Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
It appears the camp of former President John Dramani Mahama is beginning to subtly take control of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
With the tacit support of some national executives, the loyalists, made up of mostly former appointees, who served under the ex-president, have succeeded in planting their cohorts in the various committees of the party that is overseeing its re-organization.
The situation has apparently incensed some NDC members of the grassroots who believe that the former president might not be the ideal candidate for the party for the 2020 presidential election.
They are fuming because they claim these same bigwigs have been indicted in the Prof Kwesi Botchwey Committee report.
According to them, Page 26-28 of the report contains names of all those whose actions and inactions caused the NDC’s humiliating defeat to the then opposition NPP last year, and it included some of those being put on sub-committees.
“They have been able to push the former president’s trusted lieutenants to head committee positions for the reorganization exercise, even though this same group of people was mentioned as contributing heavily to our disgraceful defeat on December 7, 2016,” an NDC source said.
According to the loyalists, Prof. Botchwey’s report had tasked the party’s leadership to assemble persons with ‘unquestionable’ backgrounds to spearhead the reorganization process, but it is turning out that the same old faces are doing the work.
"Former President Mahama is bent on doing everything possible to ensure that he becomes the NDC 2020 flagbearer. He wants to do it without any fierce competition. As we speak, he has managed to get his loyalists like Julius Debrah, Dzifa Ativor, Prosper Bani, Nana Oye Lithur, Omane Boamah and others, to take over committees formed to implement the report,” he claimed.
“These people were indicted by the report, so how can it be the same people who are being made to implement the report?" the source queried.
Matters came to a head last week when the Implementation Committee (IC) of the Prof Botchwey Committee, made up of respected NDC gurus like Kofi Totobi Quakyie, Nana Ato Dadzie, Kwame Peprah, among others, became aware that the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) had already set up sub-committees to commence work.
The source said that the FEC had formed sub-committees such as Women’s Affairs Committee, to be headed by Dzifa Aku Attivor, former Minister of Transport, with Nana Oye Lithur - former Minister of Gender and Social Protection - in support.
There is also the sub-committee for Welfare and Fundraising to be headed by former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah and former Interior Minister, Prosper K. Bani while Fonu Kpatakpa and Abigail Elorm Mensah are said to be heading the Committee on Youth.
Former Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, is believed to be in-charge of the Communications Committee.
The prominent Implementation Committee members allegedly became incensed because they persistently insisted that some of the persons listed as heading the sub-committees were people that the NDC grassroots do not want to encounter in the course of the reorganization exercise.
“Recently, FEC meeting ended abruptly because of disagreement over the inclusion of these people. Page 26 specifically mentioned their names as persons who contributed to our defeat. When this point was raised at the FEC meeting, it resulted in exchanges,” the source revealed.
According to the source, almost all those appointed to the sub-committees are also lacing their boots to contest for national positions when nominations open.
The source claimed, for instance, that Mr Julius Debrah would contest for the national chairman slot; Ms Dzifa Ativor, for national vice chairperson; Nana Oye Lithur, national women’s organizer; Mr Prosper Bani, Volta Regional chairman.
They are said to be doing it to consolidate their hold on the party so that Mr Mahama would have unfettered access to the flagbearership contest.
“Their real intentions are to use the committees to mend fences and jump into national position,” the source added.
According to the source, some of those appointed into the sub-committees are said to be campaigning vigorously at the FEC to get their names deleted from the Prof Botchwey report, adding that that had delayed the release of the report to the public.
To make that happen, some of the indicted bigwigs are said to have brokered a deal between some National Executives and the former President’s camp, with an understanding that the latter would fund the activities of the party, if they yielded to their dictates.
The source said those persons are pushing a proposal that after the constituency and regional elections, the party would conduct the flag bearer election before the national delegates’ congress to elect new national executives.
“They want to do this to dwarf the influence of Rawlings and the Ahwois in the party, but it won't work,” he charged.