Goosie Tanoh becomes 11th presidential aspirant of NDC
A founder member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and presidential hopeful, Mr Augustus Goosie Tanoh has become the 11th presidential aspirant to officially inform the NDC about his intentions to contest the 2020 flagbearership slot of the party.
Mr Tanoh, who was dressed in an all-white garment with an NDC-branded scarf draped around his neck, entered the NDC headquarters in Accra shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday and in an address before presenting his letter of intent to NDC General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, declared "We are here today to fulfill an administrative requirement announced by our dear General Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketia, to submit our letters of intent.”
He said he was submitting his letter of intent to contest the presidential primaries of the NDC and hopefully with success, become the flag bearer for the NDC for the 2020 elections.
The other aspirants include former President John Mahama, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin; a former Trade Minister, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester Adinam Mensah.
The rest are the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi; a banker and oil and gas consultant, Mr Nurideen Iddrisu; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South, Mr George Kwaku Ricketts Hagan; a member of the NDC’s communication team, Mr Stephen Atubiga; a lawyer, Mr Elikplim Agbemava and Mr David Dotse Kwame Kuwadah.
Opportunity for delegates
Mr Tanoh described his entry into the flagbearership race as an opportunity for delegates to halt the continuing decay of the country's fortunes.
According to him, his selection as the flag bearer would give Ghanaians a choice to develop the country, as his campaign would focus on social justice, accountability and development.
He said, "a lot of water has passed under the bridge since December 2016 and all of us are yearning for a revitalised and renewed NDC, we believe that we have the programmes and the mobilising capacity to be able to implement this agenda of social justice and accountability and development which are the founding principle of our great party, the NDC.”
"I am here with our branch chairman because our belief is that the NDC starts from the branch. Ghana starts from the community. If we build these communities, nourish them, and allow them to grow by our support, Ghana will develop. As I said earlier, development does not begin at the Flagstaff House, it begins in the communities.”
"We have a choice"
Mr Tanoh, 62, was urged on by hundreds of his drum-beating supporters who were clad in Goozie -2020 branded T-shirts which had the tag-line: "We Have A Choice" to present the letter.
Explaining the rationale of the theme behind his campaign in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Tanoh said Ghanaians had a choice to persist with bad governance or choose him to spark a change for the better.
"I believe that we have a political culture that has sent our country to a certain measure of continuing decay. We either continue that path or we change," Mr Tanoh stated.
Status of National Reform Party
Addressing his breakaway from the party to form the National Reform Party (NRP) in 1999 and subsequent return at the behest of the late President John Evans Atta Mills in 2007, Mr Tanoh explained that the NRP was functional only because the Political Parties Law does not have a mechanism for dissolution of political parties.
NDC flagbearer elections
Mr Nketia said challenges with the NDC branch elections resulted in the national executive of the party asking flagbearer aspirants to inform the party of their intentions.
He explained that the regular schedule would have been unfair to candidates who were not as popular as the immediate past President, Mr John Mahama.
"We all know that according to the NDC constitution, we have to select our presidential candidate 24 calendar months before the next general election when we are in opposition. When we are in government, we require only 12 months to the next general election,” he said.