His Excellency JD Mahama, National Executive Council, Council of Elders Must Explain


The process of selecting a Running mate for the NDC is over. Whoever the choice, the die is cast for the NDC heading into the 2024 general elections.

The process concluded with the meeting of the Council of Elders and then the National Executive Council on the 7th of March, 2024.

The emergence of Prof. Naana Jane (Prof NJ) as the running mate of choice is surprising but expected. Surprising that it is the first time a running mate is being repeated in the politics of the NDC.

And expected, because, for those who know His Excellency John Dramani Mahama (H. E. JDM) personally, it is said that he was unlikely to change his mind.

So then, why the long wait to name her? Might we not have been better served by an early mention, so that focus is brought to other matters?

The dynamics that informed her choice in 2020, which birthed the NDC defeat at the elections, had dramatically changed in 2024 headed into that election.

In 2020, H.E. John Dramani Mahama was contesting H. E. President Akufo Addo. The topical issue at that time for the electorate was free SHS. Prof. NJ was probably the best fit, given her work at the Ministry of Education, etc., her selection as Running Mate (RM) was met with immense joy and excitement on the back of gender inclusiveness and Free SHS.

Despite the euphoria, the 2020 elections were lost to the NPP. Many today spewing out data analytics, skewed to claim she advanced NDC’s performance in her home region, the central region.

In 2024, H. E. JDM faces Dr. Bawumia. The dynamics on the ground and in the political atmosphere has changed.

The Ghanaian economy has virtually collapsed, the topical issue that Dr. Bawumia appears to lay his claim are technology, ICT, and digitalization.

Is H. E. JDM alluding that there are no qualified NDC persons that could be selected as RM with the requisite skillsets to neutralize the Dr. Bawumia narrative?
For H. E. JDM to have chosen therefore to remain with Prof. NJ seems to suggest that he is oblivious to the changed dynamics and the treat it posed to the NDC 2024 election victory.

This thought, if right, and endorsed by the Council of Elders (CoE) and the National Executive Council (NEC), requires significant introspection and soul search by the NDC rank and file, the grass roots, the floating voter and Ghanaians in general.

Clearly the public euphoria, excitement and jubilation that greeted her selection in 2020 is a far cry from what we see and observe today. Today, there appears a loud silence, silent debate, pondering, small group talk, amongst the NDC rank and file.

There is obviously a lack of excitement, the perception of indignation, that “it’s the same old people, the same NDC”. After near 8 years in opposition, the maintenance of the status quo?

NDC has no fresh faces to offer, no new programs, no new hope to offer Ghanaians? These sentiments are all too clear to observe in the marketplace, in the tro tro’s and taxis and all-over social media, etc.

The matter even attracts scorn and negative commentary on the floor of parliament by the Majority Leader. Despite its distasteful, regrettable commentary, the facts raised are live and factual. Whether NDC like it or not, Prof. NJ is too old, together with HE. JDM only represents a 4 year plan to Ghanaians, not enough to offer any sustainable hope to the youth of Ghana.

Have the leaders of the NDC, been following the activities of CHEDDAR’s campaign amongst the youth? Have they pondered the relatively younger Dr. Bawumia and his potential RM? Comparatively therefore, what strategic, analytical process in light of all these, led to the selection of Pro. NJ??

How has a party born out of a REVOLUTION, that cry’s ALUTA CONTINUA, which carried the youth across the country to a 57% election victory end up like this!!! Today a Party of laughter and mockery?

What is so wrong with a new fresh face introduced into the party leadership? What is HE. JDM afraid of? What is the COE and NEC afraid of?

How can they collectively be so myopic as to select a 72-year-old Prof. NJ, who is 76+ at 2028, and over 80 years in 2032? What legacy do they seek to deliver? Or are Political leaders of NDC simply a cabal that are hood winking the NDC supporters into another election defeat?

In contrast, should NDC have chosen a new running mate, the new fresh face, the new candidate in Ghana’s political landscape.
Even if for nothing at all, the public enquiry of the integrity and persona of the new person will hold the public attention and direct the narrative in media talk shows, in tro tro’s and taxi’s, in the market place, on TV and in newspapers, and on social media. What new enthusiasm, media excitement, and the explosion of social media discussions.

The generation or even the anticipation of sheer hope in the populace. The possibility that the new face might deliver new energies new direction new distractions at best. The potential dawn of a new era.

All that strategic possibility blown away!! What folly, What fool hardiness?
The selection of Prof. NJ begs therefore a thousand questions that HE. JDM, COE and NEC ought to answer.

In their answers, explain their rational, their strategic intent, their integrity to the soundness of the choice and thereby to give assurance and hope to the rank and file, the grassroots, the floating voters and the general public, that the selection of Prof. NJ represents the best foot forward for the NDC in the battle to secure power in 2024 after eight years in opposition.

All parties in the leadership, HE.JM COE and NEC are duty bound to explain.

NDC is increasingly a support base that is youthful. Many joined the NDC party for the first time oblivious of the historical revolutionary antecedents that led to its formation.

These explanations, rationale and public airing of their strategic decisions making, choices etc will remain key guides that underpin the institutional memory of the NDC going forward.

Explain they must!!!
Certainly, therefore HE. JDM, the COE and NEC in approving Prof. NJ must seek to assure the NDC and the general Ghanaian voters that;

1. She is the best possible candidate amongst several. We all know there were indeed several other candidates. What criteria disqualified the others? What were their failings?

2. Is the disqualification of the others, solely based on the HE.JDM’s evaluation criteria or was it a joint COE, NEC activity? If yes, a sole HE.JDM decision, of what relevance is the constitutional requirement to then consult with COE, NEC? Are the COE, NEC mere rubber-stamping institutions?

3. One wonders how objective COE, NEC can be if a candidate has to be evaluated at a single meeting, 1- or 2-hours seating at most? Where the potential candidate’s CV’s evaluated? Were there interviews conducted to evaluate the many dimensions of assessment that such a face-to-face encounter could provide?

4. Were there goal oriented strategic objective of a potential running mate to HE. JDM?

5. Did COE and NEC object? If yes, why the silence? We all know of decerning voices in 2020 to her selection and HE. JDM stampeding the process. As it were, they were right because we lost the election.

6. Did he do same again in 2024?

7. If Yes, is the COE and NEC so powerless? Should we remain silent to potentially lose the 2024 elections yet again?

In the 2020 election cycle, the choice of Prof. NJ was understandably in response to the burning issue of the free SHS program, its failures, successes if any, and the position of NDC, in the possible transition into a new government.

However, post 2020, the failures of the free SHS issue is now clear to Ghanaians.

Further, in the 2020 election cycle, the promise of massive women vote in support of Prof. NJ did not materialise across the country. Even in her home region, the electorate voted skirt and blouse, preferring the NDC parliamentary candidates and rejecting the HE. JDM ticket.

Further still, her physical, eloquence, and charismatic shortcomings were obvious for all to see during the campaign.

These were attributable to her advanced age at the time. She is today, four years older and these shortcomings will be even more pronounced.

How can she stand the rigours of the campaign going forward?

Certainly, NDC aged 32, has lost several of its founding fathers and leaders to time. His Excellencies Jerry John Rawlins, Atta Mills, Amissah Author, the legendary Capt. Tsikata, Awonoor, Kwabena Adjei etc. They like HE. JDM and members of COE, NEC have an intrinsic responsibility to ensure the future wellbeing of the party into the next millennia.

Indeed, succession planning 101, teaches that, an organisation must select and nurture key talent to fill critical roles, identify top performance and potential leaders, mentoring them and preparing them to advance into leadership.

Certainly, does Prof. NJ meet this criteria? Is she a viable successor to HE. JDM post a 2024 election victory? Can she lead NDC into the 2028, 2032, 2036 electoral cycles?

If one projects into 2028, when she is three-year shy off 80, when HE.JDM has completed his term, will she be able to run a robust viable NDC campaign to maintain the NDC in government?

Against the younger hungrier better marketed Bawumia?

Will NDC be able to complete its basic 8 year term from 2025 to 2033, when HE. JDM steps down and Prof. NJ chooses to become a flag bearer? What if she decides not to contest for the Flag Bearer, will NDC not be seriously disadvantaged to have both the President and Vice step down in 2009?

The obvious answer is YES.
For those who argue that HE. JDM and Prof. NJ will exit at the 2028 electoral cycle, must consider the vacuum that will be created that gives almost automatic advantage to an NPP victory and NDC exiting after only a 4-year term. Is fielding 2 new NDC Presidential candidates in the 2028 viable?

Is it not preferable to have a viable candidate partnering HE. JDM, with real potential to succeed him in 2028 and give hope of continuity, stability to the electorate?

The economic meltdown that HE. JDM and the NDC faces in 2025 when she takes government, cannot be effectively resolved by the point of 2028 elections.

Whatever rescue programs might not be conclusive enough for Ghanaians to feel it in the pocket.

This constitutes a clear and present danger to the long term winnability, sustainability in government, and its potential to take the Ghanaian people to greater heights of Nationhood.

Surely HE. JDM, COE and NEC, cannot be oblivious to these facts and analytical strategic considerations?

As is typical, we the rank and file, the grass roots who bear the suffering of any election loss the most, are told by our leadership that the matter of the running mate is over, a choice is made, shut up and keep quiet and lets work to a 2024 victory.

However, how can we the rank and file give off our best when the future seems murky with decisions that potentially negate our best efforts to win 2024 elections?

HE. JDM, COE, NEC owe us, the rank-and-file members, floating, all potential Ghanaian voters an explanation that delivers confidence in their choice and the strategic thought process that culminated in the choice of Prof NJ.

Let’s face it: Prof. NJ is old!! She is not a winnable RM !! We have an election to win!!!!

Reagan Sarfo
A concerned NDC grass-root foot soldier

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