We are exactly 13 days into the crucial NDC Parliamentary and Presidential primaries. The NDC’s delegates across the country who would be voting in two weeks would give Ghanaians an inkling into the kind of players we would assemble in parliament and government in 2025 if we win the national elections. The primaries on 13th May would be an indicator of how serious we are about the 2024 general elections.
It’s therefore imperative to reflect and choose wisely. We, (myself included) the delegates have a duty to choose experience over experiment; to choose competent people over people who also want to be MPs and President for the sake of being MPs and President. Delegates would have to choose patriots over traitors who have little or no interest in the national agenda.
This is a make-or-break election for our great party as we ready ourselves for the 2024 general election. If the MPs we present are ineffective, incompetent and treacherous, our party and country would suffer a great deficit in parliament and government. And if the flag bearer we choose is someone who should be spending more time with his grandchildren than running for public office, then our party would suffer. Anything other than a 95 per cent endorsement of John Mahama as Presidential Candidate would make us lose confidence in the eyes of undecided Ghanaian voters who are looking up to the NDC to save our country.
THE NEED FOR SERIOUS CANDIDATES:
We need serious candidates. In 2016 when I was our party’s candidate, we had the full complement of our pink sheets by 9 pm on 7th December 2016. These included pink sheets from overseas communities in my constituency. Our heroic polling agents had to make the arduous journey from the overseas communities through mangroves, then a canoe ride and subsequently a motorbike ride from Dalun to my constituency residence in Kumbungu which was converted to a campaign centre where I was personally involved in collating results.
That is how serious we were about the election. Meanwhile, in the 2020 election, It took the party more than two weeks to assemble all the pink sheets from Kumbungu. That’s what happens when you put up parliamentary candidates who are incompetent and don’t know what is required of them.
I had taken the pain in 2016 to train and retrain our party polling agents, selecting only the very best. I had flown in Ahmed Gedel, one of our election experts from Accra to conduct the first training of my agents; I brought in some Electoral Commission staff from Accra for the second training and screening and finally brought in my uncle Dr. Samed Muntaka from Asawasi constituency to conduct the third and final training and screening. Dr Samed is one of our party’s election experts in the Ashanti Region who has a fine eye for detail and has also seen through all the NPP trickery, especially in the Asawasi constituency.
These were trainers with all the knowledge and experience about elections. We knew what we were about. We take national elections seriously. Others don’t. And that’s one of the reasons the NPP performed so well in Kumbungu while our candidate messed up.
Additionally, delegates of our party have a duty to elect only popular candidates whose candidacy would excite the base of the NDC and floating voters alike. Ras Mubarak’s candidacy would result in an astronomical increase in votes for the NDC in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.
We did it in Ablekuma North in 2012 and in Kumbungu in 2016. My record of votes for the NDC in Ablekuma North is still the highest since 2012. We know what it takes to get the votes out. If John Dramani Mahama is on the ballot, the votes the NDC would get would be fewer if Dr Kwabena Duffuor is on the ballot under the exact same conditions. What makes the difference is the likability of each candidate. Ras Mubarak’s public ratings amongst supporters, sympathizers of NDC and floating voters in Kumbungu and across the country are well above any candidate from Kumbungu- past or present.
I wish to finally reiterate the fact that but for the candidacy of Ras Mubarak in 2016, the Kumbungu seat would have been completely lost. It was the negligence of others, who today are either canvassing for some other candidate or their child, that resulted in the CPP winning the Kumbungu seat in a 2013 by-election while the NDC was in government. It was one of the biggest electoral embarrassments in our history. They simply threw the seat away. And that is an incontestable fact. We can’t let them take us backward. We need power in 2024. To get power we need people or candidates who can get us the votes. This is not rocket science.
The youth in Kumbungu, who constitute majority of the population, know the kind of future they want. They DO NOT want an MP who isn’t embarrassed about giving students in tertiary institutions three hundred and fifty cedis as student support; they don’t want an obscure and ineffective MP who’s hiding in the corner in parliament and not making meaningful contributions to the national discourse.
The youth in Kumbungu want an MP who can meaningfully help them with their education and or jobs and development. They want an MP who’s respected across the political divide, someone whose rise on the floor of parliament draws the attention of the entire house. Kumbungu is too great a constituency for its representative to be elected to parliament only to become a “boy boy” to other constituency MPs.
The women know what they want – they want an inspiring figure who would support them and inspire their children, and the senior citizens know who they want as their representative in Parliament – they want someone who would stand up for them on issues that matter to them the most. They are interested in healthcare, shelter and jobs for their children and grandchildren. And they all see Ras Mubarak as the one amongst the aspirants who can best deliver on their vision of a better tomorrow.
The enormity of work we would be faced with from 2025 requires us to send to parliament and the presidency representatives who would hit the ground running. Ras Mubarak and John Mahama have the experience. We can’t afford to let our party and country down.
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