Barring any hitches, Ghana’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will go to the polls on December 17 to elect its national officers.
On that day, eighty-three (83) aspirants will vie for the various positions in the party to serve a term of four years in office. This will also serve as the prelude for the party’s Flag-bearer elections in the first quarter of 2023.
Since the infamous 2005 NDC National Congress in Koforidua, during which Dr Obed Asamoah was denied the opportunity to serve a second term as the party’s National Chairman in an election characterised by chaos and violence, successive national elections of the NDC have been held in an atmosphere of peace and orderliness. I believe that the NDC did an internal review of the Koforidua debacle and took a cue of that sordid past development. Kudos to the NDC for holding its national elections in tranquility since the Koforidua one.
However, this peaceful path the NDC has pursued after the events of Koforidua appears to being ruptured as a result of the personal ambition of Mr. Asiedu Nketia a.k.a General Mosquito. No one is advocating for a no contest for party positions. But when an incumbent General Secretary of a party decides to wrestle power from his incumbent Party National Chairman, it doesn’t bode well for party unity and cohesion. It smells and stinks to the high heavens and shakes the very foundation of the party.
It is well known in party circles that, Asiedu Nketia has long had a coveted eye for the party’s National Chairmanship in a bid to get it as a bargaining chip for his running mate position or Flag-bearer political ambitions. In the run-up to the 2020 general elections, in fact, General Mosquito had lobbied to be the running mate of the NDC Presidential Candidate John Dramani Mahama, but for the dramatic announcement of John Dramani’s preferred choice—Professor Nana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, Mr Asiedu Nketia could have been harmful to the party in its search for the running-mate. The selection of the running-mate and the subsequent announcement came as a thunderbolt to General Mosquito who had all along thought he could be the ace-card.
The Man Mr Asiedu Nketia has been heard elsewhere saying that “his decision to wrestle with the incumbent Chairman, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo is borne out of his desire to reposition the NDC for victory in 2024 and his contest for the position will rather unite and strengthen the party! Hear him!!General Mosquito’s frantic quest for political leadership in the NDC knows no limit. He sees himself as the repository of knowledge and that, he is the master of all that he surveys. Meanwhile, he leaves his tracks uncovered.
In his hasty quest to become the Flagbearer of the NDC in the year 2028, he doesn’t care if the NDC wins or not in the 2024 general elections. For him, so long as he becomes Chairman in the upcoming elections, God forbid, he will then be able to flex his muscles in any negotiations for him to be the Flag-bearer in 2028 or the running-mate in 2024. He will use his country-wide tours in the 2024 campaign trail to further his ambition. It’s for this reason that he chooses to rock the boat at the time that Ghanaians are clamoring for a total defeat of the NPP and the Government headed by visionless Nana Akufo-Addo and directionless Dr Mahamadu Barwumiah in the 2024 general elections by the NDC.
To say the least, General Mosquito ‘s decision to contest the incumbent Chairman while he is the General Secretary serving under him is unethical which doesn’t have a precedence in the 30 years history of the NDC. It smacks off greed and selfishness.
Secondly, his claim that he decided to wrestle with the incumbent Chairman of the NDC is borne out of his desire to reposition the NDC for victory in 2024 is hogwash and can’t fly in the face of cogent factors considering how he has managed the NDC for the past 17 years as Chief Executive, that the party has been under his watch!
What can he do as Party Chairman in 2 years before elections which he didn’t do for the 17 years that he has served as the party’s General Secretary? What transformational policies did he roll out during the period close to two decades as the Chief Executive of the NDC? One can only see him as a desperate person who wants to cover up some of his shortcomings as General Secretary of the party.
One sad observation about Mr. Asiedu Nketia is that he also has a false sense of entitlement. If it is not me, then no one else.
This is someone who on his own volition, abandoned his constituents in his constituency in the then Brong Ahafo Region and became religiously attached to the Founder of the NDC, Flight Lt JJ Rawlings and his spouse for whatever his intention was. For sure, he got some favours politically to launch his game for national recognition which culminated in his election to the position of General Secretary of the NDC in the fateful Koforidua Congress.
He exploited his relationship with the late Founder JJ Rawlings and his spouse, Mrs Agyemang Rawlings. Asiedu Nketia rode on the back of the unsuspecting Rawlingses to glory and fame in the chaotic and violence-prone Congress in Koforidua in 2005. In-spite of the overwhelming support and assistance to become the General Secretary of the NDC, General Mosquito unbelievably, made a 360 degrees u-turn on his benefactors, J. J. Rawlings and his spouse and sometimes treated them with scorn. It’s on record that at a public event at the Accra Arts Centre, General Mosquito described the Founder of the NDC as “a barking dog” whose nauseating conduct scared away intimate friends of the pet owner and therefore it was no longer a desirable option for the owner to keep it. That was the lowest point of the kind of relationship that was between the Rawlingses and Asiedu Nketia. A case if ingratitude.
Asiedu Nketia did all this with a zeal and a mind of becoming the foremost power-broker in the NDC whose word becomes the final say in the party. All this in preparation for his agenda to be the running mate in 2024 or Flag-bearer of the NDC in 2028.
Today Asiedu Nketia in his bid to achieve the ultimate goal he wants to unseat his incumbent Chairman who happens to be a Twi-speaking Akan whom he sees as the only obstacle in his way to attain his diabolical agenda, regardless of what happens to party unity and cohesion at the time that all hands must be on the deck to take power from the underperforming and corruption-ridden government of Akufo-Addo and his vice president Dr Mahammadu Bawumia.
God forbid, if he were to succeed in his frantic bid for the party’s Chairman in the upcoming elections, he would only use campaign tours next year to further his ambition and to go all out and prepare the grounds for his Presidential ambitions for 2028. He will make no effort to canvas for the party and the Presidential Candidate in 2024. Such is the character of the person seeking to become the Chairman of the NDC which is bent on assuming the reins of government come December 2024
When one is doubtful of the out-going General Secretary’s performance as an administrator, the person should just take a walk to the NDC national headquarters in Adabraka and find out how Asiedu Nketia relates with the staff.
Under his watch as the Chief Executive of the party, close to ten members of staff have died due to frustration as a result of the lack of good service conditions. A typical example was his administrative personal assistant, Kisiedu who died as a pauper. May his soul have a peaceful rest in the bosom of his Maker. Some other staff who died in such a pitiful manner include, WOII Jacob Bonney, Kofi Adika, WOI Francis Tenakyi, Diana Sakey, Agustine Tettey, WOI Adom Seth. Even though the General Secretary has resources available to him every month, he cares less for the staff. They are reduced to pitiful sights and have become beggars with a penchant for asking for alms from whoever enters the NDC headquarters
As a result of this habit of his administrative staff, officers of the party find it difficult to go to the headquarters to do their legitimate job. The staff are under-paid and hardly get their monthly salaries while the General Secretary turns his mind away from their plight. This same General Secretary who is the cause of the misery that prevails at the regional, constituency, zones branches and wards levels of the NDC now wants another opportunity to lord it over them. He does not allow the resources available to him to percolate to the party structures at the bottom. He is only interested in himself and nobody else. It’s alleged that he is the only executive officer at the Headquarters of the NDC who earns monthly salary aside from payment made to him by the Parliamentary Service Board.
And this is the man who has come out to say that he should be given the chance to become the Chairman of the NDC?
The damage he has done to the fortunes of the NDC is not enough for him and he wants to do the maximum destruction to the party when he by default has been made the NDC Chairman by our thumbs?
Considering, the need to kick out the corruption-ridden and inept administration of the current leaders of the country, the NDC must select or retain the incumbent Chairman, in their upcoming National Executive Elections scheduled for December 17, 2022 if the party wants to win the 2024 general elections.
It will be suicidal to entrust the fortunes of the NDC to Asiedu Nketia a.k.a General Mosquito with barely twenty-four months to the national elections whose stock in trade is comical gestures and inappropriate responses to serious national issues on platforms which otherwise would have been utilized to advance the cause of the NDC. He is not a unifier and he enjoy to inflict hardship on party members who he thinks may not be on his side for his parochial interest. This is not the time to elect Asiedu Nketia as NDC National Chairman. He had 17 years of uninterrupted reign as the general secretary i.e. Chief Executive of the NDC with all the support necessary to have transformed the party into a viable institution unsurpassed by any other party in the country with the towering figure of the late Founder, Flt. Jerry John Rawlings and other notable political figures behind him.
He cannot use two (2) years to reposition the NDC for victory in 2024.
His decision to contest his incumbent chairman in the December 17 NDC national election is therefore not based on sound political judgement. It has the potential to lead into party implosion with dire consequences.
Write-up by Nester Hoeyi, Former Editor of the Ghanaian Democrat Newspaper and Press & Protocol Officer, NDC Headquarters, Accra