Former President John Mahama celebrating his wife’s birthday
Posters indicating a possible return of ex-President John Mahama for the 2020 elections are surfacing.
The poster displays a beautiful picture of the ex-president wearing a black and white smock with the inscription, “John Mahama for President 2020”and an additional message underneath the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) umbrella logo which reads, “Still Changing Lives…Still Transforming Ghana.”
President Mahama reportedly jetted out to Dubai immediately after attending the 60th independence anniversary national parade at the Independence Square, Accra, on Monday where he celebrated his wife, Lordina’s 54th birthday with their children using a red colour.
It is however, unclear who might be behind the posters, as the former president has not also made any official statement announcing a comeback or otherwise.
But his spokesperson, Joyce Bawa-Mogtari, says talks over whether or not John Mahama would make a comeback to lead the NDC in the 2020 general election after sending it to opposition were not over.
According to Ms. Bawa-Mogtari who was the campaign spokesperson for the John Mahama 2016 campaign team, the former president still receives numerous calls from high-ranking party members persuading him to soften his earlier stance which suggested that family members had advised him against leading the NDC in 2020.
She told pro-NDC Radio Gold on Wednesday that the former president constantly ignores discussions of his possible return to active politics and that he is yet to make up his mind.
Bawa-Mogtari, a former deputy transport minister under the Mahama regime, indicated that she is for ‘Mahama 2020.’
‘Thank You’ Tour
There are unconfirmed reports that the former president is going to embark on a ‘Thank You’ tour nationwide when he returns from Dubai.
Some party sources have said he is going to use the tour to ‘test’ his popularity and make a final determination on whether he would contest for the NDC in 2020.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the tour could be undertaken with party people and some opinion leaders coerced to openly canvass for his return to form the basis for his declaration to contest the 2020 polls.
He had wanted to embark on the ‘Thank You’ tour last December after he had failed to secure a re-election but changed his mind following criticism that it was imprudent to do so, especially coming at a time the NDC had been defeated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the government was on its way out.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that there is going to be a keen competition in the NDC over who should be the party’s candidate for the 2020 presidential election.
Majority within the party’s leadership are said to be looking for a new face to lead the party, but others have moved forcefully to get President Mahama to contest again.
Names like former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, former University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) Rector Prof Joshua Alabi and former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS) boss Sylvester Mensah are coming up strongly within the NDC circles.
Dr Duffuor and Sly Mensah have denied any interest in the NDC flagbearership race for now.
However, probable candidates like former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and former Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah are said to have ‘cooled’ down their interests in the race and it is getting clearer that the two stalwarts may not contest at all. Goosie Tannor, a cadre, has also come out strongly for the NDC presidential candidature slot.
Already, family members of ex-President Mahama have reportedly been persuading him not to contest the presidential election in 2020.
Some analysts have said the huge gap of over one million votes garnered by President Akufo-Addo against Mahama showed that the ex-President will have a daunting task if he considers contesting again for 2020.
During the period of the investiture of President Akufo-Addo, the junior brother of the ex-president, Ibrahim Mahama said, “John has given his all in politics to the NDC and Ghana and we think it is just fair that we allow him to rest. We were very supportive and instrumental in convincing him to partner Prof. Mills, and when the time came for him to contest for president, we supported and advised him to go for it…now we have advised him not to make a comeback in 2020.”
However, ex-President Mahama appears to want to give it another shot and there are ongoing behind-the-scene moves to ensure that the comeback agenda is on course.
An NDC source alleged that before Mahama emplaned for Dubai, “he met some people and urged them to stage-manage as if NDC people were calling on him to contest.
“He wants to start it by a ‘Thank You’ tour across the country but for now, we are still searching for who is going to lead us in 2020.”
According to the source, the NDC is looking for what he called ‘a grass root party person’ whom the cadres have deep trust in since they were of the view that they were neglected by both the Mills/Mahama administrations.
By William Yaw Owusu