Supporters of one of the presidential hopefuls of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, are excited over the recent attack on former President John Dramani Mahama by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The supporters of Mr Bagbin, who are a group of branch executives of the NDC, and are themselves delegates claimed that Mr Bagbin’s recent lead over Mr Mahama ahead of the party’s presidential primary early December this year was due to fresh attacks that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Dr Bawumia successfully launched on Mr Mahama which were not convincingly countered by his (Mahama) handlers.
“Our findings show that a shaky lead that Mr Bagbin has had on former President Mahama has recently widened, and it is mainly due to fresh attacks that President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia have successfully launched on Mr Mahama which have not been convincingly countered,” the group said.
Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, recently while addressing Metropolitan and Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Accra said, it would be suicidal for Ghanaians to hand over the administration of the country back to former President Mahama.
Commenting on the decision of former President John Mahama to contest the flag-bearer slot of the NDC, Dr Bawumia said: “I hear the incompetent one says he wants to come back, he wants to come and do more damage, as if he didn’t do enough damage; well we’re waiting for him, we’re waiting for him, we’re waiting for him, oh my God!”
That supporters of Mr Bagbin who is the Second Speaker of Parliament believed, the attack had done a serious damage to Mr Mahama beyond repairs, hence their excitement.
They made these observations while addressing the media in Accra last week Thursday.
According to them, former President Mahama will be shocked at the NDC presidential polls later in the year as a groundswell of support for Mr Bagbin, showed that he (Mr Bagbin) will win massively ahead of other competitors who include, former Trade and Industry Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra, (UPSA), Prof Joshua Alabi, and NDC returnee, Goosie Tanoh.
“Delegates are really keen on getting the NDC back into power in 2020 and believe that the NPP’s abysmal performance in office created good enough chance for a comeback, but they are afraid of committing to work for the leadership of former President Mahama because of the corruption tag from the NPP,” Mr. John Mensah Koklootse We NDC branch executive member, who addressed the media said.
The press conference, which was also attended by many other NDC delegates from the Greater Accra Region, also revealed that Mr Bagbin would get about 80 per cent of the total votes.
According to Mr Mensah, “the findings have since been welcomed by the majority of the branch executives as a true reflection of the prevailing sentiments within the party.”
“As an executive of the NDC, I know that whoever we put up as presidential candidate in 2020 will be too hot for President Akufo-Addo and the NPP to contest, but I also believe that of all the aspirants, Mr Bagbin is the one who will really be untouchable by the NPP because of his reputation as an incorruptible man,” Mr Mensah said.
Executives at the event included, Mr James Gborgla, Branch Organiser for Ladzuahe, Mr Joseph Kwei, an executive of the Tema West branch of the party and Mr Francis Anyidoho, a branch secretary.
Speaking to Today on the sidelines of the press conference, some of the executives who did not mince words indicated that Mr Mahama’s comeback would not bring power to NDC in 2020.
“As I speak to you (referring to this reporter), I will vote for Mr Bagbin simply because I believe that President Mahama has had his chance and should give way to others,” Mr Joseph Amekortu said.
His feelings were re-echoed by Cynthia Nuvorvor, a branch Women Organiser who said that former President Mahama’s shocking defeat in 2016 was too huge to brush aside in less than two years and make a comeback.
“The point is that, the corrupt image that the NPP succeeded in tagging the former president with, has not been addressed and for me, it is a serious nightmare. Look at how Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have began attacking him again, and when they did, we did not have any effective response.
“Things are worst now because pro-NDC media houses have mostly closed down…. My brother, if in 2016, with the existence of some pro NDC media houses the NPP succeeded in tagging Mahama as corrupt, what do you think they will do now that NDC has next to no media at all?” she asked.
According to her, the fearful spectre of former President Mahama falling under the incompetence and corruption tags again “makes Mr Bagbin the clearest choice to make for flag-bearer.”
Meanwhile, a former information minister last week endorsed Mr Bagbin as the best candidate to represent the NDC in the 2020 presidential election.
Mr Baffour boldly declared Mr Bagbin as his choice and also made his intention known to support him in his bid to be elected as flag-bearer of the party in the upcoming primary.
According to him, his love for Ghana influenced his decision to opt for Mr Bagbin, who he described as a friend and colleague, as the best among the others aspiring to be flag-bearers of the party. Announcing this in a brief statement on his Facebook wall, Mr Baffour wrote, “I have decided to work extremely hard to get a friend and colleague elected as flag-bearer of the NDC. It will not be easy but to borrow from the motto of the vaunted British SAS.’Who dares wins ‘ I’m opting for Alban Bagbin!”
Meanwhile former President Mahama has appealed to delegates of the NDC to give him an unprecedented support to send a signal to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that, the NDC will send them to opposition, come 2020 general election.
The former president made this assertion when he was addressing teeming supporters of the NDC in the Upper East Region in his bid to seek for a return as a presidential candidate of the party.
“I need every single of your vote because your endorsement has to be massive. You need to send a signal to the NPP that we are solidly behind your candidate and that, come 2020; we are going to get them out of the Flagstaff House,” Mahama said.