Members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti region are gripped in fear following the arrival of former President John Dramani Mahama in the region, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) secretary in the region, Kwame Zu has disclosed.

Mr Mahama, who is seeking to lead the NDC to victory in the 2020 presidential election, began a campaign tour of the region Monday afternoon, ahead of the NDC’s flagbearership elections.

But Mr Zu, who is with the former president’s team in says the rowdy welcome given Mr Mahama by residents of the region, a stronghold of the ruling NPP, is overwhelming.

Speaking to Kwame Minkah on Radio XYZ, Tuesday morning, he indicated that Mr Mahama is always swallowed by mob everywhere he visits, a sign he said meant the people are fed up with “ the bad governance of President Nana Akufo-Addo.”

Earlier, the Ashanti Regional Secretary for the NPP, Samuel Pyne debunked claims the party was jittery following Mr Mahama’s visit.

Sam Pyne, NPP Secretary,Ashanti Region

“We are not afraid at all. We are OK and whoever thinks we in the NPP are nervous is not real,” Mr Pyne told Mugabe Maase, host of Inside Politics on XYZ Monday afternoon.

But Mr Zu, who was recently elected the chief scribe for the party in the region, said he had spoken to people and seen how they were frantically calling for the former president’s come back “to save the country.”

Zu pointed to the unstable exchange rate which has caused the cedi to depreciate even more against major currencies, the rising cost of living among other policies of the NPP that have  brought untold hardship to the people as signs that indicate the people need Mr Mahama to lead the NDC to victory in 2020.

Mahama’s tour

President Mahama is expected to visit the Ejisu Juaben, Kumawu, Asanti Akim North and South constituencies today.

Mr Mahama, who was earlier in the Upper Denkyira East Constituency, will tour parts of the Ashanti Region till close of Thursday when he will take a break to enable delegates in the region attend the party’s national delegates congress to elect its national officers in Accra on Saturday.

Mr Mahama addressing NDC delegates in the Obuasi West Constituency

He has already been to the Central, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra, Upper East and West regions where he met delegates of the party.

The former president has been calling for unity in the NDC, promising to strengthen the structures of the party as well as modernise its programmes and activities to address the needs of its members.

Reducing the high cost of living in the country as well as working hard to provide jobs for Ghanaians has also been major talking points for Mr Mahama during his meetings with delegates.

Small Scale Mining 

Speaking at separate rallies on the resumption of his campaign tour yesterday in the Upper Denkyira East and West constituencies in the Central Region, former President John Mahama pledged to regulate artisanal small-scale mining, also known as “galamsey”, if the NDC comes to power in 2020 elections.

He said his government will ensure artisanal mining is environmental friendly to protect water bodies, adding that his government therefore considered a new legal regime for addressing the issue.

“But the current government is promising a new policy and we are hoping that they implement it to allow small scale miners start working immediately. If not, the NDC government to be formed after the 2020 general elections would implement a new regulation to enable the small scale miners work effectively”, said Mr Mahama.

Later on when touching on the same issue in some mining communities in the Obuasi East and West constituencies in the Ashanti Region on Monday, Mr Mahama said his government resorted to new ways of tackling the galamsey problem when it became clear that using the military to clamp down on them was not going to provide a long term solution.

He sympathized with those who have lost their jobs and hoped the Nana Addo led administration will appreciate the serious impact on the youth and implement the new policy as soon as possible.

His pledge comes in the wake of growing agitation among aggrieved small scale miners who intend to embark on a massive demonstration in protest against the long ban on their operations since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration assumed office.

Mr Mahama who is on a four-day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region, ahead of the flagbearership election of the NDC, also bemoaned the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the country and promised to work hard to reduce the high cost of living, when elected in the 2020 elections.