A flag bearer hopeful of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, says had it not been his intervention as Central Regional Minister during the last eight months of the Mahama-led administration, the umbrella family in the region would have suffered the worst in the 2016 elections.
According to him, his posting to the Central Region as the political head eight months to the 2016 general elections should have sent signals to the populace that all was not well in the region for the then governing NDC.
“I went to the Central Region eight (8) months to the elections. I wasn’t the central regional minister for the four (4) years that we were in office. I went there eight months into the elections – in the election year. What does that tell you? It tells you that there was a problem in Central Region and that was the reason why I was sent there but unfortunately there was not enough time. I went there too late to be able to change things. But I believe that my presence there saved the party [NDC]. The situation could have been worst from what we experienced”, he told Accra-based Okay FM in an interview, Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
His remarks were in response to a question as to why he wants to be the flag bearer of the NDC when it was under his watch as the Central Regional Minister that the party lost 12 parliamentary seats to its main political rival, the NPP. In the Presidential polls, the party also performed abysmally.
Mr. Ricketts-Hagan who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South took over from Hon. Aquinas Tawiah-Quansah as the Central Regional Minister following a ministerial reshuffle by John Dramani Mahama in January 2016.
Prior to the 2016 general elections, the NDC had 16 parliamentary seats in the Central Region while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has seven (7) seats.
However, the NDC could only win four seats out of the 23 during the 2016 general elections, including losing its two traditional constituencies, Ekumfi and Twifo-Atemokwaa.
In the Presidential race, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) polled 496,668 votes, representing 53.22% while John Dramani Mahama garnered 405,262 votes, representing 43.43% of the total valid votes cast in the Central Region.
But Mr. Ricketts-Hagan speaking further on the matter said the loss of the NDC in the Central Regional was collective and therefore cannot single out one person to blame.
“There was a problem there and that is the reason I was sent there. We all take collective responsibility for our loss in the Central Region. You can’t say that there are some people in the NDC that won the elections and some lost the elections because if you say it that way I can say that I won my seat in Cape Coast South but I can’t say that because it was a collective responsibility”, he averred.