Rawlings Shakes NDC; Expand or Die!
Former President Jerry John Rawlings says the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) risks losing the 2016 elections if the party does not undertake significant and urgent reforms in order to handover the party back to the grassroots.
According to him, the NDC needed some significant reforms to face the challenges of the dynamic global political climate since ‘our current internal structures need to be reviewedThe time has come to enlarge the electoral college of the NDC, so a larger group of people which is a better representation of various local communities, can elect officers of the party all the way to the flagbearer’.
Rawlings believed that the NDC had been hijacked by a few individuals and it was time to give the party back to its owners at the grassroots by allowing them to select their leaders.
According to him, the reforms required to clean up the party’s image were not being treated with the urgency they deserved.
The NDC founder gave the caution in a keynote address at the Deza (Oil Palm Festival) of the chiefs and people of Dzodze in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region.
The festival, which was also attended by the Volta Regional Minister Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Food and Agricultural Minister Kofi Humado, and Ketu-North DCE Clever Kofi Lawson, attracted a large number of tourists.
The NDC founder noted that the current structures including the electoral college of 20,000 comprising only executives and some selected people across the country, was breeding corruption, with the result that the NDC had been snatched from the hands of the masses, who were the real owners of the party.
He therefore suggested that the electoral college be enlarged to about 150,000 to stop the bribing of delegates, improve internal democracy and give the ordinary party members a voice and power to decide their leaders, right from the constituency level through to the flagbearer.
He said, ‘The necessary reform required in order to clean up the image of the party is not being treated with the urgency it requires.’
He therefore warned that ‘if we do not act in cleaning up the party, we will as I warned before, face a challenge in 2016′.
Former President Rawlings, who praised the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) for blazing the trail in expanding their electoral college, urged his party to do better.
‘Others may have initiated that method but we can do better and come up with a larger and more representative electoral college. We should have done that a long time ago.’
He believed the current NDC leadership needed to rise to the occasion.
‘Those of our officers and executives with integrity must support this reform and should have nothing to fear.
‘Let us not do anything to undermine the attempts to hand back the party to its people. To undermine it, will be risking the life of the NDC. The NDC must get into the hands of its power base.’
Corruption In Mahama Gov’t
The former president also called on Ghanaians to expose the weakness and corruption in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government led by President John Dramani Mahama.
He admitted that ‘the government is confronted with a number of challenges in running the affairs of this nation. One of this is corruption.’
He added: ‘President Mahama concedes that the corruption issue is one that needs the support of all, and has called for our involvement in fighting it.’
As a result, the public should expose all the rot in the NDC government and offer concrete advice in policy implementation initiatives, because the success of President Mahama and the entire country depended on it.
‘There is no point in voting for the president and government and sitting and waiting for [directives from] Accra. You have an equal responsibility to help develop your country than refusing (to take bribes) and sitting on the fence doing nothing.’
No Peace Without Justice
Former President Rawlings, who has now become a Peace Ambassador, also advised that ‘we must also bear in mind that we cannot achieve peace when there is no justice, probity and accountability, which are the foundation of the Supreme Law of our land.
‘We cannot refer to our political circumstances as democratic when the ingredients of justice, probity and accountability are absent.’
He was furious that some latter-day politicians were playing on the toil of the forbearers of the country to loot the country at the expense of the masses.
‘The political circumstances that we enjoy today and which many tout as having been initiated in the run-up to the 1992 elections were initiated during the PNDC era when we encouraged the people to get involved in the political decision-making across the country Today some modern-day converts operate as if they own the copyright to the pain and sacrifice you the people had to endure,’ he said.
He charged the people to remain united and forge ahead in maintaining the peace that Ghana was enjoying and also take advantage of the peace in the country to create a sound economic environment for economic emancipation.
From Fred Duodu, Dzodze
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