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Opinions of Monday, 17 July 2017

Columnist: Abdulai Seidu Yemoh

John Mahama, the Nana Addo of NDC

I have keenly followed the happenings in the NDC since we lost the December 2016 elections. The view or, as it were, the call by well-wishers for the party to concentrate on restructuring to build a solid base appear to fall on deaf ears. We are concerned more on who will lead the party in 2020 than for instance, the Ken BOND and other issues including the BOST fuel contamination saga.

It is quite shocking for a party in opposition to allow such huge and scandalous corruption allegations glide by, as if nothing has happened. Surprisingly, we are rather interested in the corruption allegation(s) in our own administration which we defended with inexorable force prior to the 2016 polls.

The campaign for who to lead the party in the next elections appear to be more intense. The political calculations by these surrogates of change seem to suggest to me that they have conceded in their sub conscience that the NDC cannot win the 2020 elections, and for that matter we need a new person to make our work easier in 2024, by which time he had been well marketed to the Ghanaian electorates. This is the most namby-pamby political analysis I have ever heard throughout my political life. Be that as it may, I cannot fault them for the insipid display of political ineptness and tactlessness.

It is important to state that, with the exception of Stephen Atubiga and Nii Amasah Namoale, all the names that have come up so far for flagbearership are more than qualified by all standards to lead the NDC. However, what I cannot state is whether they want the NDC to win the next elections or they just want to TAKE OVER the party.

A fierce campaign has started for Prof. Joshua Alabi already. He is a fine gentleman and a presidential material. He is popular among the cadres and top hierarchy of the party but I cannot say same at the base of the party. He will need the most popular politician in NDC today to campaign for him. The continuous vilification and revilement by his surrogates must be brought to order by himself if he really wants to win elections with NDC and not to TAKE OVER.

The name of Honourable Alban Sumana Bagbin has also come up. In my opinion, he is the finest legislator Ghana has ever had. He is a treasure of the party and Ghana as a whole. That is why I found it highly incongruous for any decent minded NDC member(s) to support Bernard Mornah over Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin. It is an unthinkable thing to do. You do not need to like him to support the course of NDC. Like Prof Alabi, Hon Bagbin is known and liked at the top of the party but I cannot say same at the base.

Other names like Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah, Mr Sylvester Mensah are making the rounds. I know new faces will emerge soon and others will rescind their decisions having tested the waters. My worry however is the way we seem to have directed our arsenals unto our own party members. We are happy to say for instance, our own administration under H.E. John Mahama was corrupt, same allegations we defended vehemently prior to 2016 elections.

The circuitous campaign can be done devoid of attacks. Surprisingly the benefactors appear to enjoy the insidious and subtle attacks on their perceived competitors hence the loud silence.

It is only a political neophyte who will underestimate the political will and command of H.E. John Dramani Mahama in the NDC. The earlier we get this and begin to work as one family, the better for us all. His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is the most popular politician in the NDC today, you do not need to like him to accept this saddle-sore reality. We express so much hatred and dislike for each other within the party yet we expect the NPP to sympathize with our people by not sacking them. If for instance, you cannot forgive your party members, then you don't complain if NPP sack NDC sympathizers and appointees from office, or?

I must say our party needs to take some lessons on strategic politicking from the NPP, in spite of them being our greatest rivals. In the NPP, though some elders in the party do not believe in the leadership of Mr Akuffo Addo, having realised that he is a political elephant in their party in recent times, and in fact, the choice of the masses in NPP, they joined him to execute the party’s agenda.
Hon. Alan Kyeremanteng, with all his reservations, needed to be tactful in the run up to the 2016 elections by actively campaigning for him, despite the glaring signs that Nana Addo losing the 2016 elections will brighten his (Alan Kyeremanteng) fortunes in 2020.
H.E. John Agyekum Kuffour, Hon. Alan Kyeremanteng et al, joined the NPP campaign not because Nana Addo was their choice, but because he was the choice of the party. For them, attacking Nana Addo will amount to attacking the decisions of the grassroots; unfortunately, same cannot be said about the NDC.

Like Nana Addo, H. E. John Dramani Mahama is the choice of the masses. If you doubt it, you can project your candidate and bring him. You can choose to vilify him at your own political expense.

In terms of popularity, H.E. John Dramani Mahama has become the "Nkrumah" of NDC and the "Nana Addo" of NDC. I can say without a scintilla of contradiction that JDM will win any elections, any day, any time in NDC, with/without the support and blessings of the party’s founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings. Ironically, those who think former President Rawlings is untouchable will stoke themselves in the embers of anguish disconsolateness if you say same about H.E. John Dramani Mahama.

You may want to write thousand books and express your disagreement, or stand on Mount Everest and squall with all the strength you can amass to disagree, you may write him down in history with your bitter twisted lies, but still JDM will rise. It is the painful political reality we have to grasp with. We must learn to love NDC and not JDM.

H.E. John Mahama is the Philosopher King of our time. He is not a superman, and I am sure those who are calling for his head are not supermen either. He has made mistakes just as any other mortal.

Let’s allow love and compassion place us on the same pedestal in our quest to lead our great party by ensuring a worthy competition. If indeed, we agree that the base of the party is an impregnable fortress, then their decision should be respected and remain supreme above all other interests.