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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Columnist: Ahiadzo, Dominic

NDC to boil

------As Amissah Arthur Declares Ambition for 2020
and slams Volta Youth

The National Democratic Congress is expected to boil in coming months after the Vice-President still celebrating his re-nomination as running mate to John Mahama for 2016 elections has impulsively declared his ambitions for 2020. The Vice- President who made the pre-mature declaration at Pempamsie Hotel, Cape Coast on Friday, 11th December is said to have irked some party executives who felt embarrassed by the VEEP’s reckless pronouncement. At the event which was organized by close allies of the Vice-President at the disguise to bring together all those who contested the NDC primaries, the evening event rather turned into a platform where the Vice-President rubbished the Volta group’s attempt to impose Doe Adjaho on President Mahama and to declare to the party executives in the Central Region his intention to lead the NDC into the 2020 elections. This reportedly got the participants who were looking forward to hearing the Vice-President reveal his agenda for the people of the region sheer shocked and dumbfounded. Reports indicate that when it was the turn of Amissah Arthur to address party members at the Pempamsie Hotel, the Vice-President took turn to bring to the cleaners those who lobbied for others to replace him specifically slamming the Volta Youth. “In 2012 when the President nominated me as running mate, he indicated to the party he was going to run with me until his term of office is over. I therefore do not understand why some people could not read in-between. I do not understand the level of reasoning of these groups. Who is Volta Youth calling me incompetent and demanding for Doe Adjaho? They are laughable. If they have good reasoning, they should have known that the President who picked me to run with him in 2012 would not change me for anyone else. It is laughable some groups even in the Central Region were attacking me and calling me ineffective and all sort of names. If the President finishes his term of office, I will become the flagbearer for 2020. Those who are saying I am old will laugh at the wrong side of their mouth” the VEEP lashed at his critics. This statement by the VEEP drew laughter in the room with some party executives murmuring whether the Vice-President wishes to disgrace himself with such unguarded statements.

The shocked audience who were rather expecting the VEEP to highlight the need for unity were seen frantically trying by phone to reach out to the Regional Chairman of the party Allotey Jacobs who by fate could not attend the meeting. What is beating the imagination of party members including the Regional Minister, Hon. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah who attended the meeting is how so soon the quiet Amissah Arthur has grown overconfident to make such a reckless statement in Cape Coast. Or is it simply out of being retained as running mate for 2016 that has made him so overconfident to prematurely declare his intention for President and worst of all to attack the reasoning ability of the people of Volta Region who are seen to be the World Bank of the party he is aiming to lead in 2020. One wonders how the VEEP could not have reasoned that with a cosmopolitan nature of Cape Coast, no one from Volta region could have been present at the Pempamsie Hotel that evening and could feel insulted by such cruel statement directed at the Youth of Volta. In his attempt to jump the gun, what the VEEP is not considering is the repercussion of his actions and inactions which is analogous to committing a political suicide for the NDC leading to the 2016 elections and beyond especially in the Volta Region, the party’s stronghold.

What Amissah Arthur has failed over the years to learn is that Prof Attah Mills did not make such a claim when nominated to join Rawlings in 1996 and the late Aliu Mahama did not make such an announcement when he was retained by John Kufuor for the 2004 election, By making such an open and pre-mature declaration, when he, Amissah Arthur is yet to help the President to win 2016, he has opened up internal warfare and factionalism within the NDC at a time the NDC needs to remain focused and united for 2016. Therefore those elements in the party who support either a Doe Adjaho for President, Hannah Tetteh for President, Spio-Garbrah for President, and Kwesi Botchwey for President can feel reasonably empowered to now embark on their long-term campaigns for 2021 rather than focus on helping John Mahama get re-elected in 2016.

To the many party members who attended the Pempamsie Hotel event, it was a most thoughtless and reckless statement to be made by a sitting Vice-President in our nation’s history, displaying further Amissah Arthur’s lack of political tact, common sense and maturity, and therefore exposing the President to possible electoral loss. With news coming out indicating that most of the apathetic electorates of the recently help Amenfi West by-elections were NDC partisans who are livid by the re-nomination of Amissah Arthur as running mate, the least one will expect from the Vice-President is to make unguarded statement as such to further derail the good efforts of President Mahama. Or is Amissah Arthur trying to court voter apathy from the Volta Region just as happened in Amenfi West so the NDC could lose the elections?

For what the Vice-President had done, now, even the next generation of NDC prospective leaders such as Haruna Iddrisu, Omane Boamah, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Julius Debrah, Alex Segbefia, Sylvester Mensah, Valerie Sawyer can all begin to develop war chests prematurely for a 2021 campaign, increasing the highest potential for corruption at high levels in government. How can such people concentrate on their official jobs, when they already know that the Vice-President is trying to steal a "false start"? In athletics such athletes are disqualified, and it often displays the fact that the athlete is aware that they are not as good as their competitors unless they steal a false starts.

One could have thought that, instead of lashing at the Volta Youth for lacking common reasoning, the VEEP could have considered that if the 17 candidates in NPP, who declared their interest in the Presidency in 2006-2007 had all begun their open campaigns in 2004 before that year's elections, could NPP had won the 2004 election? This could have guided him as he tries to destabilize the NDC.

Dominic Ahiadzo
Constituency Executive
Greater Accra