Accra, Feb. 2, Daily Guide -- The thrice-defeated National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, appears to be heading on a collision course with his mentor, former President Jerry Rawlings over a subtle attempt to side step him for Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former Minister of Education, for the 2008 NDC flagbearership, reports the Daily Guide newspaper.
Prof. Mills is reported to have confided in close friends that nobody can stop him from taking another shot at the presidential election, since he is the most popular face in the party today.
NDC sources say Prof Mills says he would resist any attempt to force him to step down for another candidate.
The former vice-president is particularly not happy with recent comments made by his one-time loyalist, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, currently chief executive of London-based executive of London-based Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO), during his recent television interview where the former minister made scathing remarks about Prof. Mills' candidacy in the previous elections.
Mr. Spio Garbrah, who is acknowledged by Prof. Mills' camp to enjoy the support of former President Rawlings, told Paul Adom Otchere on the Good Evening Ghana programme on Metro TV that having lost three times in his bid to become the president, it would be suicidal for the party to field Prof. Mills once again, without identifying the factors that led to his disastrous performances.
Describing Prof. Mills as three-time loser, he said, the party needs a proper social science research to establish why voters rejected him, especially in his home-base regions of central and western, where he performed abysmally, instead of relying on what he referred to as 'shop bar research”, to explain out his defeats.
Unable to accept the disparaging remarks made against him, Prof. Mills is said to have made phones calls to Spio and his promoters in the “Spio For President Movement”, asking them to tone down, in order not to undermine the collective interest of the party.
Prof. was particularly worried by the mention of the name Kofi Totobi Quakyi, former minister of information and national security in the Daily Guide report about his intention to grab the party's flagbearership.
The complaint compelled Spio to send a rejoinder virtually, eating back his damning comments on the former vice president.
The spokesman for the Spio for President Movement, Kweku Ampah, said, the movement was not out to antagonize anybody.
Mr. Ampah said the movement was formed to prepare the grounds for Spio's presidency, since members strongly believe that the former Ghana Ambassador to the United States is the right person to lead the country.
“We don't have anything against any individual. Our movement is purely in line with the country's democratic process,” he said.
He said the movement did not mention anybody's name, including Totobi in the blame game for the successive defeats of Prof. Mills.
Prof. Mills' supporters are not amused by the utterances of Mr. Spio Garbrah, in his attempt to rise to the top.