The former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has described the current state of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a ‘broken down vehicle’ that needs serious repairs before it can get to the road again.
Spio, who is among several NDC chieftains like former President John Mahama, former Rector of UPSA, Joshua Alabi and former NHIA boss, Sylvester Mensah, eyeing the NDC flagbearership slot, believes that the damage caused to the party in the 2016 elections should be addressed before the party can tread on a winning path.
“The situation in our party is really one of building the party and letting it recover from a very severe electoral loss. It is just like driving a very good car and the car has an accident and it needs to be fixed; so the first thing you want to do is take it to the mechanic and let the electricians do their work, check the transmission, take care of the brakes, the shock absorbers, then when the car is in a good condition, almost any driver can drive it and potentially bring it to the victory line,” he stated on Citi Fm yesterday.
The former minister under John Mahama’s administration explained that the process of fixing the broken down vehicle is through the Kwesi Botchwey fact finding committee probing why the party lost miserably to the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) by more than one million votes.
“… If the car has broken down and you put the best driver in the car, the car cannot move and the car will certainly not win a race; so our concentration now is to help the Kwesi Botchwey committee and the party secretariat,” he indicated.
He said the reason for the massive defeat of the NDC cannot be left to speculations. “There is a committee of very fine brains going round to collate concerns and when they file their report we will all see where they claim or think the problems went,” Ekwow Spio-Garbrah noted.
President John Mahama was defeated by the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the December 7 election in what many have described as the worst performance put up by a sitting president in an election.
The NDC, upon agitations by the party activists, set up a 13-member committee to identify what caused the party’s loss and make useful suggestions.
The Kwesi Botchwey committee however, took a strong exception to a report that it has concluded its work and released a final report.
The committee said the supposed report is a “sick and malicious ‘April fool’s’ joke” and must be treated with contempt.
A statement issued in Accra and purportedly signed by Dr Botchwey said, “Our attention has been drawn to a news item that has been trending on social media platforms and purporting to be a report of the Election Review Committee chaired by me.
“The said publication is an obvious ‘April fool’s’ day prank that is also intended to cause mischief. The committee has not finished its work and has issued NO report of any sort. I urge everybody to treat the said publication as what it is – a rather sick and malicious ‘April fool’s’ joke.”
The report had claimed that the committee had indicted ex-President Mahama for causing the NDC’s defeat on December 7, 2016.
It had claimed that bad governance of John Dramani Mahama was the main cause of the party’s defeat and had said the then president cared less about Ghanaians, adding that “John Dramani Mahama’s intolerance and desire to enrich himself overnight was a factor.”
It also said, “The arrogance of some members of the party was a factor. Especially, Kwaku Boahen, Kofi Adams, Solomon Nkansah, Felix Kwakye Fosu, Stan Dogbe, among others. They never respected the Ghanaian voter and thought they could use propaganda to win an election.”
“John Dramani Mahama gave party resources meant for the elections to his cronies instead of the constituency executives. For instance, an amount of GH¢20 million was given to the so-called ‘Doves for Mahama’ for reasons best known to the former president. This was unwise and waste of tax payer’s monies.”
The false report had also claimed that “Lordina Mahama’s involvement in the party’s affairs was a major factor,” and added, “She arrogated to herself some powers she did not have. Her control over appointments was a disaster.”
Interestingly, the committee is still soliciting views from the various constituencies and is due to meet party members in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in Accra.
A notice signed by Dan K. Narh, Constituency Secretary asked, “Constituency Executives, Branch Executives, Polling Agents, Candidates who lost National Election, Candidates who lost Parliamentary Primaries, Candidates who lost Regional Executive Elections, Candidates who lost Constituency Executive Elections,” to meet at Alhaji Moro Baba Issah’s Hall (Kawukudi) on April 5, 2017 at 10 am.
The notice pointed out, “The Committee will meet 50 from the Constituency,” adding that “All those willing to meet the Committee should kindly submit their names to the Secretary by 4th April, 2017.”
It (Committee) has been having torrid times in some constituencies as it continues to do its work.
Some agitated party foot soldiers continue to vent their spleen on their executives who have participated in the Committee’s meetings, often disrupting some of the programmes.
By William Yaw Owusu