PNC on slippery slope

BY: Kobby Asmah
CIVIC Realities with Kobby Asmah
CIVIC Realities with Kobby Asmah

The People’s National Convention (PNC) party which started on a good foundation, winning 6.7 per cent in a presidential polls in 1992, is a pale shadow of itself and now sadly doing 0.08 per cent.

The PNC is on a slippery slope. At least this has been the impression the leadership of a party, which once ruled affairs of state from 1979 to 1981, is portraying to adherents of multi-party democracy.

Throughout last week, the media was awash with reports of internal wrangling within the party, leading to suspensions and counter suspensions.

Clearly, this is not the time for the PNC to be fighting itself. The current crop of leadership cannot mess up the party when it matters most. Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, the PNC has been struggling to win the mandate of the people to rule affairs of state. The party has, however, performed poorly in all the eight elections it has participated in.

Electoral fortunes

For instance in 1992, the PNC participated in the presidential election but boycotted the parliamentary polls. Candidate Dr Hilla Limann, President of the Third Republic, secured 266,710 votes representing 6.70 per cent of the votes. It was the first time former President Limann contested the presidential election in the Fourth Republic.

In 1996, Dr Edward Mahama represented the PNC and secured 211,136 votes representing 2.95 per cent. It secured one parliamentary seat in the elections.

Dr Mahama, who represented the PNC again in the 2000 elections, secured 189,659 votes representing 2.92 per cent while the party won three seats in Parliament.

Under the Grand Coalition of the PNC, EGLE and Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) in 2004, Dr Mahama secured 165,375 votes representing 1.92 per cent of the presidential votes with the PNC securing four parliamentary seats.

Dwindling fortunes

The fortunes of the PNC continued to decline in the 2008 as its presidential candidate, Dr Mahama secured 73,494 votes representing 0.87 per cent. The number of its parliamentary candidates reduced to two.

When the party chose Mr Hassan Ayariga to lead the PNC in 2012, its fortunes dipped further as the party garnered 24,617 representing 0.22 in the presidential election. Its parliamentary representation reduced further to one.

In the 2016 elections, Dr Mahama returned as presidential candidate but only managed to secure 22,214 votes representing 0.21 per cent. The party also lost its single parliamentary seat.

The decline in the fortunes of the PNC was again repeated in the 2020 elections when its presidential candidate, Mr David Apasera, secured a meagre 10,882 votes representing 0.08 per cent and once again the party could not secure any seat in Parliament.

Bitter truth

The bitter truth is that the PNC cannot win the trust of the people if it continues to be a house divided and always fighting among itself.

It started with Dr Mahama, and then moved to Hassan Ayariga who has since exited the party to form his own political party, the All People’s Congress (APC).

This is also not the first time the party is having difficulties with the General Secretary position. It happened to Atik Muhammad.

With the current wrangling, the party should have picked any of the two deputy general secretaries, namely Jacob Amoako and Farudeen Yakubu, to act in the stead of Ms Nabla.

Unfortunately, Farudeen has been implicated in the disciplinary committee’s report, making him a candidate for future suspension, whereas Jacob Amoako on the other is reported to have refused the offer to be the acting general secretary. So the party ended up settling on the deputy youth organiser to be the now acting General Secretary

Pretty soon, If care is not taken, PNC may destroy all its leaders and there will be no PNC.

If things continue this way, it will be so sad for the party which is seeking to win the mandate of the electorate. Today, I know many members and sympathisers of the party are contemplating whether to stay in the party or move out.

To the rescue

I am aware the PNC has long-serving members. Where is Dr Edward Mahama in all these developments? Has he lost his foothold on the party? Names such as Henry Asante and Emmanuel Wilson Jnr, a former Director of Communications for the party, readily comes to mind as well.

Nonetheless, the mantle will now fall on the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the party, Colonel Luri Bayorbor (retd). How he will help the PNC navigate this problem is what we are all watching keenly.

The feuding factions in the party have no choice but must cease fire and stop the media war. If for nothing at all, the party leadership must at all times follow due processes and if one felt unjustifiably treated or had a problem with the leadership, the Council of Elders existed to play a mediating role to resolve any problem within the party.

Unity of purpose

It will be a political shame for the PNC to sink. It will now need a lot of energy to bring unity into the party. There is, therefore, the need for all the members of the party to let peace reign, rally together, stay united to strengthen the party structures.

This is a better approach to building a stronger party and better position it to provide a viable alternative to the country's governance process.

Many people expect the PNC to help deepen the country’s democratic growth. It is not healthy for our politics to become increasingly acrimonious and negative. Regrettably, over the years, our political discourse and appreciation of national issues have been riddled with blind political fanaticism, sycophancy and opportunism.

There may be a real need for an urgent NEC meeting to halt the party travelling on this slippery slope.

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