A former Second Deputy Speaker of parliament is urging National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer aspirant John Dramani Mahama to back out of the race.

Ken Dzirasah, a leading member of the party says the former president will better serve the party's bid to win the 2020 polls as an advisor to other candidates rather than contesting.

“When you are at war and you provide your best arsenals and you lose, conventional wisdom requires that you retreat and go and serve as an expert general.

“You then advise the younger ones to go ahead but don’t show your face again,” he told Joy News in an exclusive interview.

Mr Mahama last month officially declared his intention to contest his party’s flagbearership, bringing to end months of speculation. 

"In coming to this firm decision, I have pondered deeply and soberly on the socio-economic and political landscape country vis-à-vis the clear path we have started to build, aimed at positioning Ghana as a true middle-income country by modernising our dilapidated social and economic infrastructure and gradually inculcating in the Ghanaian, a sense of patriotism, self-belief and commitment to a one Ghana agendum“.

“I have taken into consideration, the groundswell of support, the never-ending calls, and encouragement from a large section of our party elders, members of our party, supporters and Ghanaians, from diverse backgrounds,” he added.

Names that have come up so far include the former Trades Minister, Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah, former majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, retired Vice-Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Prof. Joshua Alabi and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Victor Smith.

Others are the former NHIS boss, Sylvester Mensah, former Central Regional Minister, Ricketts Hagan and businessman Nurudeen Iddrisu as well as Stephen Atubiga.

But days after Mr Mahama's declaration of the statement of intent, a former minister of state in the Jerry Rawlings government, Kojo Yankah last week also made a similar call on the former President.

Former minister, Kojo Yankah

The Founder of Africa University College of Communication (AUCC) said, “to the best of my knowledge, you performed to the best of your ability with the team, message and strategies you brought on board.

“From my knowledge of history, no leader of any country has been able to solve all the problems of that country. Even more inspiring for me, America's Jimmy Carter, who was in office for only one term, served the world and humanity much better when he was out of office.”

The one-time Communication Minister humbly requested of Mr Mahama to give a second thought to his decision of contesting.

“If l am too late in coming, or if you have heard my reasoning before, l wish you well. Definitely, you may hear other voices more compelling than mine” he said.

Adding his voice to such calls, Mr Ken Dzirasah said the NDC stands a better chance at electoral victory in at least 2024 if it has a new face in 2020.

Former South Tongu MP, Ken Dzirasah

The former South Tongu said Mr Mahama coming back will be like “after losing the war, I now want to face a bigger battle but you don’t come back and contest with your subordinates.”

According to him, the former president coming back and rubbing shoulders with people he appointed ministers of state is humiliating should they beat him to the flagbearership position.

He advised Mr Mahama to listen to the voice of reason and not young people in the party who are blind to that glaring fact.

Mr Dzirasah said supporters of Mr Mahama’s second term bid chastising people mostly elders who have a different view to theirs is not good for the party.

The former legislator called on the former president to call his supporters to order and discipline so they do not alienate prospective supporters.  

He also backed NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, to be successful in his bid to be retained arguing the time is not ripe for Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho to unseat him.