Nana Konadu leads NDP to Dec polls
The National Democratic Party (NDP) has acclaimed its founder, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, as the party's flag bearer for the December 7, 2020 elections, with a call for a paradigm shift from the politicisation of national development policies.
The NDP founder, who made that call shortly after her popular acclamation as flag bearer at the party’s national delegates conference, said the habit of politicising national development policies for partisan interests must stop because it was counter-productive and inimical to sustainable development.
"We have the habit of politicising policies for national development in favour of coined stories geared towards elections. The focus is so much on party primaries and interests and this has taken precedence over the collective task of ensuring that government and governance are reflective of the diverse, yet collective view of Ghanaians; and we have got to move away from that," she stressed.
A former First Lady said the time had come for political parties to refocus their lenses on long-term development visions, instead of short-term party visions, if the country was to develop.
"It is our ability to have a collective vision born out of our varied experiences, skills set and unique characteristics that will propel the best, highest, brightest and most patriotic individuals to advance a non-partisan agenda for our continued national development," she added.
The founder of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM) made the call after a declaration by the Electoral Commission (EC) that she was the chosen one by the party to be its presidential candidate for the December 7 elections.
The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quarcoo, supervised the acclamation at the conference held in Accra last Saturday.
He was joined by the Deputy Director of Electoral Services, Mr Michael Boadu, who lifted the hands of the former First Lady to announce her candidature, while the party delegates, drawn from across the country, cheered in approval.
Clad in a white attire, Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings waved at the delegates, amid the shouting of the NDP slogans: "Power to the people" and "Our nation, our future".
The conference, which was held on the theme: "Shared leadership for national transformation, human empowerment and anti-corruption", also saw the acclamation of national officers for the party.
Eleven national leaders who will steer the affairs of the party for the next four years were endorsed and introduced after they had been returned unopposed.
The national officers are led by Dr Asare Bediako as Chairman, with Mr Anthony Kusi as Vice-Chairman and Mr Mohammed Frimpong as General Secretary.
Mrs Betty Akuffo Amoabeng was confirmed as the Deputy General Secretary, while Mrs Peace Aryee and Hajia Salah were named as the Women's Leader and Deputy Women’s Leader, respectively.
The other executive members are Maame Yaa Edusei, Communications Director; Mr Ernest Owusu Bempah, Deputy Communications Director; Dr David Sunu, Youth Leader; Mr Charles Opoku, Deputy Youth Leader, and Mrs Margaret Appiah, Treasurer.
Unity among smaller parties
Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings rallied the support of minor political parties for the NDP to become a formidable force and worthy alternative to the two main political parties in the country — the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
She observed that the NDP was poised to lead Ghana on the path of economic transformation and inclusive governance.
"We are taking a bold step and inviting all the smaller parties to join us in this mission," she said, adding that until the debate on national issues was taken away from the perspective of only the two major parties, the country would lag behind.
The NDP flag bearer urged the smaller parties to join forces and begin to push for a diversified Legislature, where representation would not be limited to only the NDC and the NPP.
"Let us diversify the legislative arm of government to make sure that it encompasses the multiple opinions, perspectives and collective development goals that we want as a people," she said.
In a goodwill message to the NDP, former President Jerry John Rawlings urged the party to adhere to the principles of integrity, probity and accountability, which formed the basis on which it was founded.
The message, which was delivered on his behalf by a legal practitioner, Nana Osei-Mensah Bonsu, said it was important to prioritise participatory governance, as exemplified in the local government system.
The former President called for a relentless war on corruption, questioning why "we have allowed the 'Kalabule' system to creep back" into the country's governance system.