Member of Parliament for Bawku Central in the Upper East region, Mahama Ayariga has described as inexcusable, former President Mahama’s delay in choosing a running mate.
Expressing worry in the delay and the implications it might have on the party, Mr. Ayariga said former President Mahama, as a candidate of the major opposition party (NDC), should have named his running mate by now so as to market the person very well to the public.
“I honestly would think that our flagbearer should have nominated a running mate by now. He has had a lot of time, he is a candidate of a major opposition party, he was chosen long ago and so he’s had enough time to have decided on who should be his running mate.”
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Mr. Ayariga, however, revealed the former President planned to announce his running mate in the first quarter of the year but that didn’t materialise due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
He explained that “as at last year, based on engagements some of us had with him, we all thought that the first quarter of this year would have been the right time to announce a running mate. And so we were all giving him the first quarter which was supposed to be up to the end of March.”
But Mahama Ayariga believes the delay in announcing his running mate is no excuse now as elections draw closer.
According to him, using COVID-19 as an excuse to delay the announcement will make former President Mahama lose sympathy in the eyes of Ghanaians.
“I think that after a while he will lose his sympathy of COVID-19 as an excuse frankly speaking. Somewhere in March, in April, people didn’t really want to pay attention to who is going to be running mate but going forward from now people are going to be asking you what is going on,” he said.
Former President John Dramani Mahama has been under pressure to announce his running mate as the county readies for the December 7 polls. The question of who partners John Dramani Mahama as the election draws closer has been on the lips of many, with rumours and speculations going round over who is the suitable candidate for the NDC flagbearer.
Reacting to a question if the delay is as a result of the former President’s indecisiveness, Mahama Ayariga denied the assertions.
However, he agreed there is a delay and urged former President Mahama to come out with the name soon.
“I think that there has been a delay and I think that the flagbearer as soon as he can should announce the running mate because he needs a running mate to support him. The running mate should have enough time to sell himself, so we need to announce that early so we can move on. I think that at a certain point the delay is inexcusable.”