After placing fourth in the 2012 presidential election with just 24,617 votes, representing 0.22%, Mr. Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention (PNC) has put the blame squarely on the heads of the national executives of the party, and called for what he described as a “serious overhauling of the national leadership.”
Speaking on a Bolgatanga-based radio station, A1 Radio, on Tuesday, Mr. Ayariga admitted the abysmal performance of the PNC in that election, and blamed the national executives for not supporting him during the campaign, and also for the disunity in the party.
He said though for one reason the national executives might not like each another, they still should have supported the party’s activity, as that was the purpose and vision of them coming together.
He said the aim of every political party in Ghana was to win power, but in the case of the PNC in 2012, that was a different story.
“I may not like an executive doesn’t mean that I should not campaign for the party. After all, when we were coming, we all came from different backgrounds, different religious backgrounds, and many other things. In a nutshell, we all come together because we want to move our vision.
“But in 2012, the flagbearer of the PNC, Mr. Hassan Ayariga, was left alone even though I called on board every national executive to be part of the team, because in a campaign, if you want to win an election, you should add everybody to your team that include the national executive, the regional executive, the constituency executive – everybody must be part of the team, because that is how you are going to move forward. Now you realise that in 2012, the flagbearer was seen all alone all over the place campaigning. It is not that he did not invite the rest of the national executives to join, but they just decided not to join,” he lamented.
He said some of the members and executives of the PNC were seen campaigning on the platforms of other political parties, and that was all part of the reason why the party lost. According to him, it was difficult to understand why some PNC executives did so, because it was not as if they did not have an attractive flagbearer.
According to him, before constituency executives could do anything to support the party, they needed the support of the national executives, but in the case of the PNC, whenever the constituency executives called their national executives in the heat of the campaign, they did not pick up their calls, and that made things difficult for the constituency executives to support the party in campaigning.
“You see, if you want to do the right thing, you need to know what went wrong, because if you don’t know what went wrong, you cannot do the right thing. So, I am telling them what went wrong, and if we want to continue as a party that has ruled before, even though we might not be able to win one-time election, we can share power with any other political party right from 2016, because we stand to be a kingmaker.”
When asked why he would accuse national executives of his party of not campaigning for him and the party when the National Organiser of the same PNC, Abu Ramadan, had accused him (Hassan) of undermining the party’s principles by campaigning for other political parties, this was what he said: “I think if somebody makes an allegation, he needs to back it with some level of support. I don’t think that anybody saw me on a platform campaigning for any party, but I think that if that is what he said, then you should know that you saw him on the NPP platform campaigning, okay, which is even against the constitution of our party, for which we will take measures anytime soon. Because, nobody, even the NPP themselves, if you talk in favour of another political party, they sack you, not to talk of standing on their platform to talk for another party.”
Mr. Ayariga was also categorical that the PNC was a party that wanted to win power, and therefore, members and executives, especially, those at the national level, must behave like people who wanted to win power, and stop doing things that would continue to drive people away from joining or supporting the party to win power.
“If Ghanaians are looking for a third force, they are looking up to see that PNC is attractive to be able to earn their trust. But, if the PNC themselves are not united, why do you think that Ghanaians will give them the mandate? I don’t think Ghanaians will give the mandate to a party that is not united. And I am saying this, because, I know what is happening. We cannot be doing the same thing all the time and expect results. That is insanity,” he stated angrily.
When asked what measures he thought should be put in place to move the party forward, Mr. Ayariga said: “I think that PNC needs serious overhauling, and that overhauling includes proper members who are committed, dedicated and willing to serve PNC. Not people who hold positions. It doesn’t matter the position you hold. If you hold a position and don’t make good use of that position, you must as well not be a member of the party, because at the end of the day, what the party needs is power. You see, it is not as if the people don’t love us, it is because we don’t get to them,” Ayariga lamented.
The failed presidential candidate also said as of now, the national executives of the NPP and NDC were crisscrossing the country, but same could not be said of the PNC, as he was the only one now doing the work of the party.
According to him, if there was going to be any move to take measures that would bring change into the party, that should have been started by the leadership of the party, but as it is now, nobody was considering any such move, and that was not good for the party, stressing: “You can never win elections when you don’t campaign.”
He was also not happy that after the 2012 elections, the national executives had held only one meeting, yet they could not discuss any measures that would lead to the re-organisation of the party. That meeting, he claimed, was held at the time he was in Germany.
When asked whether he would be contesting the flagbearship race of his party again, he said he was now going round the country to talk to party supporters and sympathisers, and also to ensure the party was restructured, and that members of the party would make their own decision as to who became their flagbearer in 2016.
Dr. Sitim Tubiga, a senior member and former national treasurer of the PNC, also, speaking on the same radio station, said the party did poorly for a number of reasons. He said there were those members of the PNC who supposedly got money from other parties and campaigned for those parties, instead of the PNC.
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