The dis-unified kerfuffle in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is a stark reminder that it’s not business as usual. There’s a brewing civil war within it that has senior members picking sides. The question that has sparked this battle is: Who’s to blame for the party’s humiliating defeat in decades?
It’s apparent the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has just survived a surprisingly severe internal infighting that many predicted was coming asunder. After months of rough seas, the NPP has pulled through and so has then Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The gasp for victory by the NPP, hours after polls closed showed it had a rough time surmounting the difficulties the disunity in the party posed. Perhaps it could provide a lesson or two to the NDC that’s on a self destruction mission.
Barely three months after it lost the December 7, 2016 elections in a stunningly unpleasant fashion, the NDC appears to be losing its bearing. Senior members of the party have taken to public to air their dirty laundry. The tone of their outbursts speaks volume and betrays the party that days ago boasted about being the only united party in the country.
All is not well with the NDC and looking at the anger of members, it’s unlikely the blame game will end anytime soon. The fact that the party appeared united in government doesn’t mean there weren’t divided opinions. And this view has been ably supported by former National Organiser Yaw Boateng Gyan who said the President John Mahama-led government alienated persons who held contrary opinions.
“Believe me…the NDC was much more divided than the NPP but we pretended as if all was well and decided to talk about the NPP’s troubles,” he told a Kumasi-based Abusua FM on Wednesday. “If we had paid attention to what people, our own party people, were saying, I am telling you the NDC wouldn’t have been in opposition by now.”
Former NDC National Chairman, Kwabena Agyei, also noted the former President surrounded himself with praise-singers because of his intolerance of divergent views. He told Accra-based Starr FM Mr Mahama was deceived into thinking he was winning the 2016 election when he was losing it.
On his part, a former Interior Minister, Mark Wayongo, introduced a new element which he believes was responsible for Mr Mahama’s stunning defeat. “I think the former President tried to satisfy a whole lot of people, but it didn’t go the way it should have gone and I am not ready to talk about the issues in the media,” he said.
The NDC Yunyoo MP, Joseph Naabu Bipoba, gunned it further when he described Mr Mahama as an incompetent leader who again surrounded himself with novices. He took a dead aim at former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah describing him as a political lightweight. “Omane Boamah, what experience does he have in politics?”
“But the President was listening to such people…that is why he lost so miserably, [and] so comfortably,” he said.
Already the work of the Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee set up to investigate the party’s 2016 defeat is facing some setbacks as party members clash across the country over who should be allowed to contribute to the Committee’s work. In the Eastern Region for instance some polling executives clashed after they demanded the Committee walk the regional executives out over allegation that they misapplied funds meant for the party’s campaign.
But NDC National Organiser, Kofi Adams, has attempted to describe the ongoing media battle among their members as a sign of vibrancy in the party. “I am quite happy [because] it shows the party is very strong and they [youth] are ready to bring the party to power immediately.”
One thing is certain that the challenges the NDC is facing are unique and significantly different from the one the NPP faced in opposition. NDC’s challenges are a mixture of anger, disappointment, frustration, betrayal, and hunger among party members that transcend from top party hierarchy. This is perhaps the biggest test for the NDC in decades after several months of pretence.
Our elders say that when your mother is dead and you claim she is sleeping; her decaying body will drum home the reality to you. And Mr Boateng Gyan was apt when he said things weren’t normal in the NDC when it was in government.
And this confirms my belief that a party in power has many allies because the benefits of political power are enormous that nobody would want to risk them. This explained why the NDC appeared a closely-knitted family because the honey of power was dripping into their mouths.
But it’s not electoral rocket science; if NDC wants to be in power again it has to rally its members behind it. Party unity has everything to do with discipline but there’s no denying the fact that there are some people who are agents of chaos. Keeping everyone off balance is their modus operandi even people who should be their allies. But a party desirous of coming into power will conduct a serious house cleaning that factors the quality of its next presidential candidate.
The noise of clinker groaning and venom spitting in the NDC has to end.
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