March 2, 2024

Dr Lawrence Appiah

In a compelling appeal to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Lawrence, the esteemed Founder of the Diaspora Progressive Movement in the USA, has urged the party leadership to reconsider the ban on volunteer groups and reinstate them to enhance party structures and bolster grassroots support.

The NDC had previously imposed a ban on all volunteer groups, with the exception of The Professional Forum, in a move intended to streamline party operations and ensure a cohesive approach. However, Dr Lawrence has emphasized that changing circumstances on the ground warrant a reconsideration of this policy.

Highlighting the challenges facing some party structures in various countries and towns, Dr Lawrence stressed that the absence or ineffective functioning of these structures is a pressing concern. The recent changes in leadership within the party, including the appointment of a new Chairman, General Secretary, and National Organizer, coupled with the prevailing issues of corruption, disregard for the rule of law, and scandals, have prompted Dr Lawrence’s call for a review.

In anticipation of the upcoming 2024 elections, which are anticipated to be of paramount importance, Dr Lawrence underscored the need for a united front and collective effort. He lamented the lack of substantial contributions from the affiliated groups to support party structures and activities, citing instances like the by-elections in Kumawu and Assin North, where the party’s efforts were significantly enhanced by the involvement of various groups.

Dr Lawrence acknowledged the positive contributions of The Professional Forum, particularly in the United States, highlighting the efforts of Dr Justice Salifu, a member of both the forum and the NDC New York Branch. He envisioned the potential impact of having multiple individuals like Dr Salifu in different affiliated groups, emphasizing the ban as a barrier to achieving this level of support.

One notable consequence of the ban on volunteer groups, as Dr Lawrence pointed out, has been the emergence of numerous WhatsApp groups for political discussions and engagement. He cited the Diplomatic Platform, where members rallied to raise funds and resources for the Assin North elections. Dr Lawrence highlighted the significance of such grassroots initiatives and urged the NDC to leverage these energies rather than stifling them.

Dr Lawrence concluded his impassioned appeal with a series of recommendations to regulate and harness the potential of volunteer groups. He suggested that these groups register with the National or Youth Organizers, paying a nominal fee and providing necessary details about their leadership. These groups would operate in alignment with NDC principles and directives, thereby ensuring their active engagement within the party framework.

Drawing a parallel with the evolving landscape of the Okada business, Dr Lawrence emphasized the need for adaptation and innovation in the face of changing times. He implored the NDC to recognize the significance of grassroots volunteerism and its potential to invigorate party activities and structures.

As the NDC charts its course towards the future, Dr Lawrence’s impassioned plea stands as a call to action, urging the party to embrace the vitality of volunteer groups and harness their collective energy to propel the NDC toward its goals.

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