On Tuesday 27th December 2022, the incumbent Chairman for NDC UK/Ireland chapter, Chairman Alhaji Alhassan Mbalba cemented his bid for re – election based on hardcore evidence of successes chalked by his administration in the last four years. The occasion brought together stalwarts within the party in the UK and other chapters in the diaspora.
In attendance were the current chapter secretary, comrade Michael Dzidula Kudiabor seeking re-election, comrade Francis Torto, aspiring chapter vice Chairman, comrade Awal Zibrim, chapter youth organizer hopeful and the incumbent Deputy Chapter secretary, comrade Awudu Sannie who is also vying to retain his position. Ms Gladys Agalga and Ms Victoria Amoabil contenders for Chapter Deputy Women’s organiser were also present. Mr Jonathan Thompson of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) gave the opening remarks by highlighting Chairman’s Mbalba’s personal qualities such as providing transformational, interactive, reflective and consistency in purposeful leadership. The Chairman Mbalba’s campaign team made up of Mr. Christian Aboagye, Campaign Manager, Mr. David Kofi Dadzie, Deputy Campaign Manager, Ms. Adelaide Manu, Campaign Advisor, Ms. Rebecca Kwofie, Campaign Advisor, Mr. David Owusu, Campaign team member and Hajia Muna Abdallah, Campaign team member were equally present to grace the occasion.
Chairman Mbalba holds a BA in Social Work with Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon and an MSc. Advanced Social work (Leadership and Management) from the University of Westminster, UK. Chairman Mbalba also has a law degree (LLB) from the University of London and currently studying to professional legal course.
As a social worker who has grown through the ranks to managerial level, Chairman Mbalba has actively been one of the key pillars within the NDC UK/Ireland Chapter for a very long time and he has indeed seen it all from being in government as a party and in opposition. Indeed, he has rich leadership experience from previous Chapter chairpersons that managed the affairs of the NDC UK/Ireland chapter in the last two decades. Having served as a Deputy Chapter Secretary, it is not surprising that the last four years of his administration has seen accelerated growth of the chapter in membership drive, impact in Ghana and other diaspora chapters.
Touching on his manifesto, Chairman Mbalba intends to continue the unprecedented membership drive chalked by his administration in anticipation for ROPAL. He further stated emphatically that he would continue to inaugurate new branches across the UK/Ireland and further revamp dormant branches going into 2024. He hastened to add that he was going to streamline recruitment and registration of new members to make the process robust, proactive and stress free for potential members to join.
As an astute member of the Chapter who holds and believes in integrity and has been an active crusader of this virtue even outside politics, Chairman Mbalba intimated on his fervent, persistent, and deliberate effort to ensure financial accountability within the rank and file of the Chapter in the last 4 years. He intends to proceed further by appointing an internal auditor as enshrined in the party’s constitution, to oversee the day-to-day spending of the chapter.
This according to him will be made public at an appropriate forum. To further strengthen his commitment on accountability, Chairman Mbalba stated that ‘’The chapter treasurer shall prepare and present quarterly financial statements to the chapter and branch leadership’’. Again, the fundraising committee will also be well resourced to start raising funds for the presidential and parliamentary election in 2024. Monies generated will also be made public for transparency and accountability.
Similarly, under the leadership of Chairman Mbalba and in consultation with the incoming chapter treasurer and other executives, there will be a more robust means for collecting the Chapter and party HQ’s share of the dues from branches every quarter.
Chairman Mbalba on his third pillar of his manifesto will set up a policy initiative/campaign strategy committee whose work will be to present the position of the chapter on the 2024 manifesto to Accra. The committee will furnish the Chapter with holistic campaign strategies for 2024 and how the chapter can actively support the entire process.
To foster unity and coherence within the chapter, Chairman Mbalba intends to build a more democratic and inclusive Chapter. Chapter activities will be rotated among the various branches in the Chapter, and he also put a persuasive case forward to the national head office for every country within the Chapter thus Scotland, Republic Ireland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to have a representation at the Chapter Executive committee.
The Chapter will be grouped into zones such as the southern zone, midland and north and west to ensure easy co-ordination and joined up thinking. Again, it is imperative that the number of Chapter executives are increased to include two deputies for some portfolios after broader consultation with the national leadership in Accra. Chairman Mbalba will further work with other Ghanaian political parties in the UK to form Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in the UK where a roundtable discussion will be carried out on issues like ROPAL, Ghana Card etc.
Chairman Mbalba will again revamp the communication team to make it more vibrant in terms of dissemination of information and proactively contributing to national issues in Ghana. Chairman Mbalba intends to put the chapters radio equipment to beneficial use and create vibrant platforms and social media handles where policies of the NDC can easily be articulated.
Responding to some of the accusations levelled against him, Chairman Mbalba was very frank on how occasionally his firm stance on issues in the interest of the party did not sit well with some few individuals within the chapter. This he considered as hazards that come with the job description as the Chapter Chairman for UK/Ireland. He as the substantive Chairman has grown to accommodate all diverse opinions and after winning the Chapter election in 2018 deliberately decided to bring on board some of his contenders after his victory. Though some of the executives have dragged his good intentions and show of leadership in the mud, he is not perturbed but rather poised to continue promoting collective and inclusive leadership because the chapter is stronger together and weaker apart.
He believes the only way to win election 2024 is through unity and not being discriminatory on gender, religion, or tribe to anyone who is in good standing to join the party. He admonished all those contesting him to do so within the confines of the party constitution by campaigning based on issues and not attacking his persona. In his closing remarks, Chairman Mbalba stated that his victory on January 14th, 2023, will propel the Chapter to greater heights with the structures he has put in place in his first tenure. He is further optimistic that the silent majority will show up in their numbers and make their voices heard in his favour based on the successes written by his administration in the annals of the history of the chapter.
BY: Team Mbalba