According to him, the time has come for the party to rebrand and build on its shortfalls in 2016 by electing a flagbearer, who has a better chance of leading the party to win the 2020 election rather than “somebody who is a failure somewhere else.”
He, therefore, called on NDC loyalties to back the candidature of Professor Joshua Alabi, who he said has the character to rebuild the party and set it on course to win the 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Mahama is gradually becoming unpopular in the NDC since losing the 2016 election, as some key figures in the party have washed their hands of him.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings, the founder of the party, has on many occasions stressed the need to choose a new presidential candidate to lead the party in the 2020 election.
He suggested that Mr. Mahama has been given an unfair advantage.
Former Finance Minister, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, who led a committee to investigate the cause of the NDC’s humiliating defeat in the 2016 elections, stated that integrity defects in the appointments of party executives and a general absence of ethical politics contributed to the party’s defeat.
Mr. Gbeho, who initially avoided the subject of the leadership of the NDC, has now taken a stance by supporting one of the opponents of former president.
Addressing NDC faithful at a meeting in Ashaiman, Mr. Gbeho suggested that Mr. Mahama and those who worked with him in the lead to the 2016 election ought to step aside for a new regime to take over.
“The reality now is that we are rebranding everything. In all democracies around the world when you go to an election and you lose as badly as we did, the leadership steps aside not because you want to sack people, but it gives the party an opportunity to rebrand itself to look at its faults and change its ways and that is what we are doing now,” the former Anlo MP admonished.
He said the party would make a big mistake if it relies solely on appearance and votes for Mr. Mahama again for the next election, saying it would be wrong to just follow somebody because he looks good.
“So let us not just follow somebody because he looks good. Vote for somebody who has proven to us that he runs things; he can make success for Ghana. If we choose amongst ourselves to look some other way to go and follow somebody who hasn’t proven himself or somebody, who is a failure somewhere else then we will have ourselves to blame,” Mr. Gbeho warned.
Alabi For 2020
Mr. Gbeho urged the party faithful to rally behind Prof. Joshua Alabi who has an enviable track-record which cannot be ignored.
“My brother (Hon Ken Dzirasah) and I sat down one afternoon by the riverside in Sogakope. We thought a lot about our party. We thought a lot about the younger generation. And we asked ourselves who can lead us now? After consultations, we agreed that our best hope was in no other person than Professor Joshua Alabi,” he asserted.
He told them that he and others have joined forces with Joshua Alabi because they think that is where the salvation of this country is going to come from.
“He has served in many capacities, minister, regional chairman, chairman of boards, and so forth. And he is in contact with people who know Ghana well abroad and who would cherish the opportunity to work with us on the Socialist International level,” he stressed.
“We are in this thing to win. We are not in this thing to be playing second fiddle to any other party, especially the NPP. So we have come to you, asking you to join us support Prof Joshua Alabi and we will not live to regret it,” Mr. Gbeho added.
Meanwhile, the camp of Prof. Joshua Alabi has challenged the ‘Mahama boys’ to release a list of the 94 NDC MPs, who purportedly endorsed the candidature of the former president.
The contest for the flagbearership position of the main opposition party is heating up, and the camp of the former president, in a bid to boost his chances, has claimed that the majority of the NDC MPs have given Mr. Mahama the green light.
It has turned out that those who actually signed the document were coerced into doing so on the back of a promise for future ministerial positions while others were cunningly misled to sign the form.
Some of the Minority MPs have disclosed that they were blackmailed to sign the document which was supposed to seek endorsement for Mahama.