Election 2024 is critical for the future of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and therefore both human and material resources at the disposal of the party must be used judiciously to propel their chances moving into the Presidential and Parliamentary polls.
In view of this, even decisions taken for and on behalf of the NDC must be considered carefully and cautiously not cause apathy and rancour in the party as every single vote is very precious for who becomes the next President on the ticket of the NDC as well as who becomes a Member of Parliament for the party.
The focus of this article is to assessed the impact of the decision contained in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament announcing the removal of key individuals from the Minority front bench in the legislature.
This has arguably been contextualized as something more like serving the parochial interest of the National Chairman, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah and the General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, which has since brought serious acrimony within the rank and file of the party.
Narrowing the conversation now down to the first casualty, the embattled former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who is also the NDC MP for Tamale South Constituency in the northern region.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu has over the years developed and established himself in the biggest opposition party as far as Ghana’s political life is concerned.
He is a colossus, an institution and one of the movers and shakers in the National Democratic Congress as far as the fourth republican dispensation is concerned.
And for that matter, any decision that would be taken by any person or group of persons in the NDC that would have an effect on him (Haruna Iddrisu) must as well measure its subsequent implications.
This is no way to suggest or create an impression the latter is untouchable or beyond reproach because he may have his flaws as well, naturally so because, he is a leader.
However, no rational human being in the NDC can also underestimate or take for granted the political influence of the lawmaker in the party especially in the five regions of the north and to a large extent in Ghana.
Even though, in the northern region in particular, the governing New Patriotic Party in recent elections has been making some significant gains in both parliamentary and the popular votes for their Presidential candidates, the contribution of Mr. Haruna Iddrisu to the success of NDC should not be taken for granted.
The NDC since former President John Dramani Mahama took over as leader of the party has lost its balance in the northern region and this has manifested in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 general elections.
The party has cumulatively lost more than 400,000 votes within the three elections to Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP.
The New Patriotic Party has also taken over some traditional seats of the NDC such as Karaga, Mion and won Savelugu in 2016 which they lost again in 2020. But both parties presently share the 18 constituencies of the northern region equally.
But for the Haruna Iddrisu factor in the 2020 general elections, the NPP would have conquered majority parliamentary seats in the northern region with the emergence of some strong and resourceful candidates.
Mr. Iddrisu provided material resources and physical cash to save some of the NDC candidates in the north.
He also provided 4×4 cross-country vehicles to now MPs for Savelugu, Tamale Central and many other constituencies which propelled the individuals to win their elections.
The NPP took advantage of that to campaign against him in the Tamale South Constituency with a rhetorical question to the constituents “where is the MP”?.
The constituents were made to believe that he had abandoned them for other constituencies and that they should vote against him but the people still kept faith with him and voted massively for him in 2020.
The decision to remove Mr. Iddrisu as the Minority Leader has received widespread condemnation in the political circles of Ghana. This has also caused the wrath of the grassroots of the party in the northern region.
Some aggrieved members of the party have come out to fiercely oppose the decision and have threatened to vote skirt and blouse in 2024 which infers that they will vote for the party in the parliamentary and vote against it in the presidential.
There were already some seeming bad blood in the NDC between the Tamale South MP and loyalists of former President Mahama in the region.
As a result, the Mahama group in the northern region welcomed the news of his removal and commended the party national hierarchy for such a decision.
Your guess would be as good as any person who understands the dynamics of northern region politics if the Haruna Iddrisu factor is missing in 2024.
There are those who believe the Tamale South legislator will revolt as a wounded lion whose integrity and reputation is on the line.
It is yet to be seen how the NDC will handle this controversial issue and assuage the feelings of Mr. Haruna Iddrisu and his longstanding loyal supporters.
Political watchers would be watching to see what will unfold in the coming days and the outcome of the 2024 general elections, particularly in the Northern Region.
Mohammed Gadafi, is the Chief Correspondent for The Custodian in the North