by: michael eli dokosi /www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
In making the claim party functionaries point out that rival New Patriotic Party (NPP) is myopic in that regard given that a non-Akan or should I say a non Ashanti or Akyem might never be given the chance to lead the party.
History bears the NDC out as Jeremiah John Rawlings from the Volta region, John Evans Attah Mills from the Central region and incumbent president John Dramani Mahama from Northern Ghana have all led the party to victory.
But the NDC might have a situation on its hands sooner rather than later. It is pretty clear that when Mahama sought a running mate after the demise of late Mills, he wanted someone who could be reined in, one without ambition and one who would not pretend to be serving him while undermining him at the same time with hopes of also leading the party.
But in choosing the path of self-preservation, Mahama has possibly inflicted a situation on the futuristic chances of the umbrella party.
Let’s say Mahama wins the December polls, he gets to serve another 4 year term but after that the constitution bars him so then you would presume that vice Kwesi Amissah Arthur would become the overwhelming favourite to lead the NDC just as Mahama himself rose to the challenge during and after his predecessor’s death. But I fear Amissah has not done himself any favours.
In fact, he’s not advanced his case for a future leadership role in the party. At the just ended campaign launch at the newly built Cape Coast Stadium, Amissah Arthur harmed his chances with his lackluster performance when given the chance to address teeming party supporters, executives and observers alike.
His drab address lacked the electricity needed for such an occasion. To think that the dailies carried little about his speech and even fewer online news portals carried his utterance was telling.
Even Ofosu Ampofo a.k.a. Bra Sammy Photo’s admonishing that governance was not palm wine for Nana Addo to taste gained some currency.
Political baby, John Dumelo even had traction online. Haruna Iddrisu got some coverage. Bukom Banku and his buddy Ayitey Powers got decent representation in the press but poor Amissah conspired against himself to offer little for pressmen to work with.
Not all men are orators like Garvey, Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Cicero and the other greats. Evans Mills was no orator and in fact when he was thrust onto the stage by Rawlings very much to the annoyance of certain party apparatchiks, Mills largely undertook his 2000 and 2004 campaigns on the back of Rawlings and the eagle eyed populace let it be known that they were not keen to transfer power to a puppet.
So when in 2008, Mills had come into his own, he disengaged and shed the Rawlings skin to take charge of his destiny for everyone has one destiny as Don Corleone in Mario Puzo’s ‘ The Godfather’ oft said. Mills had always been a solid man being a visiting lecturer, professor, IRS boss and vice president but even he amidst failing health still had to prove deserving of the investiture of Ghanaians.
Even though he was no orator like Rawlings, he let his humour, wit, experience and religious disposition sway the populace. Being Mfantse man, the funny sound bites became memorable, his personal association with the mighty and low was noticed as was his wife’s dedication.
Mahama being a communicator understands the workings of the media, propaganda and courting public opinion to devastating effect.
Whatever any one says about the Dramani, his smile disarms and enchants. It explains why he has converted persons who say their love for him brought them to the NDC fold.
There is a sense that Mahama is humane, that he is tolerant despite the provocation. I happen to have covered the TUC and a few other protest marches against his government but despite the venom by demonstrators, things eventually get settled without violence and brute force.
While another president might have sent security commandos to disperse such massive crowds, Mahama sent Haruna Iddrisu to receive the petition and while agitated demonstrators spewed expletives, Haruna perhaps under order from JM and to his personal credit, endured the abuse before finally receiving the petition.
Protesting nurses whose postings had delayed and whose allowance had been held up eventually took selfies with JM when he assured them of rectification of the situation.
JJ had charisma and some contend the moral high ground in the early days. Kufuor had his frame and sexy eyes coupled with his calm disposition but what does Amisaah bring on the table.
Any individual ought to be identified with something. Entertainer Mzbel exudes sensuality, Bukom Banko has brash confidence, Amissah am afraid does not exude much.
Sure as an individual, he’s not done badly. Being a deputy central bank governor is great but will the NDC be comfortable with Amissah leading them to say the 2020 elections? I have my doubts for Paa is not a utility player and coaches need players who have offensive and defensive abilities.
And it is here the NDC faces a conundrum of rejecting its veep and by recent convention heir apparent to the throne.
In the professor’s time, Mahama was given the free role to stay productive. He represented Agya Atta at graduations, business luncheons, bilateral trade meetings and some reckon he was the de facto president but Amisaah has not shown any inkling even if it’s argued he’s not been given the room.
At occasions such as the Cape one, Amissah if he had it in him must have given glimpses of what was to come with a powerful speech or a credible display but all went to waste.
So who could lead the NDC after the Mahama era? Haruna Iddrisu looks good but age might hamper his chances just yet. Speaker Doe Adjaho might be cut for his house roles but no more. Bagbin’s sex liaison with his cousin has smothered any such chances.
It seems Hannah Tettey and Spio Gabrah might emerge as favourites. Hannah Tettey will surely have time for a woman aura going for her but has she served the society enough?
Has she the experience and skills for the job?
Ekow Spio Gabrah looks formidable. Thanks to one of life’s jokes, as Comminutions Minster, Mahama served under Spio as a deputy in the Rawlings regime. He now serves in Mahama’s government as Trade and Industry minister.
After Mahama his then Deputy’s era, might Spio his then boss take off where he left off?
Only time can truly tell but hey what the heck take a guess, it’s supposed to be a free world after all.