Opinions Thu, 9 Feb 2017

Bring back our original NDC

- The Papa Jay Version

The year 1979 was perhaps, the most memorable for ordinary Ghanaians who were alive at the time. It was a year that this country witnessed a massive political tsunami. The ordinary Ghanaians were being exploited, cheated and abused by the small burgoise ruling class who had navigated their path into national leadership either by fair or foul means to be at the helm of our national affairs. The leadership was stinky with corruption. It was disgusting. It was sickening. Then a tiny beam of hope arose for the people; His Excellency Jerry Rawlings and his team of other young soldiers at the time rose up and stood for the poor, vulnerable and voiceless Ghanaians at the time. Oh it was a great relief to the people. In spite of the excesses of that revolution, two notable achievements were recorded; the principles of probity and accountability were restored in full at all levels of leadership. Second, the ordinary man for the first time, had a say in governance issues.

It was therefore on the backdrop of these principles that the majority ordinary Ghanaians wholeheartedly embraced the National Democratic Congress when it was founded in 1991. The people massively rooted for this noble party because it appeared to have their supreme interests at heart with no sinister intentions. The man Jerry Rawlings was such a simplistic and fine leader who founded his life philosophies on truth and accountability. This endeared the party to many people and this saw the NDC in power for almost 8 years until 2000 when the NPP won the elections. The founder had to hand over the baton of leadership to another leader and since then, the once glorious NDC has never been the same. All the toil and sweat of our early leaders such as Mr Rawlings, Dan Abodakpi, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, Dr. Spio Gabrah and the countless forerunners of the NDC who sacrificed so much to see this party blossom have been reduced to nothingness. What a shame. The John Mills and John Mahama leaderships fed the party’s principles of probity and accountability to the dogs and replaced them with mass corruption and exploitation of the very ordinary people who formed the very foundation of the NDC. The damage done is so bad, that it is even easier now for one to declare being a terrorist than to open up to somebody that one is an NDC sympathizer. Bad leadership has crumbled all our efforts and reduced the party to tatters. The woefully ineffective and incompetent leadership of Chairman Kofi Portuphy and his team saw the NDC suffer the most humiliating defeat ever in the history of this great nation. What a shame! But yes, that is exactly what happens when people believe in you and then you decide to capitalize on that to their very own disadvantage. The eight years of NDC rule under H.E John Mills and H.E. John Mahama intoxicated some party leaders and government officials with this idea that they were untouchable. Massive corruption in high and low places coupled with economic mismanagement and sheer arrogance is more than enough to lose a prty an election. It is quite painful that young NDC members like myself should have to suffer the consequence of bad leadership by our current group of leaders. The corruption was in fact so rife, that even party constituency executives were building, two and three houses rapidly in the short space of five years. Monies allotted for the purposes of effective campaigning were hoarded by a few selfish and egoistic bigots who hijacked the party as a result of weak leadership at the national level. Then when you do all these and then lose the election woefully, you come back to set up a so-called commission of enquiry? For God’s sake are we joking?

The point being made here is a pretty simple and clear one. The founder H.E. Jerry Rawlings must once again become a core part of the leadership of the party, as against the current ceremonial status he occupies. Our cadre fronts must be rejuvenated. The Verandah Boys and Girls must be reborn. The grassroot participation must work once more. We need an end to the ‘High table’ style of leadership which is currently being practiced within the party. You cannot run a party without the support of able young people. The NPP won this year’s election because most young people felt attracted to that party and therefore, they invested a lot of effort into campaigning for the NPP. Let us wake up. We will not wait until 2020. The time is now. Reinstall the principles upon which the party was founded. The current leadership must formerly apologize to the Founder and get him involved once more. We the NDC youth have hope. We are still fighting and hopefully, our leaders can right their wrongs this time. Long live the Eagle on top of the Umbrella.

Tetteh Nathaniel Guamah

NDC Youth Activist


Columnist: Guamah, Tetteh Nathaniel