Ofosu-Ampofo led-NDC leadership is a big failure – John Boadu
The General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has lashed out at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for what he describes as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the processes the Electoral Commission (EC) wants to implement to ensure it is able to get a new voters register for the 2020 general elections. He has told them to blame themselves for neglecting their core responsibility in formulating the right policies to help in the right conduct of the exercise when they rejected the EC’s invitation to IPAC to discuss the exercise.
According to Mr. Boadu, the EC had invited the political parties to an Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to discuss the way forward after the postponement of the voters’ registration exercise due to the novel coronavirus pandemic that had forced the government to impose certain restrictions. He adds that the NDC Executives failed their own party members, and Ghana as a whole when they decided not to be part of IPAC to decide on the way forward for a new register.
“The NDC has disappointed its people. You know why? The last IPAC meeting we had, the EC had set the date, 18 April, for the registration exercise, but because of COVID, they had to postpone it, and so they invited us. Per the law, they have to inform the parties twenty-one days to the exercise, so they invited us to an IPAC meeting. But the NDC wrote to the EC that they won’t honour the invite just because there is a ban on public gathering.
“The EC said because of the restrictions, they have separated the parties into two groups so that there could be the observance of appropriate protocols. Yet, the NDC still wrote to the EC that they won’t turn up for the meeting. At that meeting, the EC updated us on the postponement of the registration due to COVID. They also informed us about the laying of a CI in parliament to regulate the conduct of the registration, and that they were bringing it up for us to discuss,” he said in an interview on the Jolly Breakfast Show (JBS) on Skyy Power FM in Takoradi.
Mr. John Boadu stated that the EC took the inputs by the political parties that participated in the meeting and effected the necessary changes in the CI that were laid before Parliament before being laid again for consideration. He accused the NDC of failing to partake in such an important meeting but turning round to peddle falsehood, describing them as failures.
“So as a political party mandated by your members to represent them, you decided not to partake in that decision-making process, and then you come back after two months asking why we want to compile a new register. Even at that meeting, we increased the number of guarantors to ten. It used to be five. They have disappointed their members just as they did in the 2016 general elections. So this leadership of the NDC is a massive disappointment and failure to be saying the things they are saying,” Mr. Boadu jabbed.
On the allegation that the NIA has intentionally caused challenges in terms of areas where the exercise has not been done, and also the people who have registered but have not gotten their cards, Mr. Boadu described the NDC’s allegation as unfounded, adding that they should blame themselves for causing disaffection for the exercise through their actions. He explained that the NDC has always not shown that serious commitment towards the Ghana card, and that is why they refused to implement it during their time.
“Again, the NPP initiated the NIA system, but unfortunately we lost in 2008. And for eight good years, they couldn’t implement the NIA. Do you know that when we came back and went to parliament to implement NIA, the NDC boycotted it and said they didn’t want to be part of the process. So if you don’t want to be part of that process, how can your members come to register when the registration starts? So if the NIA is unable to cover a lot more people than all of us would have wished, it is because of the NDC. You boycotted, so your members took after you. If they had encouraged people to register, maybe the story would have been different,” he stated.
He rubbished the ‘strong-hold’ argument of the NDC, saying “And how will the NIA target the stronghold of any party. In any case, per statistics, we, the NPP, have more strongholds than the NDC. IN terms of stronghold, the NDC does not have much, per the records of the 2016 elections. So that argument is much ado about nothing.”