Former President, John Dramani Mahama, is in for a very tough battle as he seeks to lead the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) again to recapture power in 2020, after performing abysmally in the last election (2016), Today can report.
Interestingly, Mr Dramani Mahama has to cross the first hurdle by beating ten (10) other flag-bearer aspirants or more in the NDC’s presidential primary slated for December 7, 2018 before he can lead the party in the 2020 election.
But even before the internal contest, some of the flag-bearer aspirants are not giving the leadership of the party any chance to make it easy for Mr Dramani Mahama to win the flag-bearer contest.
Professor Joshua Alabi is one of the NDC’s flag-bearers who has started demanding a level-playing field for all the presidential aspirants.
His campaign team last week Thursday at a press conference in Accra expressed concern about what they described as a deliberate attempt by the party’s leadership to promote former President Dramani Mahama over other aspirants.
Consequently, the Alabi campaign team urged the NDC leadership to ensure that the playing of individual aspirants’ songs at the party’s programmes was not encouraged.
According to Prof. Alabi’s team, the playing of flag-bearer aspirants’ songs instead of the party’s songs at its programmes gave undue advantage to some of the aspirants at the expense of others.
Unsurprisingly, campaign songs of the NDC have had as their central theme Mr Dramani Mahama and the late Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.
Therefore, the demand by the Joshua Alabi camp was believed to be targeted at Mr Dramani Mahama, who already has had the support of some NDC Members of Parliament (MPs).
“We, from the Alabi camp, believe that our support base—the grassroots and others—feel that we need a new message,” spokesperson of the Alabi Team, Victor Kojogah Adawudu, said.
“We need a new leader,” he stressed.
Mr Kojogah Adawudu further underscored the need for a level-playing field during campaign for the December internal polls.
“As leaders of the party at various levels, when there are party functions and programmes, they should not be used to give some aspirants undue advantage over others by underlying campaign messages and songs of particular aspirants to be used at such functions,’ he advised.
He also called for the constitution of an electoral committee comprising representatives of all the party’s presidential aspirants.
According to him, the absence of such a committee would undermine the credibility of the election process.
But, reacting to the demand by Prof. Alabi’s team, National Organiser of the NDC, Kof Adams, said “it will be impossible to constitute an electoral committee comprising representatives of all presidential aspirants.”
Speaking on Joy FM, Kofi Adams said the call made by Prof. Alabi’s campaign spokesperson did not speak to directives given in the party’s constitution.
According to him, the time was wrong for them to make such a proposal.
“You cannot have an election committee that will have representatives of aspirants on it. It doesn’t work; its never been done. People are jumping the gun. They must read the party’s constitution and understand.
“If you have just come in trying to contest elections or trying to follow an aspirant, take your time and study the constitution of the party. Wait for Congress to be over, we will elect a leadership, that leadership will develop the regulations that will govern the elections of a flag-bearer,” he added.
“The leadership, once elected, will be responsible for engaging with the aspirants on their concerns and recommendations for the elections,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah has backed calls for former President Dramani Mahama to reconsider his decision to contest the NDC flagbearership race.
His call came days after academic and founder of AUCC, Kojo Yankah, urged the former president to accept his current statesmanship status and leave the race.
Speaking on Takoradi-based Radio 360, the Sandhurst trained retired General said Ghanaians rejected the former president at the last polls and there was no need for him to try and comeback.
“…I support Kojo Yankah 101 per cent in advising former President Mahama not to run again, his supporters can attack me also like they are doing to Kojo Yankah. How do you replace me; someone who trained at Sandhurst with Baba Kamara because you say I speak the truth? So if President Mills chose me as the first of appointees for telling the truth, I will never lie in my life, I have never lied in my life.”
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