Asiedu Nketia to seek re-election

By Clement Edward Kumsah
Asiedu Nketia

The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has declared his intention to seek re-election in the upcoming NDC's National Executive Election.

Speaking in a press conference in Accra today, Mr. Asiedu Nketia disclosed that he is ready to seek re-election as the General Secretary in the upcoming NDC congress.

His declaration of intent contradicts earlier assertion by the Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, that Mr. Asiedu Nketia has confirmed to him [Koku Anyidoho] that he will not contest again for the General Secretary position of the NDC when nominations are open. 

Koku Anyidoho who spoke to Neat FM on Monday, October 16, 2017, said Mr. Asiedu Nketia has told him clearly he was not interested in occupying that office after effectively running it for 12 years.

However, when asked by Journalists at the press conference on Thursday August 2 if he will seek re-election or try other positions in the NDC in the yet to be held NDC National Congress, 'General Mosquito' as he is affectionately called said "I am contesting as a General Secretary".

When Ghana decided to change to the constitutional rule, Asiedu Nketia was elected to the Consultative Assembly which drafted the 1992 Constitution and his performance at the assembly earned him the accolade “Heavy Weight”.

Upon his election to the Consultative Assembly, he resigned his position as Bank Manager and was almost immediately engaged as an Investment Analyst by the National Trust Holding Company Ltd(NTHC).

Here too, he had to combine his duties at the assembly with a Stock Brokerage Investment Analysis Course at the Ghana Stock Exchange on a part-time basis. Upon graduation, Asiedu Nketia was adjudged the best student not only for his class but also for the whole period since the course was established.

Asiedu Nketia became the target of other emerging stock-brokerage companies who were proposing mouth-watering conditions as a means of poaching him from NTHC.

Parliamentary elections

As fate would have it, it was precisely at this time that the youth of the Wenchi West Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, after the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, were mounting pressure on elders to again bring him back to contest the parliamentary elections.

Asiedu Nketia’s decision to yield to the call to serve his community for the third time, denying himself these great financial opportunities, came as a shock to the management of NTHC.

The fact that he was retained as Member of Parliament for 12 years and receiving an honour from Parliament speaks volumes of his performance.

He served on several committees of Parliament, including Appointments Committee, Finance Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Chairman, Mines and Energy Committee, and  Minority Spokesperson on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs.

His achievements included the connection of Seikwa to the national grid; permanent structures of the Seikwa Market and lorry park complex; rehabilitation and extension of the Seikwa water supply system.

Deputy Minister

 From 1997 – 2001, he served as a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (Crops) and policies he  successfully implemented during his tenure included: Unified Agric Extension System; Decentralisation of MOFA; Youth in Agriculture; High Tech Cocoa maintenance; introduction of improved varieties of cassava, maize and rice.

 In 2004,  his decision not to seek re-election to Parliament with the intention of joining his wife in Canada seemed a perfect one as his party,  the National Democratic Congress (NDC), lost the election that year.

Defeat

This defeat, the second in a row, resulted in deep divisions within the party and various factions were formed which in turn led to a feeling of hopelessness among the rank and file of its members at the grassroots.

Matters were made worse by the intensive propaganda campaign of criminalization allegedly waged by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government against NDC ministers, aimed at destroying the party completely.

General Secretary

In December 2005, he won by almost 80 per cent of the votes to become the third General Secretary of the NDC.

Under his leadership rose a re-invigorated NDC ready to match the NPP boot for boot in what was termed as the “Mother of all Elections” in 2008. The result of the election was that late Prof. Evans Atta Mills of the NDC won it under the leadership of the Asiedu Nketia team.

 It is no wonder that in spite of public pronouncements by key power brokers within the NDC against his re-election, the delegates at the National Congress of the party held in Tamale in January 2010 delivered a 93 per cent vote in his favour to continue with the better Ghana Agenda of the ruling NDC. 

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