Yesterday, 1st June, at about 5pm, my campaign coordinator, Alhaji Mohamed Naziru informed the NDC party general secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketsia, that I have decided to withdraw from the NDC leadership race.
My late entrance to the race, the tight deadline for submitting nomination forms, and other difficulties in the field made it difficult for my regional coordinators to secure all the necessary signatures from NDC executives from around the country before the deadline imposed by the party.
In the short period of my campaign, I noted that although the official Guidelines issued by the party states clearly that nominations shall close 30 days before the date of the Congress dates of 8-10 July, which would mean that nominations should close on 8th June, a date of 1st June had been somehow announced as the deadline for the submission of nomination forms.
The date 1st June does not exist in the official Guidelines issued by the party. Although, in consultations with party executives, I requested an extension of time, which was reportedly approved in principle, other factors have compelled me to think of the higher interest of the party and to conclude my campaign for national leadership for now.
I still maintain that the party hierarchy, the government and former President and Mrs Rawlings need to resolve some long-standing differences and reach mutual understanding and come together BEFORE the elections in Sunyani in order to ensure that our great party can emerge from the congress in unity and strength.
I will stand ready to support whomever the majority of my fellow Akatamansonians elect as our party leader in Sunyani. I will, however, also continue to offer valid criticisms of our party leadership and the government if my conscience constrains me to do so, while commending them for what they do well and right. As our Akan elders say, it is those who are standing behind the man cutting the path who can see where the path is crooked.
I still believe that the attempt by some in our party to sideline the Founder of our great party, former President Rawlings, is wrong, unfair, is based on ingratitude, and if continued will lead to an electoral defeat for the NDC in 2012. In the same light, all of us in the party should do our best to support President Atta-Mills and the NDC government to accomplish the aims of the NDC manifesto and the Ghana Better agenda.
I remain committed to what I call the ‘Nkrumahist-Rawlings vision and practice of Positive Urgent Action’ on behalf of the Ghanaian peoples. Too many of our brothers and sisters are jobless, hungry, illiterate and sleeping in darkness. An NDC which is true to its vision should be working day and night – with everyone on board– to reverse this situation for our less privileged countrymen and women.
To my many supporters throughout the country and in the Diaspora, I ask for your continued support for the NDC, its leaders and the government. I know many of you will be disappointed that once again it may seem that “Spio-Garbrah’s time” is yet to come. I ask that they remain assured that in God’s own good time, a day will come when I will be able to represent the hopes and dreams and aspirations of all Ghanaians and work to lift our motherland to the lofty heights that is its destiny.
Long live the Founder of the NDC!!
Long live the NDC Government !!!
Long live Ghana!!