A flagbearer aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, is optimistic that former President John Mahama will not be given the mandate by party delegates to lead the NDC into the 2020 presidential elections.
According to him, results at the party’s regional executive elections indicate that there is a high demand by grassroots members to remove all old executives who supervised the party’s abysmal 2016 presidential elections.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View with Bernard Avle, Spio-Garbrah said the huge demand for new leaders in the party will be evident in the election of national party executives and the choice of a flagbearer.
“The fact that people know you doesn’t mean that they necessarily want you. The fact that you are well known doesn’t mean you are the most acceptable…..People are looking for renewal, re-invigoration, fresh blood and that I say is not a hurricane, it is not a whirlwind, it is not a thunderstorm, it is not a cyclone, it is a tsunami. It is a tsunami, and it will shoot all the way through the national [executive elections] to the flagbearership,” he said.
While discounting claims that there was a discrete strategy by some aspiring flagbearers to join forces to thwart John Mahama’s bid to win the flagbearership race, Spio Garbrah said despite their independent campaigns, all other aspiring flagbearers share the same message of change, urging delegates to elect a new leader other than John Mahama.
“Anytime any of us go out to speak to delegates, we are telling them to vote for us, and we are not former presidents so our message is simply that we want to change. We are also telling them that almost all the people in the room, 80% of them are new, they benefited from the change. So we say that if the change was not good, you yourself will not be here…. For the regional chairmen, it is just 2 who are left, and that is about 20%,” he said.
He however indicated that, he was the most experienced flagbearer aspirant of the NDC, and was better placed to lead the party into the 2020 elections.
The former Trade and Industry Minister indicated that while he would not call on the other aspirants to back out of the race to support his course, he wants them to listen to his message and be convicted by his vision.
“I know the route more than everyone, I know where the speed bumps are, where the potholes are… It is not the matter of stepping down for people….We are not really looking for a flagbearer just to hold the flag. We are looking for somebody who can govern this country, competently and efficiently and honestly, without corruption.”
‘I won’t be Mahama’s running mate; I’m focused on my campaign’- Spio
Ekwow Spio Garbrah also reaffirmed his resolve to be flagbearer of the NDC and not a running mate to former President Mahama going into the 2020 elections.
“I believe that people feel that in an election you must insult your opponent, you must punch him to mean that you are contesting , my campaign is not about him, it is about what I can do for my party and country. I have no such hope of being his running mate. My aim is to be
President of the republic of Ghana by becoming flagbearer of the NDC. In 2006 when I was contesting for the flagbearer, he [Mahama] wasn’t a candidate.” Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah said.
More than 11 aspirants vie for NDC flagbearer position
More than 11 persons have so far expressed their interest in leading the NDC into the 2020 elections.
They include former president of Ghana, John Mahama who led the party into a poor election performance; Nadowli Kaleo MP, Alban Bagbin; the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah; Former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi and Cape Coast South MP, and Kweku Ricketts-Hagan; and former Mayor of Kumasi Kojo Bonsu, among others.