Politics of Wednesday, 25 June 2014
A former Ambassador to Malaysia and an aspiring candidate for the position of national chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Daniel Abodakpi, has rejected claims that his incarceration in 2007 will affect his chances of being elected.
He further stated that there was no legal and social reason that would affect his bid to be the national chairman, saying that “that episode of my life belongs to the past and I have moved on.”
He made these remarks when he answered questions posed by journalists at the official launch of his campaign in Accra.
Mr Abodakpi was sentenced to 10 years in 2007 by an Accra Fast Track High Court for defrauding by false pretence, and wilfully causing financial loss to the state when he was the Minister of Trade and Industry.
He was later released from jail in 2008 following a presidential pardon granted by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
According to Mr Abodakpi, he is focused on his vision to reconnect the party to the grassroots and masses. He stated that there were no legal and social factors that could prevent him from contesting the position.
Responding to a question on the state of his relationship with President John Mahama and former President Jerry John Rawlings, Mr Abodakpi said he had a good relationship with the two leaders and refuted claims that his bid to be chairman of the party was a ploy to make former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings the flag bearer of the party for the 2016 elections.
He gave an assurance that he would strengthen the internal structures of the party when elected as national chairman to ensure victory in the 2016 elections, saying that his vision was to unite the rank and file of the party to meet the aspirations of the masses.
Mr. Abodakpi said the NDC was a democratic party that allowed members to run for positions in it, adding that he was not going to question the credibility and performance of the current national executives during his campaign but would rather focus on convincing the members of the party about the need to reconnect it to the grassroots.
He also gave an assurance that his campaign would be free of insults and vilification and that he, together with members of his campaign team, would run a decorous campaign.
In his bid to reconnect the party to the grass roots, Mr Abodakpi said he would enhance the communication channels between the party and the masses and pointed out that he played an active role in the implementation of the biometric registration exercise currently being embarked upon by the party, a situation which will revive the party structures at the branch level.