General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
Sylvester A. Mensah, former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) would be competing with former President John D. Mahama for the flag-bearer position of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 polls, THE PUBLISHER has gathered from sources close to both persons.
A few other NDC big wigs have their names making the rounds with reports that they also have an eye on the flag-bearer slot but none of them, so far, has had the courage to state categorically that they are indeed interested in occupying the hot seat.
Mr. Mensah, in a recent interview with Bola Ray on Starr Fm’s Star Chat show made four categorical statements which confirm he would indeed be contesting the NDC presidential primaries.
First was that he, Mr. Mensah, has hopes of occupying the Flagstaff House in the near future.
The second statement was that he, Mr. Mensah, was receiving several calls from countless persons from all walks of life urging him to contest the presidential primaries and the third was that he, Mr. Mensah, was moving round the country consulting various stakeholders over his ambition.
Mr. Mensah’s fourth statement was that if the party deems him fit for the position of flag-bearer, he would “grab it with alacrity.”
“…if the party finds me worthy of that high office and finds me with that honour I will grab it with alacrity…
It is not a yes or no answer. There have been a number of calls on me to consider the high office. I have been involved in a number of consultations. I guess that if the appeal crystalizes with the general demands and expectations I will go for it. The focus is to reorganize the party and ensure that the grassroots are firmly organized…we have a party that is above all. I guess that the mistake we do as individuals is that we think we can carry the party into power. It is the party which carries one into power. It is too early to talk about that. It’s a long process… there are calls and consultation. I’m considering it”, Sylvester Mensah noted.
All the other names that have popped up as potential NDC presidential candidates so far have fallen short of being categorical on their speculated ambition. Their respective answers have been that they would not contest the NDC primaries if John Mahama decides to contest.
Sylvester Mensah was however categorical that whether or not John Mahama intends to stage a comeback, the position of leadership in the NDC should not be an automatic ordination but rather competitive bidding so as to enhance the party’s internal democratic structures.
“I believe that leadership [2020 flag-bearer] must emerge through competitive elections…And I guess that every member of the party must work towards ensuring that the party moves towards competitive level and that leadership [the flag bearer] emerges through competition…By so doing you tend to understand the aspirations, the expectations, you get to engage and to know the talents that abound in our party and it makes you a stronger and better person. I’m not saying that that has not happened in the past. But what I’m saying is that we need to deepen that arrangement,” Mr. Mensah stated.
True to his words, Mr. Mensah has been spotted in several parts of the country engaging NDC folks on the subject of flag-bearer. It is even reported that a group, ‘SM for 2020’ has emerged and canvassing support for him.
Meanwhile, it is evident that John Mahama is also moving round in a subtle but strategic style to enhance his chances at the NDC primaries.
Although it was reported that some family members have denied that the former President has intentions of contesting the elections in 2020, THE PUBLISHER has confirmed from several persons close to him that come rain or shine, John Mahama would be contesting the race.
One Wednesday edition would carry detailed and meticulous article on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the two personalities