Battle For NDC
The turf war in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is far from over, as the party holds a crunch National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today to nominate the membership of the various committees as well as heads of the NDC Directorates, with the pro Mills and Rawlings factions slugging it out.
The meeting, which is the second since the current executives assumed office, will also nominate persons to constitute the Council of Elders.
Available information indicates that since President Atta Mills and his group suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the pro-Rawlings camp at the Tamale congress, the Castle has sworn to do everything humanly and spiritually possible to ensure that their favourites take charge of the NDC machinery right from the Council of Elders, to the committees and the control of the headquarters.
Consequently, an elaborate scheme has been set in motion to execute this agenda.
President Mills and his cabal, who want to control and set the party's agenda for 2012 and subsequently decide who should take over from him, are planning to bring back old party henchmen to take over the NDC in an elaborate scheme.
DAILY GUIDE is reliably informed that part of the agenda includes the offer of lucrative positions to the supposed Rawlings loyalists in the NEC, so that they nominate President Mills' 'boys and girls' onto the Council of Elders, the committees and as heads of the directorates.
Like the days leading to the Tamale congress, Ato Ahwoi, Kofi Totobi Quakye and Kojo Tsikata have been fingered as persons prosecuting the 'NDC for Mills agenda'.
A tall list of persons President Mills wants as members of the Council of Elders has been prepared and this will be pushed at today's crunch NEC meeting.
The list includes ex President Rawlings as a member and Chairman of the Council, with President Mills and Vice President John Mahama, Harry Sawyerr, Dr Mary Grant, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Lionel Mobila, Alhaji Issifu Ali, Mrs Victoria Addy, Madam Tabitha Quaye, J.H. Owusu Acheampong, Ohene Kena, Kwabena Kyere, Alhaji Suleimana Gado, Theresa Baffoe, James Victor Gbeho and Kojo Tsikata as members.
A source has told DAILY GUIDE that if President Mills had his way, Rawlings would not have been included in the list. But the fact that the former president is the NDC founder means he automatically must chair the Council of Elders' meetings.
“The President has been very uncomfortable since Tamale and he has been looking for ways to contain Rawlings,” the source added.
Ironically, on the Castle list, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, an unrepentant critic of the Mills Administration, has been penciled down as the man to chair the NDC Communications Committee.
Others on the Castle list for Communication Committee are Richard Quashigah, Propaganda Secretary; John Tia, Minister for Information-designate; Anita Jemima De-Sosoo, Women's Organiser; Jahia Laadi Ayi-Ayamba; Totobi Quakye; James Kweku Asante; Mawuko Zomelo; and Nathaniel Addy.
The pro-Mills Legal Committee nominees are Benjamin Kumbour, Minister of Health; Betty Mould Idrissu, Attorney General; Inusah Fuseini, deputy Minister-designate for Energy; Chris Ackummey; Tony Lithur; David Annan, and Larry Adjetey.
Captain (rtd) Butah; Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings; Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary; Kamel Noshie, National Treasurer; and Bertha Amenuvor; deputy National Treasure have been penciled down as nominees for the Finance Committee.
Question marks have arisen over the nominations of Messrs Ato Ahwoi; John Amankwaa, a timber magnate and Sam Denu to the Finance Committee.
DAILY GUIDE has sighted yet another list prepared by the pro Rawlings group and for whom Mr. Rawlings is said to be canvassing support.
Incidentally, the Rawlings camp also wants Ekwow Spio-Garbrah as the Chairman of the NDC Communications Committee.
They also would like to see Said Sinare nominated as the Chairman of the Social Committee; Dr. Kwame Norbge as Head of the Political Committee; Mrs Rawlings as Chairman of Finance Committee; Dan Annang for Economic Committee and Kofi Portuphy as Chairman of the Conflict Resolution Committee.
On who heads the various NDC Directorates, the two camps appear somewhat to agree on Kwasi Sarpong as the Director of Research and also Mrs. Angela Tay as the Director of Administration.
However, they differed on Communications, International Relations and Electoral Affairs.
While the Mills camp wants James K. Asante as Head of the Communications Directorate, the Rawlings camp prefers Mrs. Sati Ocran.
The Rawlings group is proposing Flt Lt Tackie (rtd) as the Director in charge of Elections, while the Mills camp has proposed P.K. Abbonie of the United Cadre Front.
Insiders say another victory for the pro-Rawlings camp will spell doom for President Mills' future ambition of running for the 2012 election, unless the President is able to smoke the peace pipe with the Rawlings squad.
The presence of Messrs Kofi Totobi Quakye and Ato Ahwoi amongst the committees has also raised eyebrows.
A series of Functional Executive Committee (FEC) meetings to harmonize these lists have been heated and sometimes indecisive, and today's NEC meeting promises to be no different.
Former Ambassador to China, Oscar Amenyedowo, has declined Chairmanship of the Directorate of Administration, preferring to join the International Relations Committee. Being considered for the Administration position is Mrs Angela Tay.
P. K. Abbonie of the United Cadre Front has been nominated for the Directorate of Elections. The list of co-opted NEC members has also drawn a lot of flak.
Central Regional Minister, Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Eastern Regional Minister; Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; Awudu Arif; Dr John Frank Abu; and Alhaji Goma make the list of nominees.
Critics of the list question why the two regional ministers, with their full time governmental roles, should not give way to other leading party members who have not been given any party or governmental role.