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01.09.2006 NDC News

Tension Mounts in NDC

By chronicle
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THE COUNTRY'S largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has begun embroiling itself in confusion and tension, following a decision to clamp down on the emergence of splinter groups in the party, particularly from the Zongo communities.

This appears to have put one of such groups, which goes by the name Gaskia Club, at loggerheads with the National Executives of the NDC, as they are threatening to resist any attempt to either put the social club under the newly formed umbrella association called National NDC Zongo Caucus or ban it from operating.

Alhaji Muftawu Mohammed, National Secretary of the Club, in an interview told The Chronicle that Gaskia (Truth) Club members would not subscribe to the move by the party's executives, since it had the potential of breeding ethnic segregation in the NDC with ruinous consequences.

According to him, the move would also fuel the perception that the NDC, as a political party, belonged to the people from the Northern and Volta regions, thereby isolating those from Akan origin.

"Unlike the National NDC Zongo Caucus, the Gaskia Club is for all and not people from the Zongo communities alone," he declared. "How do you expect our brothers and sisters, say Asantes, to feel in the party?

Mr. Joseph Buari Gooji, Regional Secretary of the Club, in a statement released to the press at their sixth anniversary celebration in Kumasi, affirmed the position of his boss, adding that some members of the NDC leadership perceived the club as upstaging and usurping their powers, authorities and responsibilities.

He described these assertions as untrue and indicated that they only existed to complement the efforts of the leadership to streamline the party's structures.

But the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Baba Jamal, disagreed with members of the Gaskia Club.

He told them at their anniversary celebration that the decision was aimed at finding solutions to divisions and rancour that were decimating the party.

Nevertheless, he said they later realized and recognized the importance of the Zongo people as a special constituency in the NDC, hence the decision not to dissolve the emerging groups entirely, but put all of them under one umbrella in the name of 'Nationa' NDC Zongo Caucus."

Baba Jamal urged members of the club not to be deterred by the move to merge them with others but instead, forge ahead to seek the interest of the NDC.

Alhaji Sannie Mohammed also charged the Club to go out with its message of "truth" and preach to others, especially disenchanted supporters of the ruling NPP, in order to win them for the NDC.

Gaskia Club, formed in 2000 after the NDC lost power, has branches all over the country, according to its National Secretary, Alhaji Muftawu Mohammed, with the sole aim of encouraging participatory democracy within the NDC; helping instill discipline among the rank and file of the NDC as well as embarking on communal activities.

The club has also begun an apprenticeship-training programme for 23 youths and expects to enroll about 30 young ladies to train in soap-making.

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