“I am coming back to help the party re-capture power in the 2020 election,” the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has declared.
According to him, the NDC finds itself in a critical moment, as such “needs strong men like us to paddle the canoe to safety.”
Mr Nketia said with his accumulated experience and expertise, he was best placed to re-organise the party ahead of the 2020 general election, and that all that he was hoping for was for the delegates of the party to give him a team that could effectively partner him to deliver victory for the party.
Already, the NDC has given the greenlight for prospective flag bearers and national executive aspirants to start their campaigns for the various positions with immediate effect.
They are, however, to inform the party hierarchy through its General Secretary of their intention to contest before embarking on any form of campaign.
The party has also set December 7, 2018 for its presidential primaries ahead of the 2020 polls.
NDC at a critical moment
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic at the party’s headquarters in Accra, Mr Asiedu Nketia said though the NDC could not win the 2016 elections with him as General Secretary, that defeat could not be blamed on his capabilities.
“I still believe I have a lot to offer to the party, particularly in these critical moments,” he stated.
Contrary to media speculations that he would not be contesting again, Mr Asiedu Nketia said he had never said anywhere that he was no longer going to contest.
He said he had heard the numerous calls by party faithful for him to keep contesting but added that “but they should also make sure that they will give me a team that can win the elections.”
The man, who is affectionately referred to as General Mosquito, said he had heard many people say that because the party lost the 2016 elections, all the executive of the party at the time had to leave office for a new crop to take over.
Throwing more light on his stance to that call, he said “some of us were around to win the first election and won the second election and were still around in this last election. So if you want to find out what went wrong, find out what were the changes that took place between the two earlier elections and this last election. If they are looking for where to place the blame, it will not be difficult.”
“I have led the party into two major elections that we won. The 2016 elections cannot be an indictment on me,” he added.
Infighting caused NDC’s defeat
Mr Asiedu Nketia recounted that before he came aboard the NDC executive platform he had similarly campaigned, calling for delegates to elect persons of competence that could help the agenda of the party but pointed out that another group of persons had come aboard with an agenda against him.
Those persons, he said, had publicly posited that he wielded too much power within the party and that they were racing to join the national executive platform of the party in order to clip his wings.
“So I came out to say that if I am powerful as they claim and before deciding to clip my wings, they must first of all determine how I use the power. I’m I using the power to win the elections or I used the power to bring down the party. If I am using it in the interest of the party, and your objective of coming aboard is to come and weaken that power, it means you are going to take us to opposition,” he recounted.
Mr Asiedu Nketia narrated that he had said that before at the Kumasi congress of the party in 2014 and that the party should caution those people but nothing was done and everything he said regarding the outcome of the actions of those individuals came to pass.
“So we knew our approach to the 2016 election was sowing the seeds for our destruction and I spoke against it but they didn’t listen and so they followed the people who claimed that their purpose was to weaken me and they won and came to execute the agenda. So instead of us uniting and fighting against the NPP, the objective was to weaken Asiedu Nketia,” he related.
So, the NDC, he said, found itself in opposition due to a self-inflicted injury but he remains optimistic that “if we do our things properly, and we all focus on fighting the elephant instead of fighting Asiedu Nketia, we will surely be victorious. We should be fighting the elephant instead of fighting each other.”