NDC Moves To Maul Mills 80 Dissidents Target Gang of Five
All is not quiet in the land of the umbrella.
The leadership and members of the National Democratic Congress are on a collision course with President Mills over what they see as a betrayal by the man they helped assume office, despite several promptings for him to do the right thing.
The party members are particularly aggrieved that the President has surrounded himself with men and women who are not proven party people but are reaping where they have not sown.
At a meeting Tuesday called by party chairman Kwabena Adjei at the quiet Royal Ravico Hotel in Nungua, owned by a left-leaning politician, several dozen leading members of the ruling National Democratic Congress, including leading members of the Majority in Parliament and a number of Ministers of State met to plan a 'coup.'
The Statesman"s sources say the 80 odd 'dissidents', the tip of a growing group, are up in arms against the power being wielded over President Mills and the fortunes of the NDC by the men nicknamed the Gang of Five, made up of Jerry John Rawlings's former Prime Minister PV Obeng, former National Security Advisor Totobi Quakyi, the two visible Ahwois, Kwamena and Ato and alternatively former security capo Kojo Tsikata and newly minted chairman of the Council of State Kofi Awoonor.
They are particularly angered by the presence of P V Obeng and Kwamena Ahwoi, who reportedly abandoned the party in the hard times but are now happily enjoying the trappings of power.
Indeed, Kwamena Ahwoi publicly announced his retirement from active politics and took up a teaching appointment, while Mr Obeng "treated the party with disdain when we called on him for assistance,' the source said.
The powerful mix of what our sources said represented the political interests of the Dzelukope Mafia and the Fante Confederacy, the group feared, had an agenda to sideline party interests for private, cronyist and group aggrandizement, contrary to NDC party philosophy and dictates.
The recent appointment of Kofi Awoonor as Council of State Chairman was no accident, but is meant to have a firmer grip on the President, they insist.
Fuming with rage, the Dissident Eighty did not understand why the President would ignore the party machine and pick appointees from lists the Gang of Five rather than that of the NDC as a party provided.
The appointments committee set up by the party was just a smokescreen, with the final choices made by the Gang of Five, our sources say.
As far as they are concerned, moderates Alex Segbefia, Valerie Sawyer and Martey Newman, whilst they are party people, are not conversant with the grounds.
They cannot therefore represent party interests from that position. There is therefore nothing the Gang of Five and JEA Mills can defend.
After the appointment of Ministers and their deputies, the salacious jobs and appointments can be found in SSNIT, TOR, COCOBOD and the emerging oil industry.
As far as the 80 understood, the exclusive right of appointing people into positions in such privileged areas lay with the Gang of Five alone - with Mills' hands tied to his back.
Already, PV Obeng is said to have penciled himself in as Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, while his cronies are being appointed onto mouthwatering positions on other boards.
Ghapoha This 'breach of natural justice' and party arrangements will be fought to the hilt, according to the 80, who argue that Kojo Tsikata apart, the rest were mere spectators on the field in the last elections. Rawlings, they added, won the day b ycampaigning, whilst Kojo T provided the purse and magical figures that catapulted the NDC to victory.
'PV Obeng, Totobi Quakyi, Kwamena Ahwoi and Ato Ahwoi played no significant roles…They were not visible…Kwamena at a point indicated he had resigned from the party and joined the academic board of GIMPA giving lectures as paid lecturer.'
Mills, they are persuaded, is aware of this fact and so cannot turn a blind eye to the injustice that is being perpetrated under his acquiescing eyes.
'Totobi, the Ahwois and PV cannot win the party any votes. If they can, they should come out in 2012 to hand the party that victory for Mills to endorse them,' they dared.
Until that time, the 80, who say they can count on at least three times their number in influential positions in the party, said they have a divine right to fight the imposition by Mills on the party of the Gang of Five.
'We are 80; they are 5,' one MP from the North, which already has an appreciable chunk of the Ministerial positions, barked.
Conspicuously absent at the meeting were Deputy Majority Leader E T Mensah, who feared it was an attempt by the party to mollify he and his colleagues after being slighted by the President, MP Michael Nyaunu, jilted Moses Asaga and MP Alhaji Sorogho.
Rawlings, The Statesman learnt is furious to the marrow but is being persuaded to hold his peace for now.