Former Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah has said he considers it a ‘technical error’, his decision to contest the late President John Evans Atta Mills in the 2006 NDC Primaries, MyNewsGh.com can report.
According to the former CEO of the Dominion Chapel, he failed to interpret the signs and mistook certain compliments he received from the then NDC flagbearer in 2004 to mean Atta Mills has blessed his candidature as the next person to lead the party into the 2008 elections when the 2004 bid failed.
According to him, Professor Mills assured him that if at any point in time he (Mills) was unable to continue the “agenda”, he’d support him (Spio) for the top NDC slot, even adding that Mills told everyone that in any government he will be called upon to form, Dr Spio Garbrah will be the first person he will make a Minister.
He said one other reason why he contested in 2006 was that Prof Mills had by himself admitted his ill-health, which meant to him (Spio) that it was time for him to take over. But that was not, as delegates chose Mills over any other contestant.
Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah was speaking on GhanaWeb’s 21 Minutes With KKB over the weekend.
Touching on how he developed his vision, he said “It has taken decades, incidents, all kinds of suggestions here and there until I said to myself. [No,] … President Mills actually was the one who said this to me numerous times when he himself was the candidate and when I was campaigning for him… when I was director of communication for him … he will call me and say to me, sometimes with other people listening that ‘at any time if I cannot pursue this agenda, you are the only person I’m gonna support’ and I will say ‘Mr President, please, we are campaigning for you, let’s go ahead'” Dr Spio told Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng of Ghanaweb.
“So I guess my ‘error’, [He gestured with his hand to quote the word ‘error’]… technical error in 2006, based on what’s he’s said [to me] and when he himself admitted that he was not too well, and I said ‘oooh maybe this’s the time he wanted me to come forward and offer myself as a leader, but apparently the party thought otherwise.” He added.
He said he invested in time and resources to make sure Mills won the election, recalling how happy the then-candidate was about the funds he raised to support the campaign.
“So he (Mills) won the flagbearership race and I campaigned for him, and raised lots of money for him. He was very surprised. And he told everybody that he had said to people [back in 2003] When I was going to take the job of Chief Executive of the Commonwealth (Telco?) Organization, and I quote him, that ‘when I become President in 2004, Ekow Spio Garbrah is the first person I will appoint in my government.” Dr Spio recalled.
Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah, together with three others- with John Mahama likely the fourth name- are seeking to lead the NDC into the 2020 elections.
Party primaries for the top slot are due in September of this year and many hold John Mahama, should he announce, as the default winner of the one-horse race.
A candidate, Alban Bagbin has accused Mr Mahama of orchestrating the NDC Unity Walks ostensibly to market himself for a smooth come back. Others in the race include Stephen Atubiga, Sylvester Mensah and Joshua Alabi.