Ahmed Ibrahim, the member of Parliament for Banda Constituency has recounted how Johnson Asiedu Nketiah fought off pressure from bigwigs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the party to stage an elective congress in the aftermath of Professor John Atta Mills’ death in 2012.
The deputy Minority Chief Whip recounted that the death of Professor Mills exposed a lacuna in the constitution of the NDC.
According to him whereas the 1992 constitution has clearly spelt out how the country should handle the demise of a president, there was no such provision in the NDC constitution and that the death of President Mills created a big headache for the party.
He narrated in an interview that after John Mahama had been sworn in as president, there was pressure from some interested person on the National Executive Committee for the party to go for elective congress and elect a flagbearer.
Asiedu Nketiah, who was then General Secretary of the party was against the move as he believed the party had limited time to go for congress and also prepare for the 2012 election.
As the pressure intensified, Ahmed Ibrahim says Asiedu Nketiah identified a caveat in the 1992 constitution to prevent the party from going to congress and by that having to anoint John Mahama as flagbearer of the party.
He reckons that that single act by the newly-elected chairman won the NDC the 2012 elections with John Dramani Mahama as its candidate.
“21st July 2012, God called Professor Mills. We had less than six months to the elections and the constitution states that in the absence of the president, the vice takes over. NDC was supposed to go for primaries because our flagbearer had died.
“There was a lot pressure on Asiedu Nketiah to open nominations for us to go for Congress. Asiedu Nketiah said no, stating that the national constitution said in the absence of the president, the vice assumes the role.
“The party’s constitution had no such clause to deal with issues like what happens when the president dies. Some bigwigs in the party protested and impressed on Asiedu Nketiah and the executives to open nominations for them to contest John Mahama.
“Asiedu Nketiah maintained that John Mahama was going to lead us and they questioned the legality of his position. He is not a lawyer but he brought the constitutional clause that states that the internal practises of a political party must conform to national practises so if that was the position of the constitution then Mahama who was Mills’ vice was the one to replace him. They never forgave him”, he said.
Ahmed Ibrahim made the statement in an interview with Accra FM during his campaign for Johnson Asiedu Nketiah as National Chairman of the NDC.
His campaign and that of other pro-Asiedu Nketiah people looked to have worked as Asiedu Nketiah won the elections held on Saturday, December 18, 2022.