Leading National Democratic Congress (NDC) member, Augustus Obuadum Tanoh, has officially made known his intention to contest the flagbearer slot of the opposition party.
Accompanied by some party faithful to the NDC headquarters at Adabraka where he submitted his letter of intent to the party leadership, Mr. Goosie Tanoh, as he is popularly known, said he is committed to restoring the values of the party.
“I believe that a renewed and revitalised NDC will have the values, the organisational potentials and vision to lead Ghana to realise the dream of the Fourth Republic,” he told the media Thursday.
Goosie is one of the many who have declared their intentions to lead the NDC to the 2020 Presidential elections. The tall list also includes former President John Mahama; former Trades Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin; academic and politician, Prof. Joshua Alabi and former CEO of National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah.
The leader of the defunct breakaway National Reform Party (NRP) between 1999 and 2007, revealed that he had been working over the last 10 years to develop the political organisational structure and the time is rife to bring that agenda to the national level.
In him, the opposition NDC has no choice, he added.
Fine gentleman. Well-spoken. Rawlings confidante. The aspirant is a remnant of the Rawlings assembly of great, strong, charismatic men who dominated Ghana politics in the Rawlings days. Goosie Tanoh almost felt entitled to the presidency, a natural successor after the nearly two decades-long rule of his close pal, Mr Rawlings. And when he was bypassed in 2000 and Prof. John Atta Mills anointed the NDC’s presidential nominee, he felt betrayed and resigned from the party to form his own. But he returned to the NDC after his failed experiment.
Mr Tanoh is a close confidante of Rawlings and when the NDC lost the 2016 elections, he was selected, and he delivered, an inspiring speech at the 31st December commemoration weeks after the announcement of the result of the election. After his speech - which was dominated by a mourning of the death and erosion of the values and principles of accountability, honesty and integrity in the NDC, the founder of the party - Mr Rawlings, called for the restoration of those values.
Goozie Tanoh has been primed for the presidency by the cadre movement in the opposition party. The cadres believe the NDC has veered off from the creed of its founding fathers who intended the party to be a socialist party guided by so-called principles of probity and accountability. They see Mr Tanoh as a person of integrity who is capable of restoring those values with their concomitant populist benefits of wooing the masses.
Only recently, a forum organised by a group of cadres selected Mr Tanoh as key speaker. At that forum, he dropped the clearest hint yet, that he would run for the NDC nomination for the 2020 elections.
He will be the third or fourth aspirant from the Central region running for the NDC’s nomination.
Whilst he enjoys some support from the cadres, a comparatively less relevant grouping in the NDC now, Goosie Tanoh does not appear to enjoy national support. His self-imposed political, hiatus may have dealt his ambitions a mortal blow.
What is worse for him, he may not be able to count on the undivided support of the Rawlings loyalists in the party. This is something he will hope for but which may remain a seductive illusion precisely because others like him, in this race, are also counting on that support. Nadowli/Kaleo MP, Alban Bagbin is one of them.
Apart from losing touch with the base of the NDC, it is doubtful if Goosie Tanoh has enough pints of the lifeblood of Ghana’s politics - the money to run a successful campaign.
He may deliver inspiring speeches, regurgitating the lofty ideals of the NDC, but time has proven those ideals as heavily diluted. When he meets delegates, he will be regarded as parroting rhetoric which has no real meaning in the lives of the delegates.
The significance of his campaign may not do more than give delegates another sneak peek into the monotonous rumblings of Mr Rawlings and his associates who, it seems are still living in the past. They have been overtaken by times and events which they lost control of. A long time ago.