Former President John Mahama
The former Consul to Dubai, Daniel Osei, has said that the decision by former President John Dramani Mahama to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 general elections is tearing the opposition party apart.
“This issue of former President Mahama’s return is currently the most divisive factor in NDC politics,” he noted in one of his dispatches following what he termed the skewing of party activities in favour of the former president at the expense of all those NDC stalwarts, who had declared their intentions to lead the party in 2020.
Mr. Osei, a former Consul General at Ghana’s mission in Dubai under President Mahama, said “The Kwesi Botchwey (KB) report, apology tour, appointees, ill-conceived chairmen endorsements, and all the other factors combined don’t come close to how divisive his return is.”
According to Mr. Osei, “The last election was a verdict on how well (or not) we lived up to our core values. The deep cut of the humiliating defeat we suffered at the 2016 polls and the historical margin of defeat reflects a total rejection we cannot sweep under the rug.”
He said that the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was able to mount a very effective campaign while the NDC displayed opulence and obscene use of money, insisting that “in the 2016 campaign we were grossly out-campaigned by the opposition on all fronts. Our messaging was off in many areas and sometimes simply, absent.
“I am particularly shocked by those executives who pretend as if we run a winning campaign and lost. Maybe they just don’t know any better. We did not run a winning campaign. Opulence and money was not enough and in many instances, very harmful to our cause.
“Our organizing did not exist and certainly our GOTV was very poor. Almost absent. Over-reliance on ‘the president has won already’ made us bankrupt of thinking. It’s time to put on our thinking caps. It’s time for a paradigm shift.”
He said the Cape Coast ‘unity walk’ was an opportunity to finally unite the rank and file of the NDC, but the Mahama camp blew that chance.
“Sadly, neither of these camps is helping us in terms of steps to improve our votes. The JM at all cost camp can’t see beyond the former president. They are not even willing to entertain any suggestion that he did or said anything wrong,” he pointed out.
According to Mr. Osei, who once contested and lost the Asante Akyem North seat on the ticket of the NDC, “I don’t blame the ‘JM by force’ group. At the base level, it’s very understandable. He is a very calm mannered and pleasant person. It’s easy to love him. At the appointees’ level, you can’t blame them because many had their major life-changing experience, as his appointees and did well for themselves and their families.”
He said there was the need for honest debate over whether or not former President John Mahama should be made the NDC’s flag bearer for the 2020 elections.
“It is not enough to be for or against the former president or any particular person. For those who want his return, it is important for their voices to be heard and their reasons discussed and analysed for substance. Equally, for those who don’t want him, there must be good reasons and those reasons must be put through serious thinking and analysis to help digest them for substance.
“The idea is for us to strengthen our debate to help make the best decision for the party. I don’t believe either side is totally wrong or totally right, but an honest discussion will help us reach a good consensus. There must be a civil and intelligent analysis to help us make the right decision.
“We can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. It is unpardonable that a party in power will sit and allow the opposition to feed us election results. This was possible because the party, seemingly strong, was rather very weak with clueless persons given important responsibilities.”
By William Yaw Owusu