It’s now been confirmed that former president John Mahama will not be contesting the presidency in 2020. A younger brother of ex-president Mahama believes it is high time the kinsman took a rest from active politics.
As the news begins to sink in, many Ghanaians have since begun asking questions as to who will be able to better organize the National Democratic Congress, (NDC) and lead them to the 2020 elections in the absence of the former president.
The party says it is at the moment looking into what led to its defeat in last year’s elections, and, hence, should not be bothered.
But many disagree, as talk already in town and the media is who is likely to take over Mr Mahama.
The former Trade and Industry Minister is believed by many to be a man with innovative ideas that put him ahead of his contemporaries.
From his days when he was Education Minister under the President Rawlings regime to when he was Communications Minister under the same regime, Dr Spio-Garbrah has been able to bring on novel ideas including his brain-child GETFUND-like intervention at the Ministry of Education.
The GETFUND which started with originally providing educational infrastructure for all schools at all levels in Ghana now provides scholarships for Ghanaian students to study abroad – several years after Dr. Spio-Garbrah left the Ministry of Education.
Dr Garbrah was Ghana’s youngest ambassador to the USA, at the age of 40, where he did a brilliant job to lift Ghana’s image. He also became the CEO of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation through a competitive process involving some 100 other candidates.
This made him the first African to occupy that seat in one hundred years. The former sports minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuije recently claimed that the 63-year-old is too old to contest the NDC flagbearer slot. Nevertheless, many believe that his age does not matter, as what is needed now is a personality who is determined to turn the party machinery around and eventually the presidency. Dr Garbrah, however, insists that he will reveal his decision as to whether to contest or not in two years.
The Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu has also been tipped to be a good presidential material capable of leading the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the next general election.
Hon Alban Bagbin had earlier described the Tamale South MP as a heavyweight champion in the Northern region, who can eventually lead the party in future elections.
Mr Iddrisu who was named the majority leader in parliament on January 7, was the employment minister under the John Mahama-led administration.
He was the minister of Communications in February 2009 after retaining his parliamentary seat in the December 2008 national elections.
Before assuming the formal appointment as Minister, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu had been the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications and also the Minority Spokesman on Communications in the previous Parliament when his party was in Opposition.
He has been involved in the preparations towards the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and participated in the Tunis Summit in 2005. He has been present at ITU, CTO and other International ICT forums.
Hon. Haruna Iddrisu holds a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and he is also a Bararister-at-law. He has been a member of the Ghana Bar Association since 2002.
Mr Tanoh, who is a cadre with the PNDC, broke away from the NDC in 2000 and formed his own party, the Reform Party on whose ticket he stood as president but failed in that election which was won by the opposition New Patriotic Party led by ex-president John Kufuor.
The Rawlings look alike went into self-imposed exile afterward, only to resurface at the 35th Anniversary of the 31st December Revolution following the defeat of the NDC.
He believes that the politics of money which had been the forefront in 2000, 2008, and 2016 elections was not ideal and hence there was the need for the party to return to the values of the NDC.
Many say the remark by Goozie Tanoh shows what may well be a struggle for leadership of the NDC party.
Born on February 7, 1956, Mr Tanoh holds the Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Master of Law degrees from the University of Ghana and North Western University Law School, Chicago, USA, respectively.
His working experiences include being a Board Member Worldspace Ghana, 1996, Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Transport and Commodity General Limited in 1993 and Executive Director, Finance and Administration of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (1989 to 1992.) Other positions he held are Director and Board Member Ecobank Ghana Limited from 1989 to 1992, Lecturer in Law University of Ghana in 1982.
The NRP presidential candidate also served as a member of the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution. He was a diplomat and member of Ghana’s delegation to the Security Council, General Assembly and the Preparatory Commission on the law of the sea, all of the United Nations from 1986 to 1989. Mr. Tanoh is married to Karen, an Accountant/Banker at Ecobank International who was born on March 13, 1957.
Hanna Tetteh who lost the Awutu Senya constituency seat in the 2016 December 7 elections to NPP’s George Andah, had played significant roles in managing the NDC’s communication strategy for some time.
She was elected a National Executive Member of the National Democratic Congress in 2005, and in 2008, she was appointed the National Communications Director of the NDC, where she replaced John Dramani Mahama who had become the Vice Presidential Candidate of the NDC partnering John Evans Atta Mills for the 2008 election.
She became the spokesperson for the government after the NDC won the 2008 elections, and she was subsequently nominated for the position of Trade and Industry where she served for four years. (February 2009 to January 2013).
During her tenure as Minister of Trade and Industry, she was also a member of the Government’s economic management team, a member of the board of the Millennium Development Authority responsible for the oversight of the implementation of the first Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in Ghana. She also served on the National Development Planning Commission and was the Chairperson of the Ghana Free Zones Board.
She was later appointed as the Communications Director for the 2012 election campaign and later served as foreign minister under the John Mahama-led administration. When President Mahama became the Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in March 2014, she became the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at the same time.
She is currently the spokesperson for the transitional team of the NDC, with her role expected to come to a close in February as the transition team of both parties brings their work to an end.
With her vast experience in politics and law, many believe she is the best choice to represent the NDC in the 2020 elections.
Note that, she will be the first woman to lead the country if she decides to contest and win.
The former MP for La Dadekotopon who could represent the NDC in next year’s election was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) under the John Mahama-led government.
With his background in finance and strategic management, Sylvester A. Mensah has made contributions to academia, lecturing at the Institute of Professional Studies and the Graduate School of the Central University, Ghana. In banking, Mr Mensah found himself heading Public Sector Banking at the Intercontinental Bank – Ghana Limited. Before that, he was a pioneering member and played a key role in the National Mobilisation Programme, where he began as District Liaison Officer and rose to the Regional Director in the capital region – Accra.
He rose to the scene in politics when he became the first Regional Youth Organiser for the Greater Accra Region of the NDC in 1992.
For over three terms, Sylvester Mensah was the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the NDC political party, until he resigned his position in September 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies. He was subsequently voted Member of Parliament for the Dade-Kotopon Constituency from 1996 to 2001.
Dr Omane Boamah had his first major political appointment when he was asked to head the Communications Ministry under the John Mahama-led government.
Prior to this, Dr Omane Boamah was assigned the responsibility of coordinating Ghana’s participation in the 2013 Africa Nations Cup Tournament in South Africa.
The astute politician successfully worked as deputy minister for the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Sports for four years under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) first term in office.
He is an alumnus of the Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary in Koforidua, Ghana and the University of Ghana Medical School, where he trained as a medical doctor.
Dr Omane Boamah was in 2014 honoured by the chiefs and people of Koforidua-Effiduase in the Eastern Region.
The honour, according to the elders, was to recognise his immense contributions to the development of the area as well as the honour he brought to Effiduase through his enviable role in public office.