NDC flagbearer race: Who wins?

NDC flagbearer race: Who wins?

Mr John Dramani Mahama • Mr Kwabena Dufour • Mr Kojo Bonsu

As with all democratic political parties, the NDC, unlike previous times some years ago, has accepted the democrat­ic principle of choosing a flagbearer instead of having them imposed on the party by a higher authority, as was the case with the late Jerry John Rawlings in 1993 and also the late Arthur Mills in 2000.

Today, thanks to democ­racy, parties in Ghana have come to accept the demo­cratic principle and are now ensuring that the choice of candidates come from people described and recognised as official delegates. These del­egates have the responsibility of ensuring that flag-bearers go through the democratic process of selection.

When the opportunity was open for people willing to lead the NDC as flagbear­ers, four names popped out, but later one of them de­cided to withdraw from the competition. Thus, we now have three candidates who have decided to compete to become flagbearers of the party. As we know, only one candidate is expected to win this enviable position.

The three candidates are Dr. Kwame Dufuor, former Minister of Finance; Mr. Kojo Bonsu; and finally, Mr. John Dramani Mahama. These are the three candidates who have been bold enough to lock horns with each other for the flagbearer title, come May 13.

From the initial stages, it was as if the competition was going to be an easy race for one of the candidates. It has now become clear that the competition is going to be intense for all the three candidates.

When we look at the NDC, it is difficult to understand why only three candidates have come up to compete in the race. For a political party that has ruled the country before, we were expecting them to come up with more names. This is because we have not forgotten people like Hon. Ekwow Spio-Gar­braah, Prof. Naana Opoku- Agyemang, Prof. Joshua Alabi and a few more.

The fact is that no one within the NDC can be com­pelled to enter the flagbearer race. Only those who have the boldness to come forward to compete.

And to be able to compete in the race, a candidate must have leadership qualities and have been accepted by the delegates. The person should be honest and bold enough to stand as the leader of a party. That person should also have the patience to accom­modate all kinds of views within the party.

Similarly, the person should have a good temper­ament, be affable and be very knowledgeable about the challenges that lie ahead in nation building and gover­nance, among others.

It is also important for such a person to be very experienced in governance. The person should also be confident enough to come out with programmes that can convince the delegates and later the electorate to vote for him. If all these ingredi­ents are available, then it is most likely that he will win the race as a flagbearer.

The question to ask is: does any of the three can­didates — Kojo Bonsu, Dr. Kwame Dufuor and Mr. John Mahama — possess these qualities and many more as required?

It will be difficult to an­swer “yes” to this question. However, one of them can win the flagbearer position and become leader of the party in the 2024 general elections. Winning the flag­bearer position will not nec­essarily enable you to win the presidential election in 2024. This is an important point that must not be overlooked.

Mr. Kojo Bonsu has been mayor of Kumasi before. As far as that is concerned, he has acquired some skills that will help him to win some votes from the delegates. He has, however, not been heard pronouncing policies and pro­grammes that endear him to the hearts of the delegates. Probably he does this on the quiet, but it will be strange for him to keep quiet on such matters.

Dr. Kwame Dufuor, on the other hand, appears to be more experienced, espe­cially in the area of national financial administration. Even here, he has not created a positive impact on the minds of Ghanaians, so it will be difficult for the delegates to select him as flag-bearer. We cannot write him off entirely. He is a heavyweight champi­on in his own right, but one wonders whether he can win the flag-bearer race.

When we come to John Dramani Mahama, he has served as a former vice pres­ident and president before in this country. In addition, he has also served as a Member of Parliament and a Minister of Information before.

This put him ahead of his other two competitors. In addition, he is endowed with abundant financial resourc­es. He is believed to be the financier of many of the programmes of the NDC. He must, however, pay atten­tion to his pronouncements, especially how he attacks his political opponents.

His previous experience as a former president has not created a good image in the minds of Ghanaians as someone who can create better conditions for Ghana­ians when given the chance. Again, his administration has been characterised by alleged corruption and embezzlement of funds. A number of his former ministers who were prosecuted in court today testified to this.

In light of all this, what will be the verdict of the NDC delegates?

All in all, most of the delegates will vote for him to become the flag-bearer of the party. However, can he win the 2024 elections?

Perhaps, he should have listened to the good advice given to him by his friend, Goodluck Jonathan of Nige­ria.

Mr. John Mahama is likely to win, from all indications, with 71.3 per cent, followed by Dr. Kwame Dufuor with 21 per cent and finally Mr. Kojo Bonsu with 7.7 per cent.

This is how it will be, so will anyone want to challenge me?


PRADMAT201@GMAIL.COM (0553318911)

By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

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