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Opinions of Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Columnist: Norvor, Justice Dansu

Dr. Kwabena Adjei leadership must hold Party Elections Now

It is always construed that corruption and unaccountable leadership are variable constructs to bad governance. However, the international condemnations received by the leadership of Muarmar Ghadafi, Robert Mugabe et al, who all tried to outlived their usefulness by illegally staying put to power had further reliably validate the theory that illegitimate leadership is the bedrock of bad governance leading to corruption and institutional factionalism and crisis. It is unfortunate to note therefore that in a country once christened as “the perfect example of democracy in Africa“ by the American President, Barrack Obama prior to his very first foreign visit after his election, the governing party of this most democratic in the African continent-supposedly is condoning, illegitimate leadership by the executives. Sometimes, we feel so sorry for the President, John Mahama who is the leader of the party. Looking in the context of the modern day Africa, there had never been `any leadership of any democratic political party that have stayed for over two four year terms.
The question is whether the executive leadership of the NDC are more concerned with the growth of the NDC as a party or with their staying put in power for their personal greed, in order to amass wealth or to build their own power bases in the party.

Needless to say the entire NDC governance structure is in office ILLEGALLY, having flouted the Constitutional amendment of 2009 which gave them a 4-year term. The Chairman, Secretary and other regional and Constituency executive should have organized Constituency, Regional and Youth Congresses leading to a National Congress in November, 2013 for new executives to be elected across board. History will guide us to note that the NDC Constitution until 2009 gave all national, regional and constituency executives a TWO-YEAR term of office. So, executives like Obed Asamoah and Josiah Aryeh served only 2 years before being removed at subsequent Congresses. However, at the Tamale Congress, the Dr Kwabena Adjei and Asiedu-Nketsia administration, who had already served for two 2-year terms from 2005-2009, cunningly asked for a 4-year mandate for Party executives. So by 2013, most of these executives had served 8 (eight years) already; 4 years of two years each and another straight 4-year mandate. It is therefore unfortunate to observe today that, even after these eight years, rather than organize a Congress and hand-over in 2013, the current national executives cleverly again claimed last year that they were about to organize biometric elections and needed time to do this. This bogus argument was if newly elected executives could not have organized the same biometric registration. Why does NDC need only Kwabena Adjei and AsieduNketsiah to give them biometric membership cards. And if current executives could not put in place the bioometirc cards in 8 years, what is the assurance that they can do so even in an additional two or more years?
As of now, nothing has been heard of these so-called biometric elections, and all executives from national to constituency levels all seem pleased to be simply extending their rule illegally. Only Congress could have given them an extension of mandate, as neither the National Executive Committee or the Functional Executive Committee (of which these very officers are members) could have authorized them to simply stay in office. That would be undemocratic self-dealing of vested interests. Under the current regime, genuine NDC members are being denied access to ordinary membership cards for as long as 4 years, on the pretext that biometric cards will be issued soon. But the trick is simply to prevent owners of new membership cards to either become candidates in forthcoming elections or to vote for candidates who could contest against current office holders. There is massive anti-democratic effort to prevent potential candidates for MPs, DCEs or regional/constituency positions from contesting--as new rules adopted at Tamale Congress 2009 require that all candidates for positions in NDC must prove at least 4 years membership of the Party. As such, the current executives are NOT allowing the party to grow, by restraining the issuance of new card. They are eager to hog all appointments to ONLY themselves and their cronies, making it difficult for President Mahama to bring in other people.
For example, now that Dr Ray Atuguba and Dr Sulley Gariba (both PNC stalwarts) have been brought into the President's inner circle, will they vote for a PNC leader at next elections? We think not. How did lawyer and former MP Freddy Blay of CPP become qualified to contest for NPP Vice Chairmanship, if former president Kuffuor had not enlisted him? Recently Atubiga, who Justice Atuguba jailed, was heard railing against the President for appointing the PPP Vice Presidential running mate a member of a Board. How can NDC grow if we cannot bring in new or old blood. Martin Amidu stands in the cold. Ofosu-Ampofo, Ato Quarshie, and Nuamah Donkor have not been heard of. Tony Aidoo is being allowed to criticize the President and the Chief of Staff but the current NDC leadership seem to be against President Mahama expanding the Party base, or even working with people like Spio-Garbrah, a former party Vice -Chairman and candidate for NDC flagbearer who commands a huge youth following to increase NDC's popularity with the youth and floating voters. Many party leaders and sympathizers alike are still wondering why people of Spio's competence are still not actively involved in the party or the Mahama administration. Is Prez Mahama getting more popular among Ghanaians by not bringing known competent people into his government? No, Or is Spio being used covertly at our blind side?
While this disregard for ethical values and institutional values are committed against the faithful democrats, the whole of NDC party is cowed into silence about the illegal occupation of office by national executives. Even the President, the leader of the party and his government are saying nothing about this illegality which is also a form of corruption. Worse, top Party officers are being rewarded with national appointments—Asiedu Nketsiah has been appointed to be Chairman of the Bui Dam Authority where he can supply all concrete products. Anita de Sosoo, who embarrassed NDC by saying the cedi lost value due to witches and wizards, has been appointed Deputy National Director of the National Disaster Agency, to improve her chances for re-election as Women’s Organiser. It is an honest admission to say these executives would have been hounded from office anywhere else in the world. This is not because they have not worked well, but simply because they are acting with impunity illegally.
The NDC partisans are concerned about the unconstitutional leadership of the current party executives, who have continued to undermine the holding of party elections. This is one of the essential causes of despondency, factionalism, instability and break-away in any political system. Considering that the current executives have served a two four year term via an initial two 2year terms, it will have been appropriate if Dr. Kwabena Adjei led leadership, after winning those two crucial national elections for the party, a feat never chalked in the annals of Ghanaian politics, can leave a legacy of entrenched participatory democracy. This the current leadership can do by abhorring the unconstitutional stay in power, and to institutionalize a political culture of change of power, based on holding regular, free, fair and transparent party elections. As a party founded on deep democratic principles, it is prudent President Mahama to as a matter of urgency call for Congress to elect our party leaders. The NDC as a party must also institutionalize a ceiling for officials at all structures to a two terms to avoid any future hijacking of the party by self-centered politicians. Reasons are that, the longer these individuals hog to power, they build affluence and excessive power around themselves so much so that, strong characters in the party which could bring transformational leadership to bear on the fortunes of the party are being prevented from contesting the Chairmanship. General Secretary, Organiser and other leadership positions.

In as much as we confess the current NDC executives have done very well by helping NDC to win elections in 2008 and 2012, that is no reason for them to throw out good governance from the Party's windows and to entrench themselves perpetually in office. All good leaders have a responsibility to groom and coach others to take over from them. People who think they are indispensable in any organization are a threat to democracy and good governance. The fact that Dr Kwabena Adjei and Asiedu Nketsia still intend to contest at any future NDC Congress to hold on to their positions is the best evidence of why they do not even wish to hold any such Congress. The name of the NDC is National Democratic Congress. NDC executives should endeavour to uphold the middle name of the party--Democratic.
Long Live the Akatamanso!!
Long Live the NDC!!!
Long Live our Homeland Ghana!!!!

Justice Dansu Norvor- Secretary
Concerned Young Democrats of NDC