Former Minister of Trade and Industry under the erstwhile NDC government, Dr Ekow Spio- Garbrah, who is testing the grounds for his Presidential bid, has reiterated his commitment to leading the party, with a call for the grassroots to be mobilised for a future victory.
Speaking on the Morning Xpress on Radio XYZ 93.1MHZ on Friday, the astute politician said he believed the humiliating defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 elections was linked to leadership challenges but was quick to add that the party somehow lost touch with its members too.
While pointing to the Dr. Kwesi Botchwey post-election report, Dr. Spio-Garbrah noted that a victory for the NDC in 2020 would mean the leaders of the party need to get in touch with foot soldiers and “mobilise them in the branch level, the constituency level, at the regional level, national level and at the diaspora level.”
The former Ambassador promised to spearhead a campaign dubbed ‘Forward Agenda’ to get the party’s grassroots to his side and unite them for victory for him and the party in 2020.
With a jab to the Akufo-Addo government for what he described as a complete failure so far, the immediate past Trade Minister stated emphatically that the current government is laced with corruption contrary to what he promised Ghanaians and said the NDC therefore needed to take lessons from the defeat of the last polls and rally behind him, who has the capacity, to kill factionalism in the party to maximize the its electoral fortunes in the next elections.
He said the government has been shielding corrupt officials since President Akufo-Addo’s investiture in 2017, from where parts of his “speech were stolen without given credit to their original owners” to unending cases of corrupt sagas.
“When it came to the BOST saga and the Energy Minister set up a committee to look into it, any government would have waited for the committee to report . . . but before the Energy Minister’s committee could even sit and look into the matter, the BNI, strangely, in less than one week, came with a report exonerating everybody involved,” he added. He added that those kind of actions by government rather will give encouragement to office holders that government will shield them when they are into corrupt activities.
The Forward Agenda, which was unveiled last Wednesday at a media encounter, is Spio-Gabrah’s master plan to win the NDC flagbearership and subsequently the Presidency race in the 2020 elections.
Promising his commitment to developing Ghana when given the nod, he said the Agenda,“is not one that can be led by just anybody. It is not just a matter of your talents, it is not a matter of the nature of your educational attainments or your financial capacity, it is the motivation in your spirit which is very difficult to measure.”
There are four other aspirants including former President John Dramani Mahama who is considered the most favourite among the party’s grassroots base.
A former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester Mensah and Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo Alban Bagbin are also expected to go join the race if nominations open.
The Party has said the election of its flagbearer will take place before the end of 2018.