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Friday, March 24, 2023

Three Decades of Democratic Progress – NDC on the Cusp of History in 2024

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will hold its national delegates’ congress today, Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th December 2022 at the Accra Stadium.

This weekend’s event will be the 10th since the formation of this enviable political party on the philosophy of its inspirational and charismatic founder, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings whose mantra of probity and accountability separates the NDC from its political opponents.

The Congress is enshrined in Article 20(1-3) of the NDC Constitution which establishes Congress as the highest decision-making body. It further mandates that it ought to be convened every four (4) years by the General Secretary acting in the direction of the National Executive Committee.

The essence of this constitutional provision and others in the NDC Constitution is geared toward the promotion of discipline, orderliness, and contestation of ideas.

The overarching objective is for the development and strengthening of internal structures to ensure cohesion, unity, consolidation of the gains made and for consensus building in a multiparty democratic environment.

The NDC has not hidden its philosophy as a centre-left political party. Its ideological orientation is firmly captured in article five (5) of the NDC Constitution which states “The party is a Social Democratic Party that believes in the equality and the egalitarian treatment of all persons irrespective of their social, cultural, educational, political, religious and economic relations in a multi-party environment”.

The added impetus is that the NDC is not only a social democratic party but a Congress which attracts like a magnet the ordinary people and people of like minds to its fold.

As a Congress, it is an amalgam which truly accommodates all shades of people and opinions devoid of status, class, ethnicity, religion, creed and race.

In today’s event, about 9000 accredited delegates drawn from rank and file of the party are expected to elect national officers to run the party for the next four years. It is an onerous responsibility to be placed on their shoulders.

And this election will be done by the stakeholders – the true owners of the NDC, that is, the grassroots. But who are these grassroots? They are the ones who derive their mandate from the men and women across the 275 constituencies across the length and breadth of this country.

They will consist of NDC party executives at all levels – national, regional and constituency as well as NDC executives in the party’s overseas branches.

Also expected to vote at the two–day event will be the Council of Elders of the Party, NDC Members of Parliament (MPs), former appointees of the NDC administration comprising Ministers and deputy ministers of state, presidential staffers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) among others.

Aside the constitutionally mandated delegates who will be voting at the Congress, there is no doubt that the party faithful across the country will also be there to provide moral support.
Ghanaians will have the benefit of witnessing observers, party affiliates and established networks gracing the occasion.

A key feature of such monumental occasions is the presence of service providers. Their task is to take advantage of the large presence and concentration of humans in one location through the sale of party paraphernalia, catering and other relevant services.

In practical terms, the NDC’s attributes as a grass root party has seen it increase its support base. The benefit of such a phenomenal growth has been the continuous expansion of its democratic structures.

There is empirical evidence of growth in party membership and affiliation and its attendant enthusiasm among the rank and file to seek positions.

Typical of any genuine organic institution, the steady increase and growth being experienced by the NDC has been translating into the expansion of its Electoral College.

Importantly, today’s Congress has been preceded by the women and youth elections in Cape Coast on 10th December 2022.

The election of the women and youth wing of the party prior to the main Congress this weekend is the outcome of pragmatic political reforms by a hands-on political party with a tunnel vision of developing and building a solid political structure.

In today’s event, apart from the Communications Officer, Mr Sammy Gyamfi who is going unopposed, 82 aspirants made up of both incumbents and ‘freshers’ will be contesting for 14 national offices as enshrined in Article 20 of the NDC Constitution.

Out of this legion of aspirants, two of the party’s stalwarts, the incumbent Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and the longest serving General Secretary. Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia are vying for the topmost position of Chairman.

There are two other party stalwarts contesting for the same slot – Mr Ashitey Armah, former Member of Parliament and Greater Accra Minister and Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei.

For the Vice Chairmanship position are eight aspirants, whiles two former Ministers, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah and Mr Fiifi Fiavi F. Kwetey and one of the incumbent Deputy General Secretaries, Dr Peter Boamah Otokuor contest for the General Secretary position.

The Deputy General Secretary position is another vacant space for eight aspirants, including an incumbent Lawyer Barbara Serwaa Asamoah to fight for. Seven for National Organizer and four contestants for the Deputy National Organizer position.

The party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi as indicated earlier has no contestant.

However, for the Deputy National Communication Officer position there are three new contestants who are challenging the incumbent national deputy communications officers – Kwaku Boahene and Godwin Arko Gun.

Other positions being contested for are the Zongo Caucus Co-ordinator while 19 aspirants are vying for the five National Executive positions.

As part of the Congress to elect national officers, the party will also use the occasion to receive approve reports and policy recommendations proposed by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

They will consider the audited accounts for the party for the preceding year presented by NEC, consider proposals for constitutional reforms or for the reforms of the standing orders as well as approve the creation of integral organs of the party other than those stated in the constitution. All these activities/functions are contained in Article 21 of the party’s Constitution.

What will make the NDC Congresses memorable is the usual messianic appeal that their party anthem will generate. Frankly, it is a moving force behind the NDC and its guiding light which when played send the party faithful and even non-adherents into a state of frenzy. Here are the lyrics:

Arise, arise for Ghana!
Ye patriots of the land
Towards secure future
Development our goal
From victory unto victory
The NDC shall lead
A stable democracy, Ghana
Our strength in unity.

From victory unto victory
The NDC shall lead
A stable democracy, Ghana
Our strength in unity.

This anthem has a spiritual and elemental power behind it. It evokes emotions and passion and can send even the most ardent critic of the NDC into ecstasy.

While the anthem will reverberate across the Congress grounds, the media – the Fourth Estate, will also be there to add zest to the fanfare when their microphones pick the lyrics and this sound engineering masterpiece of the late Jewel Ackah.

As the NDC political zealots sing and dance to the rhythm they should pay homage to the venerable Kofi Totobi Quakyi for composing the song. In fact, it was his ingenuity and maybe his Methodist Church background/Wesleyan faith might have inspired him for coming out with this piece of creative work.

Finally, as has become of the NDC tradition, this National Delegates Congress will come off with its own elegance, euphoria and merry-making.

It will reminisce the maiden Congress in Cape Coast in 1992 when the Great NDC political machine was launched. Just as the nostalgic 1992 Cape Coast event which had the hallmark of a triumphant entry enacted by the veritable J.J. Rawlings, this forthcoming event is expected to generate its own brand of appeal.

After 30 years of restoring constitutional multiparty democracy to Ghana, history is on the side of the NDC to rise to the occasion. And for those who will be elected this Saturday, there is great expectation and hope that after the Congress they will put on their battle dress for victory 2024.The clarion call is to save Ghana, our motherland from the economic mess into

which it has been plunged by the conservatives and so-called property-owning aristocrats.



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