Mahama leads NDC again
The Flag bearer-elect of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has urged party faithful to remain united and keep their eyes on the ultimate prize which is to win and return to power in the 2024 elections.
He said with the party’s presidential and parliamentary primaries over, it was time to look beyond the primaries and disagreements and keep their focus on winning the next election.
Last Saturday, he earned a landslide victory in the polls to represent the opposition party in the next general election.
In a brief speech posted on his Facebook page yesterday, after being declared winner of the presidential primaries, Mr Mahama told the party and all its supporters: “Let us disagree to agree, but let us keep our collective sights firmly on the supreme objective of leading Ghana out of the abyss in which we find our country.”
In what was expected to be a close contest, the presidential contest was reduced to a two-man race between Mr Mahama and former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Kojo Bonsu, at the 11th hour after former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, withdrew from the race last Friday evening.
That, however, did little to affect the election as delegates turned out in their numbers to cast their vote in the elections supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).
At the end of it all, former President Mahama earned an overwhelming 297,603 votes representing 98.9 per cent, while Mr Bonsu garnered 3,181 votes representing 1.1 per cent.
The Director of Electoral Service at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Serebour Quaicoe, announcing the results of the election in the early hours of yesterday at the party headquarters in Accra, said the total valid votes cast were 305,437 with 4,653 rejected ballots.
“On behalf of the Chairperson of the EC, I duly declare his Excellency John Dramani Mahama duly elected with 98.9 per cent,” he declared.
This attracted applause from some of the members of the party who had gathered at the party headquarters for the outcome of the election.
The party’s headquarters was the centre for the final collation of the presidential primary.
Present at the party headquarters were the National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah; General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, some national executive officers and diaspora members of the party.
Reacting to he being declared the winner, former President Mahama expressed gratitude to the delegates who came out in their numbers to give him the overwhelming vote of confidence.
He said in the intra-party elections, there were no winners or losers.
He therefore urged all party members to remain united in winning the 2024 general election, asking for the cooperation of all.
"Our party is the winner because there are no individual winners and losers in the party's contest.”
"I also ask for cooperation among all our elected parliamentary candidates and the respective aspirants and supporters and all the constituencies across the country."
While thanking his campaign and operations team "for keeping their focus and delivering a clean campaign," Mr Mahama also expressed his gratitude to the donors and financiers of his campaign, urging them to continue to support his campaign in the 2024 elections.
He announced that he would formally deliver his acceptance address at an event at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale today.
The losing candidate, Mr Bonsu, also in a Facebook post, conceded defeat.
He said he had called Mr Mahama to congratulate him on his landslide victory in the presidential primary.
“I have placed a call to H.E. John Dramani Mahama to congratulate him on the landslide victory.
“Just as I’ve indicated throughout my campaign, regardless of the outcome of this election, I’ll continue to serve the NDC party,” he said in his post.
Apart from his press conference to announce his withdrawal late last Friday evening, no word was heard from Dr Duffuor after the elections.
The party’s General Secretary announced that with the declaration of former President Mahama as the winner of the contest, he becomes the leader of the party for the great victory that had been chalked up.
“For us this is the beginning of the journey towards 2024 and we want to assure all of our supporters across the length and breadth of the country and also the larger population of Ghana that we are definitely going to make sure that this is the first of a long journey towards ensuring that we salvage this country come December 2024,” Mr Kwetey said.
“We are going to do everything possible to ensure that the confidence that has been reposed not just in the leadership of the party but through these elections and the confidence that has been reposed in His Excellency President Mahama is not let to go down at all, “he said.
Mr Kwetey further congratulated all the contestants in both the presidential and the parliamentary primaries and thanked the delegates, supporters and sympathisers of the party on being with them throughout the entire process that culminated in the elections last Saturday.
The National Chairman, Asiedu Nketiah, for his part, said with the calibre of the candidates produced in the elections, the party would go into 2024 and win the presidential and significant majority in Parliament and also deliver on the charges of rescuing this country.
He commended the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, and the Ghana Police Service for ensuring peaceful elections.
Former President Mahama, 64, began his political career as a Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi on the ticket of the NDC from 1997 to 2009.
A communication expert, historian and writer, he served as Deputy Minister of Communication between 1997 and 1998 before becoming the substantive Minister of Communications in 1998.
Mr Mahama is the first vice-president to have taken over as president, following the death of his predecessor, John Evans Atta Mills, in 2012 and was elected to serve a full term of four years during the 2012 election.
He, however, lost in his bid to have a second term in the 2016 and 2020 elections to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party.