President John Dramani Mahama has begun “thinking about the next election and not the next generation,” with the decision reached with his key allies in the National Democratic Congress to dump current vice President Paa Kwasi Amissah-Arthur, in favour of his Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, as his running mate for the 2016 general election.
After deciding against an earlier choice of Eric Opoku, who is the current Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, and choice of First Lady Lordina Mahama, President Mahama, who is the biggest fan of current Vice President Amissah-Arthur, has finally decided on replacing him.
With the lots initially falling on Eric Opoku, after serious lobbying by Lordina Mahama, however, changed his mind after it was revealed, through a survey he commissioned, that the Brong Ahafo Region would fall to the New Patriotic Party in 2016.
In addition, the results of a survey indicated that President Mahama can no longer count on the votes of the youth for 2016. This is as a result of the high levels of youth unemployment prevailing in the country, which has resulted in the disillusionment of the youth against President Mahama.
Desperate to ensure that he wins the votes of women and not lose out on the votes of Fantse, through the replacement of Kwasi Amissah Arthur, the chosen heir of the late President John Atta-Mills, President Mahama has decided to pick Hannah Tetteh, who is also from the Central Region, as his running mate for 2016.
But, the grand plan of President Mahama and his band of loyalists, our reliable sources close to the presidency has hinted us, is to prepare Hannah Tetteh to succeed him as leader of the NDC for the 2020 elections, should they emerge victorious in the 2016 elections.
Hannah Tetteh, who has bought into this plan, is currently negotiating with the Volta caucus in the NDC for a candidate to pair her in 2020. Currently, the fight is between deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Fiifi Kwettey, Minister of State in charge of Financial and Allied Services.
However, the New Statesman is reliably informed that Hannah Tetteh prefers Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, as, comparatively, he has more substance than Fiifi Kwetey, who she believes will be a turn-off for voters in the country.
The challenge confronting President Mahama, at the moment, is how to keep Vice President Kwasi Amissah-Arthur ‘happy’ and on board until 2016. The Vice President, as reported by the New Statesman, had threatened to resign in late 2013 in protest against his relegation to the background in the scheme of affairs of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur only backtracked on his decision after being “talked to by elders and bigwigs of the NDC” on the consequences his resignation would have on the government of the country and the image of the NDC, a reliable source at the presidency told the New Statesman.
The Vice President has been livid about being relegated to the background in the scheme of affairs at the Presidency, with no clear-cut schedule, and he believes his expertise is not being utilized in helping to run the affairs of the nation.
The other challenge that faces President Mahama is that the Ahowis have a different, ‘dangerous’ game plan and are making a good case to dump the president for 2016.
Their calculation, according to inside sources, is that Mr. Mahama “has not got the bottle for a bloody fight and would easily give it all up to enjoy his millions in Dubai in retirement if pushed.” And as a result, they intend to push and make it ugly so as to change President Mahama as the leader of the NDC in the 2016 elections.
The Ahwois also calculated that Nana Akufo-Addo will win the 2016 elections, but may not seek a second term in 2020, leaving the NPP to field a new candidate for the 2020 elections. They are of the view that the NDC will need to groom a new candidate in 2016, instead of President John Mahama, in the hope of winning the 2020 elections, against a fresh candidate from the NPP.