Former President John Dramani Mahama
The plot to ditch ex-President John Dramani Mahama for the 2020 presidential election by some powerful opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members is thickening by the day.
The party’s leadership is currently embroiled in what can be described as a blame game following the massive defeat suffered by it (party) in the hands of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7, 2016 general election.
Some of the top figures like Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho and Anita Desooso, a vice chairperson, have reportedly made their intentions known by expressing their desire for another candidate for the 2020 presidential election apart from former President Mahama.
The NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Naabu Bipoba, has also joined the fray, saying John Mahama’s candidature is out of the equation just like former MP for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasah Namoale.
The Yunyoo MP says the former president lacks “competence” to lead the NDC’s re-election bid in the 2020 general election. Nii Amassah Namoale also has called on Mr Mahama to rescind his decision to contest in the 2020 polls since he would not win the party’s primary.
“I will beat anyone who would contest with me, including John Mahama…,” he said on Accra-based Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme yesterday as the NDC gears up for re-organisation.
Naabu Bipoba told journalists in parliament yesterday that former President Mahama would be a bad choice for the NDC.
“He was the president and contested with Nana Akufo-Addo and lost miserably so if President Mahama comes, what is he going to do? Is he the only person?” he asked.
The Yunyoo MP said former President Mahama is to blame for NDC’s shameful defeat in the 2016 general election because he surrounded himself with political neophytes like former Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, at the presidency “who told him nothing but lies.”
“People at the presidency were just telling him lies. Take Omane Boamah; what experience has he got in politics? If he goes to contest an election at where he comes from, can he win? But the president listened to such people,” he wondered.
Koku Anyidoho recently said in an explosive interview with GHOne TV that leadership in the NDC would have to rotate, indicating that the NDC might not front Mr. Mahama as its candidate in 2020.
Anita Desooso is also currently in a fierce ‘fight’ with some NDC members for saying that the party’s executives were undermined during the election s which the NDC presidential candidate managed only 44.4%.
Mr. Anyidoho reiterated his ‘love’ for Prof John Evans Atta Mills who died suddenly in July 2012, giving ex-President Mahama, who was then the vice president, the chance to contest the 2012 election without any opposition from within the party.
Axe To Grind
The Deputy General Secretary clearly showed in the interview that he has an axe to grind with ex-President Mahama.
When asked whether he loves President Mahama, Mr. Anyidoho rather brazenly reiterated his ‘love’ for President Mills and could only say that he only had a working relationship with President Mahama.
“I will never regret working for him… President Mills, I salute you in your grave. Nobody will take that away from me,” he said forcefully.
He then went on to state boldly that he loves the NDC as a party and that “leadership will rotate,” insisting that “I loved President Mills; I worked for President Mahama.”
Anita Desooso on the other hand, has vowed to help restore dignity to the party’s leadership by ensuring that the structures of the party are respected.
According to the former NDC National Women’s Organizer, the various groups formed to campaign for the second term for President Mahama caused the party’s defeat.
In the run-up to the crucial election, the NDC, with state resource at its disposal, formed many splinter groups to promote the second term bid for the president.
Groups likes Girls Girls for Mahama, Zongo Girls for Mahama, Zongo for Mahama, Youth for Mahama, Celebrities for Mahama, Mahama Ladies, I Choose JM, Ambassadors for Mahama, Doves for Mahama and others, were formed with massive resources at their disposal to prosecute the agenda which failed woefully in the end as Ghanaians overwhelmingly rejected Mahama.
Some have said the pro-Mahama groups even became more powerful in terms of campaign resources than the party’s structures, including the national executive.
Anita told Kasapa FM recently that there was no doubt that the so-called groups contributed to the party’s defeat because the party’s structures were ignored.
“These campaign groups which emerged in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 elections contributed to our loss in that election. After these groups were formed, the structures that are known to the party rather suffered as they were denied resources,” she said.
She stated categorically that the party lacked the needed resources to project candidate Mahama saying, “The groups were rather benefitting as they went for funds from certain quarters, and while they were happy, the grassroots were complaining.”
Anita Desooso said, “Some of these groups could go to the Volta Region purporting to do campaigning, but went there to speak English instead of the Ewe language,” asking, “How can you do such a campaign?”
As a result, she asserted, “I’ve vowed to make sure that the NDC amends its constitution; whichever group it is should start from the structures…start from the branch level.”
NDC sources say apart from National Organizer Kofi Iddi Adams who doubled as the Campaign Coordinator of the failed Mahama second term bid and Siidi Abubakar, the National Youth Organizer, almost every powerful executive member is seriously working against the return of President Mahama as NDC candidate – including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
There are also claims that Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia aka General Mosquito was instrumental in the formation of the 13-member committee being Chaired by Professor Kwesi Botchwey to investigate why the party lost massively in the December general election.
A source has said that the powerful General Secretary could be using the committee to prepare the grounds to contest as the party’s national chairman as he claims the current one – Kofi Portuphy – has become unpopular due to the fact that he is being accused of supervising the party’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the Akufo-Addo-led NPP.
The NPP’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo made sure that President Mahama became a one-term president in the history of Ghana by flooring him ‘one-touch’ with 5,716,026 votes, representing 53.85% while Mr. Mahama secured 4,713,277 votes, representing 44.40%.
The NDC has now entered into a new political dispensation as minority in parliament with only 104 seats against the NPP’s 171.
By William Yaw Owusu