A group of delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Northern Region have thrown their support behind the Second Deputy Speaker of parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for the 2020 Presidential ticket of the NDC.
“One good turn, deserves another, our elders say. It is an open secret that Mr Bagbin’s selflessness made our son, John Mahama, President of Ghana. Now that he himself has stepped up to occupy the seat, we believe that it is only natural that we position ourselves behind him and push him on,” Madam Hadidza Alhassan, a delegate of the NDC said in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
They justified their emergence to support the longstanding Nadowli-kaleo MP with the explanation that Mr Bagbin had been the strong shoulder on which the Northern region stood to put one of its sons on the presidential seat of the country and therefore has earned the right to occupy the seat himself.
She said Bagbin could have easily sabotaged John Mahama’s path to the Presidency if he so wished, “but did not because he is a selfless man whose care went beyond the petty competition over who would become the first Northerner to be President in the 4th Republic.”
She said when President Mills died in office, some interest groups emerged with an agenda to relegate John Mahama to the background and take over the 2012 Presidential ticket of the NDC. “But Mr Bagbin lobbied the founder of our party, former President JJ Rawlings and the elders of the NDC to allow Mr Mahama to go unopposed during the Presidential primary for the 2012 election.
That selfless lobby by Mr Bagbin is what cleared a smooth path for John Mahama to become President.”
Madam Alhassan added that Bagbin’s influence on the political life of Mr Mahama went beyond the Presidency, saying that when he first went to Parliament as MP for Bole bamboi, Mr Bagbin who had earlier been there took him under his wings.
She said the elevation of Mr. Mahama to the Presidency was a source of massive pride to all Northerners, saying the brain behind that piece of Northern success deserves to be appreciated.
“And the way we want to show our appreciation to Mr Bagbin is that, we are rooting for him in his quest to become the Flagbearer of our beloved party, NDC, for 2020,” Madam Alhassan said.
She said the group she was leading was made up of many delegates of the NDC in the Northern Region, including a group called the 64 Bench which had branches in several constituencies of the Northern region.
She therefore assured Mr Bagbin that the delegates in the region were behind him and used the opportunity to call on fellow delegates across the country to vote for Mr Bagbin in the NDC’s upcoming presidential primary.
Mr Fuseini Butcher, a Branch Chairman who also signed the statement said Bagbin’s selflessness is not a thing limited to former President Mahama or the Northern region alone.
“Even the number of awards and citations that he has received shows that the man is a national treasure,” he said. Among others, he cited the Second Deputy Speaker’s receipt of a University of Ghana Medical Students Association (UGMSA) award. In 2017, the former Health Minister was awarded as Gold Sponsor of Medical Exchange programmes.
The citation which had been read by the UGMSA President of the time, Asabere Kwabena Asante, read: “Sometimes the smallest thing takes up most room in our hearts. You received us warmly when we called upon you for support. You sponsored a person, but you have reached many Ghanaians through that. Your generosity helped train some Ghanaian doctors. We will produce quality healthcare in appreciation of you.”