Go for them –my Take
Former President Rawlings, Former Vice President kwesi Amissah –Arthur, Alhaji Issifu Ali, Cecelia Johnson Kwebena Dufour, Dr Samuel Sarpong,Dr Christine Amoako Nuamah, Nana Ato Dadzie Ato Ahwoi,Dr Tony Aidoo, Alban Bagbin ,Haruna Iddrisu, Dr Percival Korankye, Dan Abodakpi, Kwabena Adjei , Comrade Lionel Moblia Alex Segbefia and Seth Ofori –Hene
The Kwesi Botwe Committee recommended that a healing tour be embarked on by credible and imminent persons within the party. This I believe will help the party immensely since there are a lot of imminent personalities who are also credible and can help heal the wounds of the party.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Professor Kwesi Botchwey again tasked the party to restore the capacity and effectiveness of its organs, especially at the branch levels to reconnect to the grassroots
The National Democratic Party (NDC ) was at the realm of the Ghanaian political terrain. The party produced three presidents – Rawlings, Mills, Mahama to Mahama. While the party’s performance in the just ended 2016 elections was far from impressive, its position as an opposition party has been horrendous.
In this opinion, I want to point out some of the mistakes NDC made as a ruling party and is still making even in opposition.
For the NDC to come back stronger, I suggest that the party check its path and forge one that will be beneficial to Ghanaians. 2016 is likely going to be painted in black in the diary of the NDC as the party lost the position of the presidency to its main opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The rain of defeat also spread to the gubernatorial and Parliament where the NPP won most of the seats. While the NPP successfully wrestle power away from the NDC, the latter needs to visit the board room and find out what went wrong in a bid to right the wrong because the results were abysmal and unprecedented.
The party must accept the report wholeheartedly and use it. Our electoral register, leader of the party issue, neglect of the grassroots, voting process and other issues need to be attended to.
Understandably, after occupying the position of power for more than 8 years, the NDC is still struggling to make a statement as an opposition party.
The party’s bid to mount a comeback in the country’s political terrain requires it to be successful as an opposition party.
Sadly, that has not been done. Instead, the party is left to still continue to battle internal crises that is shifting its focus.
If the NDC fails to be successful as an opposition party and project a credible front, the party is likely going to find itself at the backstage in the 2020 general elections.
The success of the NPP did not begin at the point the party won majority of the positions in the 2016 general elections but a product of serious work that was put into being an opposition party.
Here are some factors that are affecting the NDC ’s success as an opposition party
A strong figure
One of the reasons for the strength and success of the NPP was the presence of strong personalities who were not only committed to the party but carried it proudly.
One of those persons was John Boadu who represented the party strongly and strived to make it a strong opposition party.
One of the advantages of such eminent political figures is that they have a dedicated followership and are very influential.
The NDC can be credited with introducing the strong political personality but sadly, they all seem to have retired to the position of elder statesmanship. The exit of Rawlings, though ridiculed by the party actually affected the followership of the party in the Volta.
Former President, John Mahama is more of a national figure than a political representation leaving the party with few people capable of influencing the political strength of the party.
The party needs to either win back some of its lost political warriors or elevate some of its members to that position.
The NDC needs to be doing a lot to not only retain its existing members but try to win back more supporters. Unfortunately, more persons are leaving the party for various reasons.
While it is understandable that fair-weather supporters of the party would leave after the party lost its position at the top, the trend should have simmered down after six months. Whatever it is that the party is doing wrong needs to be addressed as more and more supporters are still decamping.
This is not good for an opposition party that is seriously considering winning back the top baton in the next elections. Corruption Without mincing words, the NDC has become synonymous with corruption in Ghana. The name of the NDC in Ghanaian idiomatic lingo is used to mean something that is crookedly done or tampered with and is therefore not credible.
This perception has not changed even as an opposition party as top members of the party are either on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or are facing corruption charges.
This is not good for the image of a party that claims to give power to the people. Ghanaians now understand the dangerous effect of corruption and how it affects the life of the common man badly.
A party that aims to be at the top must not only shy away from corrupt practices, but must not give any inclination that it supports the menace.
The NDC has a duty to convince Ghanaians that the party does not embrace corruption not only in words and published statements but in deeds.
Image maker in a bid to rebuild the party, the NDC must project a good image to Ghanaians. This goes beyond propaganda statements as Ghanaians are getting information quickly and it will not be good to come up with lies even when the truth is glaring.
The NDC has however been failing badly in this direction.
The publicity secretary of the party, Solomon Nkansah is not doing the party any good.
The party needs to work on the image it projects to Ghanaians and not continue to be on the defensive side. There is the need to come out clean to Ghanaians especially this period as an opposition party and engage on a repackaging process.
One of the ways the NPP was able to wrestle power from the NDC and win followership was the constructive manner of criticism the party engaged in. This is because the party understood that communication in a clear way was necessary.
The method of insulting the president and the ruling party is only amusing to Ghanaians and are more intelligent with the information age to be carried away by crude criticism.
If the NDC is serious about returning to the top of the Ghanaian political landscape, it must better itself as an opposition so as to be considered a serious party by Ghanaians
We pray that the party finds time to purge itself of some of these undemocratic postures tearing the great umbrella apart since they are capable of derailing the efforts of the Elders Committee to restore normalcy and unity amongst NDC members.
The young ones should give some respect to members of the Elders Committee comprising eminent personalities such as former President JJ Rawlings Mahama,Kweski Amissah -Arthur , the National Chairman and former National Chairmen of the party and other Eminent personalities in the party.
This is necessary so as to allow peace to be restored to our great party.
We cannot be a party to such a gathering while the NDC family is facing serious crisis that if not checked would dim the party's chances of winning future elections. This is a sign of a man chasing a rat while his house is on fire.
Finally, I wish to advise those trivializing President John Mahama contesting or not contesting the 2016 election with threats and acting in a manner as if he’s the only credible personality as the President of Ghana, to think wisely.
And help to salvage our party from imminent disintegration in opposition. I assure these great minds that they will be fully protected under our umbrella. The justification—that Nana’s government has integrity—is utter rubbish. Integrity is earned not conferred. While Nana may have personal integrity, his government is yet to PROVE that it is different from previous governments.
This opinion was written by Maxwell Okamafo Addo