Interesting names and faces continue to pop up in the quest for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer for the 2020 elections which the party considers a ‘do-or-die’ affair, following their poor showing in the 2016 elections that sent them into opposition.
Latest to emerge was the football administrator, Kojo Bonsu, who was uprooted from his position as a Mayor of Kumasi by the chiefs and people of the Asante Region.
He was alleged to have disrespected the chiefs including the Asantehene for not honouring an invitation to appear before the traditional council to respond to certain concerns.
His name came up last Friday when he went to announce his decision to the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Accompanying him to Mr Rawlings’ Ridge office were members of his campaign team which include ace former stand-up comedian and former Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour.
In a post on his Tweeter handle after the meeting, Mr Rawlings tweeted “I received@KOJOBONSU10 and his team today. I wished him well. He has a determined spirit” – displaying a handful of pictures of the man and his team on the handle.
This brings to 12, the number of aspirants running for the position of the NDC flagbearership.
Surprisingly, people have started shooting down the candidature of Kojo Bonsu describing it as part of a grand scheme to pull support for former President Mahama who is staging a comeback at the presidency after going down as the only one term president in the annals of Ghana’s democratic rule.
That was because Kojo Bonsu has been the brain behind the several ‘unity walk (s)’ organized by Mr Mahama across the country in the regions to shore up his image and candidature under the guise of a healing process after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Akufo-Addo and the NPP in the 2016 general election.
Many speculated that Kojo Bonsu will eventually denounce (standing down) his candidature and declare his support for Mahama and will go ahead and urge those he has managed to convince in the process to do likewise.
Mahama’s decision to seek to lead the party again has been heavily criticized by some of his own appointees and Ministers who think he was a failure.
These include the likes of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and NDC MP for Nadowli, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, one of the old horses in the NDC who has decided to contest him for the position.
Another is Mahama’s own Minister of Trade, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah who has shot down Mr Mahama’s suggestion that God wanted Ghanaians to compare him and the NDC to President Akufo-Addo and his NPP administration and has therefore deliberately caused their defeat in the 2016 elections.
“God speaks to people in different ways; even prophets of God see different things but God has not told me he caused our defeat”, he said in an interview on Adom FM in virtual mockery of his former boss.
He believes the only way the NDC can win the 2020 election would be with a different candidate and not Mahama.
So far, the likes of former Vice Chancellor for the University of Professional Studies (UPS) and strong NDC man who at various times served in different roles in the party and government, Joshua Alabi; Sylvester Mensah, who once headed the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) under Mahama, and PNDC cadre, Goosie Tanoh who left the NDC to form his party and later returned after failure, have all stuck out their necks to contest Mahama for the post.
Others include his own Deputy Minister of Finance and MP for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts Hagan, alongside the famous ‘poor boy from Binduri’ Stephen Atubiga who many consider to be a mockery or joke to the position, 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.
Mahama seems to stand tall among the candidates though.
As an immediate past President, he is thought to be still controlling a lot of cash and influence which would most likely play to his advantage at the end of the day.