A flag-bearer aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, has said the NDC has a brighter chance of winning the 2020 general election if he is elected as the party’s flag bearer.
He stated that: “What is important is for the party to elect me, the most experienced among all those who have expressed interest in leading the party into the 2020 general election. I am the ideal candidate to change the fortunes of the party and bring it back to power in 2020.”
He noted that the party needed a presidential candidate who could appeal to angry members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) whose hopes had been dashed due to the abysmal performance of the Akufo-Addo led administration, as well as floating voters who had been heavily disappointed by the ruling government.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic at Agona Swedru in the Central Region, Dr Spio-Garbrah said: “Let me tell you something. Among those interested in leading the NDC into the next general election, I am the only candidate with a huge constituency that cuts across the political divide. No candidate in the NDC flag-bearer race has a larger constituency than I do. My presence and popularity can heavily be felt among women groups, youth groups, religious groups as well as the business community.”
Mr Spio-Garbrah, who was touring the region, had earlier met delegates from the Agona West, Agona East and Gomoa Central constituencies to interact with them, present his vision for the party and to garner support towards his bid to lead the party into Election 2020.
He will be contesting against former President John Dramani Mahama, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Mr Sylvester Mensah; a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi; the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mr Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin; a banker and oil and gas consultant, Mr Nurideen Iddrisu; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South, Mr George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan; a member of NDC’s communications team, Mr Stephen Atubiga; a lawyer, Mr Elikplim Agbemava; Mr David Dotse Kwame Kuwadah, and Mr Goosie Tandoh, a former Special Aassistant to former President Rawlings.
Mr Spio-Garbrah said he was the only NDC minister who had been a CEO of Action Chapel International, a prominent church in Ghana, working for God, which is an important constituency, noting that “if you talk to the business community, 90 per cent of those I have interacted with want me to be the President of this country in contrast with the other potential candidates”.
He said every President usually spent about 30 per cent of his activities on international travels, adding that considering all the aspirants and digging into their backgrounds, most of them did not have any proper and adequate international exposure and experience.
“Being a President is not just about taking a plane and travelling around the world. You must work for international organisations to know what happens inside those organisations to be able to know how to interact with particularly the diplomatic community,” he pointed out.
He added that: “I have had the privilege of working with three international organisations, which puts me ahead of all the other aspirants in the race.”
Chances of winning
Responding to a question about his chances of winning the presidential primary, Mr Spio-Garbrah noted with confidence that his chances were between very good and excellent since he was the only one among all the aspirants who had ever run the race before.
“I have a better knowledge and understanding of the race than any other aspirant seeking to lead the NDC into the next election. I believe that Ghanaians are looking for a competent and experienced leader with a good track record and my good works are amply demonstrated everywhere. I have worked both in and outside the country for people to judge,” he stressed.
He mentioned that the electorate were also looking for somebody with the highest level of integrity, trustworthiness, honesty and who had no record of financial malfeasance or corruption which had been his reputation not only in Ghana but across the world.
He indicated that going by what he believed Ghanaians were looking for in their leaders, “I have no doubt whatsoever that I am more than qualified for this flag-bearer position based on my record at the African Development Bank, World Bank Group and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, as well as in the private sector.”
Mr Spio-Garbrah said the NDC suffered greatly in the 2016 general election due to its inability to present a well-crafted message to the electorates, which enabled the NPP in opposition to win the hearts of the voters with its free SHS, one district, one factory, one village, one dam messages, among others.
He posited that as a marketing and communications specialist, he would ensure that the party presented a good message to the electorate to convince them to vote massively for the NDC to wrest power from the NPP government.
“The party’s message will be designed in such a way that it will be easily understood and recalled by party communicators in their quest to communicate the policies and programmes of the NDC to the electorate,” he stated.