According to him, the former president, who led the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to its worst electoral defeat in the history of the party, has passed his prime and cannot therefore lead the now opposition party in the 2020 general elections.
In an exclusive interview with Joy FM last Wednesday, Mr. Mensah aka Sly – who is relentlessly gearing up to become the next NDC flag bearer – said, “At the time he (Mahama) burst onto the political scene he was the best for our party and for this country and he played his role. But we have gotten to a completely new era that requires a completely new set of (leaders).”
He said the results of the 2016 elections showed that there was a high level of ‘disaffection’ for the NDC and sending Mr Mahama to face the NPP again might not work.
“You could also tell that there was anger, there was frustration, there was disaffection and I guess that these are very loud statements emanating from the numbers. It tells clearly that we have gotten to a crucial junction in the life of our party that we need to re-strategise. We need to put in place a new set of vision that can accommodate the emerging trends and expectations of our party,” he said.
Touting his credentials, Mr. Mensah said he represents a “new set of vision” and charged the party’s delegates to confirm him as the flag bearer in the presidential primary later this year.
“The delegates of our party have a responsibility to determine what is useful for our party. I have always trusted their views, I have always respected their views and I think they have never been wrong and they won’t be wrong this time. I guess that God willing, I will be rhyming with their choice and I will emerge as the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress,” he said.
Already, former majority leader Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin had rapped the former president, accusing him of being responsible for the NDC’s 2016 massive defeat.
“We gave him the opportunity and we saw the end results – we lost with a record over one million votes,” the NDC MP for Nadowli Kaleo in the Upper West Region – who is currently the second deputy speaker of parliament – fired the salvo on Joy Fm on Monday.
He said that due to Mr. Mahama’s abysmal performance at the polls, there is no way he (Mahama) can win the internal contest to become the NDC’s flag bearer in 2020.
“We are now going to go out there with our messages and we will give the good people of our party as to which personality and which message they prefer; and I believe that by the end of the day, I don’t see His Excellency the former President winning. I don’t see it,” he said.
Mr. Bagbin’s comment has attracted the ire of two pro-Mahama (NDC) foot soldiers – Andrews Amadi Krow and Dzifa Gunu – who have asked the party’s leadership to call the MP to order.
They claimed in a petition to the party’s Council of Elders that Mr. Bagbin’s utterances are “weakening our base as a party and causing dissension and discontent, which can lead to major cracks in our front.”
According to the petitioners, the Nadowli-Kaleo MP’s actions “will not contribute in any way to the process of healing and reconciliation that our party, the NDC, is seeking.”
The petitioners added that Mr Bagbin’s attacks on the former president were violating the advice given by the Council of Elders to members of the party “to respect the party structures and procedures in resolving internal grievances and conflicts.”
By William Yaw Owusu