The Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President Jerry John Rawlings, has once again reiterated the need for a free and fair party electoral process at regional, national and flag-bearer level.
He said it would be important that the campaign be devoid of the indecent money politics that had plagued it in recent years.
Flt Lt Rawlings stated this when a leading figure in the recently launched "Organising for Ghana" (OfG), Mr Goosie Tanoh, called on him at his Ridge office in Accra. OfG is a progressive pressure group within the NDC that is campaigning for the restoration of the party’s founding vision, principles and values.
Mr Tanoh is also considering running for the presidency in 2020 on the ticket of the NDC.
Who leads NDC?
The former President indicated that “he will leave the decision as to who leads the NDC into the 2020 elections to the collective judgement of the delegates.”
He affirmed his position not to be an obstacle to all those seeking leadership positions in the party.
Ethical collapse of institutions
Mr Tanoh, who was an aide to President Rawlings during the PNDC era, noted that the ethical collapse of state institutions and the grinding poverty and insecurity of Ghanaians today had dangerous similarities to the situation that confronted Ghanaians in the late 70s and early 80s.
He asserted that an urgent course-correction was required if Ghana was to avoid the kind of social collapse it faced in 1981.
“This will require a massive and sacrificial national mobilisation that not only solves the country’s material problems but challenges the selfish and elitist values and leadership practices that underpin them,” he added.
He noted that political parties, the central political institutions that the 31st December Revolution bequeathed to the Fourth Republic, were simply not delivering value for society and that the political establishment must be overhauled to bring the masses back to the forefront of national development struggles.
Mr Tanoh indicated to former President Rawlings that the OfG’s agenda was first to reorganise the NDC to restore voluntarism, participatory decision making, integrity and transparency; second to regain public trust in the NDC and reposition it in national life; and third to help it recapture power to resume the national democratic transformation of the country.
He said the OfG campaign was a successor, in a constitutional context, to the revolutionary struggles that President Rawlings led in the late 1970s and early 1980s which saw the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians in their communities, workplaces, schools and barracks across the country to collectively and confidently analyse and resolve a wide range of socio-political problems rooted in our historical position in the global economy and the profligacy of the Ghanaian political elite.
Mr Tanoh asserted that “these experiences have profoundly shaped my own political outlook and methods. They underlie what I believe I can offer the party and the Ghanaian people. Today, the NDC needs leadership that understands mass mobilisation and participatory democracy. My greatest pride remains my work as Head of Projects and Programmes in the National Development Committee where we worked with PDCs, WDCs, the Students & Youth Task Force and other mass organisations in achieving this mobilisation. If I have any claim to leadership now, it is based on this experience.”
In his concluding remarks, Mr Tanoh mentioned that it would be a mistake to assume that dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs would translate automatically into a rejection of the NPP administration.
He said NDC members needed to think deeply about the challenge ahead and make the right choices and commitments not only to achieve victory but to be able to deliver the kind of leadership that the country needed.