A political scientist at the University of Ghana says the eight broad recommendations made by the Kwesi Botchwey Committee represented the cornerstones of the 2016 defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Dr Alidu Seidu said the NDC’s stunning defeat in last year’s hotly contested elections was self-inflicted that was avoidable if leadership of the party had listened to the grassroots.
He told Joy News Tuesday, the now opposition party kept people in academia “at arm’s length” when it was in government.
This, the political scientist believes impacted negatively on the quality of research the party undertook in the lead up to the 2016 election.
[L-R] NDC National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy and Professor Kwesi Botchwey
The Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee tasked to research into the cause(s) of the NDC defeat has presented its report to the party Monday.
The Committee in its 455-page report made eight key recommendations which it believes will help the party to reconnect to its base.
They include the restoration of the integrity of the party’s biometric register, going back to its social democratic philosophy, strengthening its intellectual and research base and listening to the voice of the grassroots.
The Kwesi Botchwey Committee recommended steps be taken to crowd the party with critical thinkers.
NDC Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho told Joy News, recommendations by the Committee reflected the message by the party’s founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings to mark this year’s June 4 uprising.
The former President told a gathering in the Upper West Regional city of Wa, the NDC lost the 2016 election because it deserted its values.
He said the values – justice, probity and accountability – on which the party was founded in 1992, were disregarded.
“If we cannot get our claws off to allow for fresh leadership to emerge, then we shall sink even further,” he called for fresh leaders for the party ahead of the 2020 elections.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings
Mr Anyidoho said the NDC believes “there is that core button that we need to press,” to be able rally its grassroots to unseat the “spineless government of Akufo-Addo.”
Dr Alidu said the NDC will be competitive ahead of the 2020 general elections if it implements the recommendations made by the Kwesi Botchwey Committee.
“There is always a synergy between the broader grassroot people and those at the top,” he said, adding for any party to better reflect the needs of its grassroots, it has to feed on the “intellect and the wisdom of research.”
He said the “ability to know what the grassroots want…ability to feel the reaction or the acceptance of the grassroot to the party’s ideas, programmes and philosophy” all depend on the work of research which could be better carried out if people in academia are brought on board.
Dr Alidu called on the leadership of the NDC to replicate its research departments at the Regions, Constituencies and branch levels in order to understand what its members are thinking at any particular time.