General News of Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Source: The New Statesman
The growing tension in the National Democratic Congress has risen after the declaration by the Greater Accra Regional Chairman that the party would not allow anybody to contest President John Dramani Mahama for the party’s 2016 presidential candidate slot.
“We in the NDC will not allow anybody to contest the president in 2016 and even if the party members disagree I personally will oppose that and make sure the president goes unopposed,” he stressed.
Joseph Ade Coker last Saturday told the whole world that the NDC would maintain the president to contest the presidential election for another four-year term unopposed so he could achieve his constitutionally granted eight-year tenure as president.
This declaration by Mr Ade Coker, the New Statesman is reliably informed, has infuriated some “big wigs” in the NDC who had already pencilled down some names and put in place plans for President Mahama to be challenged for the 2016 flagbearership of the party.
A source at the headquarters of the NDC privy to the infighting told the New Statesman that “What is going on in the NDC is a battle for the control of the party. Simple as that!”
The source added that big wigs in the NDC, such as Enoch Teye Mensah and Cletus Avoka are trying to rally behind a candidate to challenge President Mahama. The two gentlemen, according to sources, are canvassing for their fellow “wiseman”, Alban Bagbin, as one of the candidates to contest President Mahama for the flagbearership slot in 2016.
The New Statesman can also report that Muhammed Mumuni, Secretary General of the Africa Caribbean Pacific group of states, is one man who will surely contest the flagbearership of the NDC come 2016.
Ekwow Spio Garbrah and former deputy Chief of Staff, Alex Segbefia, are also feverishly preparing and “testing the grounds” to determine their popularity ahead of the contest.
The NDC source told the New Statesman that the persons who are yet to express interest in contesting John Mahama “view the forecast in the coming years as not looking good.”
“The forecast ahead of Mahama in the years ahead, according to John Mahama’s potential fellow contestants, will be his inability to increase revenue, the problem of the huge wage bill in the form of Single Spine, agitations on the labour front continuing, erratic energy supply, amongst others. These, they hope, will culminate in a loss of popularity of Mahama and then they can stake a claim for the removal of Mahama as presidential candidate for the 2016 elections,” the source added.
The source continued, “What will save President Mahama is if he can turn the economy around, pay salaries of workers, clear the outstanding arrears owed contractors, stem the tide of strikes, deal with disillusionment among the youth in the wake of rising unemployment.”
Knowing very well that he cannot turn around the fortunes of the economy, the President’s preoccupation, according to the source, is making sure that he gets his people elected in the upcoming national executive elections and in the long run control the NDC “as he sees that as the only way he can ensure another opportunity is given to him to contest in the 2016 election.”
However, the source added that the Ahwois, who are also bent on having control of the NDC, are sponsoring a number of candidates to contest national executive positions. The list includes Kofi Portuphy, the National Coordinator of NADMO, who is contesting the chairmanship slot of the party.
The Fante caucus within the NDC believe that they have been sidelined since the demise of the late President Atta Mills. According to information available in the Ahwoi camp, Vice President Amissah-Arthur is set to be dropped in the run-up to the 2016 elections, to be replaced by John Mahama’s closest friend, Hanna Tetteh.
“Vice President Amissah Arthur was stop-gap measure only because he was a Mills loyalist, and he feels sidelined in the Mahama administration. Amissah Arthur complains about Stand Dogbe reading his schedules to him, and dictating to him what he has to do as Vice President,” the source stated.
The New Statesman can also report the existence of a tribal infighting at the Presidency. The Chief of Staff, Propser Bani, is reported to have surrounded himself with only Ewes, whereas President Mahama’s closest aides are mainly Gonjas.
One Baffoe-Bonnie, also known as “Ba-Bo” who is a brother to Supreme Court Judge, Justice Paul Baffoe Bonnie, who before the Supreme Court verdict was a sidelined aide of President Mahama, has all of a sudden found himself back in the good books of President Mahama.