Prof. Evans John Atta Mills, twice-defeated presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former Vice President of the Republic Ghana, has been urged to step aside and give way to new entrants in the NDC flagbearership race.
In a survey conducted in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions among non-NDC delegates, Prof. Mills was seen as a person who cannot win a general election in this country.
But NDC delegates, who would be determining the leader of the party in the 2008 general elections, have seen this in the opposite direction. The Chronicle's research revealed that Prof Mills was tipped as a fovourite among the four candidates who have so far declared their intention to lead the party.
The other aspirants included; Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a communication expert, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, a former Minister of Defense, and Mr. Eddie Annan, a business tycoon.
Another aspirant who is yet to declare his intention, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, according to the non-delegates of the party and a section of the general public, could be the best successor to President John Agyekum Kufuor, who would be ending his eight-year rule at a handing over ceremony on January 7, 2009.
The Chronicle can confidently say the hopes of all the presidential aspirants would be dashed, as most of the delegates, particularly the regional and constituency executives, had made up their minds to re-elect Prof Mills as at the December 15 17 national delegates' congress.
However, according to our survey, the election of Prof Mills would spell a doom for the NDC and this, they say, would cause the country greatly because the country needed a change as the NPP government had worsened the plight of Ghanaians.
On the message that the ruling NPP put up against Prof Mills in the 2004 general elections that he would be remotely controlled by ex-President Rawlings, the interviewees expressed fear that it was likely the NPP would repeat the dose and once again send NDC into boondocks.
The non-delegates but strong members of the party appealed to the delegates not to waste their time to elect Prof Mills because of his popularity in the party and because of lack of logistics in the NDC.
Currently, some executives are working underground to get Prof Mills elected to lead the party in the 2008 general elections on the ground that the Professor was already well-marketed all over the country.
But the supporters contended this should not be used as a yardstick in the election of a candidate, but they should look for someone who will be accepted by all Ghanaians, particularly the floating voters who are yet to make up their minds on whom they should vote for.
Most of the interviewees rooted for Mr. Mahama, MP for Bole, and Dr. Spio-Garbrah as aspirants that could stand the test of the NPP because of their enviable records and achievements in the country.
They also contended that on the part of Mr. Mahama, he was exceptional and could win the 2008 general elections without any problem; but they expressed sentiment about the way the Bole MP was going about the declaration of his intention.
His delay, as learnt by The Chronicle, could be very good tactics because of the recent warning from the National Executives may be dangerous to him.
Information gathered from our survey revealed that most of the delegates preferred Mr. Mahama as a running mate to Prof Mills.
Some of the delegates are saying the MP is still young and could be good material for the NDC in subsequent general elections, and therefore picking him as a running mate to Mills would mean preparing him for future presidential elections.
But the non-delegates argued this out, saying he is not that young because he was above the age that the constitution stipulated one could offer himself for election as president of the Republic of Ghana.