A stalwart of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Daniel Ohene Agyekum, says former President John Dramani Mahama is the NDC’s best hope for the party to return to power.
Daniel Ohene Agyekum, who is a former Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board and Ghana’s former ambassador to the United States, made the remark on Thursday when he led a delegation to present John Mahama’s letter of intent to contest for the NDC’s presidential slot ahead of the 2020 general elections.
“Despite our deep respect for all the individuals within our party who have put themselves up for the same slot, we have shown up here in this number because we genuinely believe that President John Mahama represents our best hope of a quick return to power to continue the transformation agenda for a better Ghana as evidenced in the very good work JM did between 2013 and 2016, but which was unfortunately truncated through the obvious deception of the NPP,” he added.
Ambassador Agyekum was accompanied by former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, Valerie Sawyer, Ambassador Victor Smith, Inusah Fuseini and a host of NDC Members of Parliament.
Mr. Agyekum said there is a massive support for Mahama’s comeback.
He said most of them who hitherto worked behind the scenes have come on board because they believe Mahama’s comeback will help save Ghanaians from the current plight they are encountering under the Akufo-Addo government.
“The groundswell of support enjoyed by JM [John Mahama] both within and outside the NDC has been occasioned by his unmatched record of performance in government as compared to the abysmal performance of the Akufo-Addo government. This is one government that clearly does not care about the unprecedented levels of hardship they have brought to Ghanaians. This is one government so full of arrogance, unbridled greed and shameful nepotism.”
“We have all come on board this mission to work for the re-election of JM guided by lessons from our recent past. Going forward, we will constantly bear in mind those lessons not only during the campaign for flagbearer of our great NDC, but also in the 2020 election campaign and very hopefully in the government we shall form in January 2021, God willing,” he added.
11 people via for NDC presidential slot
So far about eleven people have expressed interest in the contest to lead the NDC for the 2020 polls.
Aside John Mahama, the other NDC flagbearer hopefuls include Goosie Tanoh, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah; a former Trade and Industry Minister; Former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi and Cape Coast South MP, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan.
The rest are Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, member of NDC communications team, Stephen Atubiga, Elipklim Agbemava, a lawyer, one David Doste Kwame Kuwadah and banker and oil and gas consultant, Nurideen Iddrisu.
Mahama in politics
Mahama, aged 60, entered into politics in 1996 when he was elected to the Parliament to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term.
He was re-elected in 2000 and 2004.
During this time, he served as the Deputy Minister of Communications in 1997, Minister of Communications from 1998 until 2001, Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications from 2001 until 2005, and Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Foreign Affairs from 2005 until 2008.
On 7th January 2009, Mr. Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana after the NDC’s election 2008.
He remained in that position until President John Atta Mills’ death on 24 July 2012, when in line with Ghana’s Constitution, he became President of the Republic.
The Election petition decider
In December 2012, he became President of Ghana for a four-year term after a contentious election which was eventually resolved after an eight-month-long tussle at the Supreme Court over the validity of the results.
The results were challenged by the New Patriotic Party which contended that over-voting occurred at 1,722 polling stations, while voting without biometric verification occurred at 2,020 polling stations.
The then-opposition party also claimed presiding officers did not also sign pink sheets at 1,638 polling stations, while the use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.
The NPP held that if the results of the affected polling stations were annulled, Mr. Mahama’s votes would have reduced by 2,622,551, which would have in turn, beaten down the results declared by the Electoral Commission in his favor, to 41.79 percent.
Though NPP Flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo would have lost by 1,233,186, he would have secured 56.85 percent, per their permutations.
But the Supreme Court upheld Mr. Mahama as the constitutionally elected President.
Mr. Mahama, however fell short in 2016 losing by some one million votes, Nana Akufo-Addo became third time lucky.
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 make a run for the Presidency.
The 10 Regional Chairmen of the NDC in 2017 also backed the candidature of Mr. Mahama for election 2020.
The ten regional chairman, after a meeting at the time, issued a communique in which they urged the former President to consider running for the 2020 polls. At the time, Mr. Mahama insisted that his focus was on restructuring the party.
MPs for Mahama
Some NDC MPs are said to have endorsed Mr. Mahama as the flagbearer for the 2020 polls under controversial circumstances.
The leader of the MPs, numbering about 94, Edwin Nii Lantey Vandapuye, maintained that Mr. Mahama was the only candidate that could lead the NDC to victory in the next polls.
Other MPs have also been vocal in their support of Mr. Mahama over the past 18 months. Most recently, the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said Mahama would claim at least 85 percent of the votes in the race if he contests.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana