NDC Council Of Elders Finally Breaks Silence
The Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has finally broken its long silence, weeks after looking on, while two of its top national executives went bonkers in the media, dirtying each other publicly.
But in a twist of event following criticisms and condemnations, the Council, chaired by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, seems to have found its voice, as it cautioned that the campaign to elect national officers of the party should not shift the attention from the current economic hardships under the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)government.
The Elders, in a release issued yesterday, mentioned that, even though the Council respects everyone’s right, including national chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo’s and General Secretary Johnson AsieduNketiah’s to contest for any position of interest, it should not be done at the expense of the party.
The release said, “At its meeting on Wednesday 26th October 2022, the Council of Elders of the NDC discussed among others the issue of a national chairmanship contest between the party’s current National Chairman and General Secretary which has engaged the attention of the rank and file, supporters and well-wishers of our party.”
“The Council of Elders respects people’s individual freedoms and aspirations to contest any position in the party in accordance with the Party’s Constitution. The Council however cautioned that the conduct of the campaign should not shift attention from the economic hardships facing Ghanaians and the overall dismal state of affairs under the ruling NPP Government,” the Council said in the one-page release, sighted by The Anchor.
According to the highest advisory body, at a time the party was readying itself for the next general elections barely two years’ away, all that the party is seeking is internal cohesion and oneness.
“At the time when the party should be getting itself ready for election 2024, we need nothing other than internal cohesion and togetherness. The country and rank and file of the party expect nothing else,” it reiterated.
The expression of concern comes after Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah were recently heard in the media leveling series of accusations against each other in their bid to woo the party’s delegates, who will be electing the next chair this December.
The Anchor,in its Thursday October 20 edition, called out both the Council and former President John Mahama, after some grassroots’ members expressed concerns about their deafening silence.
The Council, which expects a lot from the National Chairman and the General Secretary,in a release, lashed out at the two leaders of the party for descending into the gutters.
It chided them to respect the guidelines they set for the party and uphold party discipline.
“It is important and expected of the top hierarchy and all concerned that they respect the Party Constitution and the rules and guidelines they themselves set in the conduct of internal elections. They should be the first to uphold party discipline,” it said.
In that raging fire-for-fire episode last week, Mr. Asidie Nketiah allegedly threw the first punch, accusing Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, of unilaterally withdrawing the NDC from the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election disturbance in 2019.
As part of the confusion that rocked that election, party members sustained life-threatening gun wounds from operatives of National Security.
The General Secretary, who is famously known as General Mosquito, speaking on Kumasi-based Ayerepa Television, told the station the national chairman took the decision against the instruction of former President John Mahama and himself.
“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, 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,” he contended.
But Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, who would not want to go down alone, also dragged his accuser in the mud, saying that, “leading a party is not about wearing traditional dress, batakari, also known as smock, around with a catapult hidden inside.”
The national chairman, in a statement, on Monday, October 17, said the attacks on his person were unwarranted and unfounded.
He insisted 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.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said he will not respond to 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.
But addressing specifically the actions of the national chairman and general secretary, the Council asked the two, to conduct their campaign in a civil manner and in the overall national interest of the party’s rank and file.
“The meeting therefore urged the two principal officers of the party, the national chairman and the General Secretary, to reflect soberly on the situation and be mindful of the overall national interest and the toils of our rank and file over the years to make the party strong, viable and ready to assume the reins of government in 2024,” the Council stated in a release after a meeting yesterday.
The Council also urged regional and national election candidates to adhere to the ground rules agreed upon by the party.
It said these rules include the use of decent language and desisting from public attacks, as well as breaching the confidentiality and misrepresenting decisions taken in relation to past actions of leadership.
”In the interest of party cohesion, internal discipline and long-term stability, the Council urges all contestants to regional and national positions, especially the incumbent national chairman and General Secretary to be circumspect in their campaigns by adhering to ground rules discussed and agreed upon. These include the use of decorous language, refrain from media attacks, breach of confidentiality and misrepresentations of decisions taken in relation to past actions of leadership,” the release said.