Politics of Tue, 16 May 20177
Pressure on Botchwey as Mahama boys want sections of report altered
Unbeknownst to many Ghanaians is that a subtle pressure is being brought to bear on the Kwesi Botchwey Committee to delay the release of its report on why the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost in last year’s election.
Today’s forays into the matter have established that the Kwesi Botchwey-led Committee is being pressurised by loyalists of former President John Dramani Mahama, demanding that portions of the report be amended before its release.
This development, Today learnt, follows two publications of the leaked report by Today, which, among other things, blame former President Dramani Mahama for the NDC’s humiliating defeat in the 2016 election.
Information available to Today indicates that these loyalists of former President Dramani Mahama who are on the committee want sections of the leaked report which have indicted Mr. Dramani Mahama to be altered.
These loyalists, Today gathered, were miffed at party supporters who blamed the former president and the national executives for the party’s defeat when the committee interacted with them.
“What is worrying is that everywhere we went members and supporters of the party were not happy with the former president and some national and regional executives.
…For instance, they complained about how President Dramani Mahama handled some important national issues and also how he failed to bring discipline into the party when some people went overboard,” a member of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee, who claimed he is a supporter of President Dramani Mahama, was reported to have told a confidante in a telephone conversation a month ago.
Today further gathered that since the committee finished its tour in the regions, the Mahama faction has had several meetings on how to influence the committee to change the report so as to exonerate the former president and some party national and regional executives.
At one of such meetings, for instance, it came out that failure to make changes in the report will make it difficult for former President Dramani Mahama to campaign for votes in a general election even if he contests the party’s presidential primary and subsequently wins it.
Meanwhile, sources close to Professor Botchwey yesterday told Today that three leading members of the NDC were not happy that the report which is not officially ready was already in the media.
According to our sources, the three leading NDC figures could also not comprehend the continuous delay in the release of the report.
The sources noted that the delay in the release of the report was creating discomfort amongst the rank-and-file of the NDC, particularly those who have the ambition to lead the NDC in the 2020 poll.
“The delay of the report is not helping matters at all. We don’t really know what is holding Kwesi Botchwey and his team from releasing the report,” the three NDC members were reported to have said.
In view of this, the sources said the three NDC stalwarts have called on the national executives of the party to put a little pressure on the committee to, as a matter of urgency, release the report.
“The undue delay of the report has stalled every activity of the party, leaving many party supporters and sympathisers wondering what must have been the cause,” the sources indicated.
However, the three NDC members, the sources said, were worried that the continuous delay of the report may create the impression that some people harboured the intention to amend the report to suit their interest.
The NDC after the 2016 election set up a 23-member committee led by former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, to ascertain what really went against the party for it to perform so poorly at the poll.