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16.04.2010 NDC News

NDC stalwart in Kumasi disagrees with Veep over position on footsoldiers

By Chronicle
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An open condemnation of the alleged violent demands of the NDC foot soldiers across the country by the Vice President, His Excellency John Mahama, has drawn strong reaction from some leading members of the ruling party.

Some members of the ruling party are not happy with the Vice President for his open denunciation and are raising questions about the commitment of the country's second gentleman towards the welfare of the numerous foot soldiers of the party throughout the country.

His Excellency Mahama is reported to have openly condemned what he described as violent demands of party foot soldiers in the midst of unlawful seizure and closure of government buildings and offices.

The Vice President noted during the launch of a non-governmental media organization, the 'Centre for Freedom and Accuracy' in Accra, that the recent attitude of foot soldiers asking for heads of government institutions to be replaced by members of the ruling party was a dangerous phenomenon which will be inimical to the development of strong government institutions in the country.

But a leading sympathizer of the party in Kumasi, Nana Ishmael Butler has expressed his dissatisfaction with the views of the Vice President, saying His Excellency Mahama's comments are borne out of misconception. He contended that if the Vice President was aware of the pain and troubles that foot soldiers go through to ensure the victory -of political parties, he would not have made those comments.

According to him, Mr. Mahama is not in touch with the grass roots and so is oblivious of their problems, and this to him, might have informed his remarks.

Speaking in a radio discussion in Kumasi, the NDC leading member noted that foot soldiers play crucial and indispensable roles in electoral fortunes of every party, and as such they demand better treatment from government, stressing that no party can achieve victory without the contribution of its foot soldiers.

He noted that notwithstanding the so-called violent actions of foot soldiers, most of their actions are justifiable, since they help to weed out saboteurs and individuals whose actions are likely to derail the agenda of the government.

According to him, foots soldiers do not act for their parochial interest but rather for the party and the government of the day, because they help defend policies and programmes of the government at the grassroots.

He said "without NDC foot soldiers, the party would not have been where it is today, many people have sacrificed their lives, money and resources to ensure the survival of the party, so what is the sacrifice His Excellency is talking about?” He stressed.

Nana Butler further posited “Assuming he (Vice President) is one day elected to lead the NDC in an election, would he be able to visit every nook and cranny of this country?, it would take the job of the foot soldiers to reach out, so if the vice President condemns the actions of foot soldiers who are helping to flush out detractors of government, then it is not fair."

He has, therefore, appealed to the government and the top hierarchy of the party to adequately address the needs of supporters at the grass roots, in order to enhance the fortunes of the party.

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