Pelpuo, others slam regional chairmen for ‘endorsing’ Mahama

Rashid Pelpuo

Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators, have criticized the move by the regional chairmen of the party to ostensibly back the candidature of John Dramani Mahama for the elections in 2020.

The MPs, who spoke to Citi News, cautioned that such moves could compromise the unity of the NDC.

The regional Chairmen, in a brief communiqué after a meeting with the former President, asked him to embark on a ‘Thank You Tour’ to aid party’s reconciliatory and healing process.

But some observers have interpreted the call as a subtle move to endorse Mr. Mahama’s candidature ahead of the party’s election in December 2018 to choose a flagbearer as well as regional and national leaders.

NDC MP for South Dayi, Rockson Dafeamakpor, noted that “these regional Chairmen, who also are members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), have in a way sidelined, or will seek to sideline other potential contestants, and as the highest decision-making body of the party, they ought not to do that.”

He said calls for support of Mr. Mahama’s return should be left to the  Members of Parliament as they are the people on the ground and reminded that “regional executives are supposed to be neutral.”

“We will be seen as a party that is not united,” Mr. Dafeamakpor stated.

Grassroots can speak for themselves

The Wa West MP, Rashid Pelpuo, advised the Regional Chairmen to “play within the rules.”

“I am sure they are responding to the pressures from the grassroots, but they should be able to advise the grassroots so we can all do it in a decorous manner,” the MP suggested.

The outspoken MP for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, said the Chairmen should learn from Mr. Mahama’s stance on the matter.

Sam George

Sam George

“President Mahama himself has been on record to say that the time for campaigning and declaring has not come yet. You need to take a cue from your leader,” Sam George reminded.

He also warned against using the supposed needs of the grassroots to lay claim to any political capital.

“I as an individual, I as a grassroots member of the NDC, believe that President Mahama is the best candidate for the NDC. I believe that he should run and I believe that he will listen to the voice of the grassroots… The NDC grassroots doesn’t need any linguist.”

Focus on reorganisation

George Lawson, a deputy General Secretary of the NDC, also said the action from the chairmen was needless and a distraction.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, he was adamant that the NDC needed to be focusing on the reorganisation  because “without the reorgansation, we can’t get a leader.”

“For now, what we need form the regional chairmen is an update on the re-organization in their various regions. So if they are going to issue a statement, the statement is supposed to be about the reorganization.”

Mr. Mahama has also underscored the importance of the NDC’s regrouping saying it would be unwise for him to declare his intention to contest whilst the party is still reorganising after its heavy defeat in the 2016 polls.

“On the issue of considering the request of party colleagues and supporters to lead the NDC to the 2020 Elections, HE John Mahama’s position, as stated in Cape Coast, remains that it will be premature to announce his decision whether or not to contest, in view of the ongoing reorganization efforts of the Party,” a statement signed by the Special Aide to the former President, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said.

By: Duke Mensah Opoku & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana