Former President John Mahama has said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is so vindictive that Ghanaian professionals fear associating with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for fear of losing their jobs or being hunted by the government.
Speaking as the Special Guest at the Annual Conference of the NDC Professionals Forum on Thursday, April 29, the three-time leader of the NDC said the Forum has increased the confidence of professional groups in identifying publicly with the NDC.
Before Pro Forum, Mr. Mahama observed that “we had a lot of people who support the NDC but they hide under the covers and are not willing to show their faces as supporters of NDC”.
“Of course, you can understand why. With people who are so vindictive, I mean for many of them who are still in service, I mean showing their faces is often dangerous”, he noted.
“It is not the same when NDC is in power. People very freely identify with the NPP when NDC is in power and they don’t suffer any adverse consequences for it. Not the same when they are in power. There is a lot of vindictive hunting down of people who are believed to be NDC and taking them out of job.”
His comments come a few days after Sir Sam Jonah lamented that the culture of silence appears to have returned to Ghana’s current democratic dispensation.
In a speech to Rotarians in Accra titled ‘Down the up escalator – Reflections on Ghana’s future by a senior citizen’, the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa, said: “In the past, when all had failed, academia was the last vanguard”.
“We all remember the role that the Legon Observer played”, he said, adding: “Under the hallowed cloak of academic freedom, men and women of conscience could write and speak words that penetrated the halls of power”.
The former president, therefore, praised Pro-Forum for the confidence it has built up in a lot of NDC members, suggesting that in the future the Forum can apply to be an affiliate member of the party in order to be legitimately recognised by Congress.
“Sadly, it is a consequence of the deep partisan polarisation of our country such that everything is seen through the lenses of politics”, noting: “It appears to me that the culture of silence has returned. This time, not enforced by legal and military power but through convenience, parochialism, hypocrisy and lack of conviction”.