General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
A planned meeting between former President John Dramani Mahama and the Greater Regional Executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is causing uneasy calm in the party.
The move has incurred the wrath of a group calling itself Action Movement of NDC, which wants the former President sanctioned for calling the meeting which they claimed was against the party’s constitution.
According to the movement, they have become aware that a news release has been issued purportedly by the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the NDC, V.S. Quarshie Adonoo inviting some gurus in the region to a meeting with the ex-president on Friday, July 21.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by the movement’s Spokesperson, Kodzo Hamenya Keglo, said the meeting is being arranged not under the auspices of the Functional Executive Committee of the party and it was clear that the former President’s actions were in breach of the NDC Constitution.
“Nowhere in the NDC Constitution does it allow for non-functional executives to call for such meetings with regional executives. Mr. Mahama is not the leader of the party and so, in what capacity is he calling this meeting?
“When this man was President and Leader of the party, he never thought it prudent to meet regional executives for any party activity. Today, he has realized that there’s a need for him to meet regional executives? Clearly, the former leader is in a ‘comfortable lead’ to jumpstart his campaign for a possible comeback to lead the party. But he must be called to order – he is destroying the party,” the movement charged.
Mr Mahama, who is contesting the NDC flagbearership race, is having a head start under the guise of thank you tour across the regions.
“As a former leader, he needs to respect the structures of the party and act within the confines of the structures. There are other potential leaders interested in running for office, but they are patiently waiting for the party leadership to set the ball rolling before they get down to work.
“If the party leadership had any backbone, Mr. Mahama should have been sanctioned by now. This is how democracy dies. No individual is bigger than the party. Every party person who believes in our constitution needs to stand up to Mahama,” the group warned.
It is becoming clear that President Mahama has already hit the ground running as far as his campaign to lead the NDC once again is concerned, and this can be judged by what looks like a stage-managed rousing welcome he has been receiving from the party’s supporters recently, allegedly calling on him to contest again.
For instance, when he visited the Northern Region last week, his travel itinerary was leaked to some NDC members in the region to prepare for his arrival.
An alert titled “JM to be in Tamale this Afternoon,” had said “T-shirts, buses, fuel and monies are made available to some youth groups to welcome him today at Tamale Airport at 3:30pm.”
“He is going to Busunu, for his late mother’s one year ‘adua’ (Islamic funeral) and later meet some Northern Caucus for a meeting in an undisclosed location,” the alert added.
The struggle to lead the party in 2020 has intensified, as behind-the-scenes movements have been noticed by those who have publicly decided to contest to become the NDC’s flagbearer.
The former President, who is the frontrunner, is also not leaving anything to chance, ensuring that he is reinstated to try his luck again after the humiliating defeat he suffered on December 7, last year.
On December 7, 2016, then opposition NPP candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, made sure that Mahama’s dream of a re-election did not become a reality by knocking him (Mahama) out with 5,716,026 votes (representing 53.85%) as against 4,713,277 votes (44.40%).
Interestingly, Mr. Mahama after succeeding Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, who had died suddenly in office on July 24, 2012, went ahead to win the December 7, 2012 contest, albeit in a controversial fashion, with 5,574,761, representing 50.70% as against Nana Akufo Addo’s 5,248,898, which represented 47.74%.
As it is, the NDC will be going into the 2020 presidential contest with a deficit of over one million votes, and has also lost their commanding majority in parliament to the ruling NPP.