General News of Monday, 13 March 2017
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) appears to be in disarray following the massive humiliating defeat in the 2016 general election as members, including a Deputy General Secretary of the party, Koku Anyidoho, attacked Joyce Bawa Mogtari, spokeswoman for former President John Mahama.
Joyce Bawa Mogtari, former Deputy Minister for Transport, had sought to suggest that the NDC wouldn’t be bothered, should the New Patriotic Party (NPP) continue to rule Ghana for the next eight years – a statement which has apparently angered the rank and file of the party.
Joyce, speaking on Starr Chat, last Wednesday, Joyce disclosed that for the NPP to rule from 2016 to 2024 is normal and shows the beauty of Ghana’s democracy.
“Well, I don’t really mind if NPP rules for eight years; it’s democracy and really not an issue. When they lost, you can imagine how they felt when we moved into the Flagstaff House and I know the feeling… We’ve all been there and that is the beauty of our democracy,” the former president’s spokesperson stated.
Supporters of the NDC however, were demanding clarification on Bawa’s stance indicating that the party had still not risen up from the humiliating defeat it suffered in the hands of the NPP in the 2016 elections.
Countering the statement made by Joyce Bawa Mogtari, Koku Anyidoho, deputy general secretary of the NDC, posits that the former isn’t the official mouthpiece of the party and entreated the general public to take her comment with a pinch of salt.
“Our own investigations show that we are ready to come back to power in 2020…she has just shared her thoughts which don’t reflect the views of the NDC. She has no authority to speak for the NDC…Our National Chairman is our leader and the secretariat is still working,” Koku said.
Mr. Anyidoho advised Mogtari to stick to her job of speaking for ex-president Mahama and not to assume a new role of speaking for the party.
“She can speak for the former president but shouldn’t speak for the NDC. The former president only announced she speaks for him but the party hasn’t said so. She only expressed her views and not that of the party,” he said.
The deputy communications officer of the NDC, Fred Abgenyo, said also on Asempa fm that the party’s headquarters was overwhelmed with phone calls and complaints on Thursday after Bawa’s threatening views.
Mr Agbenyo expressed, “As far as the party leadership is concerned, we are well prepared and that, by God’s grace, by 2020 we’ll come back to power and that is what we are focused on. I cannot even tell whether what the spokesperson of the former president said was the position of former President Mahama or her own views that she expressed.”
However, Madam Joyce Bawa Mogtari after being blasted by some of her own party officials, claimed she was misinterpreted over the statement attributed to her.
According to Bawa, she is not the mouthpiece of the opposition NDC, for which reason she could not claim that the party is not ready for the 2020 elections.
In a statement issued to clarify the matter, she said, “I have read with some disappointment, news reports attributed to some officials of our party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in which I am accused of stating among others that the NDC is not ready for the 2020 national elections.
“While no such statement was uttered by me on the Starr Chat, a personality chat show on March 08, 2017, let me also state that I have never stated or ever claimed that I am the spokesperson for the NDC or that I speak for the party.”
“I remain a proud member of the NDC. My presence on the Starr Chat was, however, in my personal capacity on the occasion of the 2017 International Women’s Day.”
“In response to a question about the plans of HE John Mahama, I indicated that I had no discussions with him about contesting the next elections, and added that whether he contested the 2020 or the 2024 elections, he would still be a relatively young man and be able to contest.”
“The host of the show then interjected to ask whether that meant I ‘know the NPP will have eight years,’ to which I responded that it wouldn’t really matter because among others, that was the beauty of our democracy.”
She added, “The above cannot, by a stretch of anyone’s imagination, be a statement from me, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, that the NDC is not ready for 2020 or that I will be happy with an eight-year rule for the NPP.”