The NDC USA, on Saturday May 24 and 25th 2014 held a special biennial conference in Dallas Texas.
Enthusiastic members, patrons, friends, supporters, and National party executives from Ghana converged in the historic City of Dallas to once again re-dedicate themselves to the party and strategize for a successful 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana.
The conference brought together, NDC-USA branches across the country to deliberate on ways to promote the party's agenda and to coordinate various action plans for operation 2016. The theme for the conference was "NDC USA, Building a dynamic, prosperous and Stable Democracy 2016" This conference was part of the year's program line up of activities where various branch executives and their delegates converge to share notes on progress and make decision for the rest of the remaining calendar.
Conferences such as this, affords the chapter a unique opportunity to make important changes to its working documents and rules which eventually help to initiate new plans for action and growth. This year's conference attracted party dignitaries from far and near. Special invited guests from Ghana were; Deputy Secretary General, Mr. George Lawson; Alhaji Baba Sherif, Deputy National Organizer and Hon. Samuel Ambre, Member of Parliament - Assin North.
Welcoming delegates and party officials from Ghana, the chairperson of the host branch, Mrs. Janet Wilson thanked all members for traveling to Dallas or this august meeting. She requested the audience to observe a minutes’ silence in memory of our late beloved Sir Paul Victor Obeng, Hajia Adissa Sally, Agnes Tiah and the mother of our Party General Secretary.
Mrs. Wilson continued by saying “I'm humbled by the number of members and supporters from far and near in attendance."She thanked the executive committee of NDC USA, for entrusting the preparation and organization of this important conference to the Dallas branch. In conclusion, Mrs. Wilson said, "even though we are one of the newest branches, we accepted the challenge to host all of you here in this historic city of Texas."
The chairman of NDC USA, Nii Armah Ashiboi in his welcome remarks thanked all delegates for coming. He thank his executives for doing the work for which they were elected and appealed to all branches present to work together to help increase their membership before the 2016 general elections in Ghana. He thank all invited guest from far and near for doing the work of the chapter by honoring the invitation to participate in this important conference. In closing, Nii Ashiboi promised to continue his efforts to bring all branches on board enhance the chances of the NDC to retain power in 2016.
Speaking to enthusiastic members and executives from all over the United States in attendance, the deputy general secretary of the Party, Mr. George Lawson encouraged delegates and members to continue to work as hard as never before to support the Party and President Mahatma’s Administration. He assured the executives and members that they will receive the necessary support from the party at home. He however charged the NDC faithful to embark on membership drive by forming new branches. He said that due to the reorganization currently underway, there is a directive for the National Executives and branches to hold elections.
He reiterated the need to for membership drive because numbers count in politics. He said, the Electoral Commission , EC,is also embarking on a limited registration exercise throughout the country as early as next month, as required by our constitution that every Ghanaian of 18 years an above must be registered to vote. He maintained that, NDC party will also do its part as a national party, by training party officials at regional and constituency levels to monitor the exercise by the EC. He reminded members of the party to remain vigilant and beware of detractors of the President's agenda who wish to see the country fail just for political expediency.
Mr. George Lawson assured delegates and members that, the President is on course and those who are anticipating to see will fail will be disappointed. He however said that the economic difficulties being experienced in the country currently are not peculiar to Ghana alone, but a global phenomenon. In Ghana's case, there are certain factors responsible, among them he said, was the donor support component of the overall budget is lacking. The other problem is the wage bill which is taking a toll on the overall budget. The wages for example takes about 70% of the total budget leaving less than 30% for needed infrastructure and service for other sectors of the economy.
Mr. George Lawson however remained optimistic that, "as social democrats, the NDC remains committed to full implementation of policies and programs which would lead to greater investment opportunities that will enhance development of human, social and economic capacity of all Ghanaians." Mr. George Lawson commended the Dallas branch for doing a wonderful job in hosting this historic event . He told the gathering to continue in this manner and never let the fire in them die before the 2016 election. He concluded by advising the attendees that “The party will need your support to retain power, come 2016."
The deputy National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress Alhaji Baba Sheriff on his part stressed the need for cohesion and dialogue between the NDC USA and the mother party in Ghana.He asserted that" The NDC-USA can influence decision process back home if they stand together as has been demonstrated here at this conference”. Alhaji Baba Sheriff reminded executives and members of the NDC-USA not underscore the role the Chapter played during the course of its history and encouraged the organization not to underestimate itself regarding the possible impact it can make to the National Party and the development of the country in general.
Hon. Samuel Ambre, Member of Parliament for Assim North on his part has asked all members to close their ranks and file to fight for the party and the people of Ghana. He said, the NDC is a party that embraces all Ghanaians and all members are treated equal. He encouraged all participants at the conference to visit their constituencies whenever they visit home and contribute to the development of their areas.
He said members of parliament are doing their best within the limited resources at their disposal but Ghana needs the resources of all its citizens home and abroad to develop. He commended the organizers of the conference and indicated his desire to attend future conferences organized by the branch if invited. He concluded by saying that, President Mahatma is doing what the people of Ghana elected him to do and asked that all well-meaning Ghanaians continue to support his policies to enable him achieve the Better Ghana Agenda.
Speaking on the state of the NDC-USA affairs, the secretary, Mr. Charles Kpodzo, recounted the activities of the organization since its inception in 1992. Mr. Kpozo touched briefly on the history of the chapter. By saying that the, "NDC USA was formally known as North America Coordinating Council (NACC) of NDC. It was the first overseas branch of any known organized Ghanaian political group in the diaspora. Over the years, the NDC USA has distinguished itself as a source of inspiration, resource and incubator of all other NDC chapters outside Ghana.
Charles Kpozo stated that currently, the NDC USA has 21 active branches which are vital to the overall energy and strength of the party machinery. The secretary assured the conferees that, the reorganization and membership drive will be intensified as a matter of urgency. NDC USA he said has declared to work hard hand in hand with the mother party to attain the better Ghana Agenda.
The conference came to a close after new committee members were inducted into office by Hon. Samuel Ambre and Alhaji Baba Sherif.
Source: Charles Kpodzo, Secretary NDC USA
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