Barbara Asamoah, spokes person-GAME (r) presenting President Mills nomination forms to Mr.Johnson Siedu Nketia,General secretary-NDC.

President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills confirmed his candidature for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearership for the 2012 presidential election, by returning his completed nomination forms to the party headquarters in Accra, yesterday.Unlike the picking of the forms, which attracted party faithful from all over the country, and a six-hour live broadcast by state broadcaster Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the return of the forms was without fanfare.

The presidential aspirant was not even available when the completed forms were returned.

The presentation was done on behalf of the sitting President by Babara Serwa Asamoah, spokesperson for the Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME) campaign team. No explanation was offered for the low profile stance that greeted the returning of the forms.

Observers believe it was informed by the need to avoid the rumpus that followed the event of May 5, 2011, when business activities in Accra came to a stop, simply because the sitting President had gone to pick up forms at the NDC head office.

Unlike the jamboree that characterised the said event on the Adina Street in Kokomlemle, resulting in heavy traffic on the main streets linking the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, not even the whisper of a bird could be heard in the vicinity where the NDC headquarters is located.

The event went on without the hustle and bustle associated with the form picking. Had it not been the announcement on the airwaves about the submission of the nomination forms, no one would have thought that something was happening at the party headquarters.

President Mills is closer to making history by becoming the first sitting President under the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to be contested against in an intra-party election, after overcoming the daunting task of getting four hundred and sixty-eight (486) party delegates nationwide to endorse his nomination forms.

According to party guidelines, the President will be vetted on June 7, 2011. This will become possible after executives of the NDC have satisfied themselves with President Mills’ nomination forms, submitted at the party headquarters in Accra yesterday. Indications are that the President would sail through.

Yesterday, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, after receiving the nomination forms, told journalists that President Atta Mills had met all the requirements tabled by the party in submitting his forms, even though the NDC was yet to verify the authenticity of the signatories that endorsed the President.

“My first impression, after going through the forms, indicates that President Mills has met all the requirements, but we have seven days to go through the nomination forms, and all things being equal, candidate Mills will be vetted on June 7, 2011,” said Mr. Nketia, popularly referred to as ‘General Mosquito’.

President Mills, on May 5, 2011, picked nomination forms at the party’s headquarters to contest for the party’s presidential primary, scheduled for July 8, 2011, at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region. This was immediately followed by his campaign launch at his Kuku Hill office the same day, where he promised to win by a landslide.

“Today, as you all know, I have picked nomination forms to contest for the position of flagbearer of the NDC. I am not here today to give you my credentials and tell you what I will do when elected. I am already working, and you know what I am capable of doing. Even though I am in the process of executing the Better Ghana agenda, I will have to spend time campaigning for our primaries.

“I would like to assure you that I am not going to lose focus, for this our Better Ghana agenda. This is the mandate that the people of Ghana have given us, and the least that we can do, is to work assiduously towards this achievement.

“But, my brothers and sisters, you need not to worry, because I am going to win by a landslide victory,” he declared, amidst cheers from hundreds of party bigwigs, delegates, as well as sympathisers of the party, at an official launch of his campaign in Accra.

“Victory is going to be mine in the primary, and victory is going to be ours in 2012,” said President Mills at the launch of his presidential campaign.
At the time of submitting the nomination form, President Mills was on his way home from Abuja, Nigeria, after attending the inaugural ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday.

He arrived in the country at mid-day, about forty-five minutes after his nomination forms had been submitted on his behalf.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia, who received the completed forms, was flanked by some party executives, including Alhaji Baba Sheriff, Deputy National Organiser, Ms. Anita De Sosoo, National Women’s Organiser, and Mr. Kofi Portuphy, Co-ordinator  of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), as well as Kamal Nusi, National Treasurer of the party.

Aside the completed nomination forms, a receipt of GH¢20,000 paid into the accounts of the NDC, as well as a profile of the President, were also submitted to the party’s General Secretary.

In a brief remark after submitting the nomination forms, Ms. Asamoah assured the party’s executives of President Mills’ commitment to run a clean campaign, devoid of insults and name-calling.

“We are going to abide by all the rules of the game. We are going to avoid any form of acrimony, insults, name-calling and anything that will go against the party, so that at the end of the day, all of us will emerge as one party to support the President to carry out his Better Ghana agenda for the good people of Ghana and the NDC,” she said to the applause of some party faithful who had trooped to the party headquarters to lend their support.

Some government officials, including the Accra City Mayor, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashitey, Minister of Environment, Science & Technology, Sherry Ashitey, Central Regional Minister, Ama Benyiwa Doe, and a Minister of State at the presidency, Nii Afotey Agbo, were at the event to lend their support.

Trust the utility services to be at their worst. Just before the presentation, there was a power outage for close to fifteen minutes, resulting in unbearable heat in the conference room of the party.

This prompted some party faithful to read meanings, recounting a similar incident that took place when President Mills picked his nomination forms at the same venue some weeks ago. “This is purely sabotage,” recounted one party executive.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia, after receiving the completed nomination forms, cautioned the party faithful to remain committed to unifying the party after the July 8 congress, in order to win the 2012 general elections.

“The struggle we are witnessing today is within the same party. The party has no option than to rally behind the winner to go and claim victory in election 2012,” he said.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the other contenders in the NDC presidential primary, are yet to submit their completed nomination forms, after picking them on May 3 and May 10 respectively.

They have until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, to submit their completed nomination forms.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia told The Chronicle that there was no requirement under the NDC Cconstitution of notifying candidates who have picked nomination forms to return them.

According to him, if the two candidates failed to submit their completed nomination forms, the party would have no option than to validate the forms of President Mills, and proceed with the vetting.

“If a sole candidate emerges, that candidate must be endorsed by fifty percent plus one vote of the delegates. The constitution of the party says there must be an election, and we will abide by that,” he added.

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