Veteran politician, Kenneth Dzirasah, is ‘fighting’ hard to prevent former President John Dramani Mahama from taking the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) into the 2020 presidential election as the party’s flagbearer.
Like scores of NDC elders, Mr. Dzirasah, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for South Tongu in the Volta Region is saying Mr. Mahama, who announced his comeback last month, would be a ‘disaster’ if the delegates select him to lead the opposition party into the crucial 2020 election.
The former MP, who rose to become a Deputy Speaker during his time in Parliament, told Joy FM that the former President should ‘back out’ of the race and give other aspirants the opportunity to lead.
“When you are at war and you provide your best arsenals and you lose, conventional wisdom requires that you retreat and go and serve as an expert general,” he said emphatically, adding “You then advise the younger ones to go ahead but don’t show your face again.”
Mr. Dzirasah, who is throwing his weight behind former Rector of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA,) Prof Joshua Alabi, in the NDC December 7 contest, has been firing the former President from all cylinders since the party opened nominations for members to contest to lead the party in 2020.
He said the former President is no longer marketable because he (Mr. Mahama) performed abysmally in the last election even when he was the incumbent.
Last week, Mr. Dzirasah told Starr FM that the camp of the former President had become intolerant and was not accommodating dissenting views.
“When I said it will be difficult to market John Mahama, some of the young boys took me to the cleaners; they described me and other well-meaning members of the party as belonging to the evil cult, fortunately former President Mahama issued a disclaimer and said he didn’t endorse this kind of thing. He has to do more because they are showing gross disrespect to very senior members.
“They go about insulting everybody; I know they will take me to the cleaners again. In 1993 when we were working hard for the party, I believe some of them who are insulting us were toddlers; some of them could be grandchildren of the elders in the party. At least what we should be targeting is decorum, we should establish a regime of respect for the elderly, it’s only then that when they also grow, the young ones will respect them.”
He also used the occasion to tout Prof. Alabi’s political credentials and said he stands tall among all the aspirants, including the former President, adding that the former Rector of UPSA is the only candidate who can enhance NDC’s chances of victory in 2020.
“I have discovered in Joshua Alabi the personality that can carry us across the river,” he said.
Mr. Dzirasah revealed that “Prof Alabi is one individual I can say without fear or contradiction that when you look at the profile of the presidential aspirants; not people who have come out as President before, he is one person who has served the public duly. Joshua Alabi, without the intervention of the state, was able to grow the Institute of Professional Studies which was a proverbial commercial college to the stature of a huge university which has become the center of reference in Africa. He did this without a pesewa from the State. This alone is enough service that merits looking at him.”
By William Yaw Owusu