Ghana: Old wines in old bottles in the NDC

Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the immediate past general secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC’s), Ghana’s largest opposition party defeated the party’s chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo to become the party’s new chairman. He polled 65.17 percent of the votes cast to claim the position at the party’s 10th National Delegates Congress held at the Accra Sports Stadium. The incumbent polled 33.81 percent of the votes.

What turned out to be a surprise for many a pundit was more of a done deal after all for the former general secretary.  Mr. Asiedu Nketiah had earlier been the general secretary of the NDC since December 2005. In his 17-year tenure, General Mosquito, as he is popularly referred to, had led the party to four terms of four years each.

The trend in Ghana has been an alternation of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC. While Ghanaians are being bombarded with slogans heralding a third return to power by the NPP – breaking the 8 – there seems to be a general sense of doubt owing to the post-Covid-19 and the Russian Ukraine war that has affected the country’s economy among many others in the world. 

The team of the new NDC executives is, however, poised to unseat the NPP in 2024. With Asiedu Nketiah at the helm of affairs and Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey as general secretary salivating their unquenchable thirst to return to office in 2025 and aided by youthful and able executives, the NPP’s quest could be a herculean challenge.

Asiedu Nketiah’s success at the executive polls was more than preordained. He had no contender in Ofosu Ampofo who is a moderate while Asiedu Nketiah is a radical. With Fiifi Kwetey as General Secretary and Sammy Gyamfi continuing as Communication Officer, the new executive portends a powerful opposition. National women’s organizer Hannah Bissiw has long been in the bandwagon of the radicals. First Vice Chairman Awudu Sofo Azourka complements Chairman Asiedu Nketiah and are no strangers to each other.  

But we have our concerns at Amandla. We are concerned with the continuous incidence of political violence in the country. Internal election violence is not the preserve of the NDC as witnessed in December 2022. The NPP had its own internal violence at some polling stations earlier in 2022.

Equally, we voice our concerns with the NDC as what we thought was a departure from the NDC’s past violent incidents reemerged in 2022. The police is reported to have placed on wanted list 16 persons wanted for violent disturbances at the party’s Youth and Women’s Congress held Saturday, December 10. Reports indicate that two rival groups attacked persons engaged in the voting process with cudgels, stones and other hazardous material. Police have footage published for public assistance. Investigations are, however, ongoing, while a GHc10,000 reward has been set aside for credible information that can lead to their arrest and prosecution.

We appeal to members of both the NPP and NDC as well as the public to desist from the danger of election violence and its unwholesome ramifications. Election violence does not occur out of a vacuum and Amandla is on record several times calling on political parties to regard elections as a harmless and peaceful exercise.

We also recall with some unease, the admission by newly Elected Chairman Asiedu Nketiah of the veracity of a tape recording made by him discussing the NDC’s poor showing at the election petition of 2020 filed by former President John Dramani Mahama. The party was not prepared, in other words, for the court, the chairman added. He stressed that the party’s systems crashed during the collation of the results and so they went to court without the NDC’s own independent figures.

The party’s legal representative, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata advised against any action at the court owing to the inadequacy of the available evidence. The then general secretary’s tape recording generated several reactions from Ghanaians many regarding them as inimical and uncomplimentary to the party’s fortunes in 2024. Chairman Asiedu Nketiah’s remarks on the recording also connotes his disrespect to the people of Ghana as the information he divulged was pejorative and arrogant. We wonder if indeed Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata truly believed that the NDC had no case but later decided to take it up. 

We agree with the NPP’s call to condemn the NDC’s decision to prosecute the 2020 election petition knowing it had no merit.  The New Patriotic Party also condemns the decision as frivolous and unnecessary and could have put Ghana’s democracy at risk. Some foot soldiers of the NDC were hurt in demonstrations called by the hierarchy of the NDC after the elections, knowing fully well that the party had no moral right to risk the lives of their unsuspecting supporters and innocent citizens. The NPP calls on Ghanaians and civil society organizations to join in its demand for apology from the NDC and its former flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.

Amandla believes, however, that for whatever it takes, Asiedu Nketiah deserves respect and support from Ghanaians for leading his party for 17 years and continuing. We wish him and his party all the best and pray that the NDC would continue to play its proper role as the nation’s leading opposition to put the ruling government on its toes and ensure that Ghanaians would continue to enjoy peace and tranquility.

We would also want to remind Asiedu Nketiah and his newly elected executives that it is hypocritical to have allowed the Electoral Commission to conduct their internal elections after constantly vilifying the Commission as untrustworthy and not credible. Ultimately, the peace of the country must be preserved. It is therefore preposterous and unconscionable whatsoever, for the NDC leadership to beat war drums for the 2024 elections.

Posted by on Dec 30 2022. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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