By: Atta Kwaku Boadi
Barring any unforeseen circumstances the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will elect a presidential candidate for the 2024election on May 13th 2023. Three candidates have been cleared by the party’s leadership to contest the internal selection process.
They include perennial contestant, former president John Dramani Mahama, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, a former Finance Minister & Governor of Bank of Ghana. The third candidate is Kojo Bonsu, a former Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and a Sports Administrator.
The former president has been a regular feature in the NDC primary since 2012. He may have won the 2012 presidential election, but that feat is still consumed in history as the most controversial election in the annals of Ghana’s 4th Republic.
It was the first time an opposition party challenged the victory of a Ghanaian election at the country’s apex court in a landmark election petition case.
After that close shave verdict in 2013, Mr. Mahama has lost two other presidential elections in 2016 and 2020. In the case of the 2016 elections, the NDC presidential candidate received the worst electoral drubbing, unprecedented in the history of the current dispensation. Mr. Mahma lost more than a million votes to his perennial nemesis, Nana Akufo Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mahama’s attempt to script a revenge in 2020 ended in another defeat, albeit a better performance as compared to his 2016’s.
Notwithstanding, many today view Mahama’s candidature for the next Ghanaian elections (2024) from an objective standpoint and believe that offers another perfect opportunity for him to rescue Ghanaians from the shackles of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). That is if, the former President should be picked as the NDC nominee for 2024. But this will not come easy as Duffour’s camp has vowed to end the political career of Mr Mahama by pulling a big surprise at the primaries.
All started when attempts were made by some conspirators prior to the party’s national executives elections to moot the Duffour candidacy as an adopted project of the NDC, but that was backfired as the new officers who were elected were given a clear mandate on the direction on who leads the NDC in election 2024.
In order to realize that skewed agenda, all attempts were made to ensure that many adherents of the former Finance Minister won to occupy key party positions like party chairman, general secretary and others in order to carry out the mandate with ease but interestingly that never happened. Instead, loyalists of the former Ghanaian leader took over the party’s national executives’ positions .
After their failed attempts, the Duffour’s Team is now talking about the Kwesi Botchwey’s report which since its commission has not been released. Readers would recall that a special committee was set up to find out how and why the NDC was so humiliated in the 2016 elections.
The facts-finding electoral defeat task force was headed by one of the finest Finance Ministers of our time—the late Prof. Kwesi Botchwey. The Duffour ‘s Team does not understand why after the commissioning of the report, its findings are still concealed with only a handful Mahama adherents in the party’s leadership are aware of the full content, a credible source within the Duffour’s camp hinted this author.
“Why the report is still under wraps can only be a subject of conjectural predictions. Is it because it was commissioned by John Mahama and his cohorts? Did the report establish any adverse findings against the conduct of Mr. Mahama and his campaign team in the run-up to the 2016 elections? If till today, the content of the Kwesi Botcwey’s report is at the privy of only the sponsors of the research work, then of what use is the report” , the source quizzed ?
The believers of Duffour hold the view that the NDC led by John Mahama disregarded the recommendations made by the Kwesi Botcwey’s committee and still went into the 2020 elections, divided with the pains of pre-2016 elections persisting. Meanwhile, they (Duffour’s people) say Kwesi Botchwey’s findings were induced by the agony that resulted from the divisions that aroused out of the acrimonious campaigns that preceded the election of a presidential candidate.
According to them, it’s important that, the party’s delegates know that the general conduct and character of the Mahama 2016 campaign team to jettison many credible NDC campaign contributors to the periphery also caused the NDC.
They are also telling the delegates that, the NDC, if Mahama is not changed will go into the 2024 elections still with multiple divisions within almost every facets of the party.
They say the very mistakes that the party made to inflict self-defeats in 2016 and 2020 are being repeated.