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A Former General Secretary of the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, has stressed the need for the party to harmonise its interests to guarantee total victory in the 2020 general election.
According to the veteran politician, who is staking a claim to the national chairman position of the party, unity is sine qua non to the NDC winning political power in 2020.
“If our differences are not about the control of resources, then any difference is not fundamental and we should be able to mend it for unity to prevail,” Alhaji Yahaya, who has over three decades experience in politics, told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview in Accra on Wednesday.
He said a house that was divided could not stand which was why throughout his political life, he had believed in the principle of unity, never been divisive nor tolerated divisiveness.
He, therefore, enjoined the rank and file of the NDC to continue to work hard towards unity, since that was the surest way to guarantee victory in the 2020 polls.
“Without unity we cannot achieve our end,” Alhaji Yahaya cautioned.
Alhaji Yahaya, who was in the National Chairmanship race for the NDC in 2014 but had to step aside at the very last hour, promised that “this time round, I am putting myself forward for the National Chairmanship of the party. The times are very different and we are not in government; we are in opposition.”
On why he had to step aside as a national chairman aspirant of the NDC in 2014 at the very last hour, Alhaji Yahaya explained, “The
leadership of the party considered that I should step down in the supreme interest of the party. This, I obliged respectfully because party comes first before self.”
There was no point being in politics if we were not working for the ordinary man, he reasoned.
Four other aspirants
The NDC has opened nominations for the various national positions, key among them being the national chairman slot.
So far, five stalwarts of the party, including Alhaji Yahaya, are contesting the national chairmanship of the party currently occupied by Mr Kofi Portuphy, who will not seek re-election.
The rest are the NDC’s Director of Elections, who supervised the general election in 2016, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; former Trade and Industry Minister and former NDC MP for Keta, Mr Dan Abodakpi; a former Attorney General and current NDC Vice Chairperson, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu; a former Defence Minister, Dr Benjamin Kumbour, and Mr Daniel Annan.
Alhaji Yahaya was the First General Secretary for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for 10 years (1992-2002).
Under him, the party won the 1992 Presidential election with 58 per cent and the 1996 with 57 per cent, unprecedented in the history of the party.
As a unifier, team builder, grass-roots cadre, and currently the Chairman of Conflict Resolution Committee of the party, Alhaji Yahaya has served as national vice chairman and has a comprehensive understanding of the structures of the party.
He was the youngest PNDC Secretary for the Northern Region, Secretary for Trade and Secretary for Mobilisation and Cadres Affairs.
To win power
If he is given the mandate to become the national chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Yahaya said he would help the party to return to power in 2020 by deepening the spirit of social democracy and party discipline.
He said he would also operate an open-door policy and work to ensure regular flow of information from the top to bottom and bottom to top, both within the party and between the government and the party.
But beyond this, he insisted that whether he was voted for or not, he would remain committed to the party and continue to advance the principles of the party.
“My chairmanship intention is not a do or die; it is hinged on my party being strong, truthful and winning elections, that is what is paramount,” he stated.
Delegates should also work for the party to be strong and always seek the interest of the party at all times, he advised.
Challenges facing NDC
According to Alhaji Yahaya, the NDC was a grass-roots party mandated to serve the interest of ordinary members of the party.
He said other sections of society that were nationalistic, and were seeking truth, justice and fair play, were all welcome to join the NDC and should consider the NDC as their home.
In his view, the NDC party needed to renew its founding principles based on social democracy, justice and fair play.
“They are still relevant because the founding principles of the NDC believes in a society of fairness and justice, especially for the larger majority who are the ordinary people.
He said it was very good the NDC had set up a school to educate the young ones on the values and principles of the NDC.
“In a given society, any few members of that society who want to control the resources of the people will not be working in consonance with the fundamental ideals and interest of the NDC, which has as its motto unity, stability and development.
“So even though there will be differences in the NDC, the fundamental principles and values that should prevail must be that the
control of party resources must be by the people and for the people,” he stated.
On the just-ended regional executive elections, Alhaji Yahaya said he was impressed with the level of enthusiasm, describing it as “quite high”.
He also said the founder’s exhortation to the party to elect the right candidates came at the right time.
“So far, the party has done its best but we still can do better,” he stated.
“My politics is not the glamorous one. I am always on the side of the people,” the veteran politician with over three decades experience concluded.
Sources: Kobby Asmah || Daily Graphic