Yunyoo MP Joseph Bipoba Naabu has said the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be doomed in the 2020 polls if it elects former president John Mahama as its flag bearer again.
Mr Naabu made the comment on Tuesday, 31 July when he denied claims that he was one of 94 NDC MPs who have allegedly endorsed the former president for the flag bearer slot.
According to him, the so-called endorsement list was presented to him as an attendance sheet in parliament, and, so, wondered why his name is being mentioned as one of Mahama’s supporters when he actually supports Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin.
“I was very furious because they deceived me into signing something I don’t believe in. I have endorsed Alban Bagbin and I believe he is the right person to lead the NDC in 2020”, Mr Naabu told Asempa FM on the Ekosii sen political talk show on Tuesday.
“Even in my constituency, they can’t convince anyone to vote for Mahama, how much more me. These JM boys should stop this negative propaganda. On the day of elections, all these boys will sleep early”, he said.
Also, Keta MP Richard Quashigah, has declared his support for Professor Joshua Alabi in the flag bearer race.
According to Mr Quarshigah, he believes “strongly that in this era, we need somebody who can adopt a bottom-up approach. I find that in Professor Joshua Alabi”.
He said the former University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Rector has a strong connection with the grassroots of the opposition NDC party, adding: “I find that in him as a result of his track record, so I support Joshua Alabi”.
Mr Quarshigah was speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM on Tuesday, 31 July 2018.
The lawmaker said the flag bearer-aspirants must look at how they can ensure that they send the campaign to the grassroots level, mainly the party’s branches and constituencies.
Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak, is reported to have said on Asempa FM on Tuesday that out of 106 NDC MPs, 94 have endorsed Mr Mahama as their preferred candidate for the flag bearer slot.
It has been suggested that the MPs have even formed a group called MPS4JM (Members of Parliament for John Mahama) with the full support of their constituents.
But Professor Alabi’s camp has said the winner of the contest for the flag bearer slot of the NDC will be determined by the grassroots of the party.
“…We have not lost sight of the fact that the next flag bearer election, as it stands now, will largely be decided by the grassroots of our great party – the branch and constituency executives who will also determine the fate of MPs in their next parliamentary primaries,” Israel Venunye, a member of the campaign team of the Professor Alabi, said in a press statement.
Mr Venunye said the “development does not come to us as a surprise, especially when one considers the fact that most of these MPs were hitherto appointees in the last NDC government, with quite a number of them retiring from parliament after 2020. We have always anticipated such a natural occurrence in the party”.
He stressed that: “The NDC has presence in all 275 constituencies in Ghana, with many of the supporters having fully embraced Professor Joshua Alabi’s cardinal message of putting the grassroots at the centre of governance, thereby bridging the yawning gap between the party and government”.
For him, “The soul and strength of the great NDC party is vested in the branch and constituency executives who wield the real power and we shall continue to touch base with them”.
He said in line with “the Professor Joshua Alabi Team’s philosophy, a strong NDC depends on stronger branches and constituencies; and we wish to assure the rank and file of the party, supporters and well-wishers of our resolve to entrench grassroots recognition and participation in the decision making process of our party as opposed to the top-to-bottom approach”.