Mahama Picks Forms For ‘Round 3’
Former President John Dramani Mahama has picked nomination forms to contest in the flagbearer race of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), slated for May, this year.
It is the third time in a row, Mr. Mahama, 64, will be seeking to lead the party in a general election, after he tried it the first time in 2012 and won, on his first attempt, following the demise of Professor John Evans Atta-Mills.
The latest action puts to rest, months of speculation on the political future of the former president.
A onetime presidential hopeful of the NDC, Prof. Joshua Alabi, led the delegation to pick the nomination forms on behalf of Mr. Mahama.
This means that the political ambition of the likes of Prof.Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Dr.EkwowSpio-Garbrah, GoosieTanoh,NurudeenIdrissu and Alban Bagbin, who is now the Speaker of Parliament, would have to be shelved until further notice.
Aside from a former mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Kojo Bonsu, and a former finance minister, Kwabena Duffuor, who have declared their intention to contest in the race, some of the aforementioned names are rallying behind Mr. Mahama.
Prior to picking the forms, Mr. Mahama declared his intention to contest the elections to the Minority Caucus on Tuesday, this week, during a visit to his residence where all the NDC MPs unanimously endorsed his candidature as the flagbearer.
Speaking to the media after picking the forms, Prof. Alabi, who was the campaign manager for the NDC in the 2020 general elections, said it was time for a messiah to take the country out of the woods.
The former rector of the University for Professional Studies (UPS-A) is confident the opposition party will form the next government in 2025 with Mr. Mahama as the elected president.
“We can’t afford to allow them to sit down while we have a very huge challenge. So we are here to pick his form and to work for him, the NDC and the people of Ghana. They need us and we need to lead. I am very confident that come 2024 December, January 2025, NDC will be forming the new government under the leadership of John Dramani Mahama,” he said.
“Somewhere in the ‘80s when it was very difficult for this country, it was the experienced hands of people from the NDC who were able to move the country from the very challenging moment. Again, we have a similar challenge, we have experienced hands and they are all available and ready to support Mr. Mahama,” he added.
Prof. Alabi further assured Ghanaians that signs of development would be visible in the next two years under Mr. Mahama’s leadership when voted into office.
The dean of the Regional Chairmen of the NDC, John Kwadwo Gyapong, said John Mahama has their full support and they are ready to make sure he wins the election.
This, according to him, is because Mr. Mahama is experienced and the most popular person in the party, hence their support.
“We are all democrats and I, John Kwadwo Gyapong, support my flagbearer, former president … if you are talking about my regional chairmen on one-on-one, I know that everybody supports John Mahama,” he said.
Interestingly, a rather unknown presidential hopeful, one Ernest Kwaku Kobeah, said to be a contractor based in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, has also emerged from nowhere announcing his intention to join the race.
He brings to three, the number of hopefuls likely to challenge Mr. Mahama.
Mr.Kobeah has promised a new Ghana as he rallied for support. He has already picked nomination forms.
According to him, whether he is known in the party or not will not stop him from delivering for Ghanaians.
“So, I will build a new Ghana for Ghana to have a peaceful life, nice accommodation to live in and the youth need me to be there to make the change, because we have suffered for many years,” he said.
Constituency chairmen of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Greater Accra Region had earlier declared their support and endorsement for former President John Dramani Mahama, should he decide to contest the party’s presidential primaries.
Days ago, some four groups, including ‘okada’ riders, spare parts dealers, as well as driver unions, also declared their support for the former president.
The group, which stormed Mr. Mahama’s Cantonments office in Accra, pleaded with the former president to contest for president and assured him of their support.
Earlier, the Greater Accra Chairmen Caucus, during a courtesy call on Mr. Mahama, asked him to lead the party to the 2024 elections.
According to the 33 chairmen, it is only President John Mahama who can lead and win the elections for the NDC in 2024.
The caucus, led by the Dome Kwabenya chairman, Isaac Lamptey, also promised that they will raise and pay the filing fee of GH¢500,000 for Mr. Mahama to contest the NDC presidential primaries.
NDC youth in the Volta Region also want John Dramani Mahama to run unopposed for the flagbearer race of the party ahead of the polls.
The group believes that there “is no need for flagbearer elections, but, instead, the party should directly endorse the former president as the flagbearer of the party for the 2024 presidential election.”