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General News of Thursday, 10 June 2010

Source: GNA

NDC attains age of maturity

Accra, June 10, GNA - The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), on Thursday attained the age of maturity (18 years), being the first political party in the fourth republic to obtained certification from the Electoral Commission in 1992.

"Exactly 18 years ago, the NDC was born with a vision - to promote the unity of our dear nation; build on the various facets of anchoring the nation's stability which was secured by the Provisional National Defence Council, the progenitor of the NDC.

"Eighteen years ago, the NDC blazed Ghana's democratic journey, bringing real hope to a parched political terrain and laid to rest the stagnation of political development in the 1960s and 1970s," Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, NDC General Secretary told newsmen at launch of the party's birthday. The NDC, a social democratic political party, was founded by Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, who was Head of State of Ghana from 1981 to 1993 and President from 1993 to 2001, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah said.

Recounting the achievement of the party, the General Secretary, flanked by the former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Mr. Kobina Ade-Coker, Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan, National Organiser and other leading members said that since the party's formation, it had won an unprecedented three democratic and keenly contested elections in 1992, 1996 and 2008.

Mr. Nketiah said that the party also ended the stagnation of political development in the 19960s and the 19970s, stressing "we created room in the democratic architecture for differences of political opinion, and entirely and sincerely leveled the political playing field".

Other achievements of the party, according to the General Secretary, was the advancement of Ghana's democratic frontiers, designing and implementing new concepts of local government that ensures devolution of power to the grassroots.

"Today we can proudly say that thanks to that effort there is democratic participation across the social and political divides throughout our society.

"Today farmers, fishermen, medical doctors, market traders, teachers, nurses and the self employed found the true meaning of equal citizenship and proudly argued on the floors of unit committees and district assemblies," Mr. Nketiah said.

He said the party ensured liberation of the airwaves, creating enabling environment for the widest expansion of private radio and television stations.

Mr. Nketiah said that the proliferation of newspapers also occurred within the media environment created by and under the administration of the NDC.

He said that "as pragmatic optimists, we steadily but surely erected and consolidated the practical aspects of participatory democracy and deepened the art science of governance". Mr. Nketiah said that the party's enduring and enviable achievements resulted in the party bouncing back to political power in 2009, which was circumscribed by "our abiding faith and belief in the social democratic philosophy.

"We owe no apologies for remaining steadfast to the ideals of Social Democracy and for insisting on freedom, equality and social justice for all irrespective of class, status, tribe, ethnicity and religion," he noted. The NDC's party symbol is an umbrella with an eagle's head on top, with the colours red, white, green, and black.

Mr. Nketiah congratulated the party's founding fathers, members and supporters as well as sympathizers, who stood behind the party for the past 18 years.

He said that "We wish to salute our dedicated cadres and activists whose toils have made the party not only a dynamic and attractive one but the ultimate choice of millions of Ghanaians." Mr. Ade-Coker told the GNA in an interview that "it was by divine order that party was celebrating its age of maturity as the ruling government". He commended the founding fathers, especially Ex-President Rawlings and all others whose selfless dedication to the party had lead to its progressive development and strength. 10 June 10