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Diasporian News of Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Source: NDC-Canada Chapter

Biennial Congress of NDC-Canada

....Ended With Great Success

The 1st Biennial Congress of the National Democratic Congress Canada Chapter (NDC-Canada) was successfully held in Board Rooms A&B of the Days Inn and Conference Center, Montreal, Canada from 22nd –23rd August 2009.

The congress, which was held under the theme: “Strengthening Democracy in Ghana, the Role of Political Parties”, drew delegates from all the four Provinces of Canada that forms the NDC Canada Chapter and sister branches from the United States of America.

The opening ceremony was preceded by registration and accreditation of the delegates after which the Chairman of NDC-Montreal Branch, Mr. Kwaku Oduro- Bonsu read his welcome address. He remarked that the theme of the Congress “Strengthening Democracy in Ghana, the Role of Political Parties” was in line with the present efforts of NDC members across Canada to encourage political tolerance and dialogue among Ghanaian political parties both at home and in the Diaspora. Mr. Oduro-Bonsu said NDC-Canada was faced with failed leadership, egoism and the wicked intentions of a minority of its members to hold the party hostage.

The Chairman of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) branch, Mr. Kwame Aboagye Agyemang recounted the beginning of NDC in Canada. He said the time has now come for us to put our individual interest’s aside and work together to protect the image of the party. He called on NDC members in Canada to be united and work towards the progress of the party. He thanked the organizers of the Montreal congress for a job well done.

The Vice Chairman of NDC-USA Chapter, Mr. Appiah Twumasi Ankrah who led a strong delegation made up of leading members such as Mr. Daniel Baiden-Nimene, Vice Chairman of NDC-Washington Metro Area branch; Madam Dede Dufour, Treasurer NDC-USA Chapter, Mr. Apetsi Kumassah, Deputy Youth Organiser NDC-USA Chapter, Mr. Prince Agyemang, the Youth Organizer of NDC-Washington Metro Area branch and other members from Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington Metro Area branches, said they were at the congress to lend their support to NDC-Canada.

The first plenary session was chaired by Mr. Obed Adore. Discussions featured on one important document, the NDC-Canada by-laws. He touched on the challenges NDC-Canada faced since its inception as a result of the lack of proper procedures and rules. He said its membership, after a Canada wide general meeting in February this year instituted a 7-member sub-committee on by-laws to forestall future abuse of power and the intentions of a few characters to hold the party hostage. He called on delegates to support and approve the proposed new by-laws to ensure discipline and also check the abuse of power by those elected into office to run the affairs of the party in Canada. After very lengthy discussion, the by-law was approved and adopted as a working document to govern the new era of NDC-Canada Chapter.

The second plenary session was chaired by Mr. Appiah Twumasi Ankrah, the Vice-Chairman of NDC-USA and supported by Mr. Jonathan Addo, a Member of Council of Elders NDC-Canada. It featured the dissolution of NDC-Canada Executive Committee (2007 – 2009) and the election of new National Executives to lead the new era of NDC-Canada for the next two years.

The congress paid growing tribute to Barima Akrasi-Sarpong, the Chairman of Council of Elders of NDC-Canada Chapter for his dedication to the party over the years. Congress also observed a minute silence in memory of Hon Darlington Brobbey, former NDC MP for Kade who passed away in the Bronx, New York, two weeks ago.

Solidarity messages from sister NDC branches were read. Other speakers at the congress included Mr. Simon D.K. Adzraku, a founding member of NDC in Canada and Dr. Clement Apaak of NDC-British Columbia branch.

The congress was chaired by the Chairman of NDC-Montreal branch, Mr. Kwaku Oduro Bonsu, supported by the Chairman of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) branch, Mr. Kwame Aboagye Agyemang.

On an interesting note, baby Isaac Baiden-Nimene, son of Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Baiden-Nimene (nick-named “Congress”) because he was born on the day of the last NACC-NDC Congress held in Washington, D.C. in June 2009, despite being only two months old, was present at the NDC-Canada Congress to lend his support. Surprisingly, he stayed awake during the entire proceedings. What an energetic young Akatamansonian!