Huudu Yahaya is unifier — Aide

BY: Victor Kwawukume
Mr Benjamin Avornyotse — Aide to Huudu Yahaya
Mr Benjamin Avornyotse — Aide to Huudu Yahaya

An aide to Mr Huudu Yahaya, a national chairman aspirant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Benjamin Avornyotse, has said Mr Yahaya’s rare qualities as a unifier and a stalwart of the founding ideals of the party places him in the best stead to lead the party to victory in the 2020 general election.

According to him, Mr Yahaya was a very competent person, a unifier, a firm believer in pragmatic politics and a results-oriented person who lived and practiced the values of truth, accountability and integrity.

“He towers above pettiness and factionalism and is a committed and loyal stalwart who the NDC needs at this period when the party is in opposition to steer it to victory in 2020”, Mr Avornyotse stated.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, he dismissed the assertion that Mr Yahaya, a northerner who was vying for the chairmanship slot as against former President John Dramani Mahama, also a northerner contesting for the flag bearer position did not augur well for regional balance.

In any case, he said, the two personalities were still aspirants whose fates were yet to be decided by the delegates of the party and that such a discourse was premature.

The northerner – northerner card

“There has been some conversation out there as to whether we can have a northern –northern ticket at this time looking at the fact that former President Mahama is also vying for the flag bearer position,” he remarked.

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But he postulates that “interestingly, it’s not the same position that they are vying for and I think the conversation in the NDC now should focus on the competency and track record of the candidates rather than the regional and tribal twist that is bouncing into the party’s discourse.”

Drawing on historical antecedents, Mr Avornyotse posited that the NDC, since 1992 has had similar situations where it had Dr Kwabena Adjei who hailed from the South as chairman and Prof. John Mills also from the South as the flag bearer.

However, Mr Avornyotse maintained that the point was that the pairing of persons of the same regional extraction at the chairmanship or flag bearer position of the party had never been the focus for the NDC.

That, he explained, was because the NDC was a national party with a wider representation of Ghanaians, adding that “so we should be discussing what has been the track record of Mr Yahaya when he was the General Secretary and Vice Chairman of the party during which he delivered the required results.”

Stressing his position further, he pointed out that political parties were formed to win elections and for that matter the immediate focus ought to be on who had the track record of delivering the required results.

Track record

“If you check the periods within which he served as General Secretary, the party had chalked up victory together with Issifu Ali who was then the chairman,” he emphasised.

So, for him, the conversation about the northern-northern thing should be completely put aside, adding that “we believe that looking at his track record, he is very competent and someone who is poised to deliver results. He is a grassroots person who connects with the masses and represents the ideals of the NDC in terms of probity, accountability and integrity.”

Throwing more light on the qualities of Mr Yahaya, he described him as a true cadre and someone who had gone through the mill and had been engaging in political party activism, especially within the NDC for a while.

He recollected that in 2014 when the party went to congress in Kumasi, a similar issue came up and as somebody who believed in compromise decided that he was not going to contest the position and stepped down but this time around, he was running and very committed to the process.