Very credible reports reaching The Al-Hajj suggest that, some senior members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) with flag bearer ambitions are angry over what they describe as a calculated attempt by the first lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama to deny them a level playing field ahead of the party?s congress to elect a leader for the 2016 election by surreptitiously trying to use incumbency advantages to capture the support of the womens? wing of the party for her husband and sitting President, John Dramani Mahama.
In the rage against this move, the fuming would-be NDC flag bearer aspirants are accusing the first lady of openly engaging in crafty tactics to champion the 2016 bid of her husband, President John Mahama when the party has not raised the bar for anybody to start campaigning ahead of the next congress of the party, where JDM faces the likelihood of fierce challenge.
But the First Lady, Lordina Mahama has through her special aide, Mr Seidu Kpebu denied the charges, saying the meetings with the women groups was to create the opportunity for her to thank them for their meritorious performance in working to get her husband and the NDC party elected into office in the December 2012 General election.
Mr. Kpebu maintained that there was absolute need for the efforts of the women in 2012 to be recognized, hence the meetings organized at the behest of the First Lady.
A source close to a prospective aspirant has been caught on tape complaining bitterly to an opposition media house that, the first lady is using some subtle and crafty means to smoothen the grounds for the President, an opportunity he said some people with plans to contest the 2012 flag bearership slot of the party don?t have.
The Al-Hajj?s office has also since Friday May 10, 2013 been inundated with phone calls from some individuals believed to be supporters of the potential NDC aspirants expressing deep disgust at Mrs. Mahama?s meeting with NDC women?s organizers and functionaries across the country.
In a very acidic tone, the staunch NDC member whose boss? presidential ambition is well-known both within and outside the NDC was heard on the tape lamenting,?to be frank with you, I have been in politics for so many years now, nobody can tell me the first lady?s meeting with the women organizers is just to thank them for their loyalty and hard work for the NDC party.?
In his view, knowing very well that some top brass of the party are organizing themselves to challenge the President in the next congress, the first lady, with the support of some leading members of the party crafted those meetings as a platform to campaign for the husband ahead of others adding, ?such a move is not just an affront to our party?s constitution but our democracy as well, because it does not enable a level playing field for the various contenders of the impending race.?
The first lady, some few weeks ago hosted over 100 Greater Accra constituency women organizers of the NDC and executives of market women associations at her residence to thank them for the yeoman?s roles they played in ensuring a one-touch victory for President Mahama and the NDC in the last December general elections.
Subsequently, she moved together with Madam Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Health and the NDC National Women?s Organiser, Ms Anita De Sousou to meet Upper East and West women organizers of the ruling party to thank them for the loyalty and hard work towards the victory of President Mahama in the last election.
Whiles many in the party have hailed Mrs. Mahama for taking such a bold step to familiarize with the women’s groups, aides to some of the NDC kingpins nursing hopes to contest the flag bearer-ship election seem very uncomfortable and are accusing the first lady of embarking on what one of them said was a ?project that will open the flood gate for all of us to start campaigning for our respective candidates openly in defiance of the party?s rules and regulations.?
A caller into our offices, who refused to disclose his identity also had this to say: ?For now, President Mahama is the President and leader of our party, and we must all rally behind him to succeed, but that does not mean we are in support of his leadership style, we also have candidates we are supporting ahead of 2016? so for the President?s wife to embark on this journey, she is just telling us to stop supporting the President and begin campaigning for our preferred candidate.?
In the opinion of the caller, if the effect of Mrs. Lordina?s action is left unchecked, the President will be far ahead of his likely contenders when the party officially opens nomination for prospective aspirants to file.
Source: A. A. Yayra (The Al-Hajj)