Dela Coffie writes: Ohene Agyekum, and Ashanti Elders must stay off Duffuor’s politics

Dr Kwabena Duffuor,
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The ‘war’ in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has begun. For one side, John Dramani Mahama must run for the forthcoming presidential primaries unopposed. For the other, there ought to be, not just a contest, but one that satisfy the tenets of intra-party democracy.

Wherever you stand on the divide, you should be outraged at the thought of imposition – the thought of Mahama getting a free pass and imposing himself on the NDC for election 2024. Which is why I’m having none of the nonsense going on in the Ashanti Region at the moment.

The elders of the Ashanti NDC chapter led by Daniel Ohene Agyekum and Samuel Sarpong are busily engaging in a behind-the-scenes antics to get Mahama imposed on the NDC.

A few days ago, these so-called party elders circulated a memo among themselves, to the effect that membership of the council of Elders are to meet to plot against Dr Kwabena Duffuor and discuss John Mahama’s imposition on the party.

The most telling excerpts quoted from the circular is here;

“Please I have been asked to convene an emergency Elders Meeting to meet delegates from the office of the National Secretary and delegates from the office of the former President, JDM, at 11am on Thursday, 19, May, 2022 at Ambassador Ohene Agyekum’s residence.”

I couldn’t put my finger on what it was the circular above reminded me of, but then it has exposed the evil machinations of Ohene Agyekum and friends. What exactly do they mean by delegates from the office of the National Secretary and delegates from the office of the former President, JDM?

You see the charade? In a political organisation where the rules works, party elders play neutral role in internal elections, but for the likes of Ohene Agyekum, the former president holds the keys to the NDC’s most animated voters and as such, they’re scheming and threatening to have him imposed on the the party for their self-seeking political expediency – This clearly speaks of political incestuous relationship.

The fact remains that these guys are absolutely blind and deaf to what is happening around them, and merely focused on imposing Mahama on the NDC.

It’s all so bloody exhausting. They don’t want a contest and so they’re engaging in political masturbation to feel good about themselves and their tin god.

In reality, like everything else, we can’t be seen to be endorsing imposition of Mahama at the expense of our collective good, and the obvious infractions of the constitutional and institutional provisions that regulate internal party democracy – We can’t turn democracy on its head or watch it become a purge,  threat or intimidation.

We’ve felt the consequences of short-sighted political decision-making by Mr Mahama when he had the chance to lead the NDC.

The idea that the solutions to NDC’s electoral problems lie in Mahama has been prevalent in the party for six years. We’ve been through two elections with him, but the NDC is yet to stumble upon its Moses in Mahama.

It’s also worth reflecting that the electoral malaise that has afflicted the NDC since 2016 is simply the doings of Mahama. There can not be any narrative other than the fact that he took the party from government into opposition. Putting it in any other way would mean that we’re endorsing a crisis of leadership where “the old is dying but the new cannot be born.”

Truth is, you can’t polish a turd. Mahama with his well-rehearsed flaws can’t do the trick for the NDC – Everyone outside the crazed dystopian Mahama bubble knows this. Even many inside knows it, but they’re are long past caring.

It is the desire to see the manifestation of social justice, progressive and inclusive politics that calls for proven performers like Dr Duffuor to follow politics as keenly as the latest football scores – Duffuor’s imminent announcement of his presidential bid has the Mahama bloc utterly panicked. They are paralysed by cognitive dissonance – they want Duffuor to be forced out of the contest, but they also know that this will be suicidal to the NDC.

Now more than ever, our political tradition and the NDC grassroots needs elected leaders to live, breathe and feel their hopes, ambitions, and even their fears.

The NDC has a golden opportunity to follow through on its reputation as the party of equality and egalitarianism.

Let me be clear and say this ought not be about the gluttonous self indulgence of Mahama. It ought to be about ensuring our political leaders and institutions better represent our collective aspirations as a people, and that we are not taken for granted and used as fodder in internal party disputes.

People like me, and any thinking observer will rightly question what Mahama have to offer after leading the NDC from government into opposition, with two consecutive election defeats, and how his failures reflect our values as the party of Rawlings. A serious question will be: what exactly does Mahama have to offer that we haven’t seen already in his first stint with governance? Mahama and his hand-wringing enablers must have an answer to these questions to build trust and connection with dissenters in the NDC, not only for the forthcoming election but for the future.

Any body or a candidate interested in an elective office should be given the opportunity to test his popularity within the party by a democratically – conducted primaries which will produce the most popular candidate for the election proper. Anything short of this is a total detour from democratic norms and principles. 

We cannot continue to tread on a path that locks us into an oppositionalist stance and in doing so places us into a sealed tomb of our own making.

Instead, the NDC must work constructively to open up the party, while organising to remove the cultist tendencies that inhibited its success.

Ohene Agyekum and his likes must stay clear off Dr Kwabena Duffuor.

I shall be back

Source: Dela Coffie, NDC activist

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