CDD Report Creates "Wahala" in NDC
“I think it was a bogus report” – Prof. Atta Mills “I think it was a useful report” – Hon. John Mahama CONTRARY TO Former vice president Prof. John Evans Atta Mill's assertion that the survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana on the chances of the two leading parties in an election in the country today was bogus and fraudulent, Hon. John Dramani Mahama, the NDC Communications Director, has stated otherwise. According to Hon. Mahama, it was premature for any political party to condemn the report without reading the full contents of the report, which indicated that should elections be conducted today, the NPP would get 52% while the NDC would also get only 22%. Speaking on Joy FM Newsfile programme last Saturday, Mr. Mahama who vehemently dismissed any official statement from the party, said all comments made by any member of the party was their own personal comments which must not be attributed to the party. “The NDC has not issued any official statement or has not come out with a press conference to put across any official reaction to the CDD report. So in the case whatever anybody says, was what they fell about the report,” he said, adding that, “Let me say that the criticism of the CDD report has not come only from the NDC but also from the NPP.” Hon. Mahama, the NDC Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi and the former Minister of Communications, who stated that he was speaking in his capacity as communication experts who understands the need of surveys, said, “I think that the report was useful.” But Prof. Mills at the thanksgiving service held in honour of Ms. Sherry Ayittey, following her acquittal and discharge at the Fast Track Court, was reported to have condemned the report and described it as 'fraudulent and bogus'. He had reportedly to the gathering that it was unfortunate the intellectuals were bent on throwing dust into the faces of the public, adding that the people who conducted the election should ask themselves what had gone wrong before such report came out.
Mills made it emphatically clear that as a group they were not going to glorify that “rubbish of a report” by responding officially to it.
In a sharp reaction, Prof. Mills' close contender for the 2008 NDC flagbearer ticket, said he earlier refused to make any comment about the report because he had not read the full report of the CDD, adding that people should not get heated about the report.
“What I think people should do was to get the full report and take what you want rather than to pick and choose.”
The MP, who averred that he had an encounter with the CDD when he criticized its report sometime back, by taking issues based on the findings that were put into the public domain without reading the full report, indicated that until the full report was read no appreciation or no objective analysis would be made.
“It is only after you have read the full report in full that you would get the full appreciation of what was actually done. It makes it easier to speak from an informed position after reading the full report.”
John Mahama, one of the potential presidential candidates for the NDC in the next general elections, called on the CDD to create a platform to accommodate all sorts of criticism, just as it happened in Nairobi recently.
v According to him, when an organization in Nairobi came out with a survey to rate the government high, the ministers were pleased but when another report came out which rated the government low, the ministers were up in arms with the organization and condemned the report.
He said, “What I think we should do is to pick up the report and take the parts that are positive and look at what we can do about working on the negatives. As soon as you ensure that the methodology had been well done and it gave indications about the sample size, which is within the full report, you can use that to surmise that this has been scientifically done. If it has not been scientifically done, then you take out parts of the report that you think are very instructive.”
Mr. Mahama said the survey which was done in March, this year, was the reflection of the general elections held in 2004, adding that if the survey was to be conducted today, the indications would be different, taking the effects of the fuel price hikes into consideration.
On his beef about the CDD's survey, John Mahama said, “My point was that the findings of the CDD reinforce the results of 2004. It was not necessary to include the question of where would people vote. With the inclusion of that question, it diverts the attention from the real facts. This is because people would pick and choose the juicy parts of the report that they would want to concentrate.”
Touching on corruption, he said it was virtually impossible to measure it, saying it was easier to measure perceptions of corruption since corrupt activities, which are criminal, were done in secrecy.
In order to have a fair, balance report, Hon. Mahama urged the CDD to segment the reports so that all aspects of it could be well covered instead of releasing all at the same time, while others try to pick and choose and eventually condemn it.
Mr. Mahama stood in for Prof. Mills, when Nana Akomea, the former Minister of Communications, had decided to go to town on Prof's personality by condemning the report on Metro TV.
According to him, it was a newspaper that attributed the story to Prof, saying it would be unfair to attack the personality of Prof. Mills.