General News of Wed, 14 Jun 201715

Salvos in NDC: Humiliating defeat, search for new flag bearer divides rank and file

The massive defeat suffered by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s election, coupled with the race to elect a new flag bearer, has divided the rank and file of the party so badly that the top echelons are firing salvos indiscriminately.

This disturbing trend, which started from the grassroots, has now exploded in the top hierarchy and threatens the very survival of the NDC.

While the salvos fired by the grassroots can be contained, those of the top hierarchy appear to be really dangerous. Political watchers believe that the race for a new leadership is what is fueling the tension and verbal attacks in the party.

Rawlings and Mahama loyalist

The battle lines seem to be clearly drawn - on one side are Rawlings’ loyalists, who felt sidelined by President John Mahama’s administration, while those loyal to Mahama find themselves on the other side.

On social media platforms, Rawlings and Mahama loyalists have locked horns in hot exchanges, sometimes, trading insults and damaging allegations.

When NDC is discussed on radio and TV programmes, the phone-in segment turns out to be a fight between opposing NDC supporters - one group making unsavory comments about the leadership of the party and persons perceived to have amassed wealth under Mahama’s administration and another group backing the Mahama administration to the hilt.

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Prof. Kwesi Botchwey Committee

What, perhaps, appears surprising to many is that these disturbances are occurring at a time that the party had constituted a high-powered team, led by Professor Kwesi Botchwey, to investigate the causes of the party’s humiliating defeat.

The content of the report, which has been presented to the party, is yet to be made public.

Search for a new flag bearer

However, many believe that knowing the cause of defeat will not end the open confrontations as the search for a new flag bearer appears to be the main deal.

Rawlings vrs Asiedu-Nketia

Two gurus of the party, who seem to be on a collision course, are former President Jerry John Rawlings, who is the founder of the party, and NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

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At the 25th anniversary rally of the NDC on Saturday, Rawlings jokingly told hundreds of NDC supporters that it is a pity that the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, is not handsome.

“When the time comes, it is a pity he is ugly [Rawlings bursts into laughter with the crowd]. If he were handsome, we would put him on a horse to go and help. Considering how light he is like air, the horse will run faster,” he said in Twi.

In a swift response, Asiedu Nketia said Rawlings was not bothered about his physical structure because, he believes, it is a gift from God.

"God gave everyone what fits them and that’s why I’m proud of myself. God gave me those features and I cannot be held accountable for that," he said.

Asiedu-Nketia’s 2012 Rawlings Comment

Prior to the 2012 elections, Asiedu Nketia had said at a point that “we have tamed the barking dog” and many easily linked that reference to Rawlings and the Rawlings camp did not take kindly to it.

Rawlings vrs Mahama

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Rawlings has also consistently fired salvos at the erstwhile Mahama-led government and party executives, accusing them of “greed and corruption never seen in the history of Ghana”.

When former President Mahama blamed NDC’s defeat on a lame horse, Rawlings rebutted the claim and stated that the defeat was because the Mahama-led government abandoned NDC’s core principles of Probity, Accountability and Social Justice.

Asiedu Nketia exposes NDC Ministers

Asiedu Nketia said the need for ideological training for party’s top hierarchy is imperative in building the NDC's social democratic credentials.

He explained that that some ministers and officials sometimes offered inconsistent positions because they lacked ideological depth.

The NDC General Secretary said there are social democratic positions on health, taxation, education, industry and others which must be assimilated by everybody who believes in that ideological tradition.

Kofi Adams points to modifications of values

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National Organizer, Kofi Adams, has also alluded to some modifications of NDCs core principles of Probity, Accountability and Social Justice. That, he said, had made it seem as if the party members had deviated from the core values on which the party was formed.

Kofi Adams’ comment came after former President Jerry Rawlings bemoaned what he termed ‘moneycracy’ and corruption in the NDC.

But Kofi Adams insists that just like how Christianity has evolved over the years, there have been a lot of additions to NDCs core values over time.

“Even the core values Christianity have been diluted over time but it does not mean the religion it is bad. There might been some changes in the NDC but that does not mean we have deviated from our core values,” the NDC National Organiser declared.

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