One major strength of the opposition National Democratic Congress against the New Patriotic Party has been their ‘indiscrimination’. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) pride themselves with being the most open-minded political party in Ghana, which accepts people from all kinds of backgrounds. The party was indeed founded on the socialist ideology. They appeal to the people on the grounds and those even with little or no education. One other thing that makes them stand tall is the opportunity they give to party members.
The National Democratic Congress has arguably nurtured more political giants than their competitors in the New Patriotic Party. How they brought Johnson Asiedu Nketiah who had little education to prominence and fame should be enough basis to buttress the point that NDC gives more opportunities than the NPP. They even gave Sammy Gyamfi, a national executive position, making him the youngest National political officer in Ghana.
The National Democratic Congress is a political party that has always preserved its ideologies and belief even if they don’t fall in line with the precept of modern democracy. The New Patriotic Party, on the other hand, would tell you they are working with rules and regulations even if those rules are not making them popular or politically smart. I am putting the two parties’ side-by-side and their decisions.
During Former President Jerry John Rawlings’ regime, he appointed a rather political novice as a running mate. Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills served as a vice president for one term that is from 1997 to 7th January 2001, when they handed over power to the New Patriotic Party’s John Agyekum Kuffour. The National Democratic Congress (NDC), just like their colleagues in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) could have opened nominations for all members in the party with good standing to pick-up forms and file to contest. The leader who is also the founder of the party, Jerry John Rawlings did not allow for a contest in their 1999 National Delegates Congress.
That has gained a popular political cliché (The Famous Swedro Declaration). They imposed the vice president, Prof. J.E.A Mills on the party as the flagbearer of the party for the 2000 general elections. That, of course, did not go down well with some of the party stalwarts, and there were breakouts from the party. A cadre, Goosie Tandoh formed his political party in the same elections and contested with New Patriotic Party, and his own National Democratic Congress. The point here is not to say parties should not allow contest but rather should be principled and protect some people in the interest of the party. The same thing happened after professor Mills finally got the nod the serve at the high office of the president. He worked with John Dramani Mahama as the vice president until he, unfortunately, died while in office.
By the laws of the Republic, the vice president takes over and serve the unexpired term of the president. John Dramani Mahama became the president from July to December 2012. The National Democratic Congress simply acclaimed him as the flagbearer without any internal contest. He delivered a victory for them amidst a lot of controversies. That very election ended up in the Supreme Court of the land.
The New Patriotic Party, on the hand, does not believe in this principle. In 2008 when the eight-year tenure of former president John Agyekum Kuffour was coming to an end, the New Patriotic Party needed to choose a new flag bearer. Many political observers thought they would have allowed the vice president, H.E. Alhaji Aliu Mahama to succeed his boss simply. Of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate to force a vice president to take over as flag bearer when he doesn’t desire. Still, it will be politically okay to allow him to take over when he has the presidential ambition. The NPP shockingly opened a contest for seventeen (17) presidential aspirants. That slimed the chances of the vice president of becoming the successor. In fact, he was not even among the top five candidates.
The National Democratic Congress said it was because he (Aliu Mahama) came from the Northern Region. They said the New Patriotic Party would never allow a Northerner to be their Flagbearer. They could only use them as running mate for votes and dump them after that. This opinion was rehashed by the Former President John Dramani Mahama when he visited the Overlord of Mamprugu in 2016. He told them to vote for him since he is aspiring to be a driver and Dr Bawumia is aspiring to a be mate.
He has ever told Dr. Bawumia to be careful if he thinks he could be a presidential candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party.
This is the very reason why the NPP has to redeem themselves by proving their opponents wrong. They also need to erase the anti northern tag that is costing them some votes by replacing Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo with Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in the 2024 General Election.
The question still remains: Would the NPP allow Dr. Bawumia to be the presidential candidate should circumstances call for a new person to replace Nana Addo? Or would Bawumia be allowed to lead the party in 2024 elections should Nana Addo win the 2020 election and end his tenure? Share your views with Ghanaians in the comment box below.