General News of Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Former Trade Minister Ekwow Spio-Gabrah has described as premature, calls on him to contest the flagbearership slot of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 general elections.
Speaking on Accra based radio station; XYZ Ekwow Spio Gabrah, said as appointees of the former president John Mahama, they believe the former president has a right of first refusal.
Former President Mahama has been widely reported to run for the nomination of the NDC although some family members are said to be against that decision.
The NDC with president John Mahama lost the 2016 election to the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Akufo-Addo who is now the president.
Mr. Mahama was seeking his second term in office, even though it would have been the party’s third term in office if he had won the December 2016 elections.
This means the former president still has the chance to return as the leader of the NDC in 2020 when the country goes to the polls.
But, there are a number of potential candidates who have not made public their ambitions but have supporters and identifiable groups within the party subtly campaigning for them.
Former CEO of London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Spio-Garbrah; former NHIA boss, Sylvester Mensah and former Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof Joshua Alabi’s names have all come up as possible NDC flagbearer contenders.
The former Trade Minister said all former President Mahama’s appointees have a lot of respect for him and since he led the NDC into the last election, he should be given the right of first refusal to decide whether he will run again.
“It is his first right of refusal so most people will grant him the opportunity to decide what he wants to do. It does not mean there will not be other people who will contest,” Mr Spio-Garbrah said.
He said there are some individuals who are calling on him to contest because “I did that in 2006 and also some believe in my leadership qualities.”
According to the former ambassador to the U.S, it is a collective decision to be taken by the party as to who leads it into an election
“You don’t lead people just because you want to be a leader, you lead them if they believe you can and if the circumstances are right,” he said.
He added that when the time comes, the circumstances and other factors will be taken into account after a wide range of consultation.
Mr Spio-Garbrah believes if the majority of people he consults with agree that it is a venture worth going into, he will drop his bid in the hat.
He said he shares ex-President Mahama’s view on fixing the NDC before choosing the candidate to lead the party into the next election.
“Let us work together to fix the car that has broken down or lame horse or any other allegory that anybody wants to use and the one to drive or ride it will emerge,” he said.