General News of Tuesday, 31 March 2015
After losing credibility with the electorate, the New patriotic Party (NPP) is using pressure group, Occupy Ghana “to mobilise votes” for the party, National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Adams has claimed.
Occupy Ghana has staged a number of activities to keep government’s on its toes, key being its fight against corruption. The group has been touted by persons behind it as a non-partisan pressure group.
Thus, the decision of a leading member George Andah to contest the 2016 parliamentary seat on the ticket of the opposition NPP has unruffled feathers of some, especially in the NDC.
Kofi Adams told Joy News’ Evans Mensah Monday that Andah’s decision and that of some members of the pressure group has “exposed them” as an offshoot of the opposition NPP.
He was categorical that the NDC from onset identified the pressure group as a wing of the NPP covering itself as a non-partisan group while “working towards getting Nana Akufo-Addo and NPP elected but that would not work”.
He accused the leadership of Occupy Ghana of “covering up for what they are not”, explaining “the Occupy Ghana agenda is an NPP agenda, will continue to be that…they should just admit they are a branch of the NPP”.
But Kofi Bentil of IMANI Ghana, and leading member of Occupy Ghana, said Mr. Andah informed the group about the decision and got their full backing because the group “absolutely believes people like Andah must stand for political office”.
“We encourage people like him who did not necessary need to be in office but for God and country,” he stated.
Mr. Bentil said irrespective of how they are perceived by people, the group will not depart from the principle it stands for – Ghana first.
The group in its initial stages hooted at politicians, notably Asamoah Boateng of the NPP, who joined its maiden protest; Occupy Flagstaff House, because they did not want to be perceived as being aligned to a particular political party.
When asked to reconcile the group’s position then and now that they are backing George Andah, Mr. Bentil replied, “I think at that time Mr. Asamoah Boateng came there, the whole essence of what we were trying to do was not agreeable to the group.”
He reiterated that Mr. Andah’s decision is “noble” because Occupy Ghana is of the view that “better people must enter into politics, because those running the nation have run it aground”.
He was quick to add that the group will hesitate to take on Mr. Andah if he departs from the principle of the group.
Nonetheless, Mr. Adams was convinced Occupy Ghana lacks principle. “When you don’t have principles don’t talk about principles, is he saying that Occupy Ghana got out there to start demonstrating, without having any principle position?”
He asserted that claims by Mr. Andah that he is a sympathiser of the NPP should be treated with a pinch of salt. “Did the NPP open nomination for sympathisers? They opened nominations for members.”
However, political science lecturer at the KNUST, Dr. Amoako Baah has indicated that the NDC is only blowing hot air because there is nothing wrong with the position taken by Occupy Ghana and its members.
It would rather be “wrong” and "doesn't make sense", he said, for Mr. Andah to join the NDC, a party whose government the pressure group has been fighting.