NDC has erred: This is why preparing a manifesto without a running mate is a big blunder

Pressure has been mounting on the former president and flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, to appoint his running mate for the 2020 general elections. Some high ranking members of the party have expressed worry over the undue delay of the appointment, some of which are former appointees in his first government. The former Minister for Information under his regime and the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Honorable Mahama Ayariga said on Joy News that Mahama would lose the sympathy of the people if he fails to appoint the running mate earlier. He said very soon they won’t accept the excuse of COVID-19 again.

In October 2019, the NDC led by their leader John Dramani Mahama inaugurated a Manifesto committee and tasked them to solicit for views from people, and use same to draft a social contract between the party and the electorates. The committee had Professor Kwaku Danso Boafo, who also once served as Ghana’s Ambassador to Cuba as the chairperson. Other members of the party it featured them are Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, a Deputy General Secretary, Peter Boamah Otokunor, and Dr William Ahadzie, the Rector of NDC’s Ghana Institute of Social Democracy. The others are presidential aspirants Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Hon. Augustus Goosie Tanoh, former Gender Minister Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, former Education Minister Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Hon. Alex Mould and Sam P Yalley.

The rest are Dr. Rashid Haruna, Sebastien Dery, Napoleon Kpoh, Fiifi Opoku, Benedicta Lassi, Dr Alhassan Yakubu, Michael Abbey, Mavis Ama Frimpong and Professor Asiamah.

The Chairman of the Party, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo said the work of the committee will be reviewed by veterans in the party led by Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi. These are fantastic and great achievers by all standards, no doubt about that. But this is a party that is in opposition trying to come back to power again without a living former Vice President who could assume the role as the running mate if the need arises at all. Many would have thought that a running mate would be appointed before the drafting of the manifesto. But that was not the case.

Political observers are asking whether the Vice – Presidential candidate to-be was included in drafting such an important document.

If the running mate was not part of the process, that is going to be detrimental to the political chances of the party and the success of the NDC government if they get the nod, and I explain. The ideas of the running mate should be very paramount in the manifesto. When campaigns become tight, the Presidential candidate and the vice-presidential candidate do not join the same campaign trial. They strategize and divide themselves into different regions simultaneously. This helps them to cover the country within a shorter time. When that happens, they are both supposed to champion the policies as contained in the manifesto to the electorates. So when you have a manifesto compiled without the input of the vice – presidential candidate, one could but only image what and how s/he is going to tell them.

The person may end up espousing his or her own ideas he/she believes in, and not necessarily that of the manifesto. Every running mate plays a very vital role in formulating the party’s policies. His relevance can never be overemphasized.

Vice president becomes the chairman of the economic management team. He chairs all economic Management team meetings, and his actions and inactions affect the economic growth of the country. The current vice president Dr. Bawumia, for instance, is leading a key agenda to digitize the country with so many initiatives.

The Vice president assumes the position of the president should the unfortunate happen. An example is what happened eight years ago when we lost our sitting president, H.E. JOHN EVANS FIIFI ATTA MILLS. The then Vice president John Dramani Mahama assumed office shortly after his demise as the president of the Republic of Ghana. So he had to continue with all the projects of his boss, the president.

Let us imagine an instance where he was not included in the formulating of the policy document they were working with? This is why it would be wrong if the running mate of the NDC is not appointed within the members of the Manifesto Committee.

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