Politics of Friday, 28 September 2018
Flagbearer hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ekwow Spio Garbrah, says God has not specifically told him he allowed the party’s defeat in the 2016 election.
“God speaks to me, but he has not said that he orchestrated the party’s defeat,” he said.
Former President John Dramani Mahama had earlier stated that the party’s defeat in the 2016 election, was allowed by God for a purpose.
According to him, the defeat offered Ghanaians an opportunity to compare the performance of the previous National Democratic Congress with that of the current New Patriotic Party government. “Sometimes we set our hearts on something but God will not give it to you; but whatever God does is good because it was God who made us lose the election,” the former President stated.
“We have faith that Ghanaians have both tasted water and alcohol so they know which one is appropriate. I have faith we will be victorious in the 2020 election,” said the former President in the Central Region on Wednesday, where he officially launched his campaign for the NDC’s flagbearership race.
Mr. Spio Garbrah, however, said he had not heard a specific word from the Lord indicating that the party’s defeat was divine.
Although some have taken Mr. Mahama’s recent comments as containing some remorse, Mr. Spio Garbrah, who served as a Minister of Trade and Industry under the Mahama administration, said delegates will decide if his utterances merit a re-election.
He, however, maintained that the NDC needs a new Flagbearer.
“We believe the party needs a new leader with a new vision and a new strategy, but not everyone will agree with us. There are those in the party who will say let’s try something we have tried before. It is up to party delegates to listen to him and to decide if what he saying is enough to merit re-election or if they are not happy with what he is saying and that they want to re-elect someone else.”
The NDC is expected to elect its presidential candidate in December 2018.
Nana Akufo-Addo secured a one-touch victory by polling 53.85% of total valid votes cast in 2016, against John Dramani Mahama who managed 44.40%.
It was considered one of the worst defeats ever for an incumbent President.
John Mahama formally declared his intention to contest the presidential primaries after his letter of intent was presented to the party on his behalf by a delegation led by former Ambassador, Daniel Ohene Agyekum at the NDC headquarters on Thursday, August 23, 2018, in Accra.
The announcement has been met with mixed reactions, with some members of the NDC in particular, backing him firmly.
But critics of the decision are of the view that since Mahama has gone through the structures of the political ladder, his experience will be more beneficial now as a statesman and not as a President.
Despite leading the NDC to the worst election performance by an incumbent, Mr. Mahama still retained significant support from the party.
He was a mainstay in NDC’s unity walks aimed at reorganizing the party, and he also elicited massive support from the grassroots, which continually urged him to declare his intent to run for the presidency.
The 10 Regional Chairmen of the NDC in 2017 also backed the candidature of Mr. Mahama for election 2020. Some 94 MPs of the party have also endorsed his candidature for 2020.
He is expected to face keen competition from Dr. Spio Garbrah among others to become the party’s Flagbearer for the 2020 election.