The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kwaku Ricketts-Hagan, has suggested that hasty public endorsements from members of the NDC for John Mahama to contest the Presidency in 2020, could eventually hurt his potential ambitions.
The former President has remained coy on whether he will run for the top office in 2020, stating on a number of platforms that he would like members of the NDC to instead focus on the party reorganisation.
However, a recent joint statement from all ten regional chairmen of the NDC brought his presidential aspirations under the spotlight again, as they appeared to back John Mahama to contest in 2020.
The statement from the Chairmen has not gone down well with some officials of the party and prompted the former President to issue a response reiterating his call on the party to focus on the efforts to mend the cracks within its fold, and strengthen its structures as it aims to recapture power in 2020.
However, the chairmen’s endorsement is just the latest in a number of public declarations of support for John Mahama.
Several persons including Ghana’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Victor Smith, and the party’s National Organizer, Kofi Adams, have stated that John Dramani Mahama is the party’s best hope for victory in 2020.
And according to Ricketts-Hagan, who served under Mahama as the Central Regional Minister, such pronouncements could breed disunity within the party and could negatively affect the level of support the former president could receive should he contest.
“This idea of some people showing that they love the former president more than others, I don’t get it. There may be some other motives behind this because we are going through some kind of restructuring and in the process, people are also restructuring with that. These things can be done, but you don’t have to do a press release. You can go to Mahama’s house or anyone else’s and encourage them that you think they’ll be a good candidate, even if you were sent by your people to deliver their sentiments, you could do that behind closed doors. When you are done with the discussions you can go back to your region and report to the people that you have delivered their message and the man says he’s thinking about it,” he said on Citi FM‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
“Making these kinds of pronouncements and declarations don’t help our party. These things that people are doing, in the end, does not help John Mahama if he wants to come back, it rather hurts him. The [regional chairmen] shouldn’t have made it public, probably [other] people go and see him behind closed doors to talk to him to come back. With those who are potential aspirants, I’m sure they are not doing it on their own strengths, maybe people have been seeing them and telling them that they are good candidates.
Punish regional chairmen
There have been several calls from within the NDC for the ten regional chairmen to be sanctioned for their statement.
A member of the NDC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Kofi Kukubor, has asked the party’s Council of elders to take “swift action” against them.
NDC MP for South Dayi, Rockson Dafeamakpor, noted that “these regional Chairmen, who also are members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), have in a way sidelined, or will seek to sideline other potential contestants, and as the highest decision-making body of the party, they ought not to do that.”
The Wa West MP, Rashid Pelpuo, advised the Regional Chairmen to “play within the rules.”
“I am sure they are responding to the pressures from the grassroots, but they should be able to advise the grassroots so we can all do it in a decorous manner,” the MP suggested.