A presidential hopeful of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Joshua Alabi, has called for a change in direction and a fresh lease of life for the NDC in its forward march to win the 2020 polls.
He said since the 2012 election, the party had slumped in terms of votes and the situation could worsen in 2020 if there was no change in direction.
He even warned that: “If we do not take care and change this trend, when the current generation of leaders phase out we may no longer have an NDC.”
Prof. Alabi was speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview at his residence in Accra last Tuesday.
Prof. Alabi who is among seven other candidates seeking to become the flag bearer of the NDC for the 2020 general election, therefore called on the NDC delegates to reflect and vote wisely in the collective interest of the party.
The other candidates are former President John Dramani Mahama, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Alban S.K. Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah, Nurudeen Ali and Goosie Tanoh.
The NDC has scheduled Saturday, February 23, 2019 for the party’s nationwide presidential primary.
According to Prof. Alabi, the NDC as a political party “needs fresh air and we must free the party from its current low image”.
The NDC, Prof. Alabi also pointed out, must avoid what he called “crowd politics” as it did in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
“In 2016 we filled the whole of the Accra Sports Stadium but what happened was a disastrous outcome at the 2016 polls,” he argued.
He recalled that prior to the 2016 Election, some aggrieved members of the NDC said they wouldn’t vote and the party dismissed it without making conscious effort to address their concerns.
In that election, the NDC dropped votes in the Volta and Northern regions, he stated.
He further recalled that in the 2016 election, the Electoral Commission sent ballot boxes to 72 tertiary institutions and out of the 72, the NDC lost 69.
Prof. Alabi said the party only won two from the Volta Region and one from the Northern Region.
“Our research points to the fact that our children by the time they get to the tertiary institutions move to different political parties because they complain of neglect as the party pays no or little attention to the student front,” he stated.
According to Prof. Alabi, the students do not see any reason why they should follow their parents to support the NDC, saying: “The only way we can ensure and encourage our children to join NDC is to see to it that their parents’ lives have changed for the better and they themselves (students) can attest to the quality change.
In the view of Prof. Alabi, if you use ‘lackadaisical approach’ to party organisation, the NDC shall continue to struggle in opposition.
He therefore cautioned delegates and members of the NDC to change direction and refocus on their social democratic credentials if they are to remain relevant in the affairs of state.
As the NDC go to the polls on February 23, 2019 to elect a flag bearer, Prof. Alabi stressed the need for a flag bearer with a vision to transform the NDC party and the country.
He also insisted on contest of ideas and a flag bearer who could win and serve a term of eight years for the party.
“Give me the opportunity to serve the NDC in the capacity of a flagbearer. Those of us who want to stand for the flagbearer position of the party are not enemies but we only want to serve and contribute our quota to the party and the well-being of state,” he declared.
“I believe my experience in youth leadership, national governance, political party leadership, sports and educational management will come to bear when I am the leader of this country,” he gave an assurance, stressing that “the vision owner is the best person to sit in the driving seat to execute the vision to its logical conclusion”.
This is because the vision owner has the plans and means to execute the vision.
On his motivation, Prof. Alabi said he would focus on job creation as well as the empowerment of women, children and the youth.
He said with job creation and unemployment tackled, there would be peace, progress and prosperity in the country.
He said he would use agriculture, sports, trade, industry and science and technology to create the needed jobs for the country.
On the party front, Prof. Alabi indicated that the late President Atta Mills built a national office for the NDC party and he was going to put up decent offices in all the 275 constituencies as well as ensure that every constituency gets a bank account with a fixed deposit amount to run party affairs at the constituency level.
“My motivation is to come up with practical and measurable policies to transform the party and the country as a whole,” he concluded.