The Campaign Team of ex-President John Mahama is whining over the inability of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to direct its arsenal at the ruling the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Mahama Campaign bemoaned the NDC’s preoccupation with the party’s upcoming presidential primary and lack of focus on what it termed “misgovernance” of the current Akufo-Addo administration.
But President Akufo-Addo recently predicted that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would defeat the NDC with more than one million votes in the 2020 general election.
The former president believes that the party must elect its flagbearer quickly in order to put the current administration on its toes.
The Mahama Campaign Team, in a statement issued on Saturday, December 8, 2018, stated emphatically that it was unhappy with NDC’s delays in electing a presidential candidate for 2020.
The NDC, has in recent times, been in turmoil over the party’s decision to set GH¢400,000 and GH¢20,000 as filing and nomination fees respectively.
Eight out of the initial 13 aspirants, who expressed dissatisfaction with the ‘killer fee,’ subsequently petitioned the NDC Council of Elders chaired by former President Jerry John Rawlings to ensure a review of the amount.
After the Council of Elders intervention, the amount was slashed by GH¢100,000, which means each aspirant is expected to pay GH¢300,000 as filing fee and GH¢20,000 for the nomination forms.
At a meeting between the eight aspirants and the party’s National Executive Committee and the Council of Elders, it was agreed that the presidential election should be postponed to January 26.
The picking of the nomination forms had been slated for December 8.
At the close of nominations, eight aspirants picked forms to contest in the race.
The Mahama Team disagreed with the eight aspirants that the original date set would interfere with the Christmas festivities, noting that all aspirants have had unimpeded access to delegates across the length and breadth of the country.
“As regards the concern that the Christmas festivities may interfere in campaign activities, we wish to note that in both 2000 and 2008, Ghana held presidential run-off elections in the Yuletide season.”
The brouhaha over the fees appears to have diverted the attention of the NDC from national issues, although it is unclear what exactly Mahama’s Campaign Team means by “misgovernance,” as some of the allegations that have been leveled against the NPP by leading members of the NDC have been proven to be false.
For instance, the Communications Director of the NDC and lackey of the Mahamas, Sammy Gyamfi, recently apologized publicly to Ghanaians for deliberately peddling falsehood about President Akufo-Addo.
He accused the president of travelling to South Africa without informing Parliament when in actual fact, the President wrote a letter to the Speaker of Parliament to inform lawmakers of his trip to South Africa, which was at the invitation of Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa.
Again NDC Member of Parliament and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson was exposed after he lied that the NPP was scheming to pay $1 million for drones that should cost the state $100,000.
It turned out that government was not even paying a penny for the drones.
But the Mahama Team believes the early completion of the NDC’s internal electoral processes would provide the party leadership space and time to begin the process of formulating comprehensive strategies towards the NDC’s victory in 2020.
According to the statement, “It’s our humble view that the party has been so preoccupied with internal elections that it has had very little time to focus on the full extent of the mis-governance of the Akufo-Addo administration.”
It observed that “though the NDC has the “most marketed candidate” in the person of Mahama, in the most unlikely event of a different person emerging as the flagbearer, a longer campaign period will suffice.
“We have to be mindful of the 2019 timetable announced by the Electoral Commission (EC). Furthermore, there is the need to ensure that the party provides ample space to participate in those activities.”
The Campaign Team also expressed disappointment over the reported exclusion of Mr. Mahama from a recent meeting between the party’s Council of Elders, eight aggrieved aspirants and the party’s Executive Committee.
According to Mahama, the development appears to suggest that the campaign to lead the party is one out of eight aspirants against John Mahama and not a competition among the individual flagbearer hopefuls.
“It’s our humble view that the said meeting could have included all other aspirants or their representatives. This is because the matters on board are centered on the interest of all concerned.”
“The upcoming elections for flagbearers should be seen as a contest among individuals desirous of leading the NDC in the 2020 elections and not as one between a group of persons against a particular candidate.”
Interestingly, unlike the eight aspirants namely, Goosie Tanoh, Alban Bagbin, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Alhaji Nurudeen Iddrisu, Stephen Atubiga and Elipklim Agbemava, ex-President Mahama has never raised any concerns about the exorbitant filing fees.