The NDC’s loss of power in the 2016 elections has resulted in prospective aspirants expressing their desire to contest for flagbearership of the party in the 2020 elections. Interestingly, these aspirants appear not to have the patience to wait for the dust to settle on the outcome of the 2016 elections before declaring their intentions to contest for election 2020, giving one the impression that they were wishing for the defeat of ex-president Mahama in the 2016 election in order to replace him.
Furthermore, these aspirants do not also seem to have patience to wait for the outcome of the NDC’s Election Review Committee’s work on the 2016 elections, before declaring their intentions to contest for elections 2020. In this regard prospective aspirants whose actions and statements have either directly or indirectly exposed their intentions are: Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah, Honourable Albin Bagbin, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah and GoosieTanoh. They are so much in a hurry to replace ex-president Mahama and appear towards this end to have instigated their supporters to sow seeds of discord in the NDC, hoping to capitalize on the confusion to propel into top gear their parochial agenda for flagbearership going into election 2020.
Interestingly, these aspirants generally have one characteristic in common, which is that, they tend to shy away from openly criticizing the Nana Akuffo Addo Government, and have largely failed to come to the defence of NDC party supporters and sympathizers who have been dismissed arbitrarily, attacked or victimized by the Nana Addo government and its functionaries. Their voices are rarely heard in defence of the party that they seek to lead, making one wonder whether they have any genuine love for NDC, or are rather interested in assisting the NPP to divide and weaken the NDC front.
There are certain pertinent questions however that these prospective aspirants need to address themselves to in their hasty quest to replace ex-president Mahama.
Firstly, considering the fact that the Dr. Botchway’s Committee is yet to conclude its work, what are the rational grounds on which they can justify their early agitations for the replacement ofMahama going into election 2020.
Secondy, on which NDC legacy would they stand to convince Ghanaians to vote for them in 2020? Would it not largely be Mahama’s legacy?
Thirdly, should the Nana Addo government fail to deliver to the expectation of Ghanaians, would Ghanaians logically not be yearning for a return of Mahama? Why would Ghanaians rather want to replace Nana Addo with an NDC candidate who has no legacy as president that they can identify with-especially if ex-president Mahama himself is available?
Whether these early bird aspirants like to admit it or not, they cannot destroy ex-president Mahama and at the same time ride on his legacy to convince Ghanaians to give power to the NDC, assuming Mahama is not a candidate for 2020.
In a related context for the NDC going forward, a major criteria for determining who their leaders should be at all levels, be it district, constituency, regional or national should be whether their aspirants for leadership are prepared to promote and vigorously defend the NDC cause at all times. It should therefore be based on whether such aspirants for leadership at all levels are prepared to take on the Nana Addo Government when it engages in controversial actions that affect Ghanaians generally and NDC supporters and sympathizers in particular.
Aspirants and prospective leaders who are more comfortable focusing on fighting NDC members and creating disunity within the ranks of the NDC, and rather refrain from criticizing the NPP government and its surrogates when the need arises, have no moral rights to lead the NDC at all levels going forward. Those who are rather comfortable with NPP leaders are the Trojan horses within, that need to be watched for deeds that are designed to weaken and divide the NDC for parochial motives. This of course is not to say that basic attributes of leadership that are required in the national interest should be overlooked in the selection of leaders in the NDC.
The body language of the NPP and its government clearly shows that it is the Mahama Legacy that they are apprehensive about going into election 2020. Indeed it is an open secret that the NPP’s strategy is to denigrate and destroy Mahama’s legacy as much as possible to make it unattractive to Ghanaians going forward. If that was the contrary, they would not make him and his family members their target for constant attack at the least opportunity. Their actions clearly show that the last person they would like to see leading the NDC in 2020 would be ex-President Mahama. It follows therefore that, should Mahama declare that he is retiring from politics the NPP would be the most to jubilate. This is because they clearly do not consider any of the NDC early bird aspirants a threat to their power in 2020.
Whether the NDC likes it or not, the foundation for its future depends on its vigorous defence of the Mahama’s legacy just as the NPP rode on Kuffour’s legacy to propel it back to power. This is because it is the most recent and visible legacy of the NDC that Ghanaians can presently relate to.
The NDC going forward should also identify the true causes for its defeat in the 2016 elections. Hopefully the Dr. Botchway Committee would do a good job in this regard. It should however be obvious to all dispassionate observers that no one factor could have contributed to the NDC’s loss in 2016, more so one individual. To prematurely zero in on President Mahama as the cause of the loss, and hurriedly mobilize to replace him is tantamount to engaging in immature politics. This is because there were various dynamics outplay in the NDC’s loss in the 2016 elections, some of which were internal and within the NDC itself.
The NDC’s main strategy in election 2020 should be to succeed in convincing Ghanaians that the Mahama Government and legacy were far better than the Akuffo Addo Government that came to replace it. Any attempt to endorse the NPP’s strategy to denigrate ex- president Mahama and his legacy would see the NDC staying in opposition for a long time.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Written by: Mensah Dekportor (Germany)
Email: [email protected]