If former President John Dramani Mahama has any intention of coming back to lead the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 elections, Today can report that that dream has been shattered by the leaked report of Kwesi Botchwey-led Committee.
The NDC, after its humiliating defeat in the 2016 general elections, set up a 13-member committee headed by former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, to investigate the cause of the party’s defeat and as well propose the way forward for any future national elections.
But the 67-page yet-to be released report by the committee, cited by Today, has blamed former President Dramani Mahama, who was the party’s 2016 flag-bearer, for being the cause of the party’s abysmal performance in the 2016 elections.
Even though President Dramani Mahama is yet to announce his coming back, the report seems to make his chances very slim as it has recommended for a new candidate to lead the NDC in the 2020 elections.
What has delayed the release of the report, which was supposed to have been out last month, according to sources close to the committee, is that some members on the committee who are loyalists of the former President were not happy with some recommendations by the committee; prominent among them is to have a new candidate for the NDC.
For instance, at one of the committee’s meeting held outside Accra last month to put finishing touches to the report, our sources said, it nearly hit a snag as former President Dramani Mahama’s loyalists vehemently opposed the recommendation of having a new presidential candidate for the party in 2020.
Excerpts of the report, apart from backing a new flag-bearer for the party, have also recommended that any future presidential nominee of the NDC must work in tandem with the party structures, by bringing on board national and regional executives, polling agents and those at the grassroots to help in campaigning.
According to the report, the neglect of the grassroots, including the founder of the party, former President Jerry John Rawlings, and some leading members of the party during President Dramani Mahama’s first term played a key role in the NDC’s defeat as they were peeved by their leaders.
On why President Dramani Mahama should be replaced, the report pointed out that the 2016 flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is now the President of the Republic of Ghana, used his incorruptible mantra to the disadvantage of “our (NDC’s) candidate who was alleged to have endorsed corruption in his government.”
“The NPP won because their leader was acclaimed to be incorruptible while ours was tainted with corruption and bribery, so going into the 2020 elections we (Kwesi Botchwey Committee) propose that we elect somebody who can also claim to be incorruptible,” the report said.
It also blamed President Dramani Mahama for encouraging the formation of various groups during the electioneering campaign like ‘Friends of Mahama,’ ‘Youth for Mahama’ among others which were resourced by the former President at the detriment of the party.
The report noted that the loyalty of those groups was in doubt as they were not under any supervision.
It bemoaned the pomposity of some NDC communicators, who the report said, failed to address the hardship Ghanaians were going through, but instead were happy with the so-called ‘Green Book’ and the massive infrastructure done by the government.
The report was further not happy with the way pro-NDC media houses were treated.
“Our own media organisations were made to starve while the then pro-opposition media were given resources, with the view that they would leak information to us, but nothing of that sort happened,” the report asserted.
Meanwhile, many names have popped up since the defeat of the NDC to lead the party in the 2020 elections.
Among these include the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former Vice Chancellor of University of Professional Studies (UPS), Prof. Joshua Alabi, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumani Bagbin, former Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS), Sylvester Mensah, and a cadre, Goosie Tandor.