President John Dramani Mahama has been advised to replace Vice President Amissah-Arthur with a more youthful person as his running mate for the 2016 general elections.
The Forum for Youth Empowerment, a pressure group align to the governing party, said it is the expectation of the grassroots that Mahama nominates a running mate who is marketable enough to secure victory for the NDC in 2020.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Klenam Agbliza Kafui, the group said NDC stayed in opposition for eight years between 2000 and 2008 due to the “infamous Swedru Declaration” where former president Rawlings imposed the late Atta Mills on the party.
“To our leadership, do not take for granted the expectation of the grassroots to have a progressively younger Vice-Presidential running mate for 2016…
“We must learn from our painful history and not repeat same with the candidature of Vice- President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur,” the statement warned.
The ability of the NDC to govern beyond 2020 squarely defends on President Mahama, it said.
“To our leader and president, John D. Mahama, only you can hand over power to the NPP and/or deny them power beyond 2016. The decision is in your hands!!!…
“For anyone to suggest that the concerns and expectation of the grassroots should not be considered in determining who becomes our running mate is either naïve or politically irresponsible.”
Below is the full statement
REFORM FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
PRESIDENT JOHN .D. MAHAMA SHOULD IGNORE THE PARTY ELITES…AND LISTEN TO THE GRASSROOTS IN CHOOSING THE VICE-PRESIDENTIAL RUNNING MATE
Admittedly who the Vice-Presidential running mate in 2016 would be is – ultimately the prerogative of the President John D. Mahama (candidate of the NDC).
But when that prerogative is inextricably linked to the president’s own legacy and the destiny of the NDC as a political party – then that prerogative should be guided and exercised in wisdom and knowledge in serving that enduring legacy and fulfilling the political destiny of the party.
To this, the rank-and-file unlike the elites in the party are very much concern about who partners candidate John D. Mahama for the 2016 elections. This must not be lost on anyone in the party.
Therefore, the decision as to who partner’s candidate John D. Mahama in 2016 should be a matter of concern to any loyal NDC member. No issue is more important in the party today than that as we prepare towards our internal primaries across the country.
We urge president Mahama not to be politically selfish as former president John Agyekum Kufuor was in putting his interest far and above that of his political party. Today former president Kufuor’s legacy is largely damaged with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in opposition under the divisive and unfit leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo. The NPP presently is in disastrous political and electoral state. And the NPP as a political party is far from convincing to assume power any time soon.
To our leadership, do not take for granted the expectation of the grassroots to have a progressively younger Vice-Presidential running mate for 2016. We should be mindful of the party’s history. It took the NDC Party eight solid years in opposition to recover from the infamous “SWEDRU DECLARATION”. This was because the expectation of the grassroots was ignored and betrayed. We must learn from our painful history and not repeat same with the candidature of Vice- President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur.
It took former president J.E.A. Mills years to adapt fully to the social democratic spirit of the NDC Party, to earn the grassroots acceptance, also for his candidature to be shaped by favourable circumstances and to be accepted by the generality of Ghanaians. We cannot risk same with the Vice-President Amissah Arthur.
To our leader and president, John D. Mahama, only you can hand over power to the NPP and/or deny them power beyond 2016. The decision is in your hands!!!
In our expectation for change – we submit forcefully that over twenty years, we the rank-and-file have managed and organized the party at the grassroots; mobilize the support base of the party at every major elections; won four (4) out of six (6) major elections in the fourth republic; transformed the party not only into an electoral winning machine but also into a party of choice for the nation’s aspirational/middle class, teeming youth and the older generation.
Today courtesy our electoral reform, the party’s grassroots has assumed position of a greater responsibility for the political future of the NDC Government/Party. In determining not only who leads the party but also influencing in the future the social and economic policies of the party.
For anyone to suggest that the concerns and expectation of the grassroots should not be considered in determining who becomes our running mate is either naïve or politically irresponsible.
We love Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur but we love the NDC more.
Long live the NDC!!!
Klenam Agbliza Kafui