Politics of Friday, 24 August 2018
Some 94 Members of Parliament have reaffirmed their support for John Dramani Mahama just hours after the former president declared his intention to contest the flagbearership race of the National Democratic Congress.
Mr Mahama who is not in the country at the moment sent a strong entourage of delegates to make the formal presentation of his letter of intent at the party’s head office in Accra Wednesday morning.
The team was led by Ghana’s former ambassador to the United States Daniel Ohene Agyekum.
Mr Mahama is Ghana’s first one-term president in the 4th Republic and also delivered the NDC its biggest defeat yet when he lost by almost one million votes in the 2016 general elections.
But that is not a put off for the MPs who say he is the best to deliver the victory the NDC desires in 2020.
The 94 include former Accra Mayor and Ablekuma West MP, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, former Sports Minister and Odododiodio MP, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Akatamanso MP, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo and former Deputy Finance Minister and Ajumako Enyan Esiam MP, Cassiel Ato Forson.
Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa, Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini and Ketu South MP, Fifii Kwetey are among the 94 who have signed their support for the former president.
Former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Inusah Fuseini who also endorsed Mr Mahama in an interview with Joy News’ Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story, said the former president represents the party’s best option.
“And that is why we have reposed enormous confidence in him…among them [other presidential candidate aspirants] he stands tall. He has got the pedigree,” the Tamale Central MP said.
In a response to why Mr Mahama should be chosen over the remaining aspirants, Mr Fuseini who intends to resign in 2020 said the former president has been the best ever president in the history of the country.
In his view, Mr Mahama’ “delivered the best transformational agenda this country has seen since Nkrumah. The evidence is everywhere…the recent commissioning of the airport, the infrastructure development, roads, schools, hospitals. Nkrumah built 59 secondary schools but he built more.
“Cast your eyes around the country and you’ll see the tremendous infrastructure that was started, some have been completed and some being completed now,” he added.
According to Mr Fuseini Ghanaians only voted for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party because they were swayed by the lofty promises they made, promises, he claimed the president and his party are struggling to meet.
He rubbished claims that the NDC’s loss was as a result of the neglect of the party’s grassroot.
“He never neglected the people,” he said adding the failure of the party’s supporters to vote in the 2016 elections was as a result of “a snowballing effect.”
“The period before the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, indeed we had leading members of the opposition and even some members of the NDC saying that he was going to be a one-term president.
“So you have a buildup of frustrations. John Mahama tried in his own way to meet the legitimate expectations of the people of this country and particularly, members and sympathisers of the NDC. They felt that he had not done enough and coupled with what NPP was promising them, they saw reason to fall for the promises of the NPP,” he explained.
Regardless of this, however, Mr Fuseini is convinced that it is not over for Mr Mahama.
He said a lot of work has been done and steps have been taken to right the wrongs of 2016 and a better NDC will be seen going forward.
“We’ve taken steps to get our members to understand that the transformational agenda of the NDC required time for us to appreciate the fruit of those policies.
“We have taken time to understand that the social democratic principles require that we meet the needs of a majority of the people of this country that social democratic principles required that we put the country first,” he added.
Below is the full list of the 94 NDC MPs