Former President John Dramani Mahama, who is yet to come to terms with what actually caused his humiliating defeat in the 2016 poll, has once again directed his anger at some Ghanaian celebrities who, ahead of the 2016 election, endorsed his candidature.
Mr Mahama, who just ended his three-day comeback campaign tour in the Northern Region, did not mince words when he said, he would not tolerate the formation of fan clubs in his name, in his bid to recapture power from the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2020.
“We are discouraging voluntary groups,” former President Mahama told NDC delegates in Lambushie in the Upper West Region.
But, the former Ghanaian leader who wants to lead the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) again must first win the party’s presidential primary where 12 others, including the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, former Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, former Chief Executive Officer of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Sylvester Mensah, and former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Professor Joshua Alabi, are all contesting.
Although Mr Mahama did not mention any Ghanaian celebrities’ name, it was obvious he was referring to controversial celebrities like television personality- Afia Schwarzenegger, musician-Mzbel, actor-John Dumelo, boxer – Bukom Banku among others.
It is on record that the afore-mentioned personalities, prior to the 2016 election, declared their support for Mr Mahama leading to the formation of various fan clubs such as ‘Celebrities for Mahama,’ ‘Mahama Ladies,’ Youth for Mahama,’ etcetera, etcetera all in an attempt to canvass for votes for him.
But former President Mahama who still cannot pinpoint what caused his defeat believes the formation of those various fan clubs in his name by the so-called Ghanaian celebrities played a key role in his defeat, hence his decision not to tolerate any future fan club in his name as he seeks to lead the NDC again.
“And so as much as possible the voluntary groups, youth for something ‘Market women for Mahama,’ Witches for Mahama,’ ‘Watchmen for Mahama’…I mean everything for Mahama must stop. If you want Mahama join the party, work with the executives and deliver victory so that we come back into office,” he said.
In fact, Mr Mahama’s latest admission that the formation of the various fan clubs contributed to his defeat affirms the report of the Kwesi Botchwey-led committee that the NDC’s loss in the 2016 elections was primarily due to the neglect of the party foot soldiers where resources meant for the party went to these celebrities.
The NDC’s national executives tasked Dr Kwesi Botchwey after the 2016 polls to go round the country and find out what accounted for the party’s massive defeat since 1992.
Amongst some of the causes for the party’s loss by the Kwesi Botchwey-13- member committee report was the neglect of the NDC structures where people from nowhere were resourced by Mr Mahama to campaign for the party.
“So if now our former President has admitted that he channelled resources to wrong people it is good, but I don’t think he needs a second time,” a member of Council of Elders of the NDC, who pleaded to speak on condition of anonymity, told Today in an interview via telephone yesterday in Accra.
To this end, he advised Mr Mahama to stop blaming God for causing the party’s defeat for Ghanaians to know the difference between the NDC and the NPP.
The NDC stalwart also discounted the claim by Mr Mahama that the ruling NPP rigged the 2016 election.
“If he (Mr Mahama) has not read the Kwesi Botchwey’s report, he should try and read it. There is no where in the report which states that God caused our defeat or NPP stole the verdict,” he averred.
“When we were telling him to focus on the party’s structures he thought we were joking, now look at what his stubbornness has landed us, and you still want to come back, never,” he fumed.
Mr Mahama, during his tour of the Central Region, said that God allowed the humiliating defeat he suffered at the hands of President Akufo-Addo in 2016 for Ghanaians to have the chance to compare and contrast the performance of his administration with the current one.”
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
Writer’s email: email@example.com
Today Newspaper (Ghana)