Confusion has rocked Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) over the appropriateness of endorsing former President John Dramani Mahama to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 elections.
The differences followed the collection of signatures of Minority MPs to support the MPs for John Mahama (JM) 2020 campaign.
A total of 94 out of the 106 Minority MPs are said to have appended their signatures to the campaign even though the number of signatories is being contested.
While one group felt that choosing former President Mahama was an exercise of their right of choice, the other side said the move was an imposition on Minority members since they all had their preferences among the flagbearer aspirants.
There was also a contestation as to whether the members were put in the know as to what they were signing for.
This was a view advanced by the MP for Yunyoo Constituency in the Northern Region, Mr Joseph Bipoba Naabu, who had reportedly indicated that, “JM boys perpetuated fraud on me…I was very furious because they deceived me into signing something I don’t believe in. I have endorsed Alban Bagbin and I believe he is the right person to lead the NDC in 2020”.
According to him, when the list was being passed on the floor of the house for signatures, he thought it was for attendance and not for the endorsement of the candidature of former President Mahama.
Mr Naabu said it was later that the MP for Yapei/Kusawgu and former Deputy Minister of Power, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, and others came to his office and told him the paper he signed was an endorsement of MPsforJM2020 campaign.
Why the signatures
But Mr Naabu’s position was fiercely contested by the MP for Builsa South and former Presidential staffer, Dr Clement Apaak, who indicated that Mr Naabu had not appended his signature to the list.
“Joseph Naabu is not a signatory”, Dr Apaak told the Daily Graphic.
Likewise, he said, the MP for Keta, Mr Richard Quashiga, saw the list but he did not sign.
Dr Apaak said the grass roots were yearning for JM to lead the NDC to victory in the 2020 election.
He said the people felt that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had told lies about JM despite his massive infrastructure development and growth of the economy.
Besides, he said, the people were disappointed in the performance of the NPP government.
Therefore, Dr Apaak said the Minority MPs were only giving their endorsement to JM based on the cravings of their respective constituents.
He said the decision of the Minority MPs was not a slight on the other contenders since they all had their competencies.
Dr Apaak said the Minority MPs had even created an account for monthly contribution towards supporting the JMfor2020 campaign.
Mr Quashiga told the Daily Graphic that he did not subscribe to the en bloc decision by MPs to support one candidate.
He said once it was an election, all the contestants should be allowed to contest on their own merit without any wholesome endorsement by MPs.
Besides, Mr Quashiga said the bottom-top approach should rather be promoted where the grass roots of the party would be encouraged to support their preferred candidates instead of those at the top taking the decision for them.
“People who want to lead the party should go and interact with the grass roots”, he said.
Mr Quashiga questioned the genuineness of the 94 figure as the number of Minority MPs who had signed the list.
He said as of last Thursday when the list was given to him, he realised that only six out of the 25 MPs from the Volta Region had signed.
Although, he could not tell the total number of MPs who had signed then, he expressed doubt that it was that huge.
Mr Quashiga, therefore, challenged those leading the campaign to make public the names of the signatories to clarify the issue.