Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and a former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Flagbearer hopeful, has encouraged his party in the face of current tribulations that members are going through, saying it is just a test of character.
In an interview with journalists in Accra, the revered lawmaker for Nadowli-Kaleo and longest-serving Legislator in the 4th Republic said the party had survived even worst trials in the past than it was currently suffering.
“If you compare what we are going through under the Akufo-Addo government to what we went through under the Kufuor government, this is child’s play. Under Kufuor, Tsatsu Tsikata went to jail.
“Victor Selormey died in prison after being convicted under very controversial conditions. Kwame Peprah and Dan Abodakpi were not spared, but we survived and returned to power for two terms,” Mr Bagbin said.
The Nadowli-Kaleo MP, therefore urged his party to be strong in the face of intimidations that the Akufo-Addo government was putting members of the party through.
“Among others; the Akufo-Addo government has paraded former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni, before court on charges of importing powdery fertilizer rather than liquid ones. Documentary evidence which proved that the powder imported by Opuni was liquid has mysteriously gone missing from the archives of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).
“On the party level, three National Executives of the party, including National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, have been charged by the Police for supposedly conspiring to commit crime on the basis of a secretly recorded tape that has been heavily spliced.
“Against the backdrop of all this, President Akufo-Addo has taken advantage of the disgruntlement of one of the NDC’s own, former Attorney General Martin Amidu, to hound the NDC, appointing Mr. Amidu as Special Prosecutor to target appointees in the former NDC Government.
“Many are the troubles that surround the NDC, but we shall overcome. How do I know this? Because we have overcome before,” Bagbin said.
He recalled that he was Minority Leader when a National Reconciliation Commission was set up to embarrass leading members of the NDC.
Mr Bagbin recalled how the intimidation under Kufuor cowed many NDC frontline members into hiding, leaving only he, the then Minority Leader and a few others such as Dr. Tony Aidoo and the then National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, to hold the fort for the party.
The respected Legislator, therefore, urged the rank and file of the NDC to be strong, saying, “This party NDC will not only survive, but it will also return to power.”
He paid tribute to the late Dr. Kwabena Adjei, saying that the former NDC Chairman really paid his dues to both party and country.