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The Institute of Social Democracy set up by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will provide leadership skills to all persons who enrol in it, former President John Dramani Mahama has said.
According to him, it has always been the perception that institutes of this kind are meant to brainwash people but that is not the case.
The NDC, immediately after losing the 2016 elections, decided to set up the institute as part of reforms to recapture political power in future elections.
Speaking during the maiden lecture at the Institute, located at the party’s headquarters in Accra, Mr Mahama said: “The thinking was that it will be set up after we entered multi-party democracy but for 25 years our party has continued without setting up its ideological and party training school, and so I want to congratulate all those who have been behind the setting up of this institute.
“It is a very useful institute and it is going to be a source of knowledge not only to party cadres but for people who have the ideological orientation of social democracy to gain ideas of leadership, nationalism and patriotism. I am very happy and I want to congratulate those who have brought this idea to birth.”
He added: “Contrary to widespread perception, institutes like this are not institutes for indoctrinating people. The perception in the First Republic was that the ideological institutes were set up to brainwash and to become ideologically robust of the governing party.
“But this is not the case. If you look at the curriculum of the ideological institute, it contains programmes of leadership, how to lead in a community, it contains programmes of party activism, it also contain programmes of community self-help, it contains programmes of nationalism, patriotism – how to be patriotic to your country.”