Dr Kwabena Duffuor has done well for the NDC. Apart from serving the NDC as finance minister, Duffuour's businesses, media houses, and other sources of investment have largely been used to support the NDC's activities. Inside information indicates that he made a significant contribution to the party that deserves to be recognized. Dr Duffuour recently launched the Ahotor project, which aims to empower the party's grassroots. Though some well-meaning party members attended the launching, the gesture was seen as a ruse for Dr Duffuour to launch his political ambition. Later, top party executives portrayed Ahotor as unnecessary, implying that it violated the party's constitution. Since then, members of parliament and other top party executives have taken it upon themselves to vigorously project Mahama in the hope that all flagbearer hopefuls will resign and join the Mahama train. Top party officials believe that Mahama is a sure bet for the party and that challenging him would be a waste of resources. Even in his announcement to run for the party's flagbearership, Mahama made it appear as if he was the chosen one, projecting himself against the 2024 presidential elections rather than the NDC presidential primaries.
Contrary to all odds, Dr Duffuor has not given up, nor has he been deterred by Mahama's popularity. The party's constitution requires a contest, so Dr Duffuor did not commit an error in this regard. Intriguingly, some party stalwarts are urging the party's leadership to declare Mahama unopposable. Dr Duffuor was able to obtain a nomination form, and despite the fact that many NDC members believe Mahama is a safe bet, Dr Duffour's stunt could pose a significant test for the NDC’s organization and loyalty going into the 2024 general election.
To begin with, before the NDC announced the opening of nominations, many NDC members labelled Dr Duffuour as an outcast and a recalcitrant. Though ten (10) regional chairmen and other influential party members chose a nomination form on Mahama's behalf, Duffuour had the Ashanti regional executive do so. Top party hierarchy members may applaud Mahama's popularity, but Duffuour may appeal directly to the grassroots. The Ashanti factor could come into play if the region's caucus feels threatened by discrimination and unfairness directed subtly at their preferred candidate. When Duffuour did not win, the 'Ashanti Apathy (AA)' could come back to haunt the NDC. The NDC Ashanti executive could use this 'Code (AA)' to express their displeasure with the way the primaries were conducted. This means that the NDC may lose more votes in the Ashanti Region in 2024. Once Duffuour's feet are planted in the region, the 'Ashanti Apathy' becomes a reality.
NDC appears to be unstable yet again. Many things do not appear to be right in the party, but they have managed to keep them hidden from the public. These issues have arisen since 2020, and they are eroding party loyalty. The general exodus of astute party cadres, the Rawlings factor, and the dismissal of some party executives and members have increased the party's vulnerability. The recent "Haruna Idrissu Factor," in which minority leadership was quickly reshuffled, revealed cracks that needed to be repaired. Many people will dismiss these developments, but they have the potential to blow the lid off. Koku Ayidoho had been consistent in venting his frustrations, and if others began to join him, the party might find themselves in a pickle. Party members opposed Duffuour's Ahoto Project, which was intended to empower the grassroots. The grassroots are displeased because they are always left out of the booty sharing, even if the party wins power. If this is any indication, Dr Duffuour will have massive grassroots support from people who believe he cares about them. Even if he does not win, gaining complete grassroots support will be a challenge for Mahama in 2024.
The NDC's desire for power in 2024 will be dashed if they continue to rely on the NPP's failures without mending their cracks. In the face of vulnerability, disloyalty, and Ashanti apathy, the NDC is bound to struggle to win the 2024 elections, which they are so confident about.
(Demographer, Human Rights Advocate, Educator)