The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has launched a tirade against former President John Dramani Mahama for his alleged subtle attempts to claw his way back to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 presidential election.
He said Mr Mahama was sponsoring the NDC unity walk to boost his chances of leading the party into the elections but indicated that he was confident the party delegates would reject him.
In an interview with Joy FM, Mr Bagbin, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region, declared his intention to contest for the flag bearer position in the NDC.
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He admitted, however, to the potency of the former President who posed a threat to his ambition, even though Mr Mahama is yet to publicly declare his intention.
He said he would be surprised if the former President failed to contest for the presidential candidature of the NDC since he had given indications of his motive based on public appearances and utterances.
“There’s a 99.5 per cent chance that he would vie for the NDC presidential slot. He spoke at Cape Coast where he said that if the party says he should run, why not. He spoke to us at a dinner hosted by him at his office and it was clear that he was gearing to run”.
Mr Bagbin also suggested that the former president was sponsoring the Unity Peace Walk as a way of promoting himself to NDC supporters.
“Again, he has sponsored a number of walks branded as unity walk and here there are all indications that he is gearing up to run. So I would not be surprised if he comes up at the end of the day to clearly say he is running,” he said.
He added that such walks were not sanctioned by the leadership of the party and this was manifested in the absence of many prominent personalities for the unity walks.
He described Mr Mahama’s decision to contest the election based on the outcry of the masses as a clear sign of weakness and showed his lack of assertiveness and control in decision making.
“That is one of the basic weaknesses of the former president. You don’t let people push you to lead them. You take the decision that this is what I want to do on the basis of my capacity, experience and knowledge. At the end of the day if you are confronted with any challenges would you say it is the people who have put me here?” Mr Bagbin asked.
He dismissed the assertion that the NDC would campaign on the record of Mr Mahama since that record was tainted by the loss suffered in the 2016 election.
“I don’t understand what people mean when they say we are going to campaign on his record. The record includes a loss. Is that what we are going to campaign on?” he asked rhetorically
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson for former President Mahama, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, has described the statement from the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament as premature and unfortunate, considering that Mr Mahama is an executive member of the NDC and for that matter is committed to reorganising and restructuring the party.