Former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, has refuted claims that he is throwing his weight behind Second Deputy Speaker, Alban Bagbin in the flag bearship race of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In a statement Monday, the former Local Government Minister was emphatic that he has “at no time either privately or publicly made any statements to suggest my endorsement or support for Mr Bagbin.”
On Monday, several newspapers and online portals reported of Mr Debrah throwing his weight behind the Nadowli Kaleo MP who has stated his desires to lead the NDC into election 2020.
Mr Debrah’s former boss, ex-president Mahama has hinted that he may consider running for the presidency on the ticket of the opposition NDC again.
He said he has reflected on the numerous calls by the party’s teeming supporters and sympathizers to declare his intention to contest in 2020.
Former President Mahama
In a Facebook post, Mr Mahama was coy on whether he will be the NDC’s flagbearer but said, “I will not disappoint you even as we await the publication of the party’s guidelines for selecting a new leader.”
Mr Mahama polled a little above 44% of total votes cast in the last election, the lowest for an incumbent President, and lost the Presidency to the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2016.
This has brought serious debate within the NDC as to whether he should be given the opportunity to serve his second term.
Some names making the rounds include former National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) boss, Sylvester Mensah; Mr Bagbin and former legislator for Ledzekuku, Joshua Alabi.
But some of the reports, the former Chief of Staff prefers Mr Bagbin ahead John Mahama, who is yet to state his interest of contesting to lead the party again.
Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin
Responding to the reports, Mr Debrah in his statement denied the reports saying his statement was taken out of context after he warmly welcomed one of the longest-serving MPs, Mr Bagbin, who had come to commiserate with him when he marked his late mother’s one week event.
“It is unfortunate that a last-minute request by Mr Bagbin after the one-week commemoration of my late mother to visit will be deliberately twisted for seeming political gain. He was warmly received just like all other dignitaries who came to mourn with my family,” he said.
He added that “the news reports are false, and I wish to humbly urge all members and well-wishers of the NDC who have called expressing concern and surprise to kindly ignore the said reports.”