Investigations by The aL-hAJJ have discovered that over two dozen kingpins of the ruling party have already lined up to stake claim to the party’s flag bearer slot for 2020 elections.
In 2007, the National Democratic Congress then in opposition and many well-meaning Ghanaians chastised the 17 stalwarts of the New Patriotic Party, who put in their bids to succeed outgoing President John Kufuor.
Hon. J.H. Mensah, Senior Minister in the Kufuor government, admonished the 17 NPP flag bearer hopefuls haggling to succeed the ex- president to “check themselves’ as the flag bearer contest was not a beauty pageant”. Yet 16 of the aspirants eventually contested. And this was roundly condemned by Ghanaians with the then opposition NDC leading the chorus.
Now that the tables have turned, the NDC which led the charge against the then governing NPP is not just all set, repeating the ‘abominable’ act but, are about to take it to a reprehensible notch.
With the 2016 general elections just five months away, this paper can authoritatively report that, among those nursing ambition to step into the shoes of President Mahama include; cabinet and regional ministers, deputy ministers, high ranking government officials at the seat of government and some party gurus in the legislature.
The rest include Chief Executives and board members of some state institutions, senior party officials, functionaries relieved of their posts and “new comers”.
While some of these NDC folks know they cannot make any meaningful impact in the flag bearer contest, The aL-hAJJ has gathered that their real motivation in putting in their bids is to improve on their CVs in order to qualify them to be considered running mates by the eventual winner.
The aL-hAJJ is in possession of the names and modus operandi of the over two dozen NDC flag bearer hopefuls for 2020 elections. These will be revealed soon.
It would be recalled that the then governing NPP was roundly condemned when 17 party bigwigs filed to contest the flag bearer post in a bid to succeed Mr Kufuor. The number was subsequently pruned down to 16 following the disqualification of then Member of Parliament for Berekum, Capt Ritired Nkrabeah Effah Dartey.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketsiah was reported in the media to have referred to the 17 aspirants as “thieves” who had amassed wealth in the Kufuor government and were longing to succeed him.
The sixteen aspirants included Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyeremanten, Dr Baffuor Adjei Bawuah, Boakye Agyarko, Dr Kofi Konadu Apreko, Dr Arthur Kennedy, Kwabena Ayepong, late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Dan Botwe, late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Yaw Osafo Marfo, Paapa Owusu Ankomah, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Prof Mike Oquaye and Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng.
Many have attributed the 2008 defeat of the NPP and the present division in the party to the 2007 acrimonious flag bearer contest which saw Nana Akufo Addo elected as its standard bearer.
Unlike the NPP, the governing NDC, since 2000 after the exit of President Rawlings has had at least four people contesting its flag bearer slot which was won by the late President Mills until 2011 when President Mahama was acclaimed to lead the ruling party following the unexpected death of the tax Professor.