RE: Was Reform movement a betrayal of the NDC?

Goosie Tandoh Goosie Tandoh

Tue, 13 Nov 2018 Source: Abdul-Nasser Alidu

Our campaign is progressing. Our messages of Choice and grassroots empowerment are clearly very welcome at branch level.

We are grateful and humbled by the response we are getting. We know that the growth of a conscious grassroots network poses a serious threat to vested interests in Ghana’s political establishment.

Change is indeed coming!

We are not surprised therefore to see desperate attempts to distract and derail us with tired historical falsification, and slander posing as professional reportage.

The latest of these attacks is a feature titled “How Goosie Betrayed NDC …” published on an online news portal called “citipressonline.com” created 2 months ago at about the same time Goosie Tanoh declared his intention to run for NDC leadership.

This feature repeats the old and discredited line that the Reform Party, which Goosie Tanoh once led, “betrayed” the NDC.

We have addressed the questions of the Reform Party and the NDC on several platforms and in all our campaign meetings.

Providing, especially younger NDC activists, with an accurate history of our Party is at the heart of our campaign and we are happy to address these and other historical issues over and over again. Anytime, anywhere. So, we would briefly like to set the record straight.

Reform! was never about personalities, but about principle. It sought to defend participatory democracy, probity and accountability within the NDC.

Reform! was not formed in response to the so-called Swedru declaration. The Reform Movement was formed to publicly pressure NDC leadership to be faithful to NDC’s core values - after quiet in-house advocacy had failed to yield results.

The ACDR who formed the Reform Movement had taken public positions critical of the Party long before the Swedru Declaration. For example, the Reform Movement condemned the violent “Kume Preko” counter demonstration that resulted in the death of innocent citizens in 1995.

The National Reform Party (NRP) split only when the Reform Movement’s efforts were met not with honest open engagement but with intimidation, victimisation and misinformation.

In 1999, those who broke away believed that this was the only way to be true to NDC’s principles; to put country before Party; and to trigger a rethink within the NDC itself.

Reform! was never “anti-Mills”. The campaign for reforms started before Prof Mills got involved in politics.

NRP leaders retained respectful and constructive relations with Professor Mills (who sympathised with our objectives). Indeed, it was Prof Mills, as NDC running mate, who averted a CDR and grassroots boycott of the 1996 campaign by promising that the burning issues of internal democracy, exclusion of cadres, and policy drift (away from social democracy) would be addressed once the NDC triumphed at the polls. After 2003, NRP leaders supported Professor Mills as NDC candidate and later as Ghana’s President.

It was at Prof Mills’ personal request that the NRP National Council advised members with an NDC background to resume NDC membership in 2007 - specifically to position them to help Prof Mills to lead reforms in the NDC that the Reform Movement had fought for! (This accounts for the very large number of former NRP cadre who are now in Branch and Constituency leadership today).

As this video (URL: https://bit.ly/2qukTXK ) shows, Comrade Tanoh, who did a national campaign broadcast for Prof Mills and the NDC in 2008, has since his return to the NDC been working behind the scenes for the good of the party. Goosie has been active in his Krowor Branch and has contributed significantly to NDC parliamentary and Presidential campaigns since 2007.

Reform! achieved concrete results. For example, the bosses in Accra stopped imposing parliamentary candidates on constituencies. Also, the Electoral College system has expanded such that Branch Executives too have a vote.

Further, the competing national leadership cliques stopped using force against each other and against dissenters. This kind of progress justified a return to work in the NDC. If these concessions had been made in 1998 the split would never have occurred.

Obviously, a campaign demanding that NDC leaders uphold Party constitutional principles and values cannot intelligently be described as a “betrayal” of NDC. NDC’s historical mission is not just to win elections for elections sake; it is not a football team.

What NDC does with State power, matters materially for over 30 million people. NDC must only seek power in order to transform our society in accordance with our stated values and principles.

We encourage those deliberately peddling falsehoods and slander to step out from behind their dubious surrogate news websites and participate with us in a debate about the challenges facing the NDC and Ghana and how best to address them.

Let’s have a clean campaign and a politics that advances national discourse, the NDC, and the Nation. It is not too late to join us and rise together with us. We harbour no resentment towards you and we will not respond in like manner.

Indeed, at some level we are grateful to you. The well-rehearsed questions you have planted at each of our campaign meetings were intended to disrupt. However, they have allowed us to go into history in detail.

The result is that, Reform! leadership is fast becoming one of our greatest assets with a grassroots membership eager for genuine reorganisation and reorientation of the NDC.

We are encouraged by these attacks because they signify that we are making progress. We will continue to spread the message of Choice and Community Organisation.

We will continue to reach out to the grassroots to build a power-ready social democratic party that can both create opportunities for prosperity for all Ghanaians and also develop the social safety nets required to protect our vulnerable.

We have a choice!

Let’s rise together!

Long Live the NDC!!

Long live Ghana!!

Columnist: Abdul-Nasser Alidu