Former Head of Communications of the NDC’s Transition Team and now current Minister of Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh has been badly exposed by the latest cables published by the whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks over a meeting she had with the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Donald G. Teitelbaum.
The said cable titled “NDC HOPES TO BRING MINOR PARTIES INTO THE TENT” with reference ID: 09ACCRA29, divulges a wide range of issues ranging from governance, the role of President J. J. Rawlings to party (NDC) operations. But what is striking is the revelation of an agenda that has tactfully been implemented by the President since he assumed office in 2009.
The summary of the cable is stated as:
“1. (U) SUMMARY. Poloff met on January 13 with Hannah Tetteh, the new ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party's head of communications for the transition. She discussed the state of the handover, parliamentary issues, party appointments and changes, Kufuor's final actions as President, NDC's quest for better gender equality in government, and the likely role of former president Jerry
Rawlings. Most significantly, Tetteh described how the NDC plans to merge the two most important minor parties--the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the People's National Convention (PNC) into the NDC fold, basically turning Ghanaian politics into a two-party system. END SUMMARY.”
According to the cable, Ms Hannah Tetteh told the US ambassador in a meeting on 13th January 2009 (only six days in office) that the NDC hopes to bring into its fold some minority parties. She indicated that the NDC would start by courting the CPP and PNC members of parliament (MPs) to sit with the NDC in Parliament; a plan that has been achieved half way (Hon. Samia Nkrumah of the CPP refused but the PNC agreed).
“3. (C) Tetteh confirmed that the NDC had paid dearly to obtain the votes of the two PNC members in Parliament (reftel), saying that in addition to accommodating the party with district, commission, and ambassadorial positions, both MPs would be receiving Deputy Minister jobs in return for their agreement to sit with the NDC to constitute a
legislative majority. Enforcing party discipline on critical votes would still be a key objective, since the margin was so thin. She also noted that the party was courting Alhaji Saani Iddi, the independent MP from Wulensi in the Northern Region, but that so far his demands (for both position and money) were unreasonable, and he would "have to come back down to earth." On the subject of neophyte CPP politician
Samia Nkrumah (Kwame Nkrumah's daughter, who has joined neither majority or minority in Parliament, and has pledged to vote on issues based on their merit), Tetteh simply shook her head and said "that girl is going to have a lot to learn."
Ms. Hannah Tetteh also confided in Ambassador Teitelbaum that the NDC would no more be a Rawlings but an Nkrumaist. She virtually denounced Article 6 of the NDC Constitution which indicates that the Party was established on the Vision and Leadership of President Rawlings. By that denouncement, the party would then drift from its original principles and values (probity, accountability and social justice) to reviving the failed principles of the CPP.
It therefore brings to the fore why President Mills has consciously projected Dr. Nkrumah by celebrating the century, legislating a holiday on his birthday, featuring his portrait on the Ghana Two Cedi note (GHC2) and many more while the architect of this government remains homeless; a CPP agenda on course.
Ms Hannah Tetteh was very confident of the agenda even though she admitted President Rawlings would be the obstacle. She then said that the Party will project President Mills and Vice President Mahama as true CPP by tracing to their old school days. She also claimed that the NDC will be depicted as the rightful claimant to Nkrumaism.
“6.(C)Finally, Tetteh said that the NDC is very keen to consolidate its power by incorporating both the CPP and PNC parties into the NDC, and convincing both their executive councils and their followers that they have no future as minor parties (a supposition that could be reasonably deduced by their steady decline in support in recent elections). The plan is to assert that the NDC is the rightful inheritor of the principles of both parties, and that its manifesto more closely mirrors the aspirations of each party and the tenets
of Nkrumahism. The party also plans to play on the CPP origins of both Mills and Vice President John Mahama. While he was still in secondary school, Mills was selected to study at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, and became a CPP member. Mahama's father was a minister under Nkrumah, and the family has long-standing CPP ties”.
This probably explains why all the CPP ‘senior Journalist’ have re-grouped to fight President Rawlings on behalf of President Mills and the NCP elements within the NDC.
In the concluding part of this cable which is Ambassador Teitelbaum’s comment, Ms. Hannah Tetteh boldly told the Ambassador that they would tame President Rawlings and make him insignificant in order to make the NDC a CPP tradition.
“8.(C)COMMENT. Managing to co-opt the two significant minor parties with any real following would be a huge coup for the NDC, but it is unlikely to be a ploy they can carry out anytime soon. Party allegiances still run deep, especially for the PNC in the northern regions of Ghana, and for the CPP in the Western Region where Nkrumah was born. Constitutionally, any formal party change for MPs would require them to sit for a by-election. Tetteh also acknowledged that a major obstacle to winning over those party loyalists is named Jerry Rawlings. She said that the party would have to prove that Rawlings was truly out of power, something she was sure they could manage. There is no denying, however, that given the waning fortunes of the CPP and PNC and the soul-searching that has resulted from their abysmal showing in the 2008 elections, the ruling NDC party is making its move at the right time. With patience and the prudent distribution of largesse, courting these blocs could deliver a significant long-term dividend.
How shocking these revelations are; it has come at the final execution stage where President Rawlings is being reduced to an ordinary member of the NDC. The timing of these leaks is good for the image of the NDC. Let the schemers be assured that their agenda will not see the happiness of day light.
Leadership of the Party must acquaint themselves with the fact that failure to act, the silent majority of NDC will perish this shameful agenda even if it will cost us future battle.
Written by: Brogya Genfi (the author is an NDC Youth Activist and a member of the NDC Regional Communications Committee – Ashanti)
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