General News of Tue, 22 May 20186
Don’t gag NDC flagbearer hopefuls – Sylvester Mensah
A leading flagbearer contender in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Chief Executive Officer, has affirmed his decision to contest for the vacant position of flagbearer despite Mr. Mahama’s recent hint that he will throw his hat in the race.
Speaking on Starr FM on Monday, May 21, 2018, the man many have tipped as the dark horse in the NDC race, welcomed the former president to the contest saying though late, his declaration was expected by the rank and file of the party.
He, however, intimated that he had no intention to withdraw from the race despite the inclusion of the former president in the race.
“I want to assure my teeming supporters across the country that I appreciate the support, trust and confidence in me and will not take it for granted or disappoint. It is welcome news that Mr. Mahama has finally indicated his intentions to contest even though its been suggested that he has bowed to pressure giving the impression he is an unwilling candidate. All I pray for is that, neither the party nor any group of individuals would be tempted to gag potential hopefuls. A free, fair and level playing field is what the party needs in order to scale over the hurdle.”
According to the flag bearer hopeful, there is the need to appreciate the experiences of the past which caused us our defeat in the December 7, general election. Things that went against us cannot be repeated going into the future, he said.
What is the strategy?
Speaking about the contest, Mr. Sylvester Mensah said the impending declaration of the former president of his intention to contest obviously changes strategy at the margins.
“Every individual comes with a unique set of talents, potential and above all, the support base. Once a new person joins the race, every other contender would have to adjust to accommodate the new entrant. What is important is that, my teeming supporters know I stand for a New Face, a New Voice, a New Vision and a New Set of Relationships.
Mahama the most marketed?
Reacting to a question from the host as to what his chances are given the fact that Mr. Mahama appears the most marketed candidate, Mr. Sylvester Mensah said, most of it is perception and though he does not wish to discuss any particular candidate, he believes that, he will win the flagbearer race and subsequently become the president of the republic come January, 2021.
“Comparing the former president with any of the aspirants is like comparing apples and mangoes. None of them has been Vice president and President but what is at stake is that delegates are going to measure potential and see who best represent the best set of aspirations both for the party and Ghana in general. I believe I am marketable and have more than what it takes to be a household name within one year and win power for the party.”
Mr. Sylvester Mensah, stated that although he may not be as financially endowed as other aspirants, the race is not about who has more money.
“Right from branch to the national level, there are different levels of investments. Party members seeking office, are being encouraged to own the party, develop a new set of orientation and to appreciate their role us ‘kingmakers’ with the responsibility to ensure the best leader emerges for our collective good and interest. If it is about money we may not have in equal measure. but it goes beyond that, it is about mutual respect for one another, mutuality of interest, it is about the future of our country, belief in our common humanity. It is about reducing social exclusion and achieving shared prosperity. If these are the issues at stake, then I have it in abundance and I believe the delegates will choose me”
“Let me put on record for the first time that myself and Alabi, Spio and Bagbin have been meeting, not for any diabolical reasons, but because we were quick to declare earlier, we also believe we owe it a duty to manage our support base by discussing issues that may crop up to reduce any negative occurrence or reducing acrimony to the minimum.”
This was Mr. Sylvester Mensah’s response when the host asked whether it will be necessary for a certain collaboration among hopefuls to ensure they team up to present one strong contender, as suggested by Pollster and Journalist, Mr. Ben Ephson.
“These strategies are very normal in politics, but of course subject to several considerations. Our individual strength and many other relevant issues need to be looked at. I can not say for a fact, but in a contest of this nature, every strategy is worth considering, the former Chief Executive of the NHIA pointed out.”
He entreated his supporters to remain resolute and believe that he will emerge from the race to lead the party to victory come 2020.