Mr Saeed Yussif, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) chairman for Okaikoi South Constituency has said former president John Mahama needs to be given every support to lead the party into the 2020 general elections.
Mr Saeed, who was speaking to host of Inside Politics, Mugabe Maase, on Radio XYZ 93.1 Tuesday afternoon observed the former president lost the 2016 elections to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) because the then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo lied to Ghanaians about massive development and a robust economy that was going to create more jobs than what the NDC government had provided for the citizens.
His comments come after he and some 33 constituency chairpersons of the NDC in the Greater Accra Region donated an undisclosed amount to the office of former president John Mahama to support his campaign ahead of the NDC primaries in January next year.
Mr Mahama, who picked nomination forms yesterday at the NDC headquarters to contest in the flag bearer elections, has for weeks been seeking the mandate of delegates to lead the party into the 2020 polls.
Explaining why they donated to the former president, Mr Yussif Saeed, disclosed that Mr Mahama is the only marketed person in the party who can win power for the umbrella family in the 2020 general elections.
To him, the uncountable projects Mr Mahama initiated and could not complete before leaving office have been abandoned by president Akufo-Addo need to be completed.
Mr Mahama waving at a crowd on his tour to the Brong Ahafo region.
He noted that the former president worked hard in all aspects of the economy to make life comfortable for Ghanaians, therefore he should be given the chance to lead the party again.
“As president Akufo-Addo is touring the Greater Accra Region, many of the projects he is to inspect including the Tema Motorway roundabout were initiated by John Mahama,” said Mr Saeed who believes former president Mahama needs their support to come and complete “the good works” he commenced.
While his contenders have raised red flags over the GHS 420,000 filing fees, Mr Mahama has no worries on how to raise the amount to file for his candidature.
Yesterday, after a delegation from the party in the Asawase constituency in the Ashanti region took the nomination forms on behalf of Mr Mahama, many were NDC supporters who queued at the former president’s office at Cantonments, Accra to contribute their widow’s mite towards his GHS420,000 filing fee.
Also a group of Members of Parliament known as MPs4JM consisting of 96 Minority MPs who have declared their support for Mr Mahama’s bid to run for the NDC flag bearer, has disclosed they have raised about GHS600,000 to foot Mr Mahama’s nomination and filing fees.
Already, the NDC members of Asawase constituency paid for the nomination forms of Mr Mahama which cost GHS 20,000.
Mr John Dramani Mahama’s flagbearership campaign tour has taken him to all constituencies in the Central, Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra and the Ashanti regions.
Some NDC members displaying their support for Mr Mahama.
He has been promising to modernise the activities of the NDC by helping constituencies to own party offices, building a reliable database of the human resource capacity of members as well as providing a mentorship programme for young people in the party.
Mr Mahama also says he is committed to working hard to provide jobs and reduce the high cost of living, when elected in the next presidential election.
Five persons are likely to contest the NDC’s presidential primary which is slated for 19 January 2019.
The party closed its doors to persons who wish to contest the flag bearer race Tuesday evening, having opened it Monday morning. About eleven persons had shown interest in picking the forms to contest in the race.
XYZ News’ Wisdom Hededzome reported from the NDC headquarters at Adabraka, Accra Tuesday evening that five out the eleven had picked nomination forms when the party closed the sale of the nomination forms.
They are Mr John Mahama, Professor Joshua Alabi, Mr Stephen Atubigah, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr Sylvester Mensah and second speaker of Parliament, Mr Algban Kingsford Bagbin.
The rest who could not pick the nomination forms are former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekow Spio-Garbrah; a former Mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu; Nurudeen Iddrisu; private legal practitioner, Elikplim Agbemava, Augustus Goosie Tanoh.
They had early on raised concerns over the filing fees, saying it was too huge and subsequently decided to boycott the picking of nomination forms as the party opened its doors for the picking of the forms on Monday.
They petitioned the National Council of Elders of the party, under the chairmanship of the Founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings, to intervene to prevent the party from veering off its social democratic principles.
ccording to the petitioners, specific issues they had with the guidelines were that the NEC did not meet the procedural requirements set out in Article 42 (1) (f) of the NDC constitution for publishing electoral guidelines.
The NEC, they said, had generally not met standards of stakeholder consultations acceptable in the party, adding that in publishing the guidelines, thye NEC exceeded its powers and imposed eligibility criteria not provided for in the party’s constitution.
“These make the guidelines ultra vires to the NDC party constitution and thus null and void,” the petitioners stated.
They stated that NEC’s proposed guidelines imposed filing fees on aspirants “that are unreasonable and that call into question our basic commitment as social democrats”.
They also said the guidelines did not provide adequate assurance of a level-playing field for the primary in the context of openly displayed bias on the part of some members of NEC.
The petitioners also objected to NEC’s proposal that the entire electoral process be completed within 45 days from December 5, 2018 to January 19, 2019.
Last week, Lawyer Agbemava hit hard on the General Secretary of his party, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, also known as General Mosquito over the filing fee, and called for NDC members to “get rid of him.”
To him, quoting such an amount as the filing fee for NDC flag bearer aspirants “is a corrupt betrayal of the trust the rank and file [of NDC] put in the executives” and added that the party’s Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketiah be booted out.
“The many cadres whose toil and labour is the glory we share in the NDC never asked the current executives to pay such ridiculous amount before they join or occupy any position in the NDC. The 420,000 filing fee is a corrupt betrayal of the trust the rank and file put in the executives,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday, December 1, 2018.
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, NDC Gen. secretary.
Mr Agbemava, who is convinced the amount was the machinations of the General secretary, said “General Mosquito is the biggest threat to the growth and transformation of the NDC. The absolute power he pretends to wield is nauseating.”
He continued: “He [Asiedu Nketiah] has put a price on service to our mother Ghana. To him that costs 420,000 cedis. This is somebody whose background needs no introduction. Instead of ensuring that more like him are able rise from the abyss of social isolation to serve GHANA at the highest levels he shamelessly condones the marginalization of the grassroots from mainstream politics. The earlier we get rid of him the better.”
Lawyer Elikplim Agbemava
Speaking to Mugabe Maase on Inside Politics on Radio XYZ 93.1 on Monday, Mr Agbemava disclosed that until the council of Elders respond positively to their petition, he will not pick his nomination because he does not have that amount to pay.
“I don’t have that amount. If we want somebody to serve the country, you don’t let them empty their bank account before serving the country,” he noted.
“I’ll be setting a bad example if I pay the GHS 400, 000 filing fee,” he disclosed as he argued that the future generation will not be proud of him if he becomes part of what he described as “the marginalization of the grassroots from mainstream politics.”
By: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com