Uncertainty In NDC As Mahama Keeps Final VP Choice ‘Private’ Until March 7 

Two weeks ago, intercepted information on the possible choice of a running mate for the 2024 National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Barring any Last-minute surprises, one of three names will likely emerge as John Mahama’s Vice Presidential Candidate for the 2024. 

The 2024 flagbearer of the NDC is keeping his final decision on which of three names he will submit as his running mate to the party.  

While many suspect he may maintain his 2020 running mate, insiders say there could be a shock.

The 2024 Flagbearer has notified the party of his final decision without a name officially submitted yet leaving many in suspense. The name is expected to be submitted last minute on March 7 2024 ahead of key national leaders to deliberate on the choice. 

There is tension within the party as it still remains uncertain who will emerge as the running mate among Julius Debrah, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyeman and Kwame Awuah-Darko representing respectively the Eastern region, the Central Region and Ashanti Region. 

A statement from the party yesterday said Mahama has nominated his running mate for the 2024 presidential election. Insiders however told although the nomination has been done, no name was given. 

According to a statement issued by the General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Kwetey, the Council of Elders of the party would now meet to discuss Mahama’s choice.  It is at this meeting that the choice will be made public to the party elders. 

The party also stated that the meeting of the Council of Elders would be held on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at 11:00 am; adding that after the elders’ meeting, its National Executive Committee would also meet on the matter at 2:00 pm on the same day.   

“The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has today received a formal communication from our Presidential Candidate, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, regarding the nomination of his Running Mate in accordance with Article 45 of the NDC Constitution.”   “In response to this communication, the party is pleased to announce that a meeting of the Council of Elders will convene at 11:00 hrs on Thursday, March 07, 2024, to deliberate on this significant matter. 

Subsequently, the National Executive Committee will gather at 14:00 hrs on the same day to further consider the nomination,” part of the statement, which was dated February 27, 2024, reads. 

The 3 Names

Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang was the running mate of Mr. John Dramani Mahama in the December 2020 general election, but they failed to win the elections. 

She has been criticized for adding nothing to the ticket and losing her home region of the central region. 

Sources say she stands a higher chance of being re-named Running Mate to John Mahama again if some assurances can be made. 

Respected NDC elders such as Obed Asamoah have called for her to be changed if the NDC wants to win the next election. 

Her supporters, on the other hand, say she is learning and, given the chance again, will make amends this year.

With the current problems of the country being economic and energy, the Literature Professor has been criticized for being slow in leading conversations on these issues.

Julius Debrah, former chief of staff during the erstwhile John Mahama administration (January 2013–January 2017), is the next potential candidate of choice for the NDC ticket. He hails from the Eastern Region.

He is a close friend of John Mahama and has been lobbying associates to push him, although he publicly denies being interested. Debrah is considered competent and effective in governance and administration, with the top qualities needed in a running mate.

The astute businessman’s wide influence in the country runs deep and can appeal to a wide spectrum of voters across the country to support John Mahama’s win. 

From the Ashanti Region, Kwame Awuah-Darko’s name has come up very strongly for the second time since 2020. 

In 2020, he was said to be part of a final shortlist of names under consideration for the running mate role, but Mahama chose Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang. 

He is a businessman and a banker, the 3rd son of the late Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem I, the Nkosuohene of the Asante Juaben traditional area in the Ashanti Region. 

Kwame Awuah-Darko is a former BOST and TOR Managing Director under the erstwhile John Mahama government and is credited with its transformation.

Like Julius Debrah, he is said to be a visionary thinker from a family of rich businessmen with a history of bankrolling the NDC.

Aside from competence, his ties to the Manhyia palace as an Ashanti royal may be an advantage for the NDC to exploit.

As the NPP has indicated its intentions to pick Ashanti as its running mate, the NDC’s choice of Ashanti with links to the Eastern Region may provide a fighting chance to balance out the votes. 

It is a widely held view within the rank and file of the NDC that the choice of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman as running mate to John Dramani Mahama in 2020, failed to deliver victory for the NDC in the Central Region and the nation at large.

To this end, many faithful of the NDC believe that repeating her as the party’s running mate will add very little to the party’s ticket and may not yield any political benefits to the fortune of the NDC in the December 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Recently, the argument for a running mate to John Mahama to be chosen from the Eastern Region has dominated the political discourse in the NDC. Some NDC party faithful point out that the Eastern Region has a multi-ethnic mix, and only 50% of the region are “Akans,” who traditionally vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Others argue that since the current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who hails from the Eastern Region, will no longer be on the ballot paper, it will be strategic for the NDC to choose a running mate from the Eastern Region.

In the case of the Ashanti Region, elements in the NDC believe that it is time to take the fight for power to the stronghold of the NPP by choosing a candidate from the region.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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