All the seven flag bearer aspirants of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been duly vetted by the party ahead of its primaries scheduled for Saturday February 23, 2019.
The seven, who were successfully vetted yesterday by the party’s vetting committee at its headquarters in Accra were former President John Dramani Mahama, Professor Joshua Alabi, Mr Alban Bagbin and Mr Sylvester Mensah.
The rest are Mr Nurideen Iddrisu, Mr Augustus Goosie Tanoh, and Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.
All the aspirants were cross-questioned on their educational, social and economic backgrounds, competencies, ability to spearhead and rally the party for victory, policies, among other qualities.
The vetting process started around 10am and ended around 5:45 p.m. All the aspirants arrived at separate time intervals.
Although the exercise was conducted behind closed doors, scores of enthusiastic supporters thronged the party’s headquarters to cheer their various candidates.
The vetting ground was energised with singing, drumming and general fanfare by the party supporters as they received and escorted the various candidates upon their arrival.
The National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo explained that the party strategically arranged a one-hour arrival interval for all the candidates to avoid “a clash of supporters.”
The seven-member Committee, chaired by a former Minister of Interior under the Rawlings regime, Nii Okaija Adamafio, is expected to submit its report to the party hierarchy today in which the outcome of the vetting process would be discussed.
Following the committee’s report today, the party will, today, also complete the balloting process to determine the order in which the names of the qualified candidates would appear on the ballot paper.
Meanwhile, a member of the committee, Mr James K. Avedzi told journalists that “we grilled everybody and all of them were inspiring.”
After his vetting, Mr Bagbin, who was first to be vetted told journalists that he was confident of qualifying to the next stage of the process because “I could tell from their body language and nodding of heads that they have given me their approval.”
After spending roughly 50 minutes with the committee, Prof. Alabi, who was second to be vetted, expressed delight at his performance at the vetting and confidently stated that “I have sailed through.”
Mr Mahama, who was third to be vetted, was given a rousing welcome in the company of former Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, former Communications Minister, Mr Edward Omane Boamah, Ms Joyce Bawa Mogtari, who is the spokesperson of Mr Mahama and other dignitaries.
Mr Mensah, Mr Tanoh, and Mr Spio-Garbrah followed accordingly.
In an interview after the exercise, Mr Spio-Garbrah stated that “I had a very friendly encounter with the members of the committee because they know me and the widespread contributions I have made to the party.”