Mahama: I'm better prepared to lead NDC again

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Former President John Dramani Mahama says his time spent in opposition has prepared him very well to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to Election 2020.

"I've learnt a great lesson... There is indeed lessons leatnt from failure," Mr Mahama said at a press conference Monday afternoon at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra, a few hours after he had filed his nomination papers to be considered to re-lead the opposition party.

Explaning, the former president said, about two years ago in December 2016, "I faced the solemn task of conceding an election, in sober acceptance of the verdict expressed by the good people of Ghana. At the end of an intense bruising contest, the people conferred the honour of their mandate on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in earnest expectation that the incoming administration will make good on their numerous “one a day” campaign promises."

Mr Mahama said he respected the verdict of the people and appreciated it for its significance.

"It was a hard thing to do, and it was a deeply humbling experience. I was sincere in my hopes that the new government will be successful in the great undertaking that was before them.

"I still am, but I was gutted by the missed opportunity to see through an agenda that I genuinely believe will address the most intractable fundamental problems that belie our nation’s chronic difficulties."

Read also: Mahama, Bagbin, Alabi and Sly file nominations forms

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Nomination papers

Mr Mahama; Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin; former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Professor Joshua Alabi; and former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah are the four who filed their nominations forms on Monday to seek the mandate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to lead the party as flagbearer into elections 2020.

The submissions by the four, amidst some fanfare by their supporters, left Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, businessman Alhaji Nurudeen Iddrisu, Stephen Atubiga and Goosie Tanoh, who have all picked nominations forms and have said they will file on Tuesday to complete the lineup.

Filing of nominations closes on Tuesday, December 18, according to a programme released by the party to guide the election of a flagbearer.

Solemn reflection

At the press conference after the filing, Mr Mahama said the loss of Election 2016 afforded him the opportunity for a solemn reflection about a life spent in public service and the many different parts he has been blessed to play in Ghana’s story.

"I found myself grateful to the almighty God who raised me up to those heights and to the people of this nation whose love and trust have been my constant strength through these great many years of public service.

"My brothers and sisters, I was at the crossroads in my life, the temptation of a return to private life was enticing, the promise of spending time with my family and close friends, a rare thing during those hectic years in office was a very welcome prospect and spending time away from the often vicious unforgiving enterprise of our national politics was equally very attractive, but in those many months of contemplation, I also rediscovered the first principles of my personal and political beliefs." 

He said the tenets of his Christian faith re-assured him that day in day out "my God and saviour takes me from one degree of reflection to another. My belief in politics, of personal responsibility, reminds me of the need for self-appraisal at all times."

"And so after much deliberation, I believe that I am even better prepared now to carry the standard of the National Democratic Congress and the great political tradition for which it stands into the presidential election of 2020."

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