The Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo, Alban Bagin has cast doubts on John Mahama’s chances of winning the National Democratic Congress’ primaries to lead the party in the 2020 general elections.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah, Mr. Bagbin, in a response to a question about his personal chances against the man who is yet to declare his intentions to run in the 2020 polls said, the former president’s chances are slim.
“We are now going to go out there with our messages and we will give the good people of our party as to which personality and which message they prefer and I believe that by the end of the day, I don’t see His Excellency the former president [Mahama] winning. I don’t see it,” he said.
The NDC is rebooting for the 2020 elections. A disgracing defeat to three-time candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2016 presidential elections has taken the party by storm and it hopes to recover its loss in 2020.
But the question is who will that be and if the party will give former president John Mahama another chance to lead the party.
The former president is yet to declare his intentions, but that hasn’t stopped other party members from doing so.
Current Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin; former Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Prof Joshua Alabi and former Trades Minister, Dr Ekoww Spio Garbrah are leading the pack of those who have declared their intentions to lead the opposition party.
The rest are former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah and former; MP for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasa Namoale and Stephen Atubiga.
According to Mr Bagbin, former president Mahama did an incredible job and had everyone’s support doing that, but may have to take a step back for a fresh face to take over.
He said although a survey conducted by the University of Ghana’s Political Science Department shows that the former president has a high approval rating, he foresees that figure will go down before the party's primaries which will lead to another defeat for him.
“We were under him, he was the first gentleman, so he had all of us supporting him 100 percent, so if that support has now reduced to 58 percent, which means that 58 percent of us are now supporting him, that is good news for us [the aspirants].
“It means as we go along, that will still be ebbing away and it is most likely that by the time we get to the national primaries, it would have reduced to something below...I see myself as the winner.”
He noted that the low turnout during election 2016 in areas seen as the party's stronghold was not a good sign for the party.
That for him, was an outright rejection of former president Mahama, not only by the electorate but also the party.
"Look at the turnout in Volta Region; the lowest ever...Upper West, Northern, Brong Ahafo Regions, these are sometimes very supportive of the NDC anytime we did something good."
Mr Bagbi, however,r said in case president Mahama wins, “we will have to go together and I will give him 100 percent of my support but I don’t see him winning at the end of the day.”