By George Egeh, Correspondent (Ghana)
Whilst Nigerians took to the polls yesterday 23rd February 2019 to decide who will lead Nigeria in the next four years, a similar event was simultaneously going on in Ghana as the main opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also took to the polls to decide who will lead the party in the 2020 presidential elections.
In a twist of events, Delegates of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) decided to give the former President John Dramani Mahama the go-ahead to lead the party as its flag bearer into the 2020 polls.
It would be recalled that former president John Mahama lost the 2016 presidential election to the current president His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.
Certified results from the Electoral Commission showed that Mr. John Mahama at the end of his party’s (NDC) primaries on Saturday secured an overwhelming 213,487 votes representing 95.23 percent of the total valid votes cast with the other six contenders managing with about 4 percent.
The former president was contested by the following people, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Professional Studies; Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi came second with 3,404 votes representing 1.52% of the total valid votes cast.
Second Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, who polled 2,301 votes representing 1.03% of the total votes cast, placing third.
Mr. Goosie Tanoh, founder of the Reformed Party, a breakaway from the NDC came fourth with 2,091 votes respectively representing 0.93%.
Former Trades and Industry Minister in the Mahama government, Ekwow Spio Garbrah who received a total of 1,447 votes representing 0.65% of total votes
Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), who received 934 of valid votes cast representing o.42 percent.
And businessman, Nurudeen Iddrisu placed seventh with a paltry 520 votes representing 0.23%. About 224,184 total valid votes were recorded while 1,337 total votes were rejected..
Mr. John Mahama had been hit with two lawsuits challenging his eligibility to seek for re-election as president, in a writ one Edmund Palmer wanted the court to stop Mr. Mahama “from pursuing his bid to be elected as a flagbearer/presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress in his capacity as a former president of the Republic of Ghana, without the permission of Parliament.”
Before the primaries, 94 out of the party’s 106 Members of Parliament (MPs) endorsed Mr. Mahama, they said he is the only candidate who can lead the party to victory in the next polls.
Mr. John Mahama assured that the party would remain united regardless of the outcome of the presidential primaries.
Speaking to journalists shortly after casting his vote in the Bole constituency, the former president allayed fears of any form of division in the party.
Referring to the aftermath of previous presidential primaries the party held, Mr. John Mahama indicated that there is no cause to worry as all the candidates will ultimately work in the interest of the party after the election.