May 30, 2024

_Counseling the NDC Council of Elders_

Dear Seniors,

I wish to salute you for all your dedication and sacrifices for our party over the years. I read on social media that our flagbearer John Mahama will be meeting with you on March 7, 2024 to discuss his options for running mate.

I am an ordinary party foot soldier who lays no claim to experience and knowledge on matters of our party but I wish to plead with all of you to act in the best interest of our party. You have a responsibility to save our collective future. Our flagbearer needs your expert guidance on the major decision of running-mate and I am praying that you will rise to the occasion.

I have noticed that supporters of our mummy Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman have taken their campaign for her to be retained to another level in the last few weeks. I even read a news story suggesting that she is already confirmed. My checks indicate that John Mahama has yet to disclose the list of persons he is considering. I know you are experienced enough to discern the attempt to stampede all of you in the direction of Prof. Naana by a few shameless individuals.

I have nothing against Prof. Naana. She is a wonderful and admirable person whose profile makes me feel proud to be a foot soldier of our party. But the more I think about her as our running mate, the more I wonder whether our interest as a party is in staying in power for long or only interested in the remaining one term of John Mahama. We have before us an opportunity to choose a running-mate with a succession plan in mind, and I doubt very much if at 76 years of age now, Prof Naana can carry us forward after John Mahama.

I have also observed that several major newspapers including Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times have all placed Prof. Naana on their front pages showcasing her as the chosen running-mate. I don’t believe Prof. Naana is behind such recklessness. She would not do such a thing. Those behind the publications have attacked the reputation of our Council of Elders who are yet to know who John Mahama has in mind. Creating the impression in the press that the Council of Elders has received a list from John Mahama is erroneous and dangerous for the future of the NDC.

I feel scandalized by the publications because I am convinced that the publications are intended to scandalize you the members of our Council of Elders. Never in the history of our party has a purported running-mate been confirmed before the meeting of the Council of Elders; never in the history of our party have few individuals hidden behind their access to resources to hijack the duties of the legitimate structures of the party; and never in the history of our party has the party itself been disrespected as we are witnessing now.

But I know that you the members of the Council of Elders are all knowledgeable and noble statesmen and women with tremendous experience. I pray that you rise above any special interests and give us the rank and file, a younger firebrand running-mate upon whose shoulders our long-term fortunes as a party will rest. Your reputation and credibility are under attack and if you succumb to the mafia tactics and political machinations being deployed, the young people in our party will not forgive you.

Close to 70% of our voting population is in the youth cohort. Most of them are disillusioned by what appears to be deliberate mismanagement of our economy by power holders. Most of them want someone they can relate to, someone who shares their frustrations and can inspire them to an optimistic future. Our youth wish you to choose a running-mate that reflects their worldview and aspirations. Let’s not disappoint them to disappoint ourselves.

Even from my less vantage point, I know that many well-meaning Ghanaians across diverse backgrounds in our society have expressed interest in seeing the NDC choose a younger running mate. In it all, let us be careful not to dent the hard-won reputation of the good Professor, whose calm nature is very assuring and disarming.

The decision is ultimately John Mahama’s but trust me, people in his circle have been playing all manner of games to shift any future blame to the party and especially you the Council of Elders. We the foot soldiers demand you see through the veil and avoid the traps. Finally, whatever names are submitted to you, please demand a thorough intelligence report to ensure your reputations are not sacrificed.

My elders, please be reminded that John Mahama was a beneficiary of wise decisions by Professor Mills, so he cannot act in a manner inconsistent with the strategy that paved his way to the presidency. Let’s not make the vice presidency a stepping stone into political oblivion. This requires that the decision for a running mate must be guided first and foremost by a deliberate succession strategy. In effect, the decision is for John Mahama to choose who he can best work with, as much as, it is about the state in which he wishes to leave our party when he completes his tenure in office.

Please forgive a poor ordinary foot soldier for trying to counsel a whole council of elders, but I write this piece for two reasons. First to save the integrity of our Council of Elders as well as the party, and second to call out the faceless people who think they can hide behind the media to throw dust into the eyes of the unsuspecting public. It is not everyone in the public that is unsuspecting, some of us are quite alive to all the scheming and machinations. We shall speak openly if pushed to the wall.

But be rest assured that I shall return in the coming days.

*The Worried NDC Foot Soldier*