Nemesis appears to be catching up with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as members admit that cracks in the former ruling party were more than the picture being painted about the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
With just three months in opposition, the NDC may be heading for implosion as accusations and counter accusations are freely traded.
A top member, Yaw Boateng Gyan, yesterday admitted that the cracks in the NDC are wider than what the public perceives.
Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan, who was once the NDC national organizer and presidential staffer under President Atta Mills, said the then ruling party was more divided than the then opposition NPP, even before the crucial December 7, 2016 general election – although then President John Mahama created the impression that the party was the most united in Ghana’s history.
The Mahama administration invested heavily in creating divisions in NPP in order to get an electoral advantage – reportedly doling out cash and expensive vehicles to leading members through slush funds set aside for that agenda; but it has turned out to be an albatross hanging on his neck.
Exactly one month before the general election in which the NDC was humiliated thereby confining Mr. Mahama to becoming a one-term president in Ghana’s political history, he was in the Ashanti Region pretending all was well with the then ruling party and that the NPP was not ready for power because its then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was a divisive leader.
President Mahama had said at New Edubiase on a campaign tour that also took him to Adansi Asokwa, Adansi Akrofuom, Obuasi West and East Constituencies on November 7, 2016 that he wanted the electorate to continue to keep the NPP in opposition until, as he put it, “they put their house in order.”
The opposition party, he claimed, was more divided than any other political grouping and therefore noted that it could not govern the country when given the mandate.
“Today, the party that is ready to govern this country is the NDC. Why am I saying so? Today, the NDC is the most united and well organised party than any other party in Ghana. Look at what’s going on in the NPP. The NPP is divided into two factions. If that party is rife with these divisions even in opposition, what will happen if we give them power?” Then NDC presidential candidate Mahama jabbed.
However, it is now turning out that, then President Mahama was only throwing dust into the eyes of the public in order to make the NDC look presentable to the electorate by condemning the NPP and its candidate, President Akufo-Addo.
In just over two months in opposition, utterances of most of the top executives of the party have shown clearly that the NDC is heavily divided and Mr. Boateng Gyan’s claim lends credence to the facts available.
Speaking on Abusua FM in Kumasi yesterday on a wide range of issues affecting the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan said, “Kwame,” (referring to the host) “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.”
“People who dared to talk publicly about the party’s challenges were vilified and sidelined, how were we going to hear diverging opinions internally?” he asked.
“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,” he observed.
“The other issue has to do with the way and manner our people were talking to the electorate…very arrogant and disrespectful, how would we have appealed to the voters?” Mr. Boateng Gyan added.
“Kwame, some of us couldn’t talk because they said we had been voted out of the executive position of the party and so we shouldn’t talk…a lot of things went wrong.”
“The grassroots of the party were angry because they were not resourced to work for the party, rather outsiders and strangers were enjoying all the party’s resources for campaigns.”
“For example, common party billboards…the party had to send people from Accra to come to my hometown in Sunyani to erect billboards when our own local people could have been engaged, so they felt sidelined and so refused to contribute their energy to the campaign.”
“If you look at all these factors, must you be told that the party was deeply divided? ….we were even lucky the grassroots of the party didn’t rise up in anger against those sent from Accra to fix campaign materials at the local level,” he posited.
Small Boys’ Management
Immediately after the NDC’s crashing defeat, Mr. Boateng Gyan vowed to ensure that “small boys” will never manage ex-President Mahama.
“President Mahama is the most marketed person in NDC and if he’ll come back as the flag bearer, he will not come with those small boys. We’ll not allow those small boys to surround and manage him again. Stan Dogbe and the rest who have no political experience but yet managed President Mahama let the NDC down in this election,” he said on December 14, last year when the party was reeling under the shock of its election defeat.
Mr Boateng Gyan had added, “We’ll not allow them to disgrace Mahama the second time. We’ve vowed to let these small boys know that there are elders in NDC with vast political experience and they’ll manage our future flag bearer. We have the likes of Kojo Tsikata, Ato Ahwoi, Totobi Quakyi, Iddrisu Mahama and Issifu Ali. These are the people who will work with our next leader. As for these small boys, we’ll fight them. Politics is no child‘s play.”
Mr. Boateng Gyan was the same man who said if the NDC ‘pushed’ him to the wall he would spill the beans over who killed President John Evans Atta Mills.
His outburst had come in December 2014 when the party was going to congress to elect its national officers.
He eventually lost his position to Kofi Iddi Adams in an acrimonious fashion and later blamed the presidency for ensuring his defeat in the party’s election.
However, the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Bipoba Naabu Mahama, has stressed that Mahama may not have a second chance because he is a liability to the party.
The Yunyoo MP said if the NDC makes the mistake and fields John Mahama for 2020, he will lose more miserably to either Nana Akufo-Addo or Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia; and the party will see more disintegration.
Some other top executives like Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho and Anita Desoso, a vice chairperson of the NDC, have made their intentions known by displaying their desire for another candidate for the 2020 presidential election apart from President Mahama.
By William Yaw Owusu