Being in political opposition is one hell of a time. More so, when the party least expected that status of opposition. That’s exactly the situation in which the NDC finds itself. Not many had envisaged the NDC to lose the elections of 2016 as a result of massive infrastructural development embarked upon by the government under the leadership of his Excellency John Dramani Mahama coupled with an incumbency advantage. But as fate would have it, NDC lost by an unprecedented margin never witnessed by any incumbent Government. That massive loss in both the presidential as well as the number of parliamentary seats brought to the fore the need for the party to do some deep introspection to position itself strategically going into the 2020 elections.

It is obvious that winning any election depends on the suitability and popularity of the political brands involved. In this case, the party as the mother brand and the presidential candidate as the individual brand. The NDC as a political brand has been able toentrench itself across the length and breadth of the country. In Ghana politics, the NDC is a popular brand in every nook and cranny of country. This is evident from the electoral performance of the party in all the seven general elections since 1992. Notwithstanding the popularity of the party as a brand, thecandidates who run on the ticket of the brand need to possess some other attributes that would complement the party brand in order to beat other parties and their candidates in any election.  In the painful defeat of 2016, His Excellency John Mahamadiscounted these attributes largely as a result of his inability to take prompt, timely and decisive decisions. This resulted in despair and despondency within the rank and file of the party and by extension amongst the generality of the Ghanaian people. This state of despair and despondency negatively manifested itself in the outcome of the 20`6 elections when scores of party faithful failed to turn out to vote thereby affecting fortune of the party.

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As the party braces itself for the 2020 elections, a candidate needs to be elected to bear the flag. This is already witnessing some jostling by potential candidates who are trying to endear themselves to the stakeholders for a possible selection ascandidates. Notable personalities such as Prof Joshua Alabi, Mr.Sylvester Mensah, Mr. Stephen Atubiga, and Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin have so far openly and publicly declared their intentions to contest for the Presidential slot of the party. His Excellency former president John Mahama, in his usual indecisive manner, has been doggy, giving the impression that the timing is not right yet whiles campaigning openly but claiming that some pressure is being put on him to make a declaration too.

It is important to state quite clearly that as a mass and Democratic Party, every qualified party member has the right to express an interest in leading the party. And I have no doubt that most of these people are honorable people whose credentials suffice for them to lead the party as presidential Candidates. However, considering the enormity of the task of winning back power after just four years, it is important to select a candidate who has that extra urge over all the others as well as the all-round attributes that would  brighten the chances of the party with an assured winning formula. The Party needs a candidate whose popularity and likability transcends every facet of the Ghanaian society, a candidate who has a proven and unblemished record of achievement, a candidate whose accumulated experience in Ghanaian politics is un-paralleledand never in doubt. The party needs a face that resonates with the youth and student population of the Ghanaian society arising from the close contact and interaction established over the years, a candidate whose leadership inspires hope and confidence in his followers. Leadership skills set, driven by wise and timely decision-making based on honesty and forthrightness. Such a leader would attract the requisite resources both financial and material for the effective and efficient running of the party machinery.

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Having keenly observed the lead-up to the impending presidential primaries of the party as regards the candidates that have so far declared their candidature, the Rt. Hon Alban S.K Bagbin stands tall as he best fits the attributes needed to propel the party to victory in 2020.  As the longest serving Member of Parliament not just of the 4th Republican Parliament, but in the history of Gold Coast and Ghana, he has served as Minority for eight continuous years. In that position of minority leader, he traversed the entire country, revamping, inaugurating and resourcing the Tertiary, Youth and Women wings of the party. This motivated and charged this core segment of the party to work tirelessly for the electoral victory of 2008. Moreover, his regular and frequent dissenting voice against the harsh, cruel and insensitive policies of the New Patriotic Party government of President J.A Kufuor was so characteristic that it caught the attention of the masses of the Ghanaian people. This has made his name a household and a popular one.

In his role as a parliamentarian, Alban Bagbin’s commitment to developing the human-resource potential of all manner of persons especially students is un-paralleled and he has received rave reviews in high magnitudes. This commitment transcends constituency, regional or political considerations. He freely avails his help and support devoid of any of these inconsequential considerations. This is an attribute that has endeared him to people across the remotest of towns and villages in Ghana. It is the mark of a leader ready to serve and to lead. An Alban Bagbin ticket offers a renewed sense of hope and belongingness to the NDC amongst both the old and young party members. As presidential candidate Alban Bagbin would afford the ordinary party faithful a high stake in the affairs of the party arising from all-inclusiveness which would build a sense of unity and oneness of purpose. This approach would undoubtedly deliver victory for the party at the polls in 2020.

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The NDC cannot afford to overlook this passionate and timely call by Alban Bagbin to the party to take the members to the Promised Land in 2020. This call is predicated on the proven selfless, sacrificial and dedicated leadership that Hon Alban Bagbin has offered to the party over the years. His unblemished public service record is a testament to this. Surely, with him the NDC would be smiling all the way to the Flagstaff House in 2021.




By; Richard Ofori Mensah



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