The decision by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to boycott the ongoing presidential debate of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is cowardly and unsustainable, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of the Crusading Guide, has said.
The NDC has decided not to take part in the IEA debate following claims that the governance think tank disrespected the party‘s structures and its National Organiser Kofi Adams by by-passing them to have meetings with some officials at the seat of government in relation to the debate.
A statement signed by the party’s general secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, said the NDC, “at its Functional Executive Committee (FEC) meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, decided not to participate in any debate to be organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), as far as it is related to the 2016 general elections”.
“All party structures (especially the youth and women’s wings) are to take note and comply accordingly,” the statement said.
Subsequently, Mr Nketiah explained that the boycott was purposed to compel the governance think tank to do the right thing by including all parties in the programme.
But speaking on Multi TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday, June 25, 2016, Mr Baako said: “[It] is cowardly, the decision by the NDC not to partake in this [debate] no matter or regardless the rationalisation, this is a cowardly act… I am saying the party’s decision to boycott this debate is cowardly, not sustainable, and I will wish the president and the leader of the party exercise the requisite leadership in this matter and review the decision to boycott.”
Mr Baako added: “He (President Mahama) was the first sitting president to take part in an IEA presidential debate; previous presidents hadn’t done it… He should be consistent and tell his rank and file and other executives that this is a bad decision …they [NDC] were wrong with the decision, he should review it and be consistent with his earlier action. Very cowardly decision.
“If he (President Mahama) was part of it, then that was poor judgment on his part and that of the party executives,” the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide said.
He further wondered: “Why is it that when it comes to the presidential debate the NDC always finds fault with the IEA and threatens to boycott? Why? Why are they participating in the other programmes of the IEA to the extent that they even get logistical support [in the] Ghana Political Party Support programme, they are part of it…”