The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be 22 years tomorrow.
The NDC, which was formed on June 10,1992 emerged on the country’s political scene with a strong conviction of becoming the alternative party to the two traditional parties – Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Dankwa- Busia-Dombo United Party tradition, now the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Though 22 years in the life of an organisation may not be considered old enough, it will not be considered too young either to show signs of purposefulness, zeal and mettle.
The NDC, over the years, has ruled the country for nearly 14 years (1993-2000 and 2009 till date), as well as been in opposition for eight years (2001-2008). I am sure many Ghanaians will hold diverse views about the performance of the NDC both in government and opposition in terms of the progress of the nation byway of its contribution to nation building.
The party’s 2012 manifesto, put together on the theme: “Advancing the Better Ghana Agenda”, places emphasis on job creation, political stability and development for all.
As a social democratic party, can one ask whether the NDC has kept faith with the people of Ghana five years since the party began the journey for the Better Ghana Agenda?
The party pledges in its 2012 manifesto to keep faith with the people, support them to work hard to produce the nation’s wealth, uphold the truth, abhor corruption and distribute the benefits of hard work equitably for the greater, social and economic well-being of all Ghanaians.
One of the key achievements of the NDC that cannot be overlooked is the sustenance of the peace and stability the country is currently enjoying. It is also working towards expanding the economy from its marginal middle income status to a full-fledged middle income status where according to President John Dramani, “growth and prosperity are spread across the country and poverty is substantially reduced.” He further emphasises that energy for all will become the bedrock of socio¬economic transformation, quality education at both the basic and secondary levels, and promote a thorough decentralised governance, as well as provide the needed leadership to ensure that citizens’ voices matter in decision making while their demands for accountability are fulfilled. Despite the difficulty in accessing the $3 billion Chinese loan, the NDC has been able to push through the Atuabo Gas Project.
The ongoing Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange Project is worth mentioning as an achievement of NDC.
In spite of the landmark achievements and ambitious key goals of the NDC, some of which are yet to be achieved, the nation is still grappling with a number of challenges. Just last Thursday, several Ghanaians were still counting the cost following the downpour which left in its wake loss of lives and properties. The nation is still grappling with poor sanitation, weak governance institutions, corruption and not to talk about energy, water and housing needs of the people.
Indeed, within the NDC itself are many supporters and sympathisers who are not enthused by the slow pace of the party’s march into the 2016 elections. Some national executives on whose laps the day-to-day running of the NDC rests have been accused of “illegally’ staying in office beyond their term. Some key party members have publicly accused the Presidency of cutting them off from his government and rather surrounded the President with outsiders.
Indeed, while the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Asiedu Nketia, may be deemed to be safe with his position and may retain it if he seeks re-election, there are open and covert moves to unseat the current chairman of the party, Dr Kwabena Adjei.
Already, NDC stalwarts, including former Ambassador to Malaysia, Mr Daniel Abodakpi, NADMO boss, Mr Kofi Portuphy, and a vice-chairman of the party, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, have their names mentioned in the media as possible contenders.
More recently, the chairmanship aspiration of Daniel Ohene Agyekum, who once served as Regional Minister for Eastern, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions; Ambassador to Canada and United States of America and also one time Chieftaincy Minister, was said to have received the blessings of some power brokers within the NDC. A former Attorney General and Education Minister, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, whose name also popped up as a j potential contender, to bring a new j perspective to the race, has, however, denied her interest in contesting the position.
Plans into 2016
Tomorrow, the NDC will launch the party’s identity (ID) card, as well as honour some of its senior party members.
Mr Asiedu Nketia disclosed to the Daily Graphic that “everything is being done to make the NDC a party of choice for all Ghanaians.”
The party is currently rolling out two key political activities leading to its national delegates conference — the constitutional review process and the biometric registration of members.
According to Mr Asiedu Nketia, the party, by the end of April 2014, had completed consultations on the constitutional review process in most of the regions.
He gave the assurance that after completion of the two key activities, the NDC would go back to its calendar of elections leading .to the national congress.