Feature: The NDC and Election 2020: Putting the cart before the horse is dangerous – By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

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Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama/Photo: The Impact Group

Folks, as the jostling for attention and possible endorsement by prospective candidates seeking to lead the NDC to Election 2020 continues and gathers steam, it is clear that “things are knocking things” that we must comment on.

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We have already made it clear that at this point in the life of the NDC, more needs to be done to revamp it than what is happening. We will explain this claim later.

What the NDC needs now, especially after the shocking defeat at Election 2016, is not a mad “rat race” for a flagbearer but a consistent and all-embracing political mobilization effort to rebuild its base and energize its grassroots campaigners to win public confidence and support. In short, to mobilize support for the party’s cause.

In this context, then, I unreservedly condemn all those running around and proclaiming their ambitions toward Election 2020, which further deepens the cracks in the party. Some of these ambitious characters have openly declared their aspirations while others have used surrogates and various media platforms to do so. Some names come to mind: Sylvester Mensah, Alban Bagbin, Nii Amasa namoale, and Joshua Alabi.

Although ex-President Mahama hasn’t personally declared his interest in the flagbearership, a lot has emerged from his surrogates to suggest that he is looking forward to it. He has been urged to be bold in declaring that interest, but he hasn’t done so, which is thorny, considering the extent to which his ventriloquists are singing his song.

I am not really bothered about who is personally trumpeting his interest in the race or not. What turns my crank is the manner in which priorities are being misplaced. What the NDC needs now is rejuvenation, not the choice of a flagbearer for an election that it cannot win without strengthening its base and undoing the negative factors that doomed it at Election 2016.

Truth be told, the NDC lost grounds at that election because its own internal wranglings and dissension among its followers detracted from its efforts, regardless of whatever accomplishments the government might have made.

Tit-bits from the ground indicated long before the polls that apathy among the NDC followers and a calculated move to tilt the table against the party would be its bane. Nothing definitive was done by the party’s leaders to solve problems; thus, low turn-out in many parts of the country and betrayal in the polling booth served the purposes of the NPP to put Akufo-Addo in power.

The decision by the NDC to form the Kwesi Botchwey Committee to look into factors causing its defeat and the controversies surrounding this committee’s findings (report) have further deepened the party’s woes. What exactly is being done to rectify the situation is difficult to fathom. Yet, those emerging as interested in the flagbearership are talking as if they can win Election 2020 by just being endorsed.

Let me repeat here that the NDC cannot defeat the NPP at Election 2020 if it doesn’t put its house in order. And it has a lot more to do to prove to the voters that it has a better agenda for solving national problems than what Ghanaians have seen under its previous administrations led by Rawlings, Mills, and Mahama.

Although evidence exists to prove what those administrations did, especially by way of infrastructural development, the reality is that Ghanaians need more than such development projects to be persuaded into returning the NDC to power. That explains why anybody wishing to lead the NDC must concentrate on party-building and outreach programmes instead of locking horns with supposed competitors or opponents.

It stands to reason that anybody interested in leading the NDC to Election 2020 must be widely accepted within the ranks of the party nationally and within the party’s international branches. Which of the names popping up so far can hit this mark? None!!

It stands to reason again that winning the hearts of the party’s delegates must start from the individual candidate’s ability to connect with the party members. Which of those airing their desire to lead the party has any national appeal? None!!

Let’s tear them apart now.


He is touted by his surrogates as someone who did marvellously in turning around the former Institute of professional Studies, implying that he has the administrative acumen to make Ghana better if given the nod. I don’t get it. He is a complete washout. If you doubt it, go and find out from his own people in the Krowor constituency why they rejected him as an MP. He has no national appeal in the NDC either. The negative publicity against him in the SSNIT case has further dimmed his light.

Who knows him? What appeal does he have to make him outshine Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia, or any other in the NPP? None!!

       2. ALBAN BAGBIN

This Nadowli MP has been in the public domain for many years but cannot be fingered as the best candidate for the NDC. He is carrying a huge baggage that the NPP will easily tear apart. No more about him from becauwse all that he represents is already known. But can he honestly say that NDCsupporters in the country will readily support him? I don’t think so.


These are characters who don’t even have any support in their own constituencies, let alone other parts of the country. Little is known about them; and the earlier they abandon their scurrilous ambitions, the better it will be for the NDC. Could they even win back their own constituencies’ Parliamentary seats to get goodwill for the NDC?


Whatever he is to the NDC and Ghana (Africa and the world inclusive) cannot be disputed; but he has a huge barrier ahead of him, especially if he decides to rebound to challenge the NPP’s Akufo-Addo or anybody else. What new thing will he bring to the table to solve national problems that he hadn’t used since he entered Ghanaian politics as an MP and rose through the ranks to become the President? He has a tough call.


Speculation may be rife about others (such as Goosie Tanoh of the National Reform Party kind) lining themselves up for similar purposes. My advice to them is simple: that they had better think twice.


For now, folks, let me wind everything down to say that the NDC’s main challenge now is not about who leads it to Election 2020 but who will help rebuild it. That is why all those making noise to grab attention as possible flagbearers don’t turn my crank.

Invariably, those who connect with the party’s members and come across as reliable will win the day. It must first begin with party-building. All other things will fall in place thereafter. No acrimony; no rancour, no enmity, no bitterness. Only oneness, peace, and love for party and motherland. My take for now. Good day.

I shall return…

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