Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said his wish is for former President John Mahama to return as flagbearer, and subsequently the President after the 2024 elections.
In an interview on Citi TV, The Tamale South Member of Parliament said one of the party’s key strategies to secure victory in 2024, is to be extremely vigilant at all polling stations across the country.
“The NDC will call for greater transparency, especially at the collation of the results. Zero-tolerance for 2024 will be our declaration, and we will police the ballot,” he said.
Revealing his wish for Mahama to lead the NDC again ahead of the 2024 polls, Iddrisu stated, “I always say that for persons who love President Mahama and want his return just as I want, go to your polling station and make sure he wins. Nothing more.”
“If he wins at the 33,000 polling stations, he will be the next President of the Republic”, the Minority leader said.
The statement of the minority leader who is also a key person in the NDC is very significant at this time because it seems to dispel rumours that he wants to contest in the NDC flagbearership race ahead of the 2024 polls.
To Return or Not
Mr Mahama, who was the 2020 presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has not openly declared whether or not he would lead the greatest opposition party in Ghana into elections 2024.
Mahama lost the 2020 elections to President Akufo-Addo, having lost the 2016 polls to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was seeking crucial re-election after his first attempt to lead Ghana some 12 years ago, beat Mr Mahama, a former colleague legislator, for the second time in a national election.
After losing a post-election litigation in the Supreme Court in March this year, some experts have tipped Maham to be the best person to lead the NDC into the next polls.
The constitution allows the former president, who was elevated from a Vice President on July 24, 2012, to succeed the late prof. JEA Mills as president after the latter’s demise, to run for another election in Ghana.
But Mahama believes the NDC will come back stronger after the electoral defeat in 2020 and win in the next polls irrespective of who the party fields.
Thank You Tour
Mr Mahama recently toured parts of the country to show appreciation to Ghanaians for the overwhelming support to him and the NDC in the last election. He also took the opportunity to calm party fanatics and members who were infuriated citing electoral fraud.
He has so far visited the Upper East and West regions as well as the Savanna, North East, and the Northern regions in his first leg of the tour.
Mahama later visited the Western, Central, Eastern, Volta, and Greater Accra Regions.
Do or die
The former president has been encouraging party members to be vigilant and protect the democracy of the country by policing ballot boxes to ensure that there is no election fraud during the 2024 elections.
In Techiman, he described the 2024 polls as a “do or die” affair as he urged party members to do whatever they can to prevent rigging and a subvention of the people’s will.
“We were clearly robbed [in 2020] but we accepted the verdict for the sake of peace,” he noted and stated the NDC is not ready to go back to the Supreme Court with any election-related issues.
The former president’s comment attracted a backlash from some Ghanaians, particularly the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). They believe the comment was unfortunate and threatens the peace and security of the country.
Mr. Mahama who also hit back at critics insisted his ‘do or die’ comment was not intended to incite the public as was “bandied.”
The former President who said his comment was borne out of lessons learnt from the 2020 elections and how the dispute was handled refused to retract the ‘do or die’ comment.
Speaking on Sunyani-based Moonlite FM during his tour, the former President said that: “’Do or die’ is an English idiom; those who left school early don’t understand what an idiomatic expression is.
“Do or die’ means a critical assignment that you have and you must do the needful or perish…And so, you must do the needful. So, what I mean is that NDC will not wait to go to the Supreme Court again, so, we have to do what is required of us at the polling station…And, so, I don’t retract”.
He stressed that party executives would be well conditioned and in the next election, adding “all must do the right thing at the polling stations”.
He continued: “And, so I’m telling all our party executives that you must be at that polling station and make sure the right thing is done. So, I haven’t retracted my words. Don’t abdicate your responsibility at that level and expect that after somebody has stolen the election, you go to the Supreme Court to see if they will turn the election for you; they won’t do it”.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, believes the party members and executives ought to work hard at their envisaged victory in 2024.
“It is not about running to take photographs with him [Mahama] thinking that is how you are contributing to the success of the NDC, I don’t think going to take pictures with him means he has won. I think we should go back to our roots as NDC with operation win your ballot box”, he averred.
By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana