Arrogance, corruption caused NDC’s defeat – Report

Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, Chairman of the NDC Elections Review Committee

Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2016 General Election due to arrogance, corruption, neglect and show of power, the yet-to-be released Kwesi Botchwey report has said.

According to the report, until the NDC rids itself of these vices, it will be difficult for the party to win any future elections in the country.

The NDC after its defeat in the 2016 election set up a 13-member committee chaired by the longest-serving Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, to find out what caused the party’s poor performance at the polls, and how the party can return to winning ways.

And although the committee has finished its work, the report, which is still not out, however, cited by Today, notes that Ghanaians rejected the NDC in the last election “because they saw that some appointees of the governing party were insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.”

The 67-page report, which did not mince words, underscored the need for the NDC to have a credible leadership who will selflessly champion the cause of the party.

“The concern of the party supporters is to have leaders who will share in their sorrows and fight for the cause of the party even at the peril of their lives,” the report said.

It points out that the credibility of some leading members of the party who were part of the various campaign teams of the party was in doubt as their interest was to enrich their pockets and not to help the party retain power, hence the call for a change in leadership.

For instance, the committee bemoaned the situation where some party regional executives while on campaign tour in the various constituencies in their respective regions, particularly in Ashanti and Western Regions, were caught in hotels with their girl friends, allegedly spending monies which were meant for campaign.

The committee was also not happy how resources for the NDC’s campaign were distributed, noting that it played a key role in the party’s humiliating electoral defeat in 2016.

According to the report, only few people who were close to the corridors of power were resourced, while the rest were left to run their own campaign, a situation the committee asserted, affected the electoral fortunes of the party.

“There was no equity in the distribution of logistics and sharing of money for the campaign,” the report stressed.

What the committee found more worrying was how some party national; regional and constituency executives dubiously used the party’s name to solicit for funds from some corporate institutions and individuals in the country with the promise of giving them contracts if the party was retained.

Meanwhile, the report makes it clear that those alleged to have received monies from corporate institutions using the name of the part must be made to account for such monies.

It, therefore, recommended that monies and resources for any future electioneering campaign team of the party should be disbursed by the party’s national treasurer for the sake of accountability.

The report further recommended that a centralised committee chaired by the national treasurer be set up for every national election to raise funds for the party.

In view of this, the committee asked that all those who were put in charge of any of the various campaign teams should be made to render accounts.

That, the report said, will help reduce the anger in some supporters and members of the party who still think that their leaders embezzled campaign funds.

How former President John Dramani Mahama who was the NDC’s 2016 flag-bearer also handled some alleged corrupt scandals that hit his government, the committee said, had serious repercussions on the party’s electoral fortunes.

The report, for example, cites cases including the bus branding, Brazil 2014 debacle, SADA among other corrupt scandals that were badly handled.

Also, sheer arrogance and show of power by some appointees of government and the party communicators, the report further noted, dealt a deadly blow to the NDC.

According to the committee, the electorate were annoyed with government over excessive use of power and the magnitude of which some party communicators exhibited their arrogance anytime the Mahama government was criticised.

It mentioned Stan Dogbe, Koku Anyidoho, Asiedu Nketia, Twum Boafo, Kofi Adams, Fred Agbenyo, Alhaji Bature, Samson Arhin, Kwaku Boahen and some celebrities as NDC members whose arrogance and insults contributed to the NDC’s abysmal performance in last year’s election.

“The clergy, civil society groups and respectable persons in the country were not spared of the insults and abuse by government spokespersons and the party communicators,” the report said.

It attributed the problem to immaturity and inexperience on the part of those who handled former President Mahama, and recommended that any future presidential candidate of the NDC should be handled by experienced people.