Former President John Dramani Mahama appears to be suggesting that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) elected him as its 2020 Presidential Candidate because it does not have any other credible candidate aside him.
Mr. Mahama was speaking in an interview with Nigerian journalist, Wale, on the sidelines of the Said Business, Oxford University’s Distinguished Speaker Seminar recently
Asked why he wanted to return to office as President, Mr. Mahama retorted “I had hoped my party (NDC) will select somebody else. But trials as I did, the insistence was that I should run again.”
He continued “I believe in public service. I believe that if you have the talent and you have the ability, you must always place talent at the disposal of your country.”
According to him, “and so I didn’t think it was right to deprive my party of my services if they actually wanted it.”
He added that “and the party says OK, you participate in the primaries.”
He noted that “the party came back with a resounding endorsement. 95.24% for me to run.”
In November 2017, all 10 regional Chairmen of the NDC endorsed Mr. Mahama’s candidacy for 2020.
It was later alleged that they had each taken Gh¢ 100,000 bribe from Mr. Mahama to endorse him.
There were also allegations from some of the six other contestants ahead of the primaries that the party’s hierarchy was scheming to get Mr. Mahama win the polls at all cost.
NDC held its Presidential Primaries on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
Mr. Mahama won with 95.24 percent vote margin.
His main challenger, Prof. Joshua Alabi, managed only 3,399 representing 1.516% of votes cast while Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin placed third with 2,313 (1.032%).
Goosie Tanoh polled 2,038 votes (0.909%) to place fourth, Ekwow Spio-Gabrah placed fifth with 1457 votes (0.650%), Sylvester Mensah managed 932 votes (0.415%) with Nurudeen Iddrisu securing 513 votes (0.231) to place sixth and seventh, respectively.
Life After Power
Asked during the interview how life has been like for him since losing power to incumbent President Akufo-Addo in 2016, Mr. Mahama said “it’s great” [he laughs] and continued “Wale it’s great,” generating spontaneous laughter from the audience.
Asked why he wanted to return to power, Mr. Mahama said “I have spent more than 20 years in office. I started as Deputy Minister, a Minister, Member of Parliament three terms, Vice President, President, of course I served one term as President.”
He said “after I lost, I started to engage in activities of democratic consolidation, speaking about my time in office and all that and it’s been a fantastic period.”
Mr. Mahama had prior to the 2016 general election been tagged as an “incompetent” leader, the reason some leading members of his party including ambassador Daniel Osei believe he is not the right candidate to secure victory for NDC in 2020.