The six National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential aspirants who lost to former President John Dramani Mahama in the party’s presidential primary have conceded defeat and pledged to throw their weight behind him to clinch victory for the party in the 2020 elections.
The six — Professor Joshua Alabi, Mr Ekwow Spio-Gabrah, Mr Sylvester Mensah, Alhaji Nurideen Iddrisu, Mr Alban Bagbin and Mr Goosie Tanoh — have called Mr Mahama, with some issuing statements, to congratulate him on emerging the winner in last Saturday’s election that took place in all the 275 constituencies in the country, as well as in the NDC headquarters.
Some of them acknowledged Mr Mahama’s overwhelming endorsement, while others expressed shock at their poor showing, particularly in their home constituencies.
Mr Mahama secured 95.24 per cent endorsement from the 225,521 delegates who turned up at the various polling centres to vote.
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The results released by the Electoral Commission (EC) indicated that the former President polled 213,487 votes, representing 95.24 per cent of the total valid votes cast, with the other six contenders together obtaining about four per cent.
The total votes cast were 225,521, total valid votes were 224,184, while 1,327 ballots were rejected.
The eligible delegates were 262,142.
Speaking with an Accra-based radio station moments before the EC declared the results, Prof. Alabi said he had extended his hearty congratulation to former President Mahama.
“The results indicate that the former President has won. I have called and congratulated him,” the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) said.
Another aspirant, Mr Iddrisu, said immediately he realised that Mr Mahama had won the primary, he called to congratulate him and also declare his support ahead of the 2020 elections.
“Initially I thought I was going to win, but I have called the former President to congratulate him on the exceptional performance and to declare our support to win the 2020 election.
I was disappointed but I am okay because once it is an internal election, the bottom line is to ensure that we support that person and make sure we win the 2020 elections to liberate Ghanaians,” the businessman said.
The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) said he had decided to move on when he realised the massive endorsement given to Mr Mahama.
“Even though we had spoken about infractions, the outcome of this election means that it will be difficult to attribute anything to infractions.
At this moment, there is a clear winner with 95 per cent; this is significant and it is just proper to close shots and move on. I have spoken with the former President to congratulate him,” he said.
Announcing his stand on his Facebook wall after the election, the former Trade and Industry Minister in the Mahama government congratulated Mr Mahama on emerging the winner in the election.
“I have taken note of the provisional results being declared by the EC around the country in respect of the NDC flagbearership, as well as the outstanding performance by former President John Mahama.
I wish, therefore, to congratulate President John Mahama on this resounding victory and to wish the NDC family a period of renewal, regeneration and unity leading to victory in 2020.
“As we prepare collectively towards Election 2020, it is my hope that the various campaign teams in this flagbearer contest can become fully integrated into an effective fighting force ahead of the next general election.
I once again congratulate the John Mahama campaign team and look forward to the party’s victory in 2020,” Mr Spio-Garbrah said.
For his part, Mr Bagbin said although he criticised Mr Mahama during the campaign, he did not harbour any hatred for him.
He said his criticisms of the former President, which were described as attacks, were meant to improve the NDC as a party.
"We are politicians and you have to be in this game for some time to know that anything is possible, particularly in Africa, because there is so much uncertainty," he said in an interview with Citi FM.
He went ahead to congratulate Mr Mahama on winning the presidential primary.