Mr Samuel Koku Sitsofe Anyidoho, a general secretary hopeful of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), envisions superintending over a united party that will ensure discipline in order to win back the support of the party’s founder, ex-president Rawlings, and others who felt insulted by some actions of the current NDC executive administration.
That, he believes, was the surest bet to engendering total support from the national base of the party towards victory in the 2020 elections.
Speaking to his mantra of ‘party first’ in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Koku Anyidoho, as he is popularly called, said the formation of the NDC was predicated on the ideals of probity, accountability and social justice that underpinned the uprisings of May 15 and June 4, 1979 as well as the revolution of December 31, 1981.
Those occurrences, he said, stressed the devolution of power to the people and for that matter the operating principle of the NDC was and ought to be “party first and power to the people.”
He, therefore, described as highly offensive to the founding principles of the party, the fact that “a few people sit in Accra and be changing the constitution of the NDC to suit parochial and sectarian interests.”
Under his watch as general secretary of the NDC, he pledges that “we will not allow cabals to bedevil executives. We must give the power to the party people for them to know their powers and freedoms.”
Ensuring party discipline
Also important to the quest to wrest power from the ruling party, he said, the bigger issue of party discipline was paramount.
He recounted that indiscipline was one of the reasons why the party lost the elections in 2016, saying there were a lot of instances of indiscipline.
“If people can refer to the founder of the party as a barking dog that has been caged, then the room would be created for insulting the founder of the party but with party discipline, no one would be allowed to insult the founder of the party and its elders,” he posited.
Stressing the need for party discipline to start from the top and trickle down to the base, he said “as elected national elected officers, we must ensure party discipline much more than the people at the lower levels. There should be no room for the situation where elected national party officials can insult the founder. That would not be allowed to go on.”
Mr Anyidoho, who is contesting a fierce battle with the current General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, stressed that “we must not sit at the top and think that we are more human than those at the bottom, after all, it is the branches of the party that give membership to party members and not the party headquarters.”
That, for him implied: “So if you are at the national headquarters, it does not mean that you are more important than the person at the branch level or the constituency.”
No accusing fingers
Asked whether he was not part of the administration that lost the election in 2016, he remarked that “the General Secretary of the party is the campaign manager and so if there is any question regarding why the party lost in 2016, then the that person should be the best to say.”
His point was that he was not in a position to point accusing fingers at anybody but his mission, is to “bring on board the founder, the cadres and those at the grassroots and I will not allow other people to insult the founder.”
His ultimate goal is to ensure a strong and united NDC with working structures and more respect for elders where structures would not be abused. That, he said, was the best means of attracting the discontented one million voters back to the party. “Then as a party, we will carry our flag bearer into the elections.”
His contended that at all times, the supremacy of the NDC as a unit, ought to be protected and that no room should be created for splinter groups as was the case in 2016 “which largely led to our defeat.”
The issue of splinter groups, he stressed, was alien to the party in 2016 and as general secretary, he was promising that no such thing would be entertained to wit: “what I am promising is that under my management, there would be no room for splinter groups and I will give the constituencies the go-ahead to chase out any splinter group that will enter any constituency.”
Under his reign, he said, “people will not come to the national office and be treated like dirt on the ground.” Also, he stressed that after working as a party and winning power, “no strangers will be appointed. The party, the structures, the constituencies will have a big voice when it comes to appointments.”
Mr Anyidoho is currently touring the three regions in the northern part of the country from where he will move to the Eastern Region and then to the Volta Region where he hails from, and conclude with a tour of the Greater Accra Region where the congress of the party is scheduled to take place on November 17, 2018.