Former President John Dramani Mahama and Alban Bagbin
There appears to be a consensus among the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that former President John Dramani Mahama will lead the NDC into another electoral debacle if he is elected as the party’s flagbearer for 2020.
All the NDC stalwarts, who have declared their intention to lead the party in 2020, have described former President as ‘damaged goods’ who cannot be the flagbearer but he is adamant and determined to call the shots once again.
So far about six aspirants have declared their intention to contest John Mahama, who is tipped to carry the day but has not declared yet.
The aspirants are currently criss-crossing the country to woo delegates to their respective camps ahead of the December 7 contest, and one of the contenders, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, appears to be very vocal in urging the NDC to reject Mr. Mahama.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Nadowli Kaleo in the Upper West Region is the latest to turn the heat on John Mahama.
Mr Bagbin, who toured the Volta Region over the weekend, asked the delegates not to endorse the former President but rather select him (Bagbin) to lead the NDC in 2020.
He claimed Mr Mahama sidelined those who worked hard to bring him and the NDC to power and rather surrounded himself with those who did not contribute anything to the NDC’s victory but rather interested in acquiring wealth.
He said most of the Mahama boys are proud owners of Toyota Land Cruiser V8 and mansions, while the large majority of the party supporters are wallowing in poverty.
Cronyism & Rejection
“Now, the people that are with me who are supporting me and who believe in me, and believe in the things that I said I am going to do – when I get that power, it’s those people that I have to use to do what we promised the people. When you get into power and decide to leave them, and then go and bring some other people that have not worked with you; that do not believe in you; that do not know your policies to work with; you will definitely have problems,” Mr Bagbin told the chiefs and elders of Nkwanta in the Volta Region last Tuesday as part of his campaign tour.
According to Mr Bagbin, upon his assessment of the former President’s performance, he has come to the conclusion that Mr. Mahama contributed to the party’s massive defeat in 2016 and should not be allowed to lead the NDC in 2020, saying in any human institution, a leader could only get the best from his people if he recognized and rewarded those who sacrificed to make that institution a success.
Rich & Powerful
He said the ‘latter day saints’ in the party became rich overnight, acquiring wealth at the expense of the ordinary party members.
“Don’t tell me that the boys that suddenly came closer to the president within four years can build mansions and buy Land Cruisers and you say there are no resources, where are they getting the money, their salaries?” Mr Bagbin quizzed at the meeting of constituency executives in Keta.
“So, father for all is good but don’t forget that you have a wife and children and so if you can’t even take care of your wife and children, how can you take care of all of them? We have a problem that we have to look into,” he said.
“We used to have a lot of the youth with NDC. Today, the youth are leaving and joining NPP and other parties. In Volta Region, the world bank of the NDC where we used to harvest the votes; in 2016 they showed us the red card.”
He said “something is wrong that is why they did that. Not because they don’t like NDC but something went wrong so they showed us the red card. We used to get over 85% turnouts and voting for the NDC. The last election we got about 62%. Something is wrong. And so when I say we must change I am not talking about only changing the leader John Dramani Mahama but I am also talking about the way we do things as a party,” he said.
Mr. Bagbin said “it is very important that you will see that the people who are committed to the NDC are leaving one by one. Even our first mother, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings has to go and form another party. We don’t see anything wrong with it?”
He added “the Founding Father, Jerry John Rawlings is now criticizing us. We need to sit up and go into these issues because politics is about numbers and we need all the numbers. When you look at our cadres – when you look at our founding fathers – how have we taken care of them?”
Addressing constituency executives from Central, North and South Tongu and Akatsi North and South at Sogakope, Mr Bagbin also said that the NDC government did not help pro-NDC media outlets and that contributed to the party’s defeat.
He said “we have forgotten that every message we hope to carry across is supposed to be done by the media, why then do we become hostile towards the media?”
He said that a number of pro-NDC newspapers collapsed under the previous government, adding that there was no cordial relationship between the NDC as a party and as a government with the media.
He promised to introduce measures that will woo the heart of the media in order to disband what he called the existing media cabal.
By William Yaw Owusu