Source: Class FM Online - The loss of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 elections was not only a defeat but a rejection, hence the party needs a new leader for successive elections, private legal practitioner Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo has stated.
Mr Addo, a staunch supporter of the NDC, was of the view that former President John Mahama, despite his infrastructural projects across the country, was rejected so a different flag bearer must be elected for the 2020 elections.

For him, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is the right candidate to lead the party into the 2020 elections.

“I have declared my support for Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah. I think he has the qualities to lead. He has not declared his intention yet, but I have openly advocated a change. He (former President Mahama) has done what he can do,” he told Umaru Sandah on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday, April 15.

Mr Mahama, who met with former government appointees under his administration, recently refuted criticisms that inexperienced individuals in government are to blame for the party’s defeat.

But the lawyer insisted “there is a difference between the government and the party (NDC)”, hence young people who are in government may not necessarily be effective in planning and executing strategies to win an election.

Mr Samoa was of the view that an election is a different terrain which needs experienced people to guide the president and execute winning strategies, but such personnel were absent in the NDC’s campaign team prior to the 2016 elections.

“The party and the party structure were complaining that the persons who have surrounded the former president were not experienced enough, were not politically savvy enough to be able to drive and win an election,” he said.

He pointed out that there “are things that you can only learn by experience, you may have the best capabilities, but there are certain tricks and capabilities that need a certain level of political maturity” and the ex-president should have been able to separate the government from the party.

Mr Samoah indicated that there are lessons that the NDC would have to learn from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in order to win future elections.

“They (the NPP) made a distinction between the party and the government. The party is always supreme, so when Nana Addo wants to do something he brings it to the party for approval because there is a reason for that,” he added.

Mr Samoa also condemned the practice of having party leadership as part of the executive arm of government because they become “compromised” and are unable to constructively criticise the president.

He stated: “They can’t look the man in the face and tell him that ‘Sir, what you are doing is wrong.’”

He revealed that some of the NDC members who were part of the legislature were board members of some state bodies with “perks that come with being in government…how then do you look in the face of the president and tell him that [with the issue of] bus branding, ‘you need to prosecute these people because it is killing the image of the party’”.

Mr Samoa said he would advocate that party leaders desist from having positions in government when the party wins power in the future.

“If you want to serve the party, serve in the party and if you want to serve in government, go and be part of government,” he concluded.

He emphasised that many things went wrong which led to the party’s loss and “it is only people beyond his immediate circle who can sit him down and tell him”.

However, “if he continues to defend and listen to those people [in his circle], he will find it difficult to win any national election in this country”.

Using former President Jerry John Rawlings as an example, Mr Samoa said: “There were people in Rawlings’ government who were able to tell him…there were people like General Quainoo and the rest who were able to redirect President Rawlings when he came in the ’80s.

“He was the hardcore Castro-like person who wanted to send Ghana to the Cuba kind of revolution, but there were certain people like Kojo Tsikata and others who were able to persuade him and changed his orientation to accept Western economic programmes.”

 


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