Aspiring flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress Stephen Atubiga is claiming the various contenders in the party’s presidential primary have been lobbying him to withdraw from the race to support them.
The ex-convict who is expected to file his nomination to contest the presidential primary claimed Tuesday that aspirants, including former President John Mahama, see him as a threat in the January 26, 2019 race.
“I can tell you without fear, I’m one of the aspirants that all the candidates are lobbying seriously. I’ve been having sleepless night; opinion leaders coming to me to throw my weight [behind them]. I’m a threat to most of them,” he told journalists after he and two other aspirants met minority members in parliament.
The other candidates who met the minority MPs are Prof. Josuah Alabi and Goosie Tanoh.
Mr. Atubiga was among the eight persons who picked nomination forms to contest the primary to elect a flagbearer to lead the party into the 2020 general elections.
Five of them; John Mahama, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban Bagbin, Sylvester Tetteh and Alhaji Nurudeen Idrissu have since Monday submitted their nomination forms to the party executives.
Atubiga, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, and Goosie Tanoh have up to close of day today to file their nomination.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting with the minority MPs, he assured his supporters of his readiness to file his nomination this afternoon, adding “I will have a surprise for you at 1 O’clock”.
Asked whether he is going to announce his withdrawal, he responded by saying “I will give you news, meet me at the party headquarters”.
He expressed confidence in winning the primaries but also said losing an election is also part of politics.
Mr. Atubiga has meanwhile urged Mr. Mahama to withdraw from the race and support his bid, saying “I went to prison for him to be a president and I think he should also step down and support me to also lead this country.”
For him, “political ex-convicts are the best presidents in the whole world,” citing the late Nelson Mandela and Kwame Nkrumah who came from Prison to become presidents.