Names of prominent people, including Nana Oye Lithur, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister; Valerie Sawyer, Deputy Chief of Staff; Education Minister, Professor Jane Naana Opoku; Chief Executive of Ghana Cocobod, Stephen Opuni; Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra MCE; Hanna Tetteh, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, have been making the rounds as possible running mates.
The issue has become so topical in the party to the extent that the Director of Elections of NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, last week said the matter is of no concern to the national executives of the party since who becomes the running mate to the President is the President’s prerogative, and they will not interfere.
Insiders who claim the President would prefer a woman to solidify his record on women’s empowerment say the running mate is expected to hold the position for just a term and then exit with President Mahama on January 7, 2021.
Loyalists of Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur have also intensified their lobbying for him to be retained despite arguments that the Central Region has had its fair cake in the person of Professor John Evans Atta Mills and Amissah-Arthur.
The outburst of Tawiah Boateng, Eastern Regional Chairman of NDC, to the effect that they need a credible person to partner President John Dramani Mahama suggests that he and those who share his views want Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur dropped.
Rumours are rife that executives of the ruling party are uncomfortable with Vice-President Amissah-Arthur as running mate to the President going into the 2016 elections.
Reports say the party is looking for a partner who can lead them into the 2020 elections after Mr Mahama.
A group calling itself Ga-Dangbe Youth in the NDC says Gas have not had their fair share of national leadership.
According to them, since independence, no Ga indigene has ascended to the high office of President or Vice-President; therefore, it would be appropriate if NDC selects a Ga as running mate.
Changing Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur will feed into rumours that the party was not satisfied with his performance because he was accused of not being visible.
Critics will interpret the removal of the current Vice-President to mean that the party does not want to put forward Mr Amissah-Arthur as presidential candidate in 2020.