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Opinions of Sunday, 7 January 2018

Columnist: Kofi Ata

Did NDC lose its mind after December 7, 2016 election defeat?

The NDC unsuspectingly lost the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections The NDC unsuspectingly lost the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections

US President Donald Trump described his former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon as having lost his mind when he sacked him (“when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind”) in response to allegations made by Bannon about the president’s son meeting with Russians during the 2016 election campaign.

This description of Bannon’s behaviour resonates with me when it comes to the behaviour of leading members of the National Democratic Party (NDC) since they lost the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. In fact, on several occasions, I have told a very good friend of mine in New York that, it appears NDC has lost its mind after losing power.

In their effort to either oppose or hold the Akufo-Addo led NPP administration accountable, leading NDC figures including ex-president Mahama have exhibited and made some silly, unreasonable or irrational actions and statements. In fact, such behaviour began even before the Electoral Commission officially declared the presidential result.

The infamous statements such as, “Mahama was in a comfortable lead”, “NDC was cursing to victory”, when indeed they were aware that Mahama and NDC had suffered a humiliating defeat.

That was followed by bribery allegation against the Chairman of the Parliamentary Appointment Committee, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu by Mahama Ayariga, for which he later apologised.

At the time, it was alleged that the allegation was the usual politics of equalisation by NDC to tag NPP as being corrupt, whilst others attributed it to be part of internal NDC power struggle to undermine the minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

Whatever the objective/s for such character assassination allegation, it did not make sense because the majority had the numbers to approve the appointment of Mr Boakye Agyarko as Energy Minister in addition to the fact that, the minister designate was impressive when he appeared before the Appointment Committee.

Ex-president Mahama himself is on record to have explained his defeat as “God wanted Ghanaians to know the difference between NDC and NPP” and that was why NDC lost. Really? Dumsor alone was enough for the electorate to vote his government out because it killed many small businesses, caused many inconveniences and reduced economic growth in Ghana. Ghanaians did not need God to vote the Mahama led NDC government out because they experienced it directly.

Another madness of some leading NDC members are their positions on the free SHS policy. In fact, when I read such comments from NDC, I ask myself if they are normal. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu was reported to have said that increased teenage pregnancy was the result of the free SHS.

The former Asante Regional Deputy Minister, Mr Joseph Yamin has also been spewing rubbish about the free SHS.

When some young boys posted a video on social media of them sexually abusing a young girl in Kumasi, Yamin was reported to have said that it was due to the free SHS because some of the boys were beneficiaries of free SHS. In fact, according to him youth crime has gone up because of free SHS.

Of course, I am not suggesting that NDC should not criticise the free SHS policy implementation for its teething problems. However, when a policy is that popular with the electorate, as opposition, you do not ridicule it but rather put forward superior alternative or how to improve it. When you rubbish it, you do so at your own risk come 2020.

As for diarrhoea from Koku Ayidoho and Kofi Adams, the less I glorify them the better. These two guys do not make sense to me when they speak and cannot understand why they are communicators on behalf of the party. Neither Asiedu Nketia nor Kofi Portuphy has fare better since the party’s heavy defeat.

Asiedu Nketia claimed on Thursday January 4, 2017 that, if elections were held this day, NDC would win. He provided no shred of facts or evidence to support such claim.

The madness with internal party dispute is no different. The Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George was reported to have used machomen to lock the Constituency Executive and Citi Fm reporter in his house on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. When contacted, he initially denied knowledge until he was shown photographic evidence.

I could go on and recount numerous examples, including one of their lawyers, Abraham Amaliba claiming that Ghana would burn if the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei is impeached.

The minority in parliament, who now seem to be pulling themselves together after the Ayariga corruption allegation debacle, also sometimes, if not often, are too quick to criticise without facts and too party political, instead of spending time to get the facts and cutting out the party-political equalisation because their message loses its impact when they are too party political.

The above is not an indication that there is sanity within the ruling NPP, It also has had its fair share of madness since assuming office on January 7, 2017. Examples include the Invincible Forces lawlessness across country, South Africa High Commissioner designate, George Ayisi Boateng saying that he would prioritise NPP members first, party members using the military to forcefully evict public officials from state properties, just to mention only a few.

It’s expected that, when one finds him/herself in hole, you stop digging. Sadly, the NDC leadership appear to be oblivious to this adage and are still digging. The more they continue with this irrational behaviour and silly utterances, the more they turn off the electorate, especially independent voters.

The earlier they put out positive message, constructive criticisms and cut out the abuse, the party-political point scoring, voters may not consider them as viable alternative come 2020.