Politics of Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Kojo Bonsu has ditched the camp of former President John Dramani Mahama in a dramatic turn of events, as he puts himself up for election to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He has always been pushing for the former President’s second coming to lead the opposition NDC, but has now decided to contest him for the same position for the 2020 election.
The former KMA boss, who is not new to controversy, sent his notification of intent to vie for the flagbearership position of the NDC to the General-Secretary in Accra yesterday.
According to Kojo Bonsu, who has spearheaded the organization of the NDC’s ‘Unity Walk’ throughout the country to project the Mahama 2020 agenda, he is making a sudden U-turn because he believes he is “energized and humbled by the opportunity to serve the NDC and the people of Ghana.”
“It is with a sense of unwavering commitment and declaration that I declare my intention to run for the position of the NDC flagbearer and to commence my publicity campaign. I do this in accordance with your announcement that those wishing to contest the upcoming NDC elections should notify your office in writing.”
He is of the conviction that his “broad experience as entrepreneur, businessman, corporate leader, sports administrator, life-long social democrat and public servant can be used to make a meaningful and lasting contribution towards unifying the NDC and leading it to victory in 2020.”
DAILY GUIDE’s sources say Kojo Bonsu has decided to enter the NDC flagberaership race because he has been rejected by former President Mahama as the party’s running mate.
The former President is said to be considering his former Chief of Staff Prosper K. Bani as his running mate if given the nod.
Unconfirmed reports say that Mr. Mahama held a meeting with Mr. Bani and promised to make him his running mate.
The meeting took place at Mr Bani’s residence at Kpando in the Volta Region on Tuesday, September 25, where many constituency chairmen and other party executives were in attendance.
The event, which has since been dubbed, ‘The Kpando Declaration’ appears to have caused apprehension among some of the regional executives, some of whom were not invited for the so-called meeting.
Regional Chairman, John Gyapong Kudjoe, Regional Vice Chairman, Henry Ametefe, Regional Secretary James Gunu and the Regional Organizer, Siki Abibu, were said to be in attendance.
Kojo Bonsu had always been ‘promised’ the running mate slot and that was the reason why he coordinated the controversial NDC ‘Unity Walk’ during which only Mr. Mahama was allowed to make speeches to the chagrin of the other contenders.
Last week, Kojo Bonsu paid a courtesy call on the founder of the NDC, former President JJ Rawlings at his office at North Ridge in Accra to formally seek his blessing for the contest.
President Rawlings later tweeted on Friday, 28 September: “I received @KOJOBONSU10 and his team today. I wished him well. He has a determined spirit.”
He displayed a handful of pictures of the man and his team on the handle.
The entry of Kojo Bonsu into the race brings to 12 the total number of NDC leaders jostling to become the party’s flagbearer.
They include President Mahama, who wants a second shot at the presidency after his government was booted out in 2016 for poor performance, former Rector of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Professor Joshua Alabi, former Minister of Trade and Industry Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Second Deputy Speaker and NDC MP for Nadowli Kaleo Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.
Former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester A. Mensah; former Central Regional Minister and NDC MP for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan; returnee Augustus Goosie O. Tanoh ; a lawyer and member of the NDC’s Communications Team Elipklim Agbemava; a banker and oil and gas consultant Nurudeen Iddrisu and David Doste Kwame Kuwadah and maverick Stephen Atubiga, aka Latrician or Acolatse, have all declared their intention to contest the former President in the upcoming primaries.