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Politics of Monday, 27 March 2017

Source: peacefmonline.com

'There is plain-faced dishonesty, chicanery in NDC ' - Pratt

Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt strongly believes there is an agenda to push former President John Mahama out of the race of flagbearership by some individuals in the National Democratic Congress, even before the contest for the election of a Presidential Candidate kick-starts.

Even though the former President is yet to declare his intention to contest for the flagbearership position of the party, Kwesi Pratt Jnr believes some kingpins in the party who are also eyeing that position are intentionally attacking him ‘just to clear him off the way’.

To ensure sanity in the party after its humiliating defeat in the 2016 polls, the NDC quickly formed a committee, headed by a former Finance Minister, Prof Kwesi Botchwey, to go round the country to collate views of the party followers to determine what caused their defeat at the polls.

Its General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, in a bid to muzzle supporters following widespread reports that some of the leading members of the party pocketed funds, and did not use them for the intended purposes, gave lockdown orders by cautioning party supporters to channel all their grievances through the committee, rather than resort to accusations and counter-accusations.

Though Professor Kwesi Botchway’s committee has still not completed its work, the accusations that raised its head regarding the disbursement of the party funds have surfaced again.

Leading members of the opposition party and their supporters have taken to the airwaves, levelling all kinds of accusations against each other, with some of them resorting to threats to attack their opponents. Kwesi Botchway committee itself is not finding it easy, as most of its meetings in the regions are met with violence.

Mr Pratt is of the firm belief that all these shenanigans is as a result of the fear that by some stalwarts that ex-President Mahama might want to lead the party again in 2020.

According to him, if it is confirmed that the former President will not contest, the uproar will be worst because the various candidates will be tearing each other apart.

“This is to push Mahama out of the contest. The fear of Mahama’s candidature is also part of the problem. …there is an agenda to discourage the former President from contesting and so to them the only solution is to attack him even before he makes his mind of coming back to contest…. The whole direction is to make sure that former President Mahama does not show his face. If the talking has begun now, between now and 2019 what will happen? The party can be destroyed simply because people are fighting for self.

“So far there is only one person amongst fifteen or more who has had the courage to come publicly and say that I want to contest for President. All of them are setting up offices, they are campaigning, they are building up their war chest and so on to come and contest for Presidency. But if you put a microphone in front of them, all of them will say that ooh, this is not the time for the contest of leadership, this is the time to rebuild the party and none of them is working to build any party anywhere. Now they tell you that this is not the time for contest of leadership ooh, and yet they are setting up campaign offices, and yet they are campaigning. What level of dishonesty is this? Plain face dishonesty, chicanery. That is what is happening”

“Because all of this people...they will be very happy if former President Mahama will come to say that I’m no longer interested. They think that the part would be opened wider for them. So all of this, a substantial part of this is to push Mahama out of the contest, even as he hasn’t declared his intention of contesting."

The Senior Journalist further stated that the issue of whether or not the former President will come back to lead the party for election 2020 is needless because there are more important issues like leading the party back to the masses to be considered.

"...those talking about this issue are wasting everybody’s time in the party," he added.