Former President John Mahama is responsible for the defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 elections, flagbearer hopeful Alban Bagbin has said.
“We gave him [Mr Mahama] the opportunity and we saw the end results – we lost with a record over one million votes,” the former Majority Leader said.
Mr Bagbin said Mr Mahama “came out as a good leader to admit that it was his fault because throughout his governance, he kept on reminding us that he was the captain and that the buck stops with him.
“It’s the same thing – the good things that we did are credited to him, and, so, you don’t just take the assets, you also take the liabilities, so, he is mainly responsible for our loss.
“You lead, we follow, and, so, at the end of the day, when you mislead us, you cannot go and say that it’s somebody who has rather misinformed you to mislead us, no, because you take the decision; that is what leadership is about,” Mr Bagbin told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah in an interview.
In March 2017, Mr Mahama asked critics within his party to directly hold him responsible for the NDC’s defeat.
“The cause of our loss is multifaceted,” he told his former appointees at a meeting on 28 March, adding that those going on air to blame fellow party members and specific members of his administration for the defeat must redirect those accusations at him, since he led the party into the elections.
“Of course, as the General who led us into battle, I take ultimate responsibility for our losing the election, and so if it will satisfy those people, blame me for the loss,” Mr Mahama said.
At the same meeting, Mr Mahama said the loss notwithstanding, his government made “monumental” achievements, of which members of the NDC must be proud.
“I believe that you must hold your heads high because that government did a lot for this country and I believe that posterity will be the judge eventually,” Mr Mahama said.
“We did a lot to improve infrastructure of the country and often infrastructure is a thing people take for granted. It is possible to be in the opposition and criticise. We should not feel depressed or ashamed,” he urged the ex-appointees, saying “our service in government was outstanding.”
“We must continue to defend that legacy of that government,” he added, saying there was the need to “regroup, refocus and go back into battle.”