Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, one of the presidential aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 polls, has given the strongest indication that he would promote Nkrumah and Rawlings’s agenda if given the mandate to rule the affairs of the state.
“I will take the best of things former presidents Kwame Nkrumah and Jerry John Rawlings did for the nation Ghana and forge that into a tradition for the future good of the country,” he declared.
Sharing his vision and motivation for seeking to become the President of Ghana, Mr Spio-Garbrah told the Daily Graphic that “basically, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) tradition promotes property-owning democracy (personal interest) against national but the Nkrumah and Rawlings’s agenda promote national interest as against personal.”
He said it was time for the country to elect selfless and servant leaders if the well-being of Ghanaians was to be safeguarded, secured and made fulfilling.
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Mr Spio-Garbrah is contesting six other presidential aspirants who are all seeking to lead the NDC in the 2020 general election.
They are former President John Dramani Mahama, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban S.K. Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah, Nurudeen Ali and Goosie Tanoh.
The NDC has also scheduled Saturday, February 23, 2019, for the party’s nationwide presidential primary.
According to Mr Spio-Garbrah, Ghana needed leaders who were patriotic, would protect the national interest, place the nation above themselves and were ready to serve the people rather than lord it over them.
“A good Ghanaian leader must uphold good governance and the rule of law and such a person must be friendly to the private sector, especially those ready to create new jobs, develop the youth and promote the quality and exports of Ghanaian made goods,” he stated.
He, however, noted that the profile of the NDC, particularly in the 2016 presidential and general elections, was one of apathy and neglect.
“Almost 90,000 hard core NDC members did not vote from 2012 to 2016; They told a story of pain and anger as they felt sidelined by the leadership of the party,” he recounted.
He said the NDC must be a caring party for its members; “a party that is there for its members and not a party that uses its members for votes and dumps them after electoral victory is won.”
“That is how most of the NDC members feel right now and see their leaders; when we vote for you, they roll up their car glasses, do not pick telephone calls and are too busy and unavailable,” he stated.
We need a party that is strong and credible to win the 2020 polls, he charged and disclosed a seven-point development agenda to assist the youth and women, build offices for all constituencies, create welfare committees, NDC credit union and national and regional business development committees, as well as spend time to meet party members regularly.
He said the NPP under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo could not be pushovers and for that reason, the NDC as a political party must put forward a presidential candidate who was credible, capable and had impeccable integrity whose loyalty to the party and the nation could not be questioned and who no Ghanaian would have an issue with.
“It is up to the NDC delegates to choose among the seven aspirants who best fits this bill,” he cautioned.
NDC at crossroads
On the processes leading to the NDC presidential primary scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2019, Mr Spio-Garbrah lamented “things are not yet ready and the NDC is at the crossroads.”
He mentioned the high filing fees for the primary as worrying, a flawed electoral voters register which was impeding campaign strategy choices and manual information which was inadequate, among others.
“I do not think that the NDC will tolerate such shortfalls from the Electoral Commission if that happened in the 2020 polls,” he asked.
“It is important the NDC sends the correct signals and messages to its members and the people of Ghana that it is willing to rectify its wrongs and mistakes, do everything right and commit to promote good governance,” he stated.