Former President John Dramani Mahama has officially declared his intention to contest again for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 presidential election.
The former President’s declaration does not appear to evoke surprises because he has always been in the campaign mood ever since he was humiliated at the polls on December 7, 2016.
Even though he had always admonished his competitors not to peak against the ongoing reorganization of the party, strangely he took to the social media to announce his readiness to contest in the NDC race for the 2020 elections.
His announcement did not surprise the teeming members of the party because it is an open secret that he would contest the 2020 polls.
Other NDC chieftains who have declared their intention to challenge John Mahama are Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, former NHIS boss, Sylvester Mensah; former Trade Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and former UPSA Rector, Joshua Alabi and Kweku Rickett Hagan, former Central regional minister.
John Mahama posted on Facebook – a social media platform – that he has ‘listened’ to the numerous ‘calls’ of the rank and file of the NDC and has accepted it and was ready to lead the party, which he sent to opposition, into another election in 2020.
“To you the teeming supporters and sympathizers calling and requesting me to declare my intentions for the future, I wish to assure you today, that as a servant-leader, I have listened to your calls and reflected. I will not disappoint you even as we await the publication of the party’s guidelines for selecting a new leader,” Mr. Mahama who described himself as a ‘servant-leader’ posted at the weekend.
He added “I want to congratulate the rank and file and executives of our party, the NDC, at all levels for the commitment and work rate we have put into our reorganization efforts.”
He said “The zeal and determination of the average sympathizer of our great party is greater and miles ahead of what it was after the December 2016 Elections,” adding “We need to keep up with the momentum generated and follow the published timelines.”
Mr Mahama has been leading the NDC to embark on what the party calls ‘Unity Walk,’ which his critics, even those within the party, claim has been skewed for him to test his popularity and jokingly called ‘Mahama Walk.”
So far, in all the Unity Walks held across the country, it is only Mr Mahama who has always been given the chance to address the NDC supporters to the chagrin of the other aspirants; leading to their boycott after the Cape Coast walk.
He used the Cape Coast Unity Walk held on November 5, 2017 to describe his political opponents (NPP) metaphorically as ‘pigs’ who he said were ‘enjoying’ and the rest suffering.
In Tarkwa in the Western Region on November 26, Mr. Mahama complained bitterly about how President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government were messing up the Free SHS programme currently being implemented and virtually kicked against the wholesale programme.
In the Techiman Unity Walk in Brong Ahafo on January 8, he dared the NPP government to arrest him and his wife Lordina if indeed they had anything to do with the DKM, God is Love financial scandals that broke out during his tenure.
In Somanya, Eastern Region on February 24, Mr. Mahama fired President Akufo-Addo for what he called the President’s failure to fulfill his campaign promises.
In the Kumasi Unity Walk held on April 29, Mr. Mahama used the occasion to castigate the NPP government for stopping illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, a comment he appeared to have received widespread condemnation for.
In his recent Bolgatanga Unity Walk, he appeared to incite the people of the Upper East Region against the Akufo-Addo-led administration when he said the NPP government had abandoned the 116 Bolgatanga-Bawku Road which he awarded for construction with no funding avenue.
Some of the NDC flagbearer aspirants like Joshua Alabi, immediate-past Rector of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) and then Board Chairman of SSNIT under Mr Mahama has been cautioning against selecting the former President to lead the NDC once again.
He said, among other things, that it will be too dangerous for the NDC delegates to give Mr. Mahama the nod for 2020 because in his view, the former President is scandal-prone and has corruption tag on him.
In 2016, Mr Mahama set record when he became the first leader in Ghana’s democratic rule to lose an election after one term.
He was beaten with over one million votes by then veteran opposition candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Then opposition NPP’s candidate made sure that President Mahama became a one-term President by securing 53.85% against then President Mahama’s 44.40%.
The NPP leader became the 5th President in the 4th Republic when he was inaugurated on January 7, 2017.
Apart from President Mahama’s humiliating defeat, the NDC also lost about 49 parliamentary seats to the NPP and are now minority in Parliament with only 104 seats against the NPP’s 171.