The simmering tension and anger in the opposition NDC after its defeat last year does not appear to have been tamed by the formation of a committee to probe the humiliating loss.
Even before the committee comes out with its report, the finger pointing has resurrected with the NDC MP for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Bipoba Naabu blaming former President Mahama for the party’s electoral defeat.
” [Former Communications minister] Omane Boamah, what experience does he have in politics?” he said, adding he cannot win “even” a constituency election.
“But the President was listening to such people…that is why he lost so miserably, [and] so comfortably,” he told Adom News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Abednego Asante Asiedu Tuesday.
Kofi Adams on the defence
Earlier this week, the NDC’s 2016 elections Campaign Coordinator and National Organizer Kofi Adams sought to douse the flames by pointing to the silver lining in the agitations for the leadership to account for the monies meant for the 2016 campaign.
“I am quite happy [because] it shows the party is very strong and they [youth] are ready to bring the party to power immediately,” he said.
Boateng Gyan on the attack
But his predecessor disagrees. For Yaw Boateng Gyan, this is just a manifestation of the fact that there were more cracks in the NDC than there were in the NPP when it was in power.
Speaking on Abusua FM in Kumasi last Wednesday on a wide range of issues affecting the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan said, “believe me…the NDC was much more divided than the NPP but we pretended as if all was well and decided to talk about the NPP’s troubles.”
“People who dared to talk publicly about the party’s challenges were vilified and sidelined, how were we going to hear diverging opinions internally?” he asked.
“If we had paid attention to what people, our own party people, were saying, I am telling you the NDC wouldn’t have been in opposition by now,” he observed.
“The other issue has to do with the way and manner our people were talking to the electorate…very arrogant and disrespectful, how would we have appealed to the voters?” Mr. Boateng Gyan added.
“Kwame, some of us couldn’t talk because they said we had been voted out of the executive position of the party and so we shouldn’t talk…a lot of things went wrong.”
“The grassroots of the party were angry because they were not resourced to work for the party, rather outsiders and strangers were enjoying all the party’s resources for campaigns.”
“For example, common party billboards…the party had to send people from Accra to come to my hometown in Sunyani to erect billboards when our own local people could have been engaged, so they felt sidelined and so refused to contribute their energy to the campaign.”
“If you look at all these factors, must you be told that the party was deeply divided? ….we were even lucky the grassroots of the party didn’t rise up in anger against those sent from Accra to fix campaign materials at the local level,” he said.
Kwabena Agyei, Mark Woyongo weigh in
The dust appears not to be settling soon as a former chairman of the Party Dr.Kwabena Agyei appears to be muddying the waters even further.
Speaking on an Accra-based Starr FM, he noted that some leading members of the NDC deceived former president Mahama into thinking he was in a comfortable lead when everything showed he was losing that election.
Former Minister of Interior has also disclosed, Mahama’s leadership style contributed to the defeat. “I have my own reservations about Mahama’s leadership style but that is a personal issue,” he said on Ultimate FM.
He said, “I think the former president tried to satisfy a whole lot of people but it didn’t go the way it should have gone and I am not ready to talk about the issues in the media…as I indicated, I am waiting for the committee.”
“That notwithstanding, if the party people elect him as our flag bearer in the next elections, I will support him..in fact I will even want to see him leading the NDC in 2020 because he is already marketed and will easily be marketed another time,” Mark Woyongo added.
“I am waiting for the committee investigating our defeat and when they come around, I will raise my issues before them,” he added.
An NDC Vice Chairperson Anita Desoso however believes that the problem is with the sidelining of formal party structures in the lead up to the elections. She has said on Kasapa FM that several campaign groups mushroomed before the elections affected funding of the formal structures.
“After these groups were formed, the structures that are known to the party rather suffered as they were denied resources. They couldn’t perform to expectation because they lacked the needed resources”.
“The groups were rather benefitting as they went for funds from certain quarters, and while they were happy, the grassroots were complaining.
“Some of these groups could go to the Volta Region purporting to do campaigning but went there to speak English instead of the ewe language, how can you do such a campaign?”
While intra-party agitations often follow electoral defeats, leadership determines how soon a party stays in opposition or otherwise.