The rift in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party has finally reached a crescendo as disgruntled members have left the party to form their own. The new party which has its colours similar with the NDC— green, red, black and white, but arranged differently and known as the National Democratic Party (NDP) was given a provisional certificate on Wednesday August 15, 2012 by the Electoral Commission to operate as a political party. It also has a rising dove with the “gye nyame” symbol in the flag with justice, unity, peace and progress as its motto, while ‘our nation, our future’ is its slogan.
The party, according to the commissioner of the electoral commission Mr. Christian Owusu Parry, cannot get itself involved in campaigning until they are able to furnish the EC with information that they have create offices in all over the country. This also will have to be corroborated by the EC. Present at the EC offices to collect their provisional certificate were the interim executives of the party. They were National Chairman Dr. Nii Armah Josiah Aryeh, General Secretary Dr Jospeh Mamboa Rockson, Robert Quaye Tetteh, interim treasurer and other leading members like Dr. Kwasi Ofei Agyemang, Joseph Bediako and Mathias Johnson.
The interim National Chairman of the party Mr. Josiah Ayerh, the former general secretary of the NDC who was sacked for allegedly divulging inside information to their NPP opponent, in his speech to the media said, “We are telling every Ghanaian that look closely, look scrupulously and realise that what leadership is doing does not necessarily conform to what you believe in.
“We have come to a situation where our very economic development process has led to a situation where there is practically a gambling for the cloth of the toiling masses and where there is a situation where once people are elected into power, you see an alliance between what I call political princes and their merchant friends in which every contract and every procurement is to advance that interest.”
“We are not simply here to replicate what somebody else is doing; we are not here to reinvent the wheel but we are here to ensure that every Ghanaian, wherever he is today, stands tall and proud because ultimately now we have a political apparatus through which we can realise our vision collectively.
“It may be inauspicious but in the long run, it would become most momentous,” he indicated, whilst dedicating the provisional certificate to the anonymous Ghanaian whose efforts, he said, “are never appreciated”.
“Now, let these words reverberate across our country; from golden coast to sprawling savannah, from boarder to distant boarder, in every town and every village; let these words reverberate that a party has been born and that party is symbolised by the iconic dove with its rising and soaring…that every Ghanaian belongs to, and that’s what we’re going to strive for.
“The politics of this country has seen a situation where the very act of voting has only lived to the empowerment of a few and we are presently on the brink of a situation where cabals and cliques are rising; which cabals take power through electoral process.
Speculations are that the former president Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings are behind this new party. This has however been denied by the interim executives of the party. Rawlings is still the founder of the NDC and it’s believed that he paid all his outstanding dues to the party not too long ago. But the speculation will not go away as many are conjecturing that his wife Mrs. Rawlings is billed to be the flagbearer of the party.
Internal wrangling within the party started soon after the late Attah-Mills was sworn in as president when he won the 2008 presidential elections. Former President Rawlings accused him for neglecting his advices and also using young and inexperienced men and women as ministers. He called those ministers and those of the big wings of the party who ignored his admonishing as greedy bastards and team B members. The cracks deepened when his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings contested President Mills for the flagbearership but lost woefully to Mills.
During their campaign for the flagbeareship, many unsavoury things were said from both sides of the divide which made it difficult for the party to reconcile. Then came a recorded and a muffled voice on radio which was purported to have come from Mr. Kofi Adams, the deputy general secretary of the NDC who doubled as the spokesperson of J. J. Rawlings to wit that they have planned to see to it that the Professor be a president of one term only. Even though Kofi denied the allegation, his party executive sacked him without hearing his side of the story.
During the death of Professor Mills, Mr. Rawlings was accused of opening his mouth too wide when he was interviewed by the BBC. In that interview, he stated that Mills was sick since 2004 but his cronies lied about it and whenever he said it, he was insulted. Rawlings was therefore not allowed any role at the funeral of the man he brought to the limelight by handpicking him to be the flagbearer of the party at the displeasure of other aspirants of the time. At the cemetery however, Mr. Rawlings forced himself to the graveside and paid his last respect to Mills even at the time when it was announced that all should wait for the president to leave the graveyard.
The NDP party has come to stay and many are watching to see what it can do. It’s obvious that the main aim of the NDP now is to divide the ranks and for that matter the votes of the NDC in order to make them lose power. We wait to see!
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