Mahama's second coming is a threat to NDC'S future unity

Laptop......Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

Tue, 3 May 2022 Source: Isaac Ofori

After the death of late John Evans Atta Mills in June 2012, Ghana’s constitution conferred on Mahama to become the next president of Ghana. That privilege automatically earned him the party’s flagbearership having been the Vice President for close to four years. Every political party would have done the same. But in reality, if Atta Mills had not died, NDC’s leadership race in 2016, would not have seen Mahama contest or contested by keen contestants that stood a better chance than him.

Though luck and situation smiled on John Dramani Mahama in 2012, he apparently swerved from the party’s tradition and created his leadership empire and eventually relegated the known forerunners of NDC. During his presidency, he dropped many of the cadres who were appointees in the Mills' administration. He appointed mostly the youth and some unknown faces, behind-the-scenes NDC activists, to his presidency. Eventually, he was deserted by these astute NDC cadres, and the party, in 2013, looks like a new formation.

In 2016, Mahama led the NDC into one of the most shocking incumbent defeats with a vote difference of close to 1 million. This was the time that leadership should have restructured the party and brought everyone on board to ensure the cohesion the party had before the 2008 elections. The late Jerry John Rawlings became worried and warned the NDC on several occasions and tried to get the leadership to rectify the situation but Mahama's influence was so great that J.J. eventually became an enemy in his party.

NDC going into the 2020 elections was still not cohesive but the leadership did not bother until another defeat greeted them. The 2020 elections had dynamics that could have easily handed power over to NDC.

Unfortunately, the same attitude that cost them the 2016 elections woefully, followed them into the 2020 elections. Many of the cadres had still not come to terms with the current leadership led by Ofosu Ampofo and Aseidu Nketsiah. There's a clear indication of leadership skirmishes looming in the party.

Time would not permit me to mention some of the names of some refined NDC cadres and persons who had gone into hibernation waiting for the collapse of the Mahama's empire before surfacing and could have better pushed the NDC agenda contending with NPP.

Going into the 2024 elections, NDC is still holding on to the same attitude that has cost them two elections. The leadership has left core party matters and has tied their apron string to Mahama's leadership instead of bringing everyone on board to make the party stronger going into the next elections.

The unity of the NDC is at stake as a win for Mahama in their next internal leadership election could deepen further dissension among those who believe NDC must not change their tradition and those who believe the cadres have outlived their relevance.

Again, a loss for Mahama in the 2024 elections, could lead to the pointing of fingers, acrimony, and tantrums and that is the potential for splitting the party into factions. The future of NDC after 2024 cannot be traded or risked with an obsession for Mahama’s leadership at all.

Should NDC win the 2024 elections with Mahama, the party will have to combine giving Ghanaians the best of governance and at the same time grooming their next leaders going into the 2028 elections. This will be a herculean task for a party that is likely to inherit the mess of NPP’s eight years of governance.

If the leadership of the party pretends and becomes oblivion to many of the realities confronting them and chooses the path of making Mahama their hope, then they might have a unity crisis to grapple with going into the future elections.

Columnist: Isaac Ofori