A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande, has lambasted three leading members of the party for voicing out their post-election grievances in the media instead of using internal party structures.
The three newly elected parliamentary candidates comprising Sam George of Ningo Prampram, Muntaka Mubarak of Asawase, and Felix Kwakye Ofosu of the Abura Asebu-Kwamankese constituency in the Eastern Region, have all granted interviews to Joy News accusing some national executives of interfering in the just ended primaries instead of being neutral referees.
The three have thus called for sanctions against such national executives to instil discipline at the national level that can trickle down to all members.
The former Deputy Information Minister, Mr. Kwakye Ofosu said these actions could bring divisions in the party ahead of the major election in 2024. He says aspirants who lost the bid to represent their constituencies would feel slighted and would not lend themselves to the development of the party going forward.
But speaking on Top Story on Joy FM, the Deputy General Secretary, Mustapha Gbande, said his three senior colleagues should have used the party structures instead of going to the media.
“I also want to think that my senior colleagues who are complaining, understand that grievances will not be picked from the media, and so we have an internal mechanism on how grievances are channelled and how they get addressed.
“This is not to say that they don’t have grievances, I want to also encourage that at this time, party members will refrain from comments and actions that will disintegrate the unity of the party particularly now that we are done with the election, and also particularly that it is coming from people who have been elected or people have won” he noted.
He said if the party were to discipline everyone as they’re demanding, that process would start with them for sidestepping laid-down channels to have their grievances heard.
“Generally, there’s indiscipline everywhere and the leadership that we have is bold and positioned enough to confront indiscipline. Going to report internal grievances in the media is just as bad as taking the party to court or betraying the party.
“And so members who are aggrieved by decisions and in the spirit of discipline must understand that those grievances ought to be channelled through internal processes. I have heard them say that leadership must hear everyone out and discipline people, if I am supposed to discipline anybody, I will first of all discipline an elected member who will run to the media to further deepen cracks.”
He said at this point, the party and its flagbearer are more committed to bringing everyone on board particularly those who lost the election.
“I think that we are done with the election, and generally, it’s been a very good election. Do people have an interest? Yes. Have there been issues? Yes. Our focus is to look at the larger interest. These complaints are coming from people who have survived the election. I think that is not a big issue. The bigger issue is the ones who have lost it. And so the effort of the National Executive Committee is to address the concerns of elected members and how to bring up those who have lost the election so that we can move together as a family.”
“They should not be the ones to run to the media complaining about how unfairly they’ve been treated. They’ve won the elections, they’ve survived the conspiracy theory, they’ve survived the vaccine, they’ve survived the ganging, what is left and what is more important is for us to push them to achieve their aim, and their aim is to win the election.
He said the national executives are more than capable to invoke their powers to bring sanity to the party, explaining that, “if you don’t take care, by the time you invoke such powers you would have sacked everybody, and that’s why we encourage people to use internal mechanisms where we tolerate each other and allow our differences not to undermine the collective interest of the party.”
According to him, the National Executive Committee is positioned to reconcile the party alongside the flagbearer to ensure a united front going into election 2024.
“We are neither for nor against the conflict because conflicts will always be part of politics, and when it comes, for us as referees and arbiters, our role is to give each of the persons who have complained a fair hearing” he added.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Professor Seidu Alidu, wants the NDC to fix these internal grievances before the elections. According to him, the fact that these experienced politicians opened up to the media about their concerns means that the problem might have existed for some time.