Some 120 members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have defected to join the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Kwesimintsim Constituency in the Western Region.
At a press conference to announce their defection, the spokesperson of the defectors, Mr Theophilus Kwame Fiagbe, said both former President John Mahama, flagbearer of the NDC and the party’s parliamentary candidate for Kwesimintsim, Mr Philip Buckman, have failed them, thus, their decision to cross-carpet and from an alliance with President Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the same constituency, Dr Prince Hamid Armah, who is also the Executive Director of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).
“In life, we believe that when you are on a path and you realise that there is a better way to do things, you must change course.
“In politics especially, which is about the well-being of people, we must constantly assess our position in order to ensure that we are in line with our aspirations.
“We were members of the National Democratic Congress. We have worked in various ways and toiled for the party throughout its years in government and in opposition.
“When we joined, we were assured that this was a party that had the interests of the ‘common person’ at heart.
“We were led to believe that the party would work on behalf of people like us and not just the few who have the privilege of being close to the people at the top”, Mr Fiagbe narrated.”
He continued: “When in power, the NDC only serves as a vehicle for a privileged few to enrich themselves while life gets tougher for the common people like us whom the party claims to be working for.
“Instead of social interventions to cushion the lives of the underprivileged, we have dubious schemes that only go further into the nests of the already-rich while the poor taxpayer picks up the bill.
“As we approach the December elections, we have waited patiently to hear the plans that the party has for the people of Ghana. That wait has been in vain. Neither the presidential candidate, former President Mahama or the parliamentary candidate here in Kwesimintsim, Mr Philip Buckman, demonstrated that they have an understanding of our plight or the ideas that will make our lives better.
“Sadly, records show that this has not been the case. Despite our disappointment and unhappiness, we remained in the party because we were unsure where else to find a political home. That, however, is no longer the case.”
“Dr Armah’s inspiring life story, his demonstrable competence, his empathy for those in need and his focus on politics that is about uniting and uplifting people has been a breath of fresh air in Kwesimintsim politics.
“Born right here in Sofon Zongo to a Muslim father and Christian mother, his rise to the top of academic and professional fields is proof of what hard work and dedication can do, even for someone born in the same difficult circumstances as ourselves. What is even more heart-warming is the fact that he has not forgotten his roots.
“Despite the opportunity to live and work abroad, he chose to come home to Ghana and contribute to national development. He could have chosen a life of comfort living off the profits of his toil, but he has chosen to serve the people of Kwesimintsim, including us.”
“We have followed keenly as Dr. Armah has shared his vision for Kwesimintsim. We have listened to him in person and through his media interactions, and we see someone who truly cares, has the right ideas and is demonstrably capable of seeing his vision through. He is indeed the right man for Kwesimintsim at this time.
“In light of this, we are announcing today, to the whole world, that we are renouncing our membership with the National Democratic Congress with immediate effect and joining the New Patriotic Party. We are leaving the party of John Mahama and Philip Buckman for the party of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Prince Hamid Armah”, he told journalists.
According to him, they can no longer be with a party of “SADA and bus branding corruption”.
The said they prefer to be with “the NPP of Free SHS and NaBCo”.
One by one, all the defectors took turns to denounce their membership of the biggest opposition party and deface their NDC cards in the presence of Dr Armah.
Welcoming the defectors, Dr Armah said: “The NPP is a party of opportunities, we believe in improving the lot of all. I’m happy you have seen the light, work with us to get more of the NDC members to join the NPP”, he told the defectors.
The NPP’s Western Regional Organiser, Abdul Ganiyu Mohammed; Assistant Regional Secretary, Rex Johnfiah; and the Constituency First Vice Chairman, Jerry Hanson, were all at the defection ceremony to welcome the new members into the governing party.