Noted for surprises, his desire to make history and strong commitment to promoting gender equality in all spheres of national politics; Ghanaians should not be astound if President John Dramani Mahama later next year names a woman as his running mate for the 2016 Presidential polls.
The aL-hAJJ is picking intelligence within the corridors of power that the shrewd but humble President would most likely settle on a female of high academic and social repute from the South to partner him in the presidential elections slated for later part of next year.
Though the Northern-born communication expert-turn-politician is thought to be holding this vital information closely guarded to his chest, this paper’s usual flawless intelligence at the seat of government reveal, President Mahama has arrived at this decision after careful consideration of vital factors.
Even as The aL-hAJJ for now will hold on to some of the considerations that went into arriving at this decision by the President, what this paper can state with all certainty, is that, just as the Founder of the governing National Democratic Congress, Jerry John Rawlings identified and nurtured the hitherto unknown former Bole-Bamboi MP who was himself, subsequently groomed by the late John Atta Mills to succeed him as President; so shall John Dramani Mahama also want to emulate.
This paper’s further probing revealed that, even as another female presidential candidate is being groomed to lead the NDC party into the 2020 polls, the yet-to-be named 2016 woman running mate on the ticket of the NDC, according to a dependable source, is expected to hold the position for just a term and then, exit together with President Mahama on January 7, 2021.
The genteel President John Mahama, would thus have made history of providing Ghana with its first elected female vice president when he wins the 2016 polls and also for the NDC, the first woman presidential candidate. These are aside the numerous positions in our national politics that have women occupying under his (Mahama’s) tenure.
Recently, there has been widespread rumour that sitting vice president; Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur was most likely to partner president Mahama once again into the 2016 election.
The speculations in the media was further given a boost when President Mahama instructed his vice president to pick nominations forms on his behalf to contest the November 7, 2015 presidential primaries of the ruling party, a strategy Managing Editor of Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jr, described as “masterstroke”.
Since then, lobbying and subtle campaigns for president Mahama to retain his loyal and hardworking vice, Paa Kwesi, has intensified, with the Central regional Chairman of the NDC, Bernard Allotey Jacobs and other admirers of the media-shy vice-president forcefully advocating a Mahama/Amissah Arthur ticket for the 2016 elections.
However, president Mahama has so far remained noncommittal and, as sources close to him intimated to The aL-hAJJ, it is too early for the president to speak on the issue as 2016 election is some15 months away.
Conventionally, sitting president’s after broader consultations announce their running mates few months into an election, normally; not earlier than six months, a governance expert recently told this paper.
Meanwhile, a highly placed source has hinted this paper that, much as calls for the retention of the hardworking and faithful vice president are becoming loud and deafening, “it is not automatic that Amissah Arthur would be the obvious choice for running mate for the 2016 elections…
“President Mahama is not oblivious of Paa Kwesi’s commitment to the Better Ghana Agenda and his enormous contribution to the realization of the president’s dream for Ghana, but as I said, president Mahama is looking beyond 2016,” the source noted.
Adding, “he (president Mahama) is looking beyond 2016 because after that he will not be eligible to contest the 2020 elections and that means, while His Excellency Amissah Arthur has so far acquitted himself creditably by remaining faithful and loyal, and hardworking, he (President Mahama) must nevertheless, get for himself and indeed, the NDC, a worthy candidate as successor to prepare him or her for the 2020 presidential polls.”
Though he may be understandably qualified and competent enough to become the next president after John Mahama, NDC political strategists told The aL-hAJJ, sitting vice president Paa Kwesi’s age and ‘demeanor’ would not allow him to lead the party into the 2020 polls.
The aL-hAJJ has gathered from deep throat sources at the presidency that President Mahama, just as he surprised many when he named Amissah Arthur as his vice following the untimely death of President Mills in 2012 and also, as his running mate for that year’s presidential elections, “Ghanaians shouldn’t be surprised if he names a woman as running mate for the 2016 elections,” the source stated.