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Opinions of Saturday, 28 July 2018

Columnist: Ambassador Daniel Osei

Ambassador Daniel Osei writes: NDC must change to win

Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

It’s unfortunate we find ourselves as a party hijacked by this singular issue of Mahama’s return when any worthy political thinker can conclude it’s not good for the former president to contest again.

We could have spent the last two years, truly organizing the grounds and preparing for the EC register and putting together a decent GOTV to turn out the vote, and simultaneously formulate and articulate a good message for the electorate to partner us for victory in 2020. Instead, the JDM money machine has hijacked the process and after delays upon delays, we are inching towards regional and soon national elections.

But for the party constitution, they would have delayed ‘till October 2020 for the flagbearer contest but alas. Unfortunate but what to do.

For those of us who believe in a people focused, and transformative form of politics, we have no choice but to make a case for our position on winning 2020.

As a party, we exist to win power and we must focus on winning. We do not exist to promote a personality cult and must be mindful of the fact that we can’t repeat the same things and expect different results.

I took a step back from my crusade to help advance the party’s chances at victory and listened to many people including all the flagbearer aspirants, members of our council of elders, and indeed many people from the former presidents camp. In my interactions with his people, I wanted to be convinced that if he were given the nod, he could lead us to victory. I wanted to be convinced that there was contrition in his many apologies to so many individuals he apologized to for foul treatment, and the various caucuses he met to apologize for some of the calculated greed and bad politics. I listened mostly and when necessary, I asked tough questions.

Sadly, person after person from the former presidents camp, indicated the man has not changed. From his moral turpitude to gross opulence and calculated maligning and treachery, and lack of vision, he’s hoping to return and in his own voice “teach people lessons.” This fraudulent variable, cannot be part of our calculus for victory. We can’t win with this. The fact that Mahama had to apologize to so many people and caucuses in the first place, should raise eyebrows. Why did he offend so many people and treat so many people badly? Look at how Nana Addo rewarded Freddie Blay and his team, and juxtapose that to Mahama systemically and craftily removing Kwabena Agyei, Yaw Gyan etc and replacing them with Kofi Adams and co? Indeed “the prince of darkness is a gentleman” and only God knows how ruthless and scandalous he will be if he only had one term to govern.

He must stop or be stopped so our party can win again!

I must confess, it’s tiring to keep drumming the same message home time and again, but it’s important to do what it takes to help give our party a chance and we can only do so if we take the hard decisions and embrace change so we can offer a more hopeful preposition to the electorate.

To embrace change means we need to educate the delegates. They must know the true reasons why we lost. They must get the information contained in the KB report which says that Mahama worked against the party’s interest, constituency after constituency and region after region the specifics! It’s important for delegates to know that Mahama supported opposition candidates against NDC candidates in many places in his quest to get rid of particular candidates or at least reduce their popularity in the party, and he did it while drunk on “the president has won already” coolaid!

It’s not gonna be easy but it’s our only hope against the money machine. If all we needed to win is money; we will be in power still. If all we needed to win was a well known candidate, we should be in power still. Let us not conflate well known with popular nor well liked. Mahama was rejected because the electorate did not like him nor his governance. We lost because we had an uninspiring, self centered candidate who predictably failed us at the polls. We must change that if we want to win 2020. His many apologies was simply because his politics was self centered and the electorate rejected him because his governance was terrible.

Winning the presidency is not a primary contest. The primaries is only a step in the process and if we get it wrong, we are done! To allow Mahama to steal the primaries with money will be suicidal for 2020.

Mahama is the most divisive factor in NDC today!

There are real serious divisions within the party today, and Mahama cannot heal it. He simply lacks the leadership qualities for unification and his team is bankrupt of ideas. The flashy opulence and fake unity walk fanfare nonsense, is for the birds. Power is not a birthright and unless we as a party, are ready to work for it, we cannot win. The civilized thing for Mahama to do, is quickly step aside but given his indecisive trait, we just might have to take that decision for him at the polls.