Kumasi -- THE DEPUTY general secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Baba Jamal, has warned, ominously, that, NDC would collapse, if the founder, Mr. J.J. Rawlings, should pass away (God forbid). “See how the CPP's strength dwindled with the death of the founder, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah” Baba Jamal exclaimed.
Jamal was speaking on Kess FM, in Kumasi, yesterday, in reaction to a Daily Guide front-page report, entitled:
“JJ's Boys Bay For Blood”, in which the paper reproduced a story from The National Democrat, to the effect that, some Rawlings loyalists wanted to lynch Dr Obed Asamoah, in Ashaiman.
Baba Jamal who contested the Akwatia parliamentary seat in the 2004 elections and lost, contended that, currently, Rawlings is the backbone of NDC, and so, without him, it is like a person whose spinal cord is broken, thus making him a living dead.
When the host of the morning show, Captain Smart, asked if he really believed that NDC would “die” with Rawlings' demise, Jamal explained that so long as Rawlings is breathing and kicking, he is the strength and soul of the NDC. He emphasised that, without the founder and former president, NDC cannot win the 2008 election.
Baba who owns a chain of communication centres in Akwatia, and other places, therefore, urged the leadership of the party to come together, and unite if its dream of winning power in the next general election, should materialise. This statement by Baba Jamal did not go down well with certain supporters of NDC, who were keenly listening in to the programme.
Immediately Baba Jamal landed, a certain Tony Nyame, a social commentator in Kumasi, quickly called into the programme, to debunk the deputy general secretary's assertions.
He said, he disagreed that, the demise of Rawlings, would spell doom for NDC. According to him, NDC has people of stature, such as AA Munufie, Harry Sawyerr, and Paul Victor Obeng.
As founding fathers of NDC, he argued Munufie and co. can hold the front of the party, with the demise of former President Rawlings.
He contended that, no one is saying that Rawlings is not a force to contend with, in the party.
However, to make a blanket statement like, “the party would collapse when Rawlings is gone”, is a bit unfair to other leading lights in the party,” articulated Mr Nyame.
Earlier, Baba Jamal had described, as shocking, and false, a publication by a pro-NDC paper that, there was an attempt to lynch the party's national chairman, Dr. Obed Asamoah, at the inauguration of the Ashaiman Constituency branch executive of the party, recently. He stressed that, newspapers which claim to speak for the NDC, are preaching disunity which might cause the downfall of the party, a development he described as very sad.
He emphasised that, there is no faction in the NDC, known as Obed faction, nor Rawlings faction, adding that, if the party wants to win the 2008 elections, then it needs both Rawlings and Obed.
He warned that, NDC would collapse if Rawlings is removed from the party, since it would be difficult to organise the masses for the party, to win back power. In the same vein, he contended, if Dr. Obed Asamoah, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, and Attorney-General, was removed from the party, NDC would suffer. “We need all of them, including Prof J.E.A. Mills”.
Baba Jamal accused Daily Guide of being fond of peddling falsehood, because the paper carried a story reproduced from the National Democrat newspaper that, there was an attempt to lynch Dr. Obed Asamoah at Ashaiman.
When the host of the programme, Mr. Captain Smart drew his attention to the fact that, the story was actually reproduced from the Monday edition of the National Democrat, Baba Jamal said, “Is that so? I didn't know. What I want the whole world to know is that NDC does not own any newspaper.”
He maintained that, “all the papers which claim to speak for the party, are preaching disunity.”
According to him, NDC has only one official newspaper, The Democrat, with a red seal The Democrat, is no longer in circulation, Daily Guide learnt. The Democrat with the red seal, resurrected, recently, in August, to pour scorn and venom on Daily Guide, with a banner headline, “Guide Begs Konadu” after the paper had humbly apologised for a wrong headline attributed to a report.
However, soon after that publication, the paper went back to deep slumber. Continuing Baba Jamal said NDC does not own a single newspaper, and all the papers which claim to speak for the party, are not serving the interest of the party.
“As the deputy general secretary of NDC, I don't see those papers as NDC newspapers”, he pointed out.
Whilst Jamal condemned Daily Guide publication, ad nauseam, his party's national organiser, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the defeated Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa, speaking on Tema-based Adom FM, yesterday, poured venom on the National Democrat, and their shadow editors, for splitting the party, along Obed and Rawlings lines.
He lamented that whilst some of them were travelling the length and breadth of the country, re-organsing the party's structures, and canvassing support for the party, as well as fighting for its unity, so-called NDC mouthpieces were disuniting the party, and whittling away their efforts.
He counselled that, in politics, even, one person's support for the party counts, so they should rather work to get more people, on board, rather than engage in acts, which have the tendency to divide the party and let it lose some of its members.
He was so angry with The National Democrat for coming out with the publication that, at a point, he nearly banged the Adom FM console with his fist, behind which sat the moderator, Ernest Frimpong Manso Adakabre. He denied that Dr. Obed Asamoah, the national chairman of the party, was attacked in Ashaiman, as reported by The National Democrat. “Obed did not say anything foul of Rawlings, or Prof Mills”, he said. He stated that, some of them have worked so tirelessly, for the party, “yet look, they are now tagging us as gang members of the NEC comprising the NDC vice-chairman, Lee Ocran, the timid Bede Ziedeng, acting general secretary, and Ofosu Ampofo, national organiser”, he said.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo maintained that, he doesn't care about who becomes Presidential candidate of the party for 2008. He insisted all he cares about is that, the NDC, should be organised in such a way as to be a winnable party for whoever emerges as the party's presidential candidate.
“I have no problem with Prof Mills, if congress elects him to lead the party, I will give him all my support, this I have done, and will continue to do, so, I don't understand why some people are tagging me as an Obed man.” He said, “I think instead of having winnable candidates, we should rather have winnable parties”.
“As for me, I am independent-minded”, he made it clear.