More surprises keep coming up as the contest for the flagbearership position of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 general elections intensifies.
Latest is a decision by former Minister of Information, who was also the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, to abandon his former boss, John Mahama for Alban Bagbin.
Interestingly, Fritz Baffour was part of the team that followed football administrator, Kojo Bonsu, to the office of former President Rawlings, the founder of NDC, to inform him of the latter’s intention to contest in the party’s flagbearership race.
The development has somehow raised questions about Fritz Baffour loyalty.
That notwithstanding, Fritz, who served in the Mills-Mahama administration as an Information Minister, thinks John Mahama, who was then Vice President and later became President after the death of President Mills, does not have what it takes to lead the NDC into the 2020 elections.
Instead, he believes Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, who is the current Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli-Kaleo, is the best for the job.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the former MP and ace stand-up comedian said, “Hello folks, I hope all is well. I just want to say that I love Ghana, so I do not have the luxury of standing on the sidelines when it comes to stepping into the breach.”
In that regard, he said, “I have decided to work extremely hard to get a friend and colleague elected as flagbearer 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! I’m going to be extremely busy pushing the envelope for the next few weeks so pardon my occasional absence. God bless Ghana.”
In June this year, the same Fritz Baffour blamed the 2016 electoral defeat of the NDC on the erstwhile Mahama administration, which he said departed from core values of the NDC- transparency, probity, accountability and social justice.
Speaking at the commemoration of the June 4 Uprising, the former Information Minister said: “A combination of circumstances in the afore-mentioned term of office which included arbitrariness by party and government officials in their dealings with ordinary citizens, perception of wanton corruption and other excesses fuelled by political detractors, poor communication strategies and over-reliance on the construction and commissioning of infrastructural projects as a major campaign tool, led to a massive defeat in the 2016 elections.”
He further added that the largest opposition party is disunited and needs wholesale reforms.
“Today, the NDC, which is meant to be the bonafide custodian of the tenets and ideals is driven with disunity and lack of consensus, monetization, fomenting of personality cult and a discord from the rank and file,” he stated.
“Our days in the political wilderness must be spent reconnecting with the ideals and values,” he urged.
He said that Bagbin, one of the old guards of the NDC, can lead the party to victory in 2020.
So far, 13 persons, including former President Mahama, who suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of Nana Akufo-Addo and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 general elections, have declared their intention to contest for the flagbearership position of the NDC.
Others include his own Deputy Minister of Finance and MP for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts Hagan, as well as his Minister of Trade, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Prof Joshua Alabi.
The rest are the football administrator, who used to organise most of Mahama’s signature walks dubbed ‘Unity Walk’ across the country, Kojo Bonsu, famous ‘poor boy from Binduri’ Stephen Atubiga, a young lawyer and a member of the party’s communication team, Elikplim Agbemava, David Dotse Kuwadah, said to be a banker and one Nurudeen Iddrisu, thought to be a consultant in the oil and gas industry.