General News of Sun, 12 Nov 20176
Release Kwesi Botchwey report to party members – Ricketts-Hagan
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kwaku Ricketts-Hagan, has called on the party’s leadership to release the Kwesi Botchwey report to all the constituency executives.
According to the former Central Regional Minister, tensions within the party which have surfaced since their disappointing loss in the 2016 general elections, were being fueled by the uncertainty about the contents of the report which was compiled detailing the reasons for their defeat.
The National leadership of the party tasked a special Committee led by Prof. Kwesi Botchwey to tour the country to listen to concerns of party members. However, since the Committee completed its work, various supposed leaked contents of their final report have added to the animosity within the party, despite the attempts by several senior officials to brand the document as fake.
According to Ricketts-Hagan, releasing the report only to the members of the NDC would help ease the unrest that appears to be building within the opposition party as it seeks to reorganize ahead of the polls in 2020.
“I will appeal to our leadership that I think it’s about time that the Dr. Kwesi Botchway report which is under lock and key, is released to the party. I’m not talking about making it public, but all the faithful of the 275 constituencies should see this report so that no one would have to travel anywhere, passing on sentiments already in the report. It is creating so many problems that rather it is distracting us from what we should be doing,” he said. Ricketts Hagan was speaking on Citi FM‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, in response to a statement issued by the ten regional chairmen of the NDC who had paid a visit to former President John Dramani Mahama to convey the desire from party members within their areas for him to run for President in 2020.
Hasty endorsements could hurt Mahama’s ambitions – Ricketts-Hagan
He stated that the decision by the chairmen to publicly declare their backing for the former president was unfortunate “especially when we are trying to heal after such disastrous elections where blame is being apportioned to everyone.”
Releasing the Botchwey report, he believes, would render actions such as theirs unnecessary as the sentiments and wishes of the party’s grassroots would be known by all.
“We are looking at rebuilding and reinvigorating the party. We have people who say that they are chairmen and are going to express the sentiments of their people. Dr. Kwesi Botchway’s report was supposed to have captured all the sentiments that were out there, including the feelings, thoughts and beliefs of the people as to why the elections went wrong. These sentiments that the chairmen went to express to John Mahama, if the report was available to many people, many of us would have known about them and we would not need anyone to express them to anyone for us.”
A member of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, recently reiterated the party’s stance that it will not release the report as it could spell doom for the NDC.
He maintained that, recent media reports serializing the supposed leaked document were just attempts by political opponents to force the NDC to release the full report, a tactic he says will not succeed.
However, Ricketts-Hagan expressed dissatisfaction with the secretive nature of the report, arguing that it was important for members of the party to know and learn from the mistakes that cost them the last elections. He suggested that the recommendations that were made could be left out as they could be capitalized on by opposition parties.
“We have commissioned a report to be done, and most of us don’t know what’s in it. We have people going round with excerpts of the report trying to do reconciliation. I’m calling respectfully on the leadership of our party to reconsider and release the report especially before we go into the branch elections. So that we’ll be able to know what went wrong and we don’t repeat the mistakes. They can take out the recommendations. I can understand that the recommendations in the hands of our opponents could be damaging in the sense that it’s out of those that we’ll have our strategies,” he said.