Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday August 23, 2018
Former President John Dramani Mahama yesterday called on former President Jerry John Rawlings to discuss his plans to become the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 elections.
Sources said the meeting was ostensibly to seek the blessings of the NDC founder ahead of Mahama’s official declaration to contest in the flagbearership race in the coming days.
The Mahama 2016 Campaign had ignored Rawlings, saying that he was an old man whose opinion appears not to matter.
Mr. Mahama’s comeback is being severely opposed within the party, as many of the stalwarts, particularly those who have declared their intention to contest him in the primaries, are calling for his rejection by the NDC to avert another massive defeat in the general elections.
They described him as ‘damaged goods’ who suffered unprecedented electoral defeat in the annals of the Fourth Republic.
Most of the aspirants and leading figures in the NDC claimed the former president cannot win an election due to his poor record when he led the country.
The meeting took place at the North Ridge Office of Mr. Rawlings in Accra where the two leaders held discussions about the party, which bordered mainly on the re-organisation of the party, the upcoming regional and national executive elections, as well as the presidential primaries in December 2018.
The Office of the NDC Founder later issued a statement confirming the meeting, which was also attended by Ambassador Dan Abodakpi, Edward Bawa, Samson Ahi, Dr Donald Agumenu and Dr Kwesi Djokoto on Mr Rawlings’ side.
Those who accompanied former President Mahama included former Chiefs of Staff, Julius Debrah, and Prosper Bani, former Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia and his special aide, Joyce Bawa Mogtari.
“Mr Rawlings was concerned that the political ambition of the aspirants is overshadowing efforts to reorganize the party after the massive defeat it suffered in 2016”, the statement said.
“He said he would have wished that more attention was given to the rebuilding of the party machinery over the prioritization of the party’s presidential primaries at this moment,” the statement added.
It said “Mr. Rawlings expressed the hope that candidates with the ability and capacity would be allowed to evolve from the electoral processes in the party.”
“He stated that he will not be a stumbling block to any candidate in the upcoming elections.”
“President Rawlings found the recent utterances by the National Organiser of the party, Kofi Adams, to the effect that a presidential candidate aspirant in the person of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, was out to destroy the party as inaccurate.”
“He posited that the destruction of the party began especially when the party unduly interfered in the last competitive presidential primary elections in Sunyani by the systemic monetization of the process and the postponement of the congress on two occasions ostensibly to favour one candidate over the others.”
“Mr. Rawlings also cautioned against party members issuing statements preventing other presidential aspirants from campaigning in certain locations as happened in the Ashanti Region recently,” adding “he asserted that nobody has the authority to issue such fiats in this country.”
The former President called on the party leaders to help restore the moral stance of the party and be seen condemning utterances which tend to promote undemocratic tendencies in the party.”
According to the statement, “Mr. Mahama had stated the need to consult the founder on party issues and commended him for re-energizing the party’s Council of Elders and participating actively in its meetings.”
“He indicated that a re-energised Council of Elders will instill a strong sense of order in the party structure,” the statement added.