The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will tomorrow, Saturday December 17, 2022, return to the ordinary party members, who matter to carry out a surgical operation on it and make its feet for the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, which promises to be a do or die affair or suffer a third defeat in a row.
Anything short of a team of national executives who are hardworking, directional and purposeful towards victory in the 2024 general election, the NDC, will have to kiss forming the next government in January 2025, goodbye.
It is an open secret that the NDC party, has not been in a good shape for some time now and can’t even collate election results in the two successive elections; first in 2016 and second in 2020.
Since 2016, the party has not been able to prosecute any effective campaign towards winning an election, because it has been structurally weak.
The flagbearer’s office and the party national executives, have run parallel to each other, and oftentimes completely detached, openly incoherent and uncoordinated.
The turf war, the disjointed state of the NDC and how things have become acrimonious within the party is evidenced by the recording of its National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo at its headquarters during a meeting with its communicators shortly after his election. The secret tape reportedly done by a female loyalist, was leaked to the Akufo-Addo government, leading to the ongoing criminal prosecution at the behest of the Attorney-General.
Again, the level of disunity in the NDC party, has been witnessed in the vicious campaign waged for the chairmanship race between the incumbent Mr Ofosu-Ampofo and his challenger ,Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the outgoing General Secretary.
Additionally, the state of the conflict in the NDC, has also been displayed by the rancorous elections held last week for the National Youth Organiser slot between the incumbent George Opare-Addo and Brogya Genfi, who was heavily and publicly supported by National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi.
Both Opare-Addo and Gyamfi, have been at each other’s throats since the election ended. Massive amounts of money and gun violence were said to have been unleashed to the surprise of many. Interestingly, the young men are unemployed making people wonder the source of the cash.
The current national executives, have been driven more by their egos and been extremely individualistic in their approach towards the party and by extension affairs of the state being governed by a widely held wasteful and corrupt government. The party has not been able to unite around any subject matter of national concern and prosecuted it to a logical conclusion.
Instead of soul-winning, it has deployed boycotts of programmes, including media platforms, which has not yielded any fruit for it.
For instance, lack of coordination within the opposition party was visible when the NDC’s 137 Members of Parliament (MPs), could not agree on the rejection of some ministerial nominees of President Nana Akufo-Addo, when they were vetted and proven to be unsuitable for the jobs.
The NDC women caucus, were unyielding to the party’s demand. They declared support for the female nominees of the President, threatening to embarrass their leadership on the floor of the House, if the minority leadership dared to reject the female nominees because as ministers, they had been supporting them financially, contracts among other goodies.
Concerns were raised on Ken Ofori-Atta, who was nominated for the Finance Ministry to Ursula Owusu-Ekuful of the Communications and Digitalization Ministry to Mavis Hawa Koomson of the Fisheries Ministry to Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, but the party could not whip its MPs to ensure that they were not approved as Ministers.
After rapturous anger expressed by the ordinary members of the NDC of the approval of the nominees, reports later emerged that a known private businessman had sorted out both the NDC MPs and the party’s’ leadership to approve the nominees, especially Ken Ofori-Atta.
Interestingly, the same businessman was recently linked to attempts by the 98 NPP MPs to have the same Ken Ofori-Atta kicked out from the Finance Ministry for economic mismanagement and hardship in the country. The businessman had tried to bribe the ruling party’s MPs to soften their stance against the Finance Minister.
It has also been observed that the opposition party has not been seen prosecuting any agenda towards recruiting new members into its fold but rather seen many members either left or become dormant or less active as a result of despondency.
The party’s headquarters is normally empty and oftentimes has its electricity and water disconnected due to nonpayment of bills. The place only comes alive during press conferences but goes dead, shortly thereafter.
The NDC front has been fragmented for some time now to an extent that ordinary mass protests against the Akufo-Addo government’s policies can’t be organized.
Another thing will have to focus on is the extent to which the ruling NPP has infiltrated NDC. Ahead of tomorrow’s 10th National Delegates conference, Mr. Aseidu Nketiah had captured on tape confessing to the widely known report that most leaders of his party are into night-time underhand dealings with the governing NPP.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia, had cited the contract to collect party dues through Mobile Money (MOMO), for the largest opposition NDC, saying it was initially awarded to an NPP stalwart, Sammy Crabbe, but he got annoyed and terminated the deal and re-awarded it to another company through a competitive tender process.
He, however, failed to do this in the case of collation of electoral results by IT Directorate, despite reports from the NDC’s National Organizer, Joshua Akamba that the party’s IT Director, had been compromised by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
These were captured in a 14-minute explosive audio in which the General Secretary was secretly recorded lamenting how his party failed to properly collate its 2020 presidential results, because the IT system deployed by the National Chairman, was of inferior quality and collapsed midway into the collation process.
“After collating five regions, we were told that the system that would help with that job had crashed and that is why, in truth, we did not have results to challenge the Electoral Commission,” he said, thus clearing the air on reports that the Director of Elections, Elvis Effriyie Ankrah, who is also vying for the General Secretary position, had failed in his duties.
The NDC scribe, denied that he awarded the said contract to his beloved son as widely reported by sections of the media recently from a statement from the Deputy NDC General Secretary in-charge of Finance and Administration, Barbra Asamoah, as well as Edem Agbana, the NDC’s Deputy National Youth Organizer turned Spokesperson for the Aseidu Nketiah Campaign.
He described the dealings with the NDC elements dealings with the NPP as huge “problem” for the party, adding one had expected that gunning down the enemy at the least opportunity was the ideal thing to do, however, in the case of the NDC, the most bigwigs were wining and dining with enemies, hence very difficult to bomb and kill them.
The outgoing General Secretary, insisted that the NDC, would be further auctioned at a knockdown price if he ceases to be an executive of the party, adding but for this avowed stance, he would not be vying for any position, but relocate to his village to wait for the party to win power and take up a government appointment, however, he cannot ignore the danger.
Mr Asiedu Nketia, revealed how Mr Ofosu Ampofo at one of their meetings ahead of the 2020 elections slammed his hands on a table and threatened to resign as Chairman, when John Dramani Mahama, wanted to have an input into who becomes Director of Elections and the Director of IT, after a flagbearer had been chosen for the NDC.
The NDC became a laughingstock after the 2020 election, because of the party’s failure to collate its results. At the Supreme Court for the election petition hearing, the NDC could not provide the apex court with any form of evidence backing their claims of electoral fraud in favour of President Akufo-Addo.
Mr Asiedu Nketia, who has been the General Secretary for 17 years, is vying for the party’s chairman, neatly distanced himself from any blame, telling the party’s delegates during his campaign the failed IT system, and should be placed at the doorstep of the National Chairman. He promised to do something different if elected National Chairman.
“Chairman Ofosu Ampofo said he will resign because John Dramani Mahama had said that he should wait for a Director of elections to be appointed after Primaries. He said that he was the party’s leader at the time and will not be dictated to by ex-President Mahama who was at the time yet to be a party flagbearer for the 2020 election.
Chairman Ofosu Ampofo, had threatened to resign if the NDC heed to President Mahama’s call. The party went on to appoint Osei Kwame Griffith whose appointment was opposed by Joshua Akamba, because he believed he had something to do with Bawumia. This same Griffith provided us with a collation system that crashed five minutes into the collation. This is the truth and that is why we did not get the results at the right time to challenge the electoral commission, he said.
“We appointed Griffith who was recommended by Chairman Ofosu Ampofo. He designed our collations software for the 2020 elections. The software crashed five minutes into the collation, so that is why we did not get the results to challenge the Electoral Commission,” he said.
He continued “we knew that Akufo-Addo didn’t win the first round of the elections considering the figures from each region, however, we did not have evidence to support our claim because the system crashed”.
“So we resorted to manual collation. We took the pink sheet from the various regions and Chairman Ofosu Ampofo said he will still be a member of that committee. He brought in some people from the Universities in the country. When it was time for me to be cross examined, I asked for the results they had collated and the results they gave me was a disgrace. I am well known when it comes to elections in Ghana so I decided I cannot go with those figures. Even Lawyer Tsikata rejected the data they presented,” he said.
If made National Chairman, Aseidu Nketiah, promised to reach out to sister socialist parties abroad which the NDC belongs to, to assists it with a robust IT infrastructure to help with collation of results, saying he had already spoken to President Mahama to that effect and even sent some three individuals to meet him.
He mentioned how certain parties in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, China, Israel among other countries are part of the Socialist International platform with over 160 members, and he plans to get them to assist the NDC when made the NDC’s National Chairman.
The NDC chairmanship race is the race to watch at tomorrow’s event. Also to watch, is the general secretary slot which has Elvis Effriyie Ankra, Fiifi Kwetey and Dr. Peter Boamah Otukunor slagging it out for the position.