A former Minister of Defense and a stalwart of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, has said he is ready to call it quits on the party he helped to build if an alternative that embodies the early years of the NDC presents itself.
Like some members of the NDC’s old guard, he also feels the party has strayed from its social democratic roots.
“When I see the level at which NDC has been monetized, then what is the difference between you and any other political party,” he asked on UTV last Friday.
“You look back and you don’t know how many apologies you have to render and to how many people for coming to do exactly what you said you were against and perhaps doing it even brazenly and in a very crude manner.”
The former minister even stopped short of saying some of the sacrifices for the party were in vain.
“When you sit down to see what is going on, you know the question you ask yourself; if you too had died in the course of the revolution, is this what you would have died for?”
Because of these sentiments, Mr. Kunbuor said he would not hesitate to jump the ship the moment a party with sincere socialist ideals emerges.
“If I get a political party that is prepared to implement the ideals that I stood for in terms of social justice and creating a better society, it doesn’t matter the name. Even if the NPP [New Patriotic Party] decides to implement those things and I am convinced that it is implementing it, I can join it [the NPP].”
Similar criticisms have come from the NDC’s founder, Jerry John Rawlings in the wake of the NDC’s comprehensive defeat in the 2016 election.
He has called for an overhaul of the party in the past and has stressed that the NDC must redeem its image in the eyes of Ghanaians if it is to stand a chance in 2020 elections.
Mr Rawlings has also said the party needs to turn to the grassroots, as it puts in place strategies for the 2020 elections.
“We don’t like to hear it, but I keep repeating it. We have to go back and seize the moral high ground and I believe we know what we have to do,” he said in an interview in 2017.
The NDC has even commended the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for what he described as the party’s “consistency” in holding onto its values.
“The NPP are not so vulnerable. Whether you pump money into them, you try to corrupt them or not, there is a certain consistency by virtue of who and what they are and that figure, in terms of election could invariably always be the same. You and I do not have the consistency of the NPP.”
The Special Prosecutor and former NDC government appointee, Martin Amidu was also a staunch critic of the party he had served for over two decades.
He has defended the former President in the past and expressed hope that his uncompromising stance on the party will eventually correct its failings.
“I think that as time goes on, people will begin to appreciate that we are not just criticizing for criticizing sake. I want us to come together, chart the proper course, go back to our fundamental values and then get the people to support us to go back and see if we can complete the agenda we started,” he remarked as he celebrated his 66 birthday in 2017.