Professor Kwesi Botchwey
Former Finance Minister and National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential hopeful, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, has described the faces behind media reports of him picking nomination forms to contest the chairmanship position of the main opposition party as wicked.
Prof Botchwey, who is lacing his boots to enter the flagbearership race of the NDC for the 2020 presidential election, said he never asked anybody to act for him, saying that the purported picking of forms to contest the chairmanship position came to him as a surprise.
His office issued a statement yesterday debunking media reports that he picked nomination forms to contest as chairman of the party.
Prof Botchwey said he was rather aiming for something higher which implies that he is interested in the flagbearership position.
“The office wants to put it on record that Professor Kwesi Botchwey has not authorised any person to pick a form on his behalf, or has he ever considered contesting for the office of NDC National Chairman.
“We consider this act by some faceless people as desperate, wicked, and devious with the intent of portraying him as inconsistent with his decisions, and a deliberate attempt to create confusion in the mind of his teeming supporters,” the statement said.
According to sources, the forms were picked by people close to former President John Mahama, who is staging a comeback for the NDC’s flagbearership slot.
The highest position in the NDC, according to the party’s constitution, is the National Chairman but once a flagbearer is elected, the leadership mantle is given to him or her to steer affairs.
It has emerged that the Mahama Boys are allegedly behind the chairmanship move of Prof Botchwey since they see him as the main threat to the former President’s presidential plans if he should contest for 2020.
The motive, according to sources, was to make Prof. Botchwey, who chaired the 13-member Committee that investigated NDC’s abysmal performance in the 2016 general election, appear ‘inconsistent’ as far as his political ambitions are concerned.
But the former Finance Minister’s office described the move as “wicked and devious.”
Incensed by the action of his detractors about ‘forced’ chairmanship agenda, the former Minister’s camp said it “shall investigate and report this conduct to the National Executive Committee to bring to book the persons behind this desperate conduct.”
The NDC presidential hopeful said his next political move would be unveiled in the days ahead.
“In the coming days, Professor Kwesi Botchwey shall publicly declare his intention and the capacity in which he will decide to lead the party for victory 2020. We want to assure our teeming supporters that Prof. Kwesi Botchwey remains resolute to the agenda agreed on,” it stated.
So far about 11 NDC gurus, including former President John Dramani Mahama, have declared their intention to lead the party, and DAILY GUIDE learnt the number could increase before close of nomination ahead of the showdown on December 7, 2018, two clear years before the 2020 general election.
Apart from former President Mahama, who wants a second shot at the presidency after his government was sent packing in 2016 for poor show, former Rector of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Professor Joshua Alabi, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Second Deputy Speaker and NDC MP for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, are all in the race.
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester A. Mensah, former Central Regional Minister and NDC MP for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, are also contesting.
It’s even believed that Augustus Goosie O. Tanoh, who abandoned the NDC ahead of the crucial 2000 general election, which the NDC lost to then opposition NPP, wants to come back to lead the party.
Many ardent NDC members have never forgiven him for forming his own NRP which made the NDC lose that election which brought President J.A. Kufuor and Alhaji Aliu Mahama to power.
A lawyer and NDC Communications Team member called Elipklim Agbemava, a banker and oil and gas consultant, Nurudeen Iddrisu and one David Dotse Kwame Kuwadah, have all declared their intention to challenge the former president.
Even maverick Stephen Atubiga, aka Latrician or Acolatse, who Justice Atuguba humorously described as ‘somebody who can burn down a market’ during the landmark Presidential Election petition after being cited for contempt, is also in the race to lead the NDC.
Atubiga had derisively said that Mahama’s comeback is not ‘sexual intercourse’ for him to call for second round.
Atubiga claimed cynically that Mr. Mahama would be a good running mate for him.
Former Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who was buried last month, was preparing to contest his boss, Mr. Mahama.
He was believed to have the full support of former National Security Advisor, Baba Kamara, who reportedly fell out with Mr. Mahama
Former President Mahama says he is seeking a second shot at the presidency because he believes he owes a duty to God and the country to do so.
By William Yaw Owusu