Former President John Mahama’s meeting with executives of the Tema East branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as part of his campaign for the flgabearership of the party, has invoked scathing feedback.
The branch executives who sat through the meeting have come out to declare that it was not worth having the meeting.
“We thought that the former President had learnt his lesson from the massive defeat in 2016, and, therefore, pencilled down concrete measures that he would take to better a lot of party executives if he was given the nod and that he was coming to tell us about these new measures. However, all that he came to do was to dance around the issues.
“In the context of what the real issues in the party are, we, as branch executives, can confidently say that Mr Alban Bagbin has communicated better, and from the look of things, would be a far better leader for the NDC than Mr. Mahama,” John Kpakpo Allotey, Communications Officer for the Wulomor branch of the NDC in the Tema East Constituency said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The conference was an immediate response to the former President’s meeting with executives there on his campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Allotey said the Mahama Campaign Team bussed and paid people from across the country to the meeting.
He said some of them were members of the Action Youth for Mahama group, which was formed in 2016 as part of their campaign strategy.
The Communications Officer said the clever purpose for bussing people into Tema East was to create the impression that Tema East, which is the stronghold of Mr Alban Bagbin, had fallen to Mr Mahama.
The branch executives made it clear that the former President was not able to win them over, and that Mr Bagbin’s vow to come in with a new brand of leadership, different from Mahama’s neglectful one, was still the message that resonated with them.
“Bagbin has made it clear that under him as President, the country will be governed along the lines of consultation between the party and seat of government, party executives will be given opportunities by government, and even non-party executives, including our media houses, will be built up.
“Given the former President’s history, one would have thought that he would come to give us concrete promises along these lines that surpass those of Bagbin. However, all he came to do was speak plenty of English. We are disappointed and believe that all NDC executives have better hope in Alban Bagbin,” Mr Allotey said.
Flanked by Stella Nukpeta, another branch executive, he also pointed out that unlike Bagbin, Mr. Mahama could not commit to cultivating the support of the party’s Founder, Jerry Rawlings, and its Council of Elders.
“If you cannot bring our Founder and the party elders on board, and Bagbin has promised just that, then who deserves to be trusted with the leadership of the party, knowing that in 2016, because we did not get our Founder’s blessing, we lost abysmally?
“We will like to remind Mr Mahama that politics is about people, and elections are about numbers. Every soul and every vote is needed for the NDC going into 2020, and what will attract the souls to us is our ability to reciprocate the sacrifices of people, and keep even those who love the party, including our own Founder, in the party.
“Mr. Mahama’s meeting with the executives in Tema East failed to address these issues, and, therefore, we think that he cannot be trusted with the 2020 presidential ticket of our beloved party,” Mr. Allotey said.
Mrs. Stella Nukpeta said Mr Bagbin, in comparison, covered all the concerns of the executives when he met them in Tema East. “He promised to bring our Founder on board, and even proved that for the party elders, he already had their hearts.
“Mr Bagbin’s promise to reward the sacrifices of executives and party loyalists is also well known. So my question is if you are a party executive with your common sense intact, who will you make your leader?” she asked rhetorically.
According to her, Bagbin would also be a winsome candidate in the 2020 presidential contest because of his affability and fierce reputation as an incorruptible man.
Mrs. Grace Workpor, a branch Women Organiser, was full of praise for the second Deputy Speaker for his contribution to the country’s democracy and excellent leadership qualities.
“In fact, Mr. Bagbin is a brilliant leader and none of the flagbearer aspirants can debate the issues with him. In fact, he is far better, and he will win to become President.” Mrs. Workpor said.