groups, some NDC members have taken entrenched positions and are defending or condemning the actions of the organizers of the walk – which the party claims is supposed to unite its rank and file ahead of the 2020 general elections after the massive defeat in 2016.
Mr Daniel Osei expressed concern about the way the ex-president is being given unfettered access to party activities at the expense of other activists who are all vying to lead the NDC in 2020, warning that the action would not promote the much needed unity.
“As platforms supporting JM (former President) share clips of him and enjoy chats relative to the walk and his speech, can you imagine how disgruntled the Friends of Spio (Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah) and other platforms are discussing matters relative to the treatment meted out to their candidate?” he observed.
“We lost 19 out of the 23 or so seats in the Central Region. Can we afford to lose any votes in the Central Region? Or is singing Mahama’s praises enough to win us back all the seats and votes we lost in the region? It’s time to challenge our thoughts and positions,” he charged.
The former envoy posited, “Of all the Mahama supporters, I ask humbly, how many of you see it as uniting to deny any of the aspirants a chance to speak yesterday and how many of those who saw it as inappropriate are willing to say anything to the president and his handlers? If any of you see it as problematic, you have a responsibility to at least share and discuss it and it may get someone’s attention. It can only help. Silence is not a good option.”
He said, “I spoke to three of the aspirants yesterday and a couple of the organizers and a minister who was on stage. Every single one was disappointed. I asked them individually if anyone has made their disappointment known to the president and his team. Sadly, none has. Are we safe to navigate the rough road ahead of us?”
He queried: “Can we afford to enter the 2020 elections on the wings of sycophancy?” adding, “There must be a renewed sense of urgency in how we move forward.”
As the debate ensued, former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Saed Sinare, reportedly fired Mr Daniel Osei – who once contested and lost the Ashanti Akim North parliamentary primary of the NDC – for daring to question the party’s leadership over the special treatment for the ex-president during the walk.
“It’s been pain-stricken to note that a comrade in the person of Hon Daniel Osei, the NDC’s parliamentary candidate in the 2012 general elections and former Consul General at Ghana’s mission in Dubai and indeed under my watch as the Ambassador in-charge of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Countries, would come out to make such damning remarks about the party’s much touted UNITY WALKS,” Sinare, who has gone underground since his prediction of the NDC’s victory in 2016, allegedly stated.
“I would have thought that a man having a jolly decline in his political career but yet benefited from the benevolence of H. E. John Mahama, would have learnt some lessons going forward,” adding, “Losing your parliamentary primary to comrade Mary Awusi in the Asante Akyem North Constituency where you served as DCE before being appointed by the former president as Consul General to Dubai, couldn’t have been the fault of anyone in the NDC.”
Mr Daniel Osei shot back quickly saying that anytime one talked about the former president, they sent their ‘attack dogs’ to devour the one.
“The MO has always been to send out the attack dogs and I expected nothing less. There shouldn’t be any doubt the objective of their attack is to conjecture enough and obfuscate the critical issue of whether or not John Dramani Mahama is our best candidate and if forcing him on the party.
“It’s all an attempt to cover up the fact; Mahama gave us the most emphatic and worst electoral defeat in the history of our nation.”
He said, “JM inherited a stronger party than what it is today. What happened? They want to change the subject. After delivering the worst electoral results in the history of our party, it makes little or no sense to return JM to lead us in 2020.”
Mr Daniel Osei further claimed, “As a fellow northerner, maybe Sinare should explain to all of us why and how Bawumia and the NPP successfully encroached on our votes in 2012 and took away seats from us and did it again and took away even more votes and seats in 2016 and how bringing back JM, the same man the North keeps rejecting, will improve our electoral fortunes in the north.
“Any thinking person can see electorally, the north has concluded; Mahama’s values are not their values and has rejected his leadership.”
Interestingly, while there is dog fight over who leads the NDC, the 10 regional chairmen of the party appear to have thrown their weight behind the former president.
After a meeting yesterday they issued a communiqué in which they urged the former president to consider running for the 2020 polls.
The brief statement did not give further details as to why they were making the call.
They also urged Mahama to embark on a “Thank you” tour of the country although belated, to thank party loyalists for their support during the December 2016 polls.
The chairmen, who signed the communiqué were Kobina Ade-Coker, Greater Accra; Micheal Aidoo, Western; Alhaji Mumuni Bolnaba, Upper East; John K. Gyapong, Volta; Opoku Atuahene, Brong Ahafo; Matthew Song-Aabo, Upper West; Bismark Tawiah Boateng, Eastern; and Yaw Obimpeh, Ashanti.
The others are Alhaji Sofo Azorka, Northern and Allotey Jacobs of the Central Region.