How NDC USA Leadership is Trying to Block Voters from the Ballot Box
As we all know and have experienced in the past, it is sensible, ethical and morally right to make the voting process as easy and accessible to the voting population as possible. Anything contrary to this simple universal rule is purely voter suppression. And this create unnecessary barrier for people to exercise their voting rights. Conniving to move the voting venue from the people severely compromises democracy. Democracy works best when all eligible voters can participate and have their voices heard.
NDC USA general election is about a month away and all signs are pointing to the fact that if the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC does not put in place proactive measures, the NDC USA Chapter will soon be plunged into division, which has been its perennial problem.
I wish to express my utmost disappointment with the approach of our upcoming elections by chapter leadership. As an active member of NDC USA and a stakeholder to that effect, I have been following keenly with rapt attention on the development leading to our upcoming elections. It lacks transparency, consistency, fairness and credibility.
My biggest challenge at the moment has to do with the hosting of the event. NDC New York met and discussed the possibility of hosting the event in unison and with excitement after the chapter leadership opened a tender for all branches to bid.
Following the announcement of an open tender for all branches to bid with the hope of hosting the upcoming 2022 elections, New York branch expressed interest, followed the laid down process and placed a bid. Surprisingly, our chapter leadership has issued nullification of a won bid by New York branch.
The fact is that in the past, the chapter practiced the delegate system that allowed every branch to elect 3 delegates to its elections conference to elect members of the national executive council. This system allowed branches to bid to host the election conference. The delegate conference system did not require the entire membership to congregate at a single location to exercise their franchise. They indirectly voted through their elected delegates. This system saved members the trouble of having to travel far with its attendant inconveniences as well as avoid the huge cost involved. However, the system was fraught with numerous challenges. One of the problems was that incumbents could create new branches whenever elections were upcoming to maximize the number of delegates to their advantage. Another problem was that large branches were poorly represented.
Due to the challenges of the delegate conference system, one-man-one vote system was introduced to replace the anachronistic system. Under the new system, the national executive members of the NDC USA Chapter were to be elected by the entire membership. This means that all members were to converge at a single location to exercise their franchise. The Chapter held its last conference in Atlanta, Georgia, which is in the Southeastern part of the United States. In the elections, whose outcome produced the current executive council, only few members were able to attend because of the distance of the venue. There was therefore, the suggestion that the subsequent conferences should take place in areas accessible to majority of the members.
On the contrary, the current NDC USA leadership are hell bent on stationing the election conference at sparsely NDC members populated states like Illinois, Ohio, or Texas, which are proximate to supporters of them, but not accessible to 80% of the registered members in the East Coast of the US where her main contender hail form. As a subterfuge to disenfranchise majority of NDC members in branches such as that of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, there is perceived to be a plan to take the conference to either Texas, Ohio or Illinoi. If this is achieved, those from flying distance numbering approximately over 700 members will be disenfranchised.
The current machinations and the desperado seem to suggest that that popularity within the rank and file of NDC USA current leadership has waned. They are therefore afraid that if the election conference is held in New York city they cannot retain their positions because majority will participate. Therefore, every effort is being made to cancel the result of a bid to host the election conference, they supervised, which New York won. Whiles the New York’s branch Chairman and his executives are already preparing to host the conference, there is every indication that NDC USA leadership is lobbying Accra to cancel the June 30 bid results because it did not go their way and then use executive power to station it in Texas or Chicago and cause the disenfranchisement of 80% of the members who cannot fly to these locations from the East Coast. This attitude and subterfuge has caused “war clouds” to start gathering especially in the North East.
It will therefore be expedient for the National leadership of the NDC, especially our Venerable Hon. Alex Segbefia, the Director of IRD of the NDC to take charge of the election of executives in the US and use his wisdom and sense of fairness to avert any potential division and infighting. He should avoid any decision that denies New York City the chance to host the upcoming elections.
Justice delayed, is justice denied
Long live the NDC
The writer is a former Secretary, NDC New York Branch