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TWISTS IN THE BA AGENDA: “FLIM-FLAM” ASIEDU NKETIAH STEPS UP HIS LOBBYING TO BE MAHAMA’S RUNNING MATE

Politics

The Daily Statesman has uncovered what actually motivated Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the general secretary of the National Democratic Congress, to begin his lobbying to be selected as running mate for the party in the 2020 general elections.

The Daily Statesman has uncovered what actually motivated Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the general secretary of the National Democratic Congress, to begin his lobbying to be selected as running mate for the party in the 2020 general elections.

Mr Asiedu Nketiah is said to have intensified his lobbying, desperately seeking to get certain NDC powerbrokers to support his bid.

He is now heard almost every day on the radio, touting his “rich political credentials” and claiming that no candidate needs any “specific technical competence” to fit the position of a running mate or vice-president.

Alex Mould, a former chief executive officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, who is also said to be eyeing the running mate slot, does not share this opinion.

Lordina’s BA agenda

According to our highly placed sources in the NDC, Asiedu Nketiah’s interest and lobbying started when the former First Lady Lordina Mahama began “to push a BA [Brong-Ahafo] agenda and wanted to get [her] husband to consider her favourite, Eric Opoku, as the running mate”.

Among those pushing this agenda strongly is said to be Alhaji Collins Dauda, the MP for Asutifi South, currently under fire for inciting Northerners against the governing NPP.

Mr Opoku is the MP for Asunafo South in the Ahafo Region and is the ranking member on Parliament’s food, agriculture and cocoa affairs committee.

A source in the NDC said: “All the noise Eric Opoku was making on radio concerning cocoa politics was to test his popularity and to galvanise support for his bid.”

“I’m better”

According to our sources, having realised that the “BA agenda” was being pushed, Asiedu Nketiah “then stepped forward to lobby for the running mate, claiming that if the running mate should come from BA, then he is a better choice than Eric Opoku. And Nketiah has since intensified his lobbying.”

The NDC general secretary has openly said he will be happy to partner the party’s flagbearer if he is chosen as the running mate.

“I would gladly accept the offer if it comes,” he said in a radio interview.

According to him, what matters most is the quality of leadership a candidate can offer, rather than knowledge of a specific field, in selecting a running mate ‒ the person who eventually becomes Vice-President.

“[Yaw] Osafo-Maafo, who comes across as one of our best Finance Ministers, is an engineer. So for people to narrowly think you have to be an expert in a particular field before you can perform … is wrong,” he argued.

Dented reputation

Meanwhile, members of certain groups affiliated to the NDC have already raised strong objections to any move to consider the party’s general secretary as running mate.

First was the Action Movement, whose members insist that Mr Asiedu Nketiah is not qualified because he has no tangible ideas, and lacks the requisite leadership skills to unify the NDC.

A press release signed by James Agbey, leader of the group, said: “Action Movement wants to put on record that Asiedu Nketia [sic] is not qualified for the position of presidential running mate on the ticket of the NDC. The man simply lacks the leadership qualities for unification and he’s bankrupt of ideas.”

According to the group, Mr Asiedu Nketiah, popularly known as General Mosquito, also has “a dented reputation” and is noted for his vile, vicious and derogatory comments in the media.

“We want the salt of the earth type of people to lead the party. Asiedu Nketia is definitely not one of such people. He is reputed for so many vile, vicious and derogatory commentary in our body politics [sic].

“Such a flimflam confidence man with zero moral standing must not be allowed to even dream of ascending the high office of Vice-President,” the statement said.

Greedy

Meanwhile, another group calling itself Concerned Youth of Brong-Ahafo says Mr Asiedu Nketiah’s decision to lobby for the running mate is “motivated by greed”.

The group also believes that his mannerisms make him unfit for the position.

“Does Asiedu Nketiah think that being a running mate is about wearing ladies’ coat, cracking jokes and embarrassing Ghana [on] the international scene?” the group questioned, in a statement signed by its chairman, Faisal Ibn.

In the picture

Alex Mould, the former GNPC chief executive officer, is also intent on being selected as running mate.

He has said that anybody to be considered for the position needs to have strong leadership qualities as well as a strong grasp of the economy.

Other names being mooted include Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, a former attorney general, Kwesi Ahwoi, a former minister of agriculture, Dr Johnson Asiama, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, Julius Debrah, a former chief of staff, Hannah Tetteh, a former foreign affairs minister, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former education minister, and Dr Kwesi Botchwey, a former finance minister.

None able?

The Daily Statesman understands that maybe none of these names will emerge the number-two candidate.

The running mate will be announced before the end of this year. We are told that the person will have links in two regions, including Ashanti.

Who will wear the crown? Stay tuned.