Mahama, Council of Elders Go Silent

The upcoming internal elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), anticipated to be a peaceful family contest,are turning out to be a dog-bite-dogaffair in the media, for a party in opposition and doing serious restructuring to win back power.

With few months to the party’s National Delegates’ Congress, slated for this December, to elect new national executives, the outgoing General Secretary, Johnson AsieduNketiah, and the incumbent National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, have gone bonkers, throwing invectives at each other.

This development, The Anchor has gathered, is making some supporters and sympathizers of the party unhappy, with some pointing accusing fingers at former President John Mahama and the Council of Elders.

For, these two pillars of the party have gone silent since the raging media warerupted about week ago.

There has been no official party statement on the self-inflicted turf war from either Mr. John Mahama or the Council of Elders,making some observers wonder if there are no elders in the party to crack the whip on them.

Many believethe ensuing acrimonious spectacle was what some leading members of the party, including the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, had dreaded earlier whennews about the two party bigwigs were vying for the chairmanship position.

The former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation predicted that the move, if not avoided and is allowed to go on, will hurt the party.

Mr. Ayarigahad argued that the two experienced hands were going to be needed in the national executive leadership to win the 2024 general elections and “so it will be unwise for the party to lose one.”

The two bigwigs, who have resorted to attacks on each otherin the media,appear they cannot compete without unnecessary fights.

Interestingly, there appears to be no one in the party to call them to order,especially the former President, who has become the foremost elder of the party and a statesman.

Presently, the NDC has no former President, or former vice president, aside from Mr. Mahama, after the demise of the founder of the NDC, Jerry Rawlings, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills and Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

Many had expected that Mr. Mahama, who was the leader of the party during the last elections, per the party’s constitution, would have intervened to calm tempers down.

This is happening at a time the party is re-organizing for the constituency, regional and national executive elections, and the call for unity is leading every conversation.

While the NDC scribe has described the chairman, Mr.Ampofo, the man he calls his friend, as a ‘coward, he isalso faulting him for singlehandedly withdrawing the party from thegun violenceAyawaso West Wuogon By-election.

In an interview on Kumasi-based Oyerepa FM, last week, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah, who has been at post for nearly 17 years, questioned, among other things, some decisions made by the national chairman that he said were without the approval of the party’s leadership.

He cited the party’s withdrawal from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in 2019, emphasising that the national chairman, in a unilateral decision, announced the NDC’s withdrawal from the election.

According to Mr. AsieduNketiah, who was elected to the General Secretary position in 2005 at the party’s congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo took the decision in his absence.

He mentioned that, former President Mahama was against the decision to withdraw from that bloody by-election.

He thus denied claims he endorsed the chairman’s decision to pull out of the by-election, which was won by Lydia Seyram Alhassan, whose husband, Emmanuel Agyarko, died while serving as the sitting MP.

“He called me and he admits that he called me but what he is economical about is that what he never told the press was that when he called me, I objected vehemently that he should not take that decision.

“He must have consulted President Mahama, but President Mahama called me and said the chairman wanted to take this decision, where was I and I should not allow that decision to be taken. So, it was very clear that he was warned not to take that decision,” he said.

According to Mr. Nketiah, popularly called General Mosquito, someone who shifts blame is not a right leader.

“So if you go round and say you consulted people and fail to state that you consulted them but they opposed to ‘my decision because I thought it was in the best interest of the party’… If you had done that you won’t have any problem, but a leader who shifted blame, I don’t think is a right type of leader.”

But Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, in response, said that, leading a party is not about wearing traditional dress, batakari, also known as smock, around with a catapult hidden inside.

Thenational chairman, in a statement,issued this Monday, October 17,saidthe attacks on his person by the general secretary are unwarranted and unfounded.

He insists he has discharged his responsibilities as the national chairman of the party faithfully.

“I have become aware of a viral interview granted to a media house by the General Secretary of my party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in which he makes various references to my person, leadership style and stewardship as National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress.

“Throughout my entire adult life, I have faithfully, dutifully and conscientiously served the National Democratic Congress in various capacities.

“I have done so with honour and dignity while resisting every temptation to vilify political opponents,” he said.

However, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said he will not respond to the said allegations made at his person due to his position in the party.

“Having regard to the high office of the party chairman which I occupy and the onerous responsibility of overseeing a successful re-organization of our party in our quest to wrest power in 2024, I have decided not to respond to the said accusations,” he said.

Meanwhile, he has asked party members to put the interest of the party above all others.

“I hold the view that it is totally out of place for party officials to divulge or discuss internal party matters that are within their knowledge by virtue of their privileged position, in the media or on any public forum.

“It is within this spirit that I elect to refrain from commenting on the merit or otherwise of the matters that were referenced in the said interview, including high-level party decisions that are supposed to be held in confidence,” he added.

Source: Anchorghana

Related Posts