By his calm demeanour, many were those who were at least hopeful that Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo would help improve the enviable political climate in Ghana by being a moderating influence on the rather extreme and hawkish tendencies of his larger-than-life Party General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah aka General Mosquito.
Has the new Chairman of the NDC been bitten by the Mosquito so soon in his term? Ahead of the NDC’s national executives’ elections, a former NDC Chairman in the Central Region, Mr. Bernard Allotey-Jacobs, campaigned against General Mosquito. One of the reasons cited by Chairman Allotey-Jacob as the basis for his opposition to the candidacy of The Mosquito was his disrespectful and domineering attitude towards then Party Chairman Mr. Kofi Portuphy and other leaders in the Party. Chairman Allotey-Jacobs has the scars to show for his stance: he has since been barred from speaking on behalf of his NDC party.
Apparently, General Mosquito has a tendency to whip all in line: Chairman, Founder, Party Leader in Parliament, flagbearer aspirants, and all. Given the longevity of General Mosquito in his role as General Secretary, this attitude of whipping all in line may not be too bad a trait for a Party General Secretary. Indeed, it may be a desirable one in a Party like the NDC.
The downside to a hawkish, extremist, uncompromising, overbearing attitude in a Party General Secretary is a subdued and cowed Party Chairman especially where that Chairman has what may appear to be a rather meek personality. This may appear to be what has played out between General Secretary Asiedu-Nketia and Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo.
The bigger downside of Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo’s apparent lack of assertiveness is that the nation gets to be the worse for it by certain troubling decisions issued in the name of the Party Chairman.
Here are some of the reasons why NPP-Canada finds the decisions of a cowed Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo particularly troubling:
- A few prominent voices in the NDC, notably Hon. Ras Mubarak had publicly advised the Party not to contest in the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Elections for reasons that have since been championed by many Opinion Leaders and respected Ghanaians including Professor Kofi Agyekum of the School of Performing Arts, Legon. Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo could have signalled a visionary leadership approach by not disregarding such wise counsel.
- Professor Joshua Alabi, a flagbearer-aspirant of the NDC thinks the decision by the NDC leadership to boycott the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on grounds of insecurity after the elections had started lacked foresight and was ill-advised. NPP-Canada believes that subsequent events are vindicating not only Professor Joshua Alabi but also the millions of Ghanaians who are not enthused by the antics of over-exuberant political actors crying wolf at every turn for short-sighted political gains.
- Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo has taken his NDC Party on a boycott path against the Justice Emile Short Commission of Enquiry set up to investigate the Bawaleshie violence. As if that was not reprehensible enough, Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo, in concert with his preferred flagbearer-aspirant, candidate John Mahama, chose to take their account of the Bawaleshie violence not to the Short Commission of Enquiry but to a meeting with members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana.
Ghana needs visionary leadership in the NDC. Chairman Ofosu-Ampofo has the potential. Would he be able to break through the establishment’s hold?
Gilbert Adu Gyimah
Director of Communications,