Former President John Mahama has told his potential contenders in the race for the flag bearer slot of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to support him should he decide to have another go at the presidency and contest to win the slot, just as he would support any of them if they won.
Middling about his political future as far as the 2020 elections are concerned, Mr Mahama told his party’s National Executive Committee on Wednesday: “I will support whoever leads us into 2020 as much as I will expect if I lead you into 2020.”
Ahead of the April 12 meeting, Mr Mahama had, on 28 March, said he would support fully whoever emerged as flag bearer of the NDC for the 2020 general elections, although he did not explicitly say whether or not he would run again.
At a meeting with his former appointees, Mr Mahama said: “I believe, for people talking about leadership and presidency, it’s absolutely premature.”
According to him, the party must first be fixed before a new flag bearer is thought of. “If you ride a lame horse into a race and you lose the race, your priority must be to cure the lameness of the horse and not about who’ll ride the horse again. You have to cure the horse and make sure it’s no longer lame. And once you have a fit, healthy horse, it will throw up who the jockey should be. And so, absolutely, I believe that the issue of leadership is based on the dynamics of the time. If we do our work well, we do good branch reorganisation, bring it to the constituency level, to the regional level and have a strong, healthy party, the dynamics of the time will determine who should lead the party,” Mr Mahama said.
“And I am saying that whoever leads the party, I’m a committed member, I’ll support that person to the hilt. And, so, going on air and blaming so-so and so for this and that, I don’t think it helps the unity [of the party]. At this time we must be standing together.”
The former president has also asked critics within his party to directly hold him responsible for the loss of the NDC in the 2016 general elections.
“The cause of our loss is multifaceted,” he told his former appointees at a meeting on 28 March, adding that those going on air to blame fellow party members and specific members of his administration for the defeat must redirect those accusations at him since he led the party into the elections.
“Of course as the General who led us into battle, I take ultimate responsibility for our losing the election, and so if it will satisfy those people, blame me for the loss.”