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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

I bet, more aggrieved Fantes could desert NDC in 2020!

To begin with, let me please apologise if anyone has taken offence of the caption of this periodical.

Of course, no offence intended on this occasion, for I am well aware that the laws in respect of the Right to freedom of opinion and expression prohibit queer and unpopular ideas and statements which “shock, offend or disturb.”

Suffice it to stress that a number of human rights treaties, conventions and declarations, including the ICCPR and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, obligate states to prohibit all forms of hate speech.

And more so hate speech – the advocacy of hatred based on nationality, race, tribe or religion – occupies an exceptional position in international law.

In sum, free speech does not give me an absolute right to say or write whatever I want about any tribe, race or religion, whenever I like, without taking notice of any permitted abridgement and duty of obligation.

Now I shall proceed with the substantive matter under discussion today.

I have always held a firm conviction that there is nothing wrong for political parties to have party precincts or strongholds.

And more so it is true that such practices are acceptable in even most advanced democracies. The distinction, though, is unlike the voters in developing countries, the vast majority of voters in the developed countries, more often than not, do not vote for voting sake.

In other words, the vast majority of voters in the advanced democracies mostly vote on the issues that affect their lives.

It was against that backdrop that the vast majority of the UK Labour Party supporters in Scotland rightly voted against their party in the 2015 general elections for failing to live up to their expectations.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong for voters to have a preferred political party. However, voters must not and cannot allow manipulating politicians to take them for a ride in perpetuity.

In UK for instance, the majority of Wales and Scotland voters more often than not do vote for the Labour Party, with the exception of the 2015 election where the ratio of the votes swing favoured the Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party respectively.

In that regard, why must people continue to upbraid voters from the Volta and Asante Regions for frequently voting the NDC and the NPP respectively?

What we must however be condemning with no uncertain terms is the unfairness being displayed by some political actors in our democratic dispensation.

It is a known fact that the National Democratic Congress has a special convention when it comes to the selection of their flagbearers.

Take, for example, if we take a stroll down memory lane, the party’s founder and the first president of the NDC Party, J. J. Rawlings, defied all the stiff opposition and chose his then Vice President, the late Mills as the flagbearer during the 2000 general election.

Following the two previous unsuccessful elections in 2000 and 2004, the late Mills selected John Dramani Mahama as his running mate in the 2008 general election, despite the fierce resistance by the sceptics of Mahama.

It would be recalled that the late Mills came victorious after the second round election in December 2008.

The Vice President Mahama woke up one morning in July 2012 and became the president of Ghana in the afternoon of the same day following the sudden death of President Mills.

As it was expected, former President Mahama completed the remaining months of the Mills/Mahama administration.

In line with the NDC’s convention, former President Mahama subsequently received acclamation to lead the party in the December 2012 general election.

President Mahama then selected Amissah-Arthur from the Central Region of Ghana as his running mate for the 2012 election.

The 2012 election result was challenged at the Supreme Court by then chairman of the NPP, the late Obetsebi-Lamptey, the presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo and his running mate, Dr Bawumiah.

All the same, President Mahama was pronounced the winner by the Supreme Court of Ghana.

On 7th December 2016, the discerning Ghanaians revisited NDC government’s irreversible incompetence and the gargantuan sleaze and corruptions, and rightly voted them out of power.

In fact, based on the NDC Party’s logic on the selection of a flagbearer, there should be no argument over the obvious choice of the NDC Party’s next presidential candidate. Indeed, the next person in line should be the erstwhile Vice President, Amissah-Arthur.

It is, however, ironic that there is an ongoing tussle over the choice of their next flagbearer.

The leadership of the NDC are somehow refusing to recognise former Vice President Amissah-Arthur.

Ironically, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, the NDC Party leadership, led by Ex-President Mahama, pontificated that the obvious choice of a party’s vacant flagbearership position should be the former vice president.

The NDC Party leadership insisted back then that it was the NPP Party that has an unmatched record of dumping its vice presidents without providing them the opportunity to lead the party.

Wouldn’t it then be hypocritical on the part of the NDC Party leadership if they failed to select former Vice President Amissah-Arthur as their next flagbearer?

In ending, I would like to emphasise that it would seem hypocritical, unconscionable, capricious, unfair and incommodious, if the former Vice President Amissah-Arthur was to be sidelined in the search for the next flagbearer of the NDC Party.