General News of Sat, 25 Mar 201727
NDC shoots down Kwesi Botchwey as party leaders tear each other apart
The lockdown orders given by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, to ensure sanity in the party after its humiliating defeat in the 2016 polls, has been flouted by the leaders and the grassroots supporters of the party.
In its attempt to manage fallout from the defeat, the party quickly formed a committee, headed by a former Finance Minister, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, to go round the country to collate views of the party followers to determine what caused their defeat at the polls.
At a news conference to announce the formation of the committee, Mr Asiedu Nketiah advised party supporters to channel all their grievances through the committee, instead of accusations and counter-accusations that were going on among the party supporters.
The muzzling of the supporters followed reports that some of the leading members of the party pocketed funds, and did not use them for the intended purposes. Madam Araba Tagoe, Deputy Western Regional Women Organiser of the party, for instance, stated publicly that resources that were sent to the region to oil their campaign were misappropriated by a few members of the executive, and vowed to expose them if she was pushed to the wall.
Though Professor Kwesi Botchway’s committee has still not completed its work, the accusations that raised its head regarding the disbursement of the party funds have surfaced again. Leading members of the opposition party and their supporters have taken to the airwaves, leveling all kinds of accusations against each other, with some of them resorting to threats to attack their opponents. Kwesi Botchway committee itself is not finding it easy, as most of its meetings in the regions are met with violence.
From Kofi Adams, National Organiser of the party to his predecessor, to Yaw Boateng Gyan, Victor Smith, former High Commissioner to UK, some of the NDC MPs down to the grassroots, almost everybody is talking thus rubbishing the work of Kwesi B’s committee. The diatribes appear to have gathered momentum because of the serious lobbying ongoing to get former President John Mahama to comeback and contest the 2020 elections on the ticket of the party. Messrs. Kofi Adams, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and a host of others have all come out to support a Mahama 2020 bid.
Other leading members of the party are, however, opposing the idea, resulting in the mudslinging on the airwaves. Yesterday, it was the turn of Mr Victor Smith to announce his presence in the ‘race’, as he jumped from one radio station to the other, making allegations against his own constituency executives.
Alhaji Baba, one of his executives, in an interview with Accra FM said: “Victor Smith never worked to ensure victory for the NDC.Victor Smith I am telling you on authority that the about 1,000 pieces of clothes that came for us to share, he and the people around him shared 70 pieces among themselves. Again, the cutlasses, sewing machines, hair dryers, and wellington boots that were sent to the constituency, were never accounted for.
“I believe that if you need a victory in the election, your wife wouldn’t speak against the electorate, especially members of the party, but in this case, whenever party members visited Victor at home, his wife would tell them to go and find some work to do to feed themselves. How can you say this to the people your husband wants to vote for him?
Responding to this among other allegations, the former spokesman for Mr Jerry Rawlings said his executives had a pre-conceived idea that the NDC cannot win the Abuakwa North seat for the NDC, and were, therefore, only interested in money, instead of party work.
Based on this, Smith said he decided not to give them (executives) money until he was satisfied with the work they were going to do. Victor Smith told Adom FM that he solicited his own funds to run his campaign, and that monies that came from party sources were signed for by him, but he immediately handed the money back to the executives.
He regretted that immediately the money was handed over, the party executives took the chunk of it and shared it among themselves. He quoted the executives as saying that they had no work to do, and that the party work was their only source of income, and, therefore, they were entitled to the party money.
According to Victor Smith, some of the party executives were greedy, to the extent that when resources such as cutlasses are given to them for distribution to aid the campaign of the party, they would go and sell them and pocket the proceeds.
To Victor Smith, the NDC needed selfless leaders, and not executives who are only interested in amassing wealth, as exhibited by some of his constituency executives. Earlier, the former chairman of the party, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, had accused former President Mahama of surrounding himself with inexperienced appointees, who thought that people like him (Dr Kwabena Adjei) were too old to be playing a part in the NDC’s campaign. “Now it is like, he is too old, he is 74, so we the young ones must take over,” he was quoted as saying.
Another NDC man, who describes himself as a cadre and communications team member, Agbesi Notsu, took Mr Kofi Adams to the cleaners, accusing him of taking the party back to opposition.
“Kofi Adams failed completely, he was a disaster. This defeat should be blamed on Kofi Adams. In 2008, Ofosu Ampofo was the National Organiser, was he the Campaign Coordinator? In 2012, Yaw Boateng Gyan, was he the Campaign Coordinator? So why didn’t we continue the precedence, why on earth was Kofi Adams, the incumbent National Organiser, made the Campaign Coordinator of the 2016 elections.
The man himself is a disaster, and you top it up with the position of a Campaign Coordinator, what good do you expect from him?” he asked on Kasapa FM.
Mr. Kofi Iddi Adams, in a radio interview, asked followers of the party to stop washing the party’s linen in public.