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Election 2020: All party members should come with a camera – Sylvester Mensah

Tue, 13 Oct 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Staunch member of the opposition National Democratic Congress has called on all party supporters to carry along more than one camera on the day of the 2020 polls.

According to him, this will help members record “suspicious” movements in case of election fraud event.

“All party members should carry more than one camera on Election Day and record any suspicion movement even before it crystallizes into an infraction or election fraud event.”

Speaking at the National Cadres and NDC Activists Conference held on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at the Global Dream Hotel in Tamale, Mr Mensah encouraged party foot soldiers to show up in their numbers as polling agents on election day.

“Cadres are to return to the branches, wards and constituencies, where the political battles are being fought (with less than 7 weeks into the general election) and where we need all our cadres as polling agents on that day.”

Below is his full speech:

Remarks By Leader Of NDC Delegation, Comrade Sylvester A Mensah, To The National Cadres And NDC Activists Conference Held On Saturday, October 10, 2020 At The Global Dream Hotel In Tamale

THEME: Building the ideological capacity of cadres for progressive politics in Ghana

I deem it a great honour to accept the Party’s invitation to lead its delegation to this auspicious assembly. Gathered in this audience today are men and women of valour whose tenacity, perseverance, and determination shaped the destiny of our beloved country and its modern fledgling democracy.

Many among us here today played crucial roles in the mobilization efforts that returned hope to the hearts and minds of our people across the country. I am therefore excited at this unique opportunity to interact, recount, share ideas and experiences, and reignite new hopes to guide and usher our country into the blissful future we continue to work for. Let me express my profound gratitude to the initiators and organizers of this conference for the invitation and the party for the honour of speaking on their behalf at a gathering of what I consider the assembly of great Ghanaians with social conscience.

On an occasion like this, it is also important to thank you all for the many ways in which, together as cadres, we have selflessly used our talents, expertise, and experiences to shepherd our country out of the difficult times of the 1980s and early 1990s.

I consider this conference yet another step to illustrate our perseverance, persistence, determination, tenacity and drive to remain relevant in shaping the future course of socio-political and economic decisions that have implications for the wealth and health of our people. Senior Colleagues, the National Democratic Congress as a political party remains our only natural home.

As you will recall, it is a house built on the foundations of several social forces and political tendencies including, in particular, the Eagle Club, the Development Union of Progressive Revolutionary Cadres throughout the country, and the Rawlings Fan Club of Progressive Cadres and other Civilians, as well as functionaries, operatives, supporters, sympathizers and all those who believed and participated in the prosecution of the principles and ideals of the 1979 June 4 Uprising and the 1981 31st December Revolution.

Shall we observe a minute silence for the fallen hero-activists as well as those who were at the receiving end of excesses and avoidable errors?

We salute all those who have remained steadfast despite emotionally disturbing and life changing circumstances as well as contrived disruptions of our individual and collective political trajectories Indeed, social progress comes with its inherent hiccups and cock-ups. While we regret the needless and avoidable, we find solace in how far we have come as a people.

The above narrative is important because every step along the way, cadres worked as conveyor belts to carry the intents and purposes of the PNDC from the urban centres to every part of the country, making sure that every Ghanaians is given an opportunity to be part of the processes. I remember the 5 member Prompting Committee constituted in the Greater Accra Region, of which I was a member, tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness on the formation of a new political party – the NDC. Comrades and friends, it was you seated here and others who went round every district virtually begging individuals to become founding members of our dear party. We again had a historical duty to scout for the first set of Parliamentary Candidates, most of whom became Honourable Members of Parliament in the 1st Parliament of the 4th Republic.

We are not where we are today by accident or by chance, fate, or coincidence! It took appropriate leadership, careful planning, orchestration and deliberate navigation through storms and sacrifices with sufficient consultation to be where we are today as a Party, firmly rooted and strategically positioned to attract new folks.

Comrades and friends, irrespective of our individual or collective circumstances, the demands of the time impose on us a historical responsibility to close our ranks and unite like never before with all who believe and share in the desire to wrest political power from the inhumane NPP government that, has clearly abdicated moral leadership of this country and become a political vampire.

We must be proud of our heritage and our sacrifices for the collective achievements so far and resolve to be committed to the total mobilization of the Party, as we are stampeded into the December 7 General Elections, an election which our weary citizens are crying their hearts out for NDC to emerge victorious!

Thankfully, our party has not departed from progressive pathways; it remains tied to our social democratic values. Our current party platform - the People’s Manifesto had pioneers fully engaged like, Senior Comrade Goosie Tanor playing lead roles, Comrade Alban Bagbin currently serves on the party’s political committee while I serve on the National Campaign Steering Committee, among others. The satisfaction is that cadres are fully involved in the processes leading to our collective victory

Consistent with progressive politics in Ghana, our political platform presents a number of Progressive policy proposals for our next government, God willing, these include:

1. A Free Primary Health Care Policy for all Ghanaians

2. Free TVET Education from SHS through to the Tertiary Level

3. Absorbing 50% of Fees for Tertiary students for the ensuing academic year on account of COVID-19 challenges as a ONE-OFF support to parents and their wards

4. Declaring Hypertension and Kidney failure as a national emergency and setting up a fund to absorb the cost of treatment

5. Extending the FSHS to Private Schools to increase access and ensure greater convenience by abolishing the retrogressive and inefficient double track system.

6. Implementing a free National Apprenticeship Programme by establishing centres in TVET institutions in districts to provide free training and sponsor youth for free apprenticeship training with certified master craftsmen/women;

7. Establishing a Disability Fund in the Districts to be managed by relevant stakeholders and review Guidelines for disbursement and management of this Fund to ensure strict compliance with the aims of the District Assembly Common Fund

8. Reactivating the Eban Elderly Welfare Card to enable Ghanaians above sixty (60) years have priority access to social services

9. One Million Coders Programme (OMCP): This initiative will be implemented through a public-private partnership to provide free training to one million (1,000,000) youth with knowledge and skills for coding and programming, web developing, apps development, etc and expand opportunities in the knowledge and ICT based economy

10. Embarking on a US$10 billion accelerated infrastructural plan, dubbed the ‘Big Push’, which will drive jobs and the entrepreneurial agenda

11. Granting tax holidays to start-ups and SMEs to facilitate their growth and expansion

12. Transforming and modernising agriculture to respond to the seasonal and unreliable natural rainfall and to ensure all-year-round farming

As you can see, I have carefully steered away from the issues of ideological capacity building and in a way progressive politics, because I observe that these are areas deliberately carved out for our two distinguished speakers whose expertise and insight I don’t intend to encroach upon.

Our ideological brand of social democracy is a well thought out philosophy consistent with our tendencies, practices and experiences. The Rose Flower is the symbol of Social Democracy representing LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, TOGETHERNESS, COMMUNITY, BEING EACH OTHER’S KEEPER, SUPPORT FOR THE VULNERABLE, SOCIAL PROTECTION, SOCIAL GOODS & SERVICES, all in a bid to lift our countrymen and women from poverty.

The need for an ideological institute was recognised by Ghana’s visionary first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. He set one up in Winneba. This far-sighted structure was dismantled after his overthrow by those opposed to his ideological leanings. Yet the need for training the mind in ideas and ideals that propel a nation forward is as important today as it has ever been.

As you are aware our NDC Party has since 2018 set up a Party school to build, sustain and develop a dynamic ideological capacity of members. A number of training programs have been held in the Northern and southern Sectors of the country and would continue aggressively in the coming year and beyond.

Society by nature is conservative and requires deliberate ideological orientation to entrench progressive political tendencies and values as the dominant forces for political decision making. Under the current conservative NPP administration led by President Nana Akuffo Addo, we are witnessing the opposite to progressive politics manifested in the unnecessary and unwarranted acts of:

1. Assault on media freedoms (closing down of pro-opposition media stations); 2. Attacks on journalists (murder of Ahmed Suale); 3. Attack on press freedom with the arrest of David Tamakloe, who is the WhatsApp News Editor; 4. Undue government influence over the Electoral Commission and the Judiciary; 5. Promotion of political vigilantism and thuggery; 6. Intimidation of electorate in the Volta Region and conspiring to foment chaos in the region as a pretext to prevent the region from participating in the December 7 general elections - a clear violation of the peace and security of the region, which is unbecoming of any government; 7. Culture of impunity (blatant disrespect for law and order; nepotism and engaging in sakawa on a scale never before witnessed in the administration our country's affairs.

Beside all these, we see our dear country reeling under scandals such as I} Kelni GVG fraud II} Kroll and associates III} The Galamsey fraud and missing excavators saga IV} The Power Distribution Service (PDS) saga V} The BOST fraud VI} The Australian Visa Scandal VII} The NYA Street light contract mess VIII} Agyapa Royalties Scandal among others, VX} PPA contrived insider dealings contract, among others X} The grand master integrity deficiency is what we are yet to witness with the EC.

Comrades and friends, the NDC is working towards a 57% victory at a minimum

We would make President Akufo Addo a truly ONE TERM President with no opportunity for a return

Unfortunately we have an EC that lacks integrity with a 24/7 armed security guards and armored vehicles protecting her home and office. On every floor of the EC’s offices you would find armed security including inside her office Indeed she feels threatened by her own imagination, intent and the knowledge of the repercussions of her intended actions

We can only assure her and her paymasters that the natural reactions against illegitimate and unwarranted actions and behaviors cannot be stopped by any deliberate force or state security apparatus!

In the December 7 general elections, the NDC would not retreat in the face of planned lethal intimidation as witnessed during the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency by-election. The NDC would meet any illegitimate aggression on Election Day with equal force and we shall not lose any battle brought upon us by the EC and government vigilantes in the security services

We repeat our flag bearers call on the international community to send international observers in large numbers and early enough to guard our democracy from the degenerative tendencies of the EC and government

All party members should carry more than one camera on Election Day and record any suspicion movement even before it crystallizes into an infraction or election fraud event.

As I prepare to take my seat, let me use this occasion to respectfully and humbly entreat all of us as Cadres to return to the branches, wards and constituencies, where the political battles are being fought (with less than 7 weeks into the general election) and where we need all our cadres as polling agents on that day.

Fellow comrades on behalf of the National Chairman, the General Secretary and National Executives of the NDC, I commend all cadres assembled here as well as those whose circumstances could not allow them to be present.

Indeed, your concern for the ordinary man, your selflessness, sacrifice and commitment to the abiding principles and values of probity and accountability, transparency and social justice remain the most enduring legacy of our past.

You dedicated your youth to a cause we remain proud of. You laid the foundation and moulding blocks for a sustainable political edifice for generations yet to come. You defined the values and attitudes consistent with changing societal expectation of our National democratic revolution.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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