Immediate past President, John Dramani Mahama is torn between acquiescing to suggestions by his immediate family not to contest the 2020 elections and pressures from members of the opposition National Democratic Congress to lead the party into the next presidential election, The aL-hAJJ can today confirm. Mr Mahama, dependable sources close to him told this paper, has been inundated with calls from admirers and the rank and file of the NDC following media reports indicating he has yielded to advice by his immediate family not to make a comeback in 2020. While the report indicated that Ex-President Mahama had reasoned with his family when they implored him to take a rest from the hurly burly of politics, our sources said “the calls coming in from senior members of the party, supporters and admirers of the old man (Mr Mahama) when the issue was first reported in the media has put him in a quandary.” “It has not been easy my brother. Though he (Mr Mahama) was not around people kept coming here to see him to rescind his decision not to contest the 2020 elections,” a close aide to Mr Mahama disclosed to The aL-hAJJ. Most activists and functionaries of the NDC believe ex-President Mahama is the ideal candidate to lead the party into the next presidential elections. National Organizer of the party, Mr Kofi Adams believes “President Mahama in today’s NDC is the best material that we have” but, was quick to add that; the decision to contest the 2020 election “will totally depend on him (Mr Mahama).” “One thing you need to realize also is that the fact that you have lost an election does not mean that your candidate was bad. We have had great candidates lose election . . . I have read in some papers quoting family sources that he is not going to stand again but I have not heard any denial from him but he has indicated to us . . . that his primary focus now is how we will rebuild our party,” he added. This paper in its last edition reported that the family of Mr John Mahama advised him not to consider leading the now biggest opposition party into the next presidential election. The report further stated that former president Mahama has agreed. A younger brother of former President Mahama and Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, on behalf of the Mahama family recently told a select group of senior journalists that the Mahama family advised him not to contest the NDC primary to select flag bearer for the 2020 polls, adding “…and he (ex-President Mahama) agreed with us”. “John has given his all in politics to NDC and Ghana and we think it is just fair that we allow him to rest. We were very supportive and instrumental in convincing him to partner late Prof Mills, and when the time came for him to contest for President, we supported him and advised him to go for it…now we have again advised him not to make a comeback in 2020,” the CEO of Engineers and Planners noted. But since the publication, “the old man (Mr Mahama) has known no peace . . . people come here virtually crying with some of them threatening to quit the party if he does not comeback. The old man’s phone has been buzzing since,” another source told The aL-hAJJ An NDC constituency executive in Ayawaso North (name withheld) stormed The aL-hAJJ’s Mamobi office, threatening to resign from the party if Mr Mahama decides not to seek reelection. Earlier, 2016 Campaign Coordinator for the NDC and National Organizer of the party, Mr Kofi Adams warned he will stage demonstration should President Mahama refuse the consensus for him to still lead the party for the 2020 elections. “If such position is likely to cause the party’s future, is it not right that we demonstrate to save the party? I’m ready to demonstrate now,” Adams said. This was after he was reported to have said “if he (Mahama) decides not to run for elections, I will be disappointed . . . I will mobilize people against that” virtually in sync with the views of MP for Odododiodoo, Nii Lante Vanderpuije who said “we’ll force John Mahama to go.” But General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketsiah, and NDC MP for Wa West, Joseph Yieleh Chireh; have described calls for former president Mahama to lead the party into the 2020 elections as “premature and undemocratic.” Mr Asiedu Nketsiah said "we haven’t reached the stage where we will select a flag bearer for the NDC. We went into an election and lost and so we are looking into what led to our defeat in the elections and prepare ourselves for the next elections. When we are done then we will think of who leads the NDC into the next elections as flagbearer." On his part, Hon Chireh also stated “I think that since the party has gone through this troubling experience of defeat, it is only proper that we all keep our eyes open, wait for the report that has been commissioned by the party hierarchy to bring out the causes,” the MP said. Meanwhile, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has also waded into the debate, advising ex-President Mahama not to succumb to pressure by some elements of his party requesting for him to stage an immediate comeback to partisan politics. “It will be very unwise for him to make any statement now… nothing has happened yet. He should be expecting that his legacy would be attacked. If he’s not expecting that his legacy will be attacked then he’s naive. You can’t move in and out of presidency the same way to check in and out of a hotel. It’s a serious business. When I talk about defense of his legacy, I’m talking about political defense of his legacy which may include other things like legal defense and other things. And the defense he needs to make may lead to the conclusion that he needs to make another brake,” he stated. But the former President himself has been reacting to the ongoing discussions. He told a high level meeting involving him and minority MPs as well as some senior party executives that they should stop arguing about his future political ambition and rather channel their energies into reorganizing the NDC and strengthening its base. In attendance were, Mr Asiedu Nketia, NDC National Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Edward Doe Adjaho and stalwarts like Kofi Attoh among others. Stay tuned
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