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“I Wish I Were NDC flagbearer”- Eddie Annan 1/16/2007
Mr. Eddie Annan, the 61-year-old business tycoon who was one of the defeated flagbearer aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) told The Chronicle recently that he wished he were the party’s flagbearer. “I wish I was the flagbearer of the NDC,” was the response of Mr. Annan when he was asked about what he wished for himself at the time of the interview.

His response notwithstanding, he made it clear that he did not doubt the capabilities and competence of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, who has been his long time friend, saying “I don’t have any reason to doubt his honesty, sincerity and integrity. “I have known him for his genuineness and integrity. Prof. Mills, the leader of our great party, knows what I can do to the best of my abilities and capacities. I believe that the campaign structure that the leader is putting up is a structure full of abilities and capabilities that can lead the party into victory in 2008.”

Mr. Eddie Annan, re-emphasized his commitment to the opposition party despite the defeat he suffered last December, at the Party’s Presidential primaries. According to him the unity of purpose, oneness and the proposition of the leader, Prof. Atta Mills, to join forces with other contestants in running the campaign machinery was a proof that the NDC was moving into the Castle after 2008 general elections, to continue with what he termed, ‘the good legacies left by the NDC government under the leadership of the former president, Flt. Lt. J.J Rawlings.

In an interview with this paper, Mr. Annan who secured only 28 votes out of 1720 delegates who congregated at the University of Ghana, Legon during the party’s presidential primaries last December said the NDC was politically poised to take over the governance of the nation. He noted that with the combination of the various expertise of all those who contested for the flagbearership, the party founder, the party executives and the running mate to Pro. Mills, the NDC was ready to govern the nation and, “continue with the good legacies that were left by the NDC under the leadership of the former president.”

He spoke on a wide range of issues, including the future of the NDC, the roles that he would be playing as a defeated aspirant, discussions on the selection of the party’s running mate, issues of the chunk of the NPP presidential aspirants and his reflections on lessons learnt from the NDC congress. Mr. Annan, who recently exhibited his musical talents at a press soiree organized by Professor John Evans Atta Mills at the Regimanuel Club house last December, said Prof. Mills and the defeated aspirants had undoubted talents, abilities and capacities to blend together to give the NPP a run for their money.

Asked about specific roles he would like to play in moving the NDC forward, Eddie Annan tactically declined to assign roles to himself. He stated that the leader had the prerogative to assign roles to everybody in the party but was quick to add that he was ever ready to play whatever roles would be assigned him to perform in the interest of the party, as long as he was capable of performing those functions.

When the nagging issues of the choice of a running mate popped up, knowing very well that he suggested or contributed significantly in the selection of the 2004 running mate, Mr. Annan, Nana Konadu’s close ally, said, “Yes, I advised in 2004 and if I am consulted again, I would give the positive and negative sides of whoever is put before me.” On his reflections on the Legon primaries, where he performed poorly, he was thankful to the executives of the party under the chairmanship of Dr. Kwabena Adjei for their organizational skills and that of the founder, Flt. Lt. Rawlings for remaining neutral in the choice of the flagbearer.

He said he had not learnt any bitter lessons from the congress. On the suggestions by Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations that appearance was one of the factors that won Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings massive votes, he had a different opinion. According to Mr. Annan, the former president won the elections on the basis of competence, track record, and selfless dedication to Ghana, among others.

On beauty, Mr. Annan, said, “I agree that the contest should not be based on beauty but competence and ability to deliver.” Touching on the number of presidential aspirants within the ruling party, Mr. Annan dismissed the predictions that the NPP would split because of the number of aspirants. ‘I don’t foresee any split in the NPP because they are matured enough to rally behind any candidate who is chosen by their delegates.”

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