Former presidential aspirant of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah says the opposition NPP’s mode of selecting its flag-bearer is worth discussing by the NDC.
Although he will not tell whether he subscribes to the process which saw close to 120,000 delegates voting in 130 constituencies across the country, he said “I will reserve my position until that discussion of debate starts. I think it is only fair that we go indoors and have a discussion of that nature.”
Dr Spio-Garbrah, who is a Vice-Chairman of the NDC, told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, that, “people saw NPP go to an elections and attempt to democratise their process by going to a 120 or 130,000 people to vote in 230 constituencies. Does it mean anything for the NDC? Do we want to stick with what we have done in the past?
The CEO of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Union repeated his concerns about the government’s communications system, saying the “the NDC government can do a better job.”
That is not the only problem he has with the government. He thinks the government can work to foster unity in the ruling party.
“The government must work a lot more on promoting internal party unity and also using all the knowledge that is available within the party and within Ghana to promote the Better Ghana Agenda. Unfortunately we have a situation where [even though] a number of people are being used, a whole lot of people that could also help the country and help the government are not being uitilised and I think that is an area that something can be done about,” he said.
Some political observers believe that president John Atta Mills left Dr Spio-Garbrah out of his government because of some uncharitable comments the latter made about the former when the two vied for the party’s candidature for the 2008 elections.
This was given credence by an Adviser to the president, Mr Ato Ahwoi who said as long as he lived, Dr Spio-Garbrah would never get any appointment in a Mills government – not after he, Spio-Garbrah spread text messages prior to the party’s congress suggesting that Prof Mills was not healthy enough to lead the party to the 2008 elections.
But Dr. Spio-Garbrah believes the ruling NDC has something to learn from the opposition NPP on how to deal with internal competition.
“When people see a photograph of Nana Akufo-Addo meeting with those who contested against him in the recent election, they also then look back and [ask], what is NDC doing along similar lines? So whether we want to face the reality or we want pretend it’s not important, it’s entirely up us.”
But is Dr. Spio-Garbrah considering running for the NDC’s flag-bearer for the 2012 elections? He said it is premature to make such a declaration. He said the government must be supported, for if the Mills-led government does well, “it is good for all of us not just NDC people – if the school system is working, the water system is running, electricity outages are finished the roads are being expanded, all of Ghanaians can benefit.”
“…but if [Mills] doesn’t do a good job then he has to answer for that and NDC as a party will then want a different solution so we haven’t reached that stage and I think it is not fair to begin to speculate as to what will happen.”
What does Spio-Garbrah make about reports that former First Lady Nana Konado Agyemang Rawlings intends to contest the president for the NDC’s flag-bearer for 2012?
“What I make of that is that if the president is doing very well there will be no questions asked within that particular person’s party as to whether they should stay in office or not. If they are not doing as well as they should based on the perception of some people, then there will always be an internal challenge of some kind. …That is common sense,” he stated.