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Opinions of Sunday, 27 April 2014

Columnist: Razak, Abdul

Petition: Amidu and Garbrah to Contest NDC Chairmanship

Petition: Martin Amidu and Spio Garbrah to Contest NDC Chairmanship

We wish to extend our activist greetings to President Mahama, the leadership of the NDC, faithful supporters and sympathizers of the NDC and all Ghanaians who hold in high esteem the spirit of social democracy. With the election of new executives to champion the election 2016 course of the NPP, we recognize the revolution in the NPP leadership as the level of their commitment to wrest power from the NDC come what may. We are therefore most gratified to use this medium to solicit the support of all members of the NDC family: National executives, Women wings, Youth wing and all other interests groups to join us respond appropriately by petitioning strong party stalwarts, Mr. Martin Amidu, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah and others to contest the forthcoming National Executive elections. Having conducted a nationwide opinion and assessment on the various candidates who have so far declared their intentions to contest the Chairmanship position of the party, it has become obvious to many including leading party members that, our beloved party is at a verge of transgression and irreparable damage if the change we need at congress fall short of inspiring social and transformational change that will negate the threat of the Afoko- Agyepong rebranded NPP leadership. It is a common knowledge that our party has gone through challenging times that culminated in the Founder, Chairman Rawlings playing a less active role, the former first lady and a party vice -chair, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings joining forces with a breakaway National Democratic Party (NDP). A challenging period where there seems to be no coordination at the executive level and some top party officials questioning decisions made by the President. A period in our party's history where the core of the President's immediate staff is made up of perceived outsiders thereby limiting the access to the President by those who struggled to get the NDC to power.
We the Youth of the NDC made up of TEIN and Young Democrats in collaborative affirmation of all other auxiliary groups within the party are hereby sounding a welcome petition to Mr. Martin Amidu and Dr. Spio- Garbrah to join in the race to contest the seat of National Chairman or Vice-Chairman. The involvement of these competent party stalwarts who have served the party faithfully with impeccable record will generate enthusiasm amongst the followers of our great party as neither Dr. Kwabena Adjei nor Kofi Portuphy seem to inspire any confidence to match the Paul Afoko led NPP leadership . Opinions gathered from party members across the length and breadth of the country points to the fact that Mr. Amidu, if he contests for either post will get large-scale groundswell support, as Citizen Vigilante, and where he can use that position to help to reform the Party and to keep aflame the original anti-corruption agenda of the NDC--integrity, probity and accountability. Spio's undoubted leadership acumen combined with his hardnosed stance are what the NDC leadership is currently lacking to bring integrity, sanity and authority to the party's governing structure. In addition, urging Spio to become National Chairman or Vice-Chairman will ensure the NDC win the youth over for election 2016 as he is more popular and appealing to the youth across party lines many of whom benefited from the GETFUND that he championed when he was Minister of Education.
Internally, advantages are that, a win for Spio- Garbrah or Martin Amidu will seek to unite forces with the Rawlingses and bring back to the party's fold the many Rawlings' followers and sympathizers of the party who have now become floating voters that the NPP is counting on to win elections in 2016. Moreover, the constant perception of corruption in government places has made the NDC unattractive to considerable number of Ghanaians and for us as a party to restore the trust and confidence of the populace, we need to maintain the core values of integrity, probity and accountability. It is therefore naive if the party look further than Amidu and Spio-Garbrah in restoring the party's image.
Considering the current situation of the party, we wish to join many NDC members who strongly hold the view that only Chairmanship of NDC by people with proven integrity such as Martin Amidu or Spio-Garbrah can save the NDC in the medium term, especially now that the NPP has revamp their party by the election of the more proactive Afoko and his team.
We therefore call on Mr. Martin Amidu and Dr. Spio- Garbrah to consider our petition to contest the national executive elections of the party to bring hope to many of the party followers who are losing confidence in the party. At this crucial time, it is important they both show their love and commitment to serve the party in spite of past disagreements which are inherent of every social groupings. They must come to our rescue to help President Mahama win the 2016 elections.
Also, the election of Kwabena Agyepong signals a paradigm shifts in the political discourse. It signals the end of the comical General Mosquito-Sir John telenova that has characterized their engagements in the media. It is now time for real business and the NDC needs a fresh blood, a more energetic and dynamic General Secretary to combat the communication antics of Kwabena Agyepong. It is in this direction that we admonish the likes of former Minister Nuamah-Donkor, former MP Kosi Kedem or Kuntu-Blankson, or even current MPs such as Richard Quarshigah, who have received no government appointments to also consider executive leadership positions in the party. If we need a fitting match for Kwabena Agyepong, why can't a Minister such as Haruna Iddrissu be willing to give up his ministerial appointment to become General Secretary to bring dynamism to the NDC party headquarters? If Asiedu Nketsiah claims he was offered ministerial appointments by Prof Mills and President Mahama, but declined, can we then believe there is more to the General Secretary's position than meets the eye? So, maybe Haruna Iddrisu, Elvis Ankrah or Nii Lante Vanderpuije will not be giving up too much if they were to look in the direction of the General Secretary position. Asiedu Nketsiah was a good counterfoil for Sir John Owusu-Afriyie, who was rough and uncouth. So the two could trade silly and comic tirades and barbs in public and in the media. However, Kwabena Agyepong is a more suave and intelligent operator, and a good public speaker, so he will need someone sharper from the NDC stable, such a Richard Quarshigah, Haruna Iddrisu, Hannah Tetteh or even Alban Bagbin to keep him at bay. Indeed, now that the three wise men have been turned into three miserly mice, why does Alban Bagbin not snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat by vying for the General Secretaryship?
In this regard, we admonish National Youth Organizer of the party, Mr. Akpene Ludgzie to lead the charge to mobilize the youth of the party in order to persuade Mr. Amidu ,Dr. Spio- Garbrah and others mentioned above to contest the forthcoming National executive elections.
May God bless our beloved party as we move for a change that may bring reforms to the structure of the NDC.
Abdul Razak- Convener
Concerned NDC Youth ( TEIN & Young Democrats)