The Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper and celebrated Ghanaian pollster, Ben Ephson, has warned that NDC’s likely flagbearer for the 2024 elections, John Dramani Mahama, must remain neutral in the upcoming titanic battle for the party’s chairmanship.
According to him, Mahama’s conduct in the Chairmanship race is likely to have a strong impact on how united the party remains ahead of the 2024 elections.
“I think that for the party’s own future towards 2024, Mahama will have to be as neutral as possible,” Ephson said on Metro TV.
Longtime party General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has revealed he will no longer stand for General Secretary and intends to run for party Chairman.
Incumbent Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has welcomed the challenge and said he will easily retain his seat.
Reacting to the race, Ephson said if the former President shows a preference for a candidate and he doesn’t win, that would put a strain on his relationship with the new chairman and hence disrupt the party’s unity of purpose.
“The party’s performance in 2024 will depend on two main things. How whoever is the flagbearer conducts himself because if John Mahama is the flagbearer for example and he supports ‘A’ and ‘A’ does not win, you can be sure the relationship between Mahama and the person he doesn’t support will not be cordial.” he said.
According to him, the NDC has two brilliant candidates for the position of National Chairman because both of the two candidates involved have held important positions nationally, formerly as MPs and top party executives.
“You will need to have a chairman who would be respected across board. You need to have a Chairman who inspires confidence in the grassroots and for the two of them, the nature of their positions, Asiedu Nketia has been General Secretary. He has worked at the various levels in the party. He used to be a former Member of Parliament. The same with Ofosu Ampofo – former Member of Parliament, National Chairman. So these two come in with credibility and longevity in the party’s history,” he continued.
Ephson concluded that whilst Mahama might have his preferred candidate, he has to show his support privately and not publicly.
“Even if you are going to support someone you have to do it discreetly because these are leading members with big stature in the party. So the party’s unity and coherence towards 2024 will be how the flagbearer or how the party hierarchy is non-partisan in terms of these two leading members,” he emphasized.
The NDC will elect their national executives on December 17th, 2022.