Former Kumasi Mayor Kojo Bonsu has dropped out of the flagbearer race of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr Kojo Bonsu failed to pick a nomination form within the stipulated time by close of day Tuesday, December 4, 2018, when the party first opened nominations [December 3 and 4].
He went ahead to blame the move on a petition which eight aspirants had forwarded to the Council of Elders of the NDC which was asking for a reduction in the filing fee of GH¢400,000.
He had appealed to his supporters to remain calm as "it is not yet over," in a press statement.
"I would like to officially state that my campaign team and I will make a decision after we have heard from the Council of Elders, following the joint petition regarding the flagbearer race that was submitted on Monday 3 December 2018."
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Five aspirants out of a total 12, John Dramani Mahama, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga and Alban S.K. Bagbin were on the only aspirants who picked the nomination forms within the first two days stipulated period for that exercise.
The seven other aspirants who had expressed interest in the contest and did not show up to pick the form were Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Elikplim Agbemava, Nurudeen Idrissu, Kojo Bonsu, Goosie Tanoh, Kweku Rickets Hagan and David Dotsey Kwami Kuwadah.
On Wednesday, the Council of Elders together with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC announced that the filing fee has been reduced to GH¢300,000 and that picking of nomination forms has also been re-opened on Thursday December 6 and Saturday December 8, 2018.
Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah and Nurudeen Iddrisu who had joined the petition for the reduction of the fees picked their nomination forms on Thursday December 6, 2018.
Another aspirant, Elikplim Agbemava announced on Friday that he was stepping down to throw support for John Dramani Mahama.
Mr Kojo Bonsu, who reports suggests had engaged the services of a campaign strategist [foreigner] and had earlier appealed to his supporters to remain calm as "it is not yet over" however in a statement Saturday morning threw in the towel.
"It is with deep regret that after considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided to end my campaign for the flagbearership of the NDC today," he said in a press statement Saturday morning.
Below is a copy of the press statement
8 December 2018
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
I would like to thank the Council of Elders for their prompt response to our petition regarding the NDC flagbearership election.
It is with deep regret that after considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided to end my campaign for the flagbearership of the NDC today.
However, my boundless optimism for the long-term future of the NDC and Ghana at large remains steadfast.
The fight is far from over, I am not ending the fight for unity and accountability and I am not ending the fight for victory for the NDC.
As a dedicated member of the NDC, I look forward to working with the Party and the elected Flagbearer to advance issues of importance to our beloved country.
I will use this opportunity to wish all the aspirants the best of luck, and I urge them to unite after the election and work together with the eventual winner, because without unity we cannot defeat the NPP come 2020.
Lastly, I want to express my sincere thanks to my advisers, campaign team, friends, volunteers and loyal supporters who generously contributed their time and effort to my campaign, I am honoured and humbled that you placed your trust in me.
God bless NDC
God bless our Homeland Ghana