The UK & Ireland Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) inaugurated a new Branch in Scotland on Saturday 12 February 2022 as part of the chapters drive to extend party membership across the UK mainland.
The event held virtually was well attended by large sections of the party’s faithful’s and members, Executives and former members of the UK & Ireland Chapter, including branch members from Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, London North and London South, Hull, Telford and Luton.
In attendance to grace the occasion were Hon. Alex Segbefia, Director for International
Relations, Hon. Joshua Akamba, the National Organiser, Dr. Karl Arhin, Deputy Director for International Relations and Madam Beatrice Demanya, former chapter vice-chair. The electioneering process was held in a calm and transparent atmosphere moderated by the deputy chapter secretary, Alhaji Awudu Sannie. Being the first of it’s kind, the election was held online and the following candidates were duly elected as the new executive members of the NDC Glasgow Branch.
1. Dr. John Ayanaba – Chairman
2 Gabriel Aboyadan – Secretary
3. Joy Norgbeatsi – Organiser
4. Martin Alohan – Youth Organiser
5. Vera Hayibor – Women’s Organiser
6. Elikplim Akoe – Treasurer
7. Emelia Agbotta – Executive Member
8. Ebenezer Essien – Executive Member
9. Dr. Tabbi Wilberforce Awotwe – Communication officer
In a charged atmosphere, the Chapter Organizer, Musah Adamu expressed his profound excitement on the accelerated growth of the party’s membership within the UK and Ireland environs but tasked the newly elected executives to always put the interest of the party first. Introduction of candidates and swearing-in was also conducted by comrade Mike Dzidula Kudiabor, the UK and Ireland chapter Secretary. Comrade Kudiabor called for unity within the rank and file of the party and encouraged members to use the occasion to iron out and eschew all differences as the bigger battle lies in election 2024.
In his official inaugural speech, the chapter chairman, Alhaji Alhassan Mbalba expressed gratitude to all founding fathers and mothers of the Glasgow branch especially Mr Frank Nyame and Mrs Emelia Agbotta for their immense contributions during the early days in the formation of the branch.
He stressed on the need for the newly elected executives not to forget their core mandate to serve the party in truth and integrity. He further reiterated on the need to work as a team with a common goal and that is to make the branch formidable and attractive in order to boost membership drive. Touching on some critical issues in Ghana, Chairman Mbalba expressed some worry on the culture of silence slowly crippling into our body politics. Citing the recent arrest of some notable personalities within the media space in Ghana, he was saddened that all these activities were under the watch of one of the revered human right lawyers in the country with several years standing, occupying the highest seat of the land. On the issue of the dwindling economy, the knee jerk reaction by the NPP on the forceful introduction of the E – levy were signs of insensitiveness of the ruling government hence the needed for them to be voted out of office in 2024.
This according to chairman Mbalba can only be achieved with a united front.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected chairman for Glasgow, Dr. John Ayanaba pledged to work closely with the new executives in order to uphold the ideals and values of the party.
He said he would endeavour to embrace leadership through the creation of an enabling environment to attract more members to their fold. He assured of his willingness to harness all talents within the branch to foster the growth of the party in Glasgow. He further promised to work with neighbouring branches to foster unity so that they can work together to raise party awareness in the Diaspora.
The chapter women’s organiser, Madam Mary Gardener encouraged the newly inaugurated branch to be courageous in all their endeavours. The love for the party according to Madam Gardener should supersede every individual differences. She congratulated the group for the bold step to lead but should not forget, it’s a call to serve.
The chapter Youth Organiser, Alfred Freddy Kotogbor equally expressed his support for the newly created branch. Touching on communication, Simon Aworigo also encouraged all members not to shy away from communicating the views of the party on all social media platforms. He encouraged both the newly created branch and the old to see communication as everyone’s business hence the need to embrace it holistically by all and sundry. The Zongo caucus coordinator also threw his support to the new executives. Branches within the UK gave brief solidarity messages in support of the newly created branch in Glasgow.
Dr. Karl Arhin the deputy director for international relations congratulated all the newly elected executives and tasked them to work hard in unity in order to succeed in their various leadership roles. Dr. Arhin reminded the executives on their code of ethics to always use the party’s constitution as a guide in discharging their responsibilities effectively. Madam Beatrice Demanya highlighted on the party being born out of love and commitment hence members must not forget that even when we disagree, we must not ignore the fact that we are still one people with one common purpose.
The special guest of honour, Hon. Joshua Akamba, equally congratulated the chapter and Glasgow executives on this major feat. Hon. Akamba hinted on how the party leadership appreciate the contribution of members in the diaspora. He made reference to an event organised by the director of international relations, Hon. Alex Segbefia, where the incoming president of Ghana in 2024, John Dramani Mahama and his national executives met all party members in the diaspora to thank them for their support in the 2020 elections.
He however emphasized that the actual work starts after the inauguration hence the new executives should not sit on their laurels but rather be poised to even work harder till victory is won. Hon. Akamba tasked members gathered not to be complacent and assume election 2024 is a done deal but rather be more focused and support the party right from the start to the coalition of results and even declaration.
He highlighted some low moments in the 2020 elections like the killing of innocent electorate and padding of results in some areas in the Ashanti region as issues that must motivate us going into election 2024 never to leave any stone unturned in terms of party security and mobilization pre and post-elections. The NPP according to Hon. Akamba cannot be trusted in their thirst to hold on to power but we in the NDC must be resilient on this mission.
He, therefore, called on membership in the diaspora to keep up the good work but must equally adopt a branch in Ghana and support their branch in diverse ways. He acknowledged the hardships Ghanaians are facing at the moment because of bad leadership built around only family and friends.
He further attributed these challenges to the leakage in the public coffers due to corruption and bad economic management. Hon. Akamba highlighted the need for us as party members to do our homework well in the run-up to election 2024. We must be willing to avail ourselves to every responsibility bestowed on us at any given time. Ghanaians want change and change they must have in 2024. In his concluding remarks, Hon. Akamba said 2024 is a do or die affair and all hands must be on deck.
Lady Vera Hayibor during the vote of thanks also appreciated all members from far and near for gracing the occasion.
Eye Zu, Eye Za
Dr. Tabbi Wilberforce Awotwe
Communication officer – NDC Glasgow Branch