Alban Bagbin, Slyvester Mensah and Joshua Alabi
THE ASHANTI Regional Council of Elders Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Frank Osei Mensah, has openly kicked against his party members that are seeking to contest Mr. Mahama for the NDC presidential candidate position.
According to him, he is totally in support of the candidature of Mr. Mahama, stressing that he would make sure that the other contestants would not get the needed support and votes in the Ashanti Region, which has 47 constituencies.
“I have declared operation no-go-area for the other NDC presidential aspirants that are contesting Mr. Mahama in the Ashanti Region”, Mr. Osei Mensah, who was the first NDC Ashanti Regional Chairman during the early 1990s, declared on Nhyira Fm on Monday.
He argued that Mr. Mahama is the suitable candidate to lead the NDC to wrest political power from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2020, which is about two years away, stating that his open declaration doesn’t represent the view of the entire NDC Council of Elders.
“This is my personal decision as the Council of Elder’s Chairman of the party in the Ashanti Region, but I am cocksure that most of the members of the Council of Elders also share similar view. But this is my personal declaration”, Mr. Osei Mensah hammered.
Mr. Osei Mensah’s open declaration, predictably, would surely create deep cracks in the largest opposition political party considering the crucial roles Council of Elders play in the party. The Council of Elders usually plays fatherly roles to ensure peace in the party.
According to the Ashanti Regional NDC Council of Elder’s Chairman, he has decided to opt for Mr. Mahama because he is well marketed as compared with the other presidential hopefuls; therefore the NDC would not struggle to market him to the electorates.
Mr. Osei Mensah, who is very outspoken, also took a swipe at the other NDC presidential aspirants, saying that they are not popular among even their own party (NDC) members therefore none of them can lead the NDC to recapture power from the NPP in 2020.
“Mahama is well marketed to Ghanaians already. The other aspirants such as Joshua Alarbi, Alban Bagbin and Sylvester Mensah, among others, are not even popular among our own NDC grassroots members so it is impossible to market them to lead the NDC to victory”.
Mr. Osei Mensah stated that the 2020 presidential election would be a two horse race contest between ex-President Mahama and President Nana Akufo Addo, saying that “Ghanaians will compare their four years reign each and vote for who is the best manager of the country.
“We don’t need any experiment in the NDC during the 2020 polls, because it is an important election, which Mr. Mahama stands the chance of winning for the NDC to enable us recapture political power and save the country from the NPP government’s poor leadership”.
Further buttressing his open support for Mr. Mahama as the right person for the NDC as flagbearer for the 2020 polls, he stated that NDC politics in the Ashanti Region is different from the other regions therefore he is right to declare his support for Mr. Mahama.
Meanwhile, Mr. Osei Mensah’s decision to ban the NDC presidential aspirants, with the exception of former President Mahama, from campaigning in the Ashanti Region, clearly frowns on the party’s guidelines regarding how the NDC executives across the country, should behave.
The NDC leadership has stated emphatically that the party’s executives, including the Council of Elders in the various regions, should accommodate and give a level-playing field to every aspirant that may visit their region to campaign for votes.
A press release, authored by Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the NDC General Secretary, on August 7, 2018, stated “All party executive officers at the regional, constituency or branch levels are to extend the usual courtesies to aspirants who may come into their jurisdiction to campaign.
The statement also enjoined the party aspirants campaigning for national positions and the flagbearer slot in the NDC to conduct their campaign with decency and decorum, devoid of personal attacks and insults.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi