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Politics of Sunday, 14 September 2014

Source: GNA

I will reconnect NDC to the grassroots - Adodakpi

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Mr Dan Abodakpi, an aspirant in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairmanship race, said his topmost priority for contesting the position was to reconnect the party to its mass base.

He said there was a disconnect between the leadership and grassroots of the party which had resulted in the lack of participation thus weakening its hold at that level adding that that was a “dangerous development” ahead of the 2016 general election.

“There is an urgent need for a transformational leadership to create a new truly inclusive political ecosystem, to revive activism at the grassroots level, not just to retain power, but to consolidate it,” he said.

Mr Abodakpi, former Ambassador to Malaysia, said this in an interaction with the press in Cape Coast on Friday to round up his two-day visit to the Central Region to solicit support from members ahead of the NDC’s national election in October.

He is competing with incumbent Dr Kwabena Adjei and Mr Kofi Portuphy, Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) for the chairmanship position.

He said his first major strategy to further broaden the support base of the party would be the implementation of a full proof biometric membership database drive for proper identification of members across all branches.

This, he said, would help the party know its membership, prevent the forgery of identification cards to obtain political favour as well as help recognise and reward hard work and loyalty for party and nation building.

Mr Abodakpi, also a former Minister of Trade and Industry, said he would promote greater inclusiveness for the founding members, senior members, past executives, political and public officers and former parliamentarians who, for some reasons, felt marginalised to recommit to the progress of the party.

He said he would develop a reciprocal symbiotic relationship between the party and the President and would not accept any appointment to serve on boards since that would compromise his position and reduce respect for the chairman.

“When I lose the respect, the authority and supremacy of the chairmanship, the party will be undermined … a chairman is supposed to be promoting the good of the party and not his personal interests,” he said.

He added that he would advocate for the limitation of tenure of chairmanship to two terms to afford other members of the party the opportunity to aspire to higher heights and also contribute fresh ideas to the development of the party.

Mr Abodakpi, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta Constituency, gave the assurance that he would encourage constituency-based economic and industrial ventures to lessen the over-dependency of party members on their MPs and the President.

He said under his chairmanship, he would ensure that conflicts were resolved in the party to make it stronger not just to retain power but to consolidate it.

When asked why he wanted to change the winning team, he said the party’s victory was made possible by the efforts of the entire membership and that there was the need to change batons to re-energise the party with fresh ideas.

Mr Abodakpi was confident that his message to the grassroots had received an overwhelming positive response and was sure of victory in the elections to make the party a formidable one.

He advised party members not to accept money and material things during voting because it would compel them to make the wrong choice, and such attitudes would be detrimental to the progress of the party.

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