NDC/JM Running Mate Puzzle: Consider The Future


The National Democratic Congress has been a formidable party since its formation days to date. It came at a time Ghana needed it the most. The 1979 and the 1981 military interventions were very timely for the survival of the State. Looking back at what transpired at the period which necessitated the Revolution, the story today is far worse and requires an urgent ‘democratic revolution’. The NDC is the best solution for Ghana, today!

The party and its flagbearer will be expected to make significant and strategic decisions that will impact its electoral fortunes not only in 2024, but also in 2028. Even though the outcome of the 2024 elections has not yet been determined, the NDC shall make a suicidal mistake if it ever embraces any thought of going into the 2028 General Elections with a ‘Blank sheet’. Therefore, any politically suicidal idea or counsel being considered, especially in the selection of a running mate must be discarded immediately!

The NPP, knowing very well that defeat is staring at them in 2024, is seriously targeting the 2028 elections because President John Mahama has only one term, and they are hoping that a “weak” running mate will be selected by the NDC for the 2024 elections so that they can target 2028 with their obvious youthful and vibrant Presidential Candidate in 2028. This is one of the major reasons the party, in its current state, needs a strategic succession plan to enable her win elections from 2024 to 2028, and from 2028 to 2036 and beyond. All these depend on the Vice Presidential candidate the party chooses to partner H.E. John Dramani Mahama for the 2024 general elections.

There are whispers in the air that powers that be are considering reselecting Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman, the 2020 running mate for President John Mahama as running mate for the 2024 elections. If this is true, the party and its flagbearer must reconsider this decision and put forward a new person who embodies the general expectations and aspirations of party members and Ghanaians for both 2024 and 2028. The attributes of charisma, political vibrancy, strategic positioning, youthfulness, blended with grassroots mobilization skills are important qualities that must be taken into consideration before making this significant selection. The new running mate must be someone who understands the Social Democratic Philosophy of the party. He/she must be resourceful and supportive of party activities to enable him or her organize effectively for a resounding victory.

Prof Nana Jane is a great academic and a resource to the party but not fit as running mate for 2024. Current trends make her choice as a running mate very suicidal for the future chances of the party after the party’s 2024 victory. For the party’s strategic succession after JM 2025-2028 administration, she is not the ideal running mate for the NDC.

Historical antecedents

The fourth Republic is replete with several political experiences and nuances. The over 30-year experiment of the Fourth Republic has taught many political watchers several lessons. The choices of Presidential Candidates and their choices of running mates have come with positive and negative outcomes but the strategic choices win the day.

This is not the first time the NDC has changed running mates for strategic forward movement and victories. Jerry John Rawlings changed Ackaah with Atta Mills in 1996. Atta Mills chose Martin Amidu in 2000 and changed him for Muhammad Mumuni in 2004 with brighter chances of victory. He strategically changed Mumuni for John Mahama in 2008 and that won the party that historic election. For strategic reasons, the party must have a different running mate for 2024 that shall be her projection for 2028.

The 2020 NDCs elections directorate did not sleep on duty; from ballot printing and ballot management where a dedicated team worked day and night to expose all loopholes in ballot paper theft; to the training of agent’s, vigilance at the polling stations, and a host of other’s. The NDC almost won the elections, but for the internal collation breakdown.

The future of the NDC

2024 Elections is very crucial for the NDC and her survival as a progressive party for the nation Ghana. All statistics point to the fact that the 2024 elections is for the NDC to win. Hard work, vigilance, and good decisions are required of every NDC member and sympathizer to win the elections at the polling stations.

The main point is, do we gamble with our victory by winning for only 4 years and slip power to the NPP as a result of short-vision and ill-preparedness for continuous victory after 2024-2028???
Who are the selfish individuals who want the party to start afresh after the 4 years (second term) of President John Dramani Mahama? Do they understand their selfish position and its effect on the party’s future? Where from this suicidal decision to keep her as running mate, when we have the opportunity as a party to put a future face forward? The party is a moving vehicle, when you get to your destination, you alight for other’s to continue the journey; you do not crush the vehicle after enjoying the journey.

The NPP is currently training and exposing 10 Candidates of which 5 shall be the face of their party in 2028 and beyond. Out of the 5, 3 are sure to strike back as future candidates well marketed for 2028. Any new flag bearer, other than a trained Vice President the NDC brings in 2028 shall be the Party’s Waterloo if care is not taken.
Mind you and take note that power can change hands in 4 years. There are several examples to this claim; the 2004 elections and the 2020 elections are good examples. Another can be cited in the case of the 2012 general elections between H.E. John Dramani Mahama and H.E. Nana Akufo Addo.

It is therefore in the interest of the NDC as a party of conscience, to have a Vice President who would have the operational work of the administration between 2025-2028 to market himself/herself enough to face any of the well marketed 3 on the other side of the political divide.
The NDC cannot use friendliness and emotional blackmail to settle on Madam Jane, who may not lead the party in 2028, as against the bigger interest of the Party’s base. There are good positions our mother can occupy in both party and government, to continue to serve as the cherished resource for the young and up-coming, especially the professionals within the party.

The choice of a new running mate is a progressive and strategic call for the interest of the future of the party and country. The Party needs to save Ghana from these tribal bigots stealing everything they can lay hands on; they could steal even the future resources of the younger generation. The NDC today must serve as the country’s buffer for good, progressive, and socialist-inclined government. A party whose policies and achievements resonate with the suffering masses of Ghana and Africa. At this crucial stage of the party, no individual passions and interests outweighs the progressive interest of the party and the next NDC government. The NDC is notably different from the NPP and her next administration must prove this point visibly.

The NDC is not made up of thieves, corrupt-minded interests, and nation wreckers; the party is noted for its nation building and developmental interests; her service to humanity and country is an open book; her moderate-in-leadership attribute is inherent, and her readiness to lift-up the poor from abject poverty and to accept all tribes as one, making Ghana a united country is ultimate.

Anyone who truly loves the future of the party and Ghana would opt for ‘continuity’ in the NDCs successive victories, in order to save Ghana from the 8-year mess of the NPP. The NDC must continue to be in power and by virtue of the Party’s progressive policies and projects would continue to deliver, and as a result the erroneous perception that the two major political parties are the same shall be erased forever.

In conclusion, NDC must first win 2024 but it shall be politically suicidal for the NDC to present a completely new slate for Elections 2028. It is dangerously disastrous for such a gamble. Any deep political watcher and practitioner shall never advocate for the party to take that risky step.

Long Live Ghana!
Long Live the NDC!

Lawrence Lamptey
(The Scientific Socialist)


Source: Ghana/Kasapaonline.com/102.5FM