Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC, Mr Ade Coker has said supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) want the party to be more aggressive in the 2024 elections in order to win power from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr Coker explained in an interview with Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take programme on 3FM Monday, April 19 that the supporters are making this demand based on what transpired during the 2020 polls where they believed the governing party used thugs to win the polls.
Reacting to a forum that was held by some cadres of the NDC in Tema on Saturday, April 17, Mr Ade Coker said “From 1992 and when the NDC was formed in 93, the perception was that the NDC was made up of people who were very violent.
“Ghanaians wanted democracy where people would be amenable to each other, understand and have feelings for each other. So, we have come a long way from that concept. What is happening now is that the NPP is rather bringing violence into politics and that is what our members are getting agitated about.
“They are getting agitated because the NDC of old, people know that we came from a revolutionary background so people expect us to be having some revolutionary zeal but we have become a very gentle and mild party.
“Unfortunately, the last elections has given us the impression that in this country election is now boot for boot, people now have to go to elections with guns and cutlasses and that is not what it should be.
“The all-die-for-die mantra that the NPP espoused has been manifested in the last elections so what my colleagues at the Tema meeting did, you realized from their tone that they believed that we shouldn’t copy NPP but we should also show some aggression, that is what most of pour people are saying we should stop being a church and rather be part of a church and also be part of politics .
“That is why there is a clarion call that we need to reorganize ourselves.”
He further dismissed claims that the party has veered from its tradition.
He told Dzifa that the party has not lost its social democratic identity as is being claimed by some political observers.
The “free SHS is supposed to be for those who can afford and that is what we were doing. We gave so many scholarships, we did so many interventions, we gave free uniforms, free textbooks.
“So we have not departed from our social democratic principles. We never departed from it. The hospitals we built, this Covid era has saved so many lives, the schools that we built has enabled a lot of people to go the so called free SHS,” he said.
His comments come on the heels of assertions by a former Vice Chairman of the NDC Mr Daniel Agbodakpi that the NDC can never win if they copy the style of governance adopted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr Agbodakpi explained the NPP has a tradition that they cherish and are proud of. The NDC, he said, must also be proud of its tradition.
“Comrades, I just want to remind ourselves of what our founder told us in 2016 at Cape Coast that we should not under any circumstance try to mimic the NPP.
“They have a tradition they are proud of that tradition, they will never move away from that tradition, they can metamorphose one way or the other but they will hold on to their tradition.”
He added “We are from a different stock, from a different ideological origin. We are social democrats. We may pretend we want to copy them but we will not be successful.
“It is so painful that we piloted primary health care programme only for Kufuor to come and take ownership of it. So many social interventions that we have disused but we haven’t implemented them. These are some of the challenges facing this party.”
Mr Augustus Goosi Tanoh, a leading member of the NDC for his part said the party is currently going through identity crisis, In order to restorer the true identity of the party, he said, the NDC will have to go back to its founding principles.
The former flagbearer aspirant of the party said this in an interview with TV3’s Josephine Antwi Adjei on the sidelines a forum organised on Saturday by some members of the NDC, cadres to be precise, on the future of the party.
He said “NDC is facing what is called Identity crisis. People cannot tell the difference between the NDC and the NPP and we what we are saying is that we must go back to our founding values, our founding principles…that we are a social democratic party.
A former Minister of Defence Benjamin Kumbuor said the future for the new NDC is no more the same and not easily predictable.
According to him, the party needs to use scientific tools to analyse and overcome the challenges it finds itself in like any other progressive political association does.
“I do not know whether some of those tools are still relevant today but what I do know is that you cannot use some other tools to interpret your reality.”
The forum was themed: ‘Securing NDC’s Future’.
It was the first of such open, constructive discourse about the challenges of social democracy in Ghana and the way forward for the NDC.
The former Minister of Health cautioned the NDC to be wary of the game it has chosen to play with other political parties, insisting the party cannot win with its current tactics.
“If you choose to be new and play the game as other political parties, you can never win,” he stressed.
“They know why they have set up those games. They know the rules of those games better than you and if you intend to engage them on their terms, there is no way you can ever win.”