Aspiring Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Goosie Augustus Tanoh, has indicated his intention to transform Ghana when given the chance by delegates of the party to lead them to victory in the 2020 general elections.
Mr. Tanoh stated this when he interacted with the media to outline his campaign plans for the NDC Presidential slot dubbed, “Organising for Ghana.”
Mr. Tanoh also announced 10th October as the commencement of his campaign tour to engage, listen and share ideas with party members at the grassroots.
According to him, when given the slot to serve the party and the nation at large, he would work hard to eliminate extreme poverty, resuscitate the almost collapsed health sector, revive the economy and make Ghana a powerful and admirable country in Africa and the world in general.
Mr. Goosie Tanoh said he will build productive sectors with universal healthcare, provide real living wages, ensure food security and food sufficiency to reduce perennial importation of food and empower the people by creating wealth through self-help projects.
He pledged his readiness to re-establish relations with people in NDC with trust, saying he had the demonstrable capacity to mobilise in both the private and public sectors with strict adherence to the tenets of the party.
Mr. Gossie charged the media to be objective and professional by debating issues and policies and not personalities as that could be retrogressive.
He acknowledged the key role played by the media in the development agenda of the country and urged them to remain neutral and make politicians and all Ghanaians for that matter accountable to what they say and do.
Mr. Tanoh on August 30 this year at the party headquarters presented his letter of intent to contest the flagbearer position of the NDC.
He was a student activist in the struggles against military rule in the late 1970s and a close associate of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council) and a mentee of Tsatsu Tsikata then an activist and law lecturer at Legon.
He did his LLM at Chicago’s prestigious Northwestern University between September 1980 and June 1982 specialising in Labour Law and International Trade and Investment Law.
Mr. Tanoh returned to Ghana in June 1982 to work as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Flt. Lt. Rawlings, an old political associate.
He simultaneously served as a member of the National Defence Committee, the principal political organ of the PNDC, which coordinated the socio-economic interventions of the Peoples Defence Committees (PDCs) and Workers Defence Committees (WDCs) (self-organised grassroots organisations that had emerged to fight the corruption and decay that was the legacy of the 1966 coup and the military regimes that followed it).
As Head of Projects and Programmes, Goosie oversaw the rebuilding on a popular and voluntary basis of a wide range of community infrastructure and services and the development of rural enterprises.
In 1986, Goosie was appointed as member of Ghana’s delegation to the UN Security Council and a representative at the UN General Assembly for 2 years.
After his diplomatic service ended, he took up the position of Executive Director of Finance and Administration at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Accordingly, when the PNDC decided (at the CDR movement’s behest) to return Ghana to civilian rule, Goosie was invited to represent CDRs in the consultative assembly which drafted Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution.
Goosie then left GNPC and worked full time in the Forum for Sustainable Development (FSD), an activist think-tank supported by the Association of CDRs to guide the transition from PNDC to constitutional rule.
FSD first conducted intensive nationwide consultation with ordinary Ghanaians about their hopes and fears for post-PNDC national politics.
Based on this grounding, FSD worked through the CDR network with millions of ordinary Ghanaians to constitute the mass base of a new political party that would retain the best of the PNDC while transcending its less desirable attributes (He was at the Centre of the formation of the “Front” and “Development Union” which eventually merged with other groups to form the NDC).
Goosie was one of the prominent founding members of the NDC who openly raised concerns about the lack of internal democracy in the NDC and the resultant watering down of the NDC’s commitment to empowering ordinary people that resulted from the wholesale re-appointment of former PNDC officials into the Rawlings cabinet.
The confrontation over internal democracy, accountability, and direction resulted in their departure in 1999 to form the National Reform Party (NRP) and he stood as the NRP Presidential candidate in the 2000 election which was won by President Kufuor.
In 2004, President Mills appealed to NRP cadres to return to the NDC and work with him to effect the reforms that the NRP had proposed.
Most NRP activists accepted this offer and Goosie had since remained out of the NDC spotlight but continued his grassroots political work and cultivated a new cadre dedicated to democratising the NDC and reviving its earlier culture of voluntarism, accountability and transparency and has been a key player in all recent NDC campaigns.
In recent years, Goosie has worked as a consultant and a developer of energy and industrial infrastructure while planning the revival of the agribusiness, which has the capacity to transform the countryside on a more democratic basis and define sensible parameters for state investment in rural development.
By William Sarpong