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Opinions Sat, 29 Nov 2014

NDC chair predicts doom in upcoming congress

It is very interesting but unfortunate that the very people who have been tasked to oversee the welfare of our party, the NDC, by shepherding it and safeguarding its interest are now warning us of an impending mayhem that is about to befall the party at its congress. As the adage goes, “a toad does not run in the day time for nothing.” So, as we now see the toad running for cover, it is legitimate to ask what is after it? If the chairman of the NDC, the commander-in-chief of party, who should be on the tree top, surveying the landscape and directing his troops to safety can unequivocally informed us that there is an impending mayhem during congress, then all is not well. The question is: who am I to doubt Dr. Kwabena Adjei’s intelligence?

It is painful to observe that, the man who should have initiated and superintended the adoption of universal suffrage for the election of party officials, to eliminate or reduce benefit-peddling and nepotism within the party, is now crying foul because many rich individuals who do not necessary have what it takes to shape the affairs of the party are now hijacking the party using their wealth. I was in the middle of working on these talking points when Dr. Adjei’s press statement was forwarded to me. I have no intentions revising them. I can only add that Mr. Daniel Abodakpi has already, in his media interview, proposed the way forward for party leadership, whereby the chairman should be devoted to party affairs, not to be a chair person for this or that board. This way, he will command the respect of the president when party and governance issues clash in the face of the president. Here are the talking points:


1. Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia has hijacked the NDC and has refused to allow internal democracy to work to strengthen the party’s internal structures for greater ownership of party activities among party stakeholders or the grassroots. A typical example was when Mr. Nketia threatened the totality of the party that, if particular individuals are not voted for at the upcoming delegates congress, he will resign. Our party should not allow some individuals to become so powerful that they begin to think that they are indispensable to our cause as a party. To be elected to the highest offices of our party must be seen as service of honor, a selfless sacrifice and by no means an entitlement or birthright.


2. For several years now, we have been calling for the abrogation of the Electoral College of the NDC and for the establishment of a Universal Membership Suffrage to reduce the influence of direct benefits in our internal electoral processes, but because that small Electoral College is the only way some like Mr. Nketia can maintain their stranglehold on the party, they do not see reason in eliminating the Electoral College in order to reduce the influence peddling, bootlicking, and nepotism within our ranks. We are at a point now where the highest bidder wins the slot to represent our party, not necessarily those with the best ideas on how to transform our party and nation. Servility to personalities rather than loyalty to party ethos have become the means to remain within the party. It is interesting that, our political rival—the New Patriotic Party—who we consider to be elitist has expanded its Electoral College. In the last two primaries of the NPP, about 140, 000 delegates voted to elect their presidential candidate. Indeed, it would be difficult to peddle direct benefits to all those 140, 000 individuals. Therefore, what is now largely turning to be a plutocratic tendency that has infiltrated Ghanaian politics has been reduced in the NPP.


3. Let’s do some electoral arithmetic here. Elections are simply about numbers and the majority carries the vote in free, fair and transparent elections. If each delegate of the two major parties, the NDC and the NPP, are task to convinced at least 5 floating voters in the 2016 general elections this is how the numbers would turn out: NP 140 000 x 5 = 700 000 and 2 000 x 5 = 10 000 for the NDC. If the 2008 presidential run-off between candidates Mills and Akuffo Addo, the election was decided by 40, 586 votes, then the head of our strategic planning, the Mosquito General, must be shoved off from his inertia. When people become excessively powerful politically, it can lead to political intoxication and blindness, which prevents them from seeing the true political landscape.

4. Under Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC communication department has been turned into ineffective machinery churning out lies and conflicting messages, which have only exposed our party to public ridicule. Mr. Nketia should have recognized the outdated nature of propaganda and should have transformed the communication wing of the party to bring party communication in line with contemporary trends. Propaganda is a wicked and outmoded word that was sacrificed on the altars of World War I and World War II. Why should a grassroots Democratic Party continue to maintain this outmoded and fraudulent label for its communication apparatus?


5. The NPP has changed gear. It’s comical General Secretary, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (alias Sir John), has been replaced with Mr. Kennedy Agyepong. Since his election into office, it is observable that Mr. Agyepong would not engage in frivolity with Mr. Nketia, as Mr. Nketia and Afriyie used to do. He has left Mr. Nketia to continue the “monkey” game alone. This signals an attempt by the opposition to use competent communicators for its 2016 political agenda. The point is that, we cannot go into the 2016 with an ill-equipped communication team under a General Secretary who lacks the acumen to direct effective communication machinery as we have seen. If we fail to change the General, we should be aware that we are entering the 2016 ill-equipped and propaganda will not fly in the 2016 campaigns.


6. Many of the party’s leading members have become full time business people or full time public servants. The party and its affairs have become secondary in their scheme and schedules. Like the Mosquito General and his un-refuted commercial involvements with the Bui Dam, where he was a board member, these issues and the personalities involved in the current corruption debacle would become an albatross on NDC Campaign in 2016. We can avoid this needless excess baggage. Are we not better off relieving the Mosquito General and his cohorts of their post before a huge Frankenstein begins to unleash uncontrollable damage on our electoral fortunes in 2016?


Prosper Yao Tsikata Email: pytsikata@yahoo.com

Columnist: Tsikata, Prosper Yao