The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has chided the former President and leader of the Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, over his ‘unprincipled and indecisive’ stands on the aborted December 17, 2019 referendum. The NPP at a Press Conference addressed by its General Secretary, John Boadu, referred to the former President as a man who does not stick to principles and cannot make up his mind even on what is good for his country.
Referendum Called Off
The ruling party was reacting to the calling off of the December 17 referendum meant to amend article 55(3) of the constitution by the president and the subsequent directive from the president to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama to withdraw the bill to amend article 243 (1) of the constitution.
The President in a live broadcast on Sunday, 1st December to call off the referendum cited the unfortunate decision of the main opposition party, to break the consensus reached as having spoilt the national environment necessary for amending an entrenched clause in the Constitution. The President further emphasized that he would only progress a process for an amendment of an entrenched clause if there was broad and clear national consensus.
The President stating the processes towards building a national consensus for the referendum revealed how three months after being in office, sought and got the support of his three predecessors, former Presidents John Jerry Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama for these constitutional amendments. Subsequently, both the president and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) undertook series of consultation to get a national consensus towards the exercise.
Regrettably, as the President noted, the NDC that have supported the process since its inception in and outside parliament pulled out of the consensus table and initiated campaign for No vote. The NDC’s sudden U-turn according to the NPP is “nothing else but an unpatriotic betrayal of the Ghanaian people.” “It is yet another clear sign of the lack of leadership at the very top of the main opposition party in Ghana,” said Mr. Boadu.
Mr. Boadu further stated that not only does the NDC’s U-turn reveal a sign of lack of leadership, but also reinforces the former President’s own description in his autobiography that he is ‘indecisive’.
“The leader and 2020 presidential candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, has once again lived up to his own description of himself in his autobiography: indecisive. He cannot take a decision and stick to it. John Mahama is not a leader because he does not stick to principles and cannot make up his mind even on what is good for his country,” Mr. Boadu said.
Alluding to the President’s revelation, the NPP stated that Mr. Mahama told President Akufo-Addo in the presence of Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor in April 2017 that he was in full support of the reforms that will introduce multiparty democracy to the local government system questioning what could have made him change his mind barely four weeks to the polls.
“Can he explain why the sudden flip-flop? It can be nothing but yet another evidence of his weakness as a leader. It sends a clear message that John Dramani Mahama has still not changed and should not be expected for change,” Mr. Boadu said.
Mr. Boadu further stated that the former president’s sudden flip flop gives indication that he is not trustworthy and cannot be trusted in 2020. He described him as one who is desperate for power and whom nothing else matters in his quest for that power.
“A leader who cannot take decisions that will transform the course of his developing nation is not what Ghana deserves. He lacks conviction and commitment,” said the NPP General Secretary.
Support and commendation
The NPP has further threw its weight behind the president for giving the directive for the withdrawal of the bill that seeks to amend Article 243(1) which gives powers to appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). The party stated that given the NDC’s unpredictable and indecisive leadership, they support the Presidents’ approach to withdraw the bills whilst the conversation goes on saying “it is in the national interest that the conversation goes on.”
They commended the President for maintaining the need to secure true multi-party democratic practice in Ghana by agreeing, among other things, to devolve part of his appointive power back to the people in order to fully democratise the nation’s local governance regime and thus strengthen decentralization. “The NPP hopes that sooner than later, a broad national consensus will be arrived at for these amendments to be carried through for the love of God and country,” Mr. Boadu concluded.