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NDC SIDELINES INTELLECTUALS - Kpessah Whyte Cries Out

Politics

Intellectuals in the opposition National Democratic Congress have been complaining about how they are sidelined by executives of the party, especially when it comes to taking vital decisions about the party.

Intellectuals in the opposition National Democratic Congress have been complaining about how they are sidelined by executives of the party, especially when it comes to taking vital decisions about the party.

 

This, they believe, is a deliberate attempt by those in the helm of affairs to marginalize them for reasons best known to them.

According to immediate past Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Kpessa Whyte, there seems to be some fear for intellectuals in the party.

 “There is a certain fear and fright from some people within the party, of intellectuals, and I think that is terrible,” he complained in a radio interview yesterday.

The former NSS boss expressed worry at the manner the NDC had been branded as a party for the masses.

 “It is less the case that the NDC doesn’t have intellectuals and more the case of, maybe, the NDC doesn’t involve the intellectuals in decisions that go on and [that has] become more or less the position of the party,” Dr Whyte lamented.

He said for the NDC to capture power back from the NPP in 2020, there was the need to shift from the masses’ ideology and place more emphasis on the intellectuals within the party.

“The NDC is a mass party but I think within the NDC some people have taken the idea of the party of the masses too far to mean that you don’t need the intellectuals necessarily to lead and I think that it is probably one of our undoing as a party,” he lamented.

The former NSS boss, who contested for the NDC parliamentary primaries for Shai-Osudoku, lost to Linda Akwele Ocloo, a teacher with no political experience, following the death of then parliamentary candidate William Ocloo.

According to him, he could count not less than 20 people who are lawyers or academics who contested in the last primaries, yet their efforts were stifled and were not given the chance to represent the party.

Even the Kwesi Botchwey report recommended that there was the need for the NDC to strengthen its intellectual and research base. According to the report, steps must be taken to crowd the party with critical thinkers.

A political scientist at the University of Ghana, Alidu Seidu, also believes the opposition NDC lost the 2016 election because it kept people in academia “at arm’s length” when it was in government.

This, the political scientist in an interview with Joynews recently, said impacted negatively on the quality of research the party undertook in the lead up to the 2016 election.

"There is always a synergy between the broader grassroot people and those at the top," he said, adding that 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 grassroots 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.