Bawumia Faces Anti-Muslim & Akans Only Campaign In 2024 NPP Flag Bearer Race

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Events in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is taking an interesting turn for the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, as elements jostling to succeed President Akufo-Addo, are mounting a religious and tribal campaign against his candidature.

The Herald, has picked up reports that, some Christian groups in the NPP, are insisting that the Vice-President, cannot succeed his boss, because Ghana is not ripe to have a Muslim as President, and they have vowed to resist him when the time comes

The Vice-President is from the Mamprusis ethnic group in Northern Ghana, and this has also become an issued against his desire to lead the NPP, because he is from a minority tribe in the northern region, hence cannot contribute much to the party in terms of number of votes.

But those who have gotten wind of the plot against Dr. Bawumia, described the development as unfortunate for a man who has been part of NPP since 2008, after reluctantly leaving his job at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) as Deputy Governor to Paul Acquah.

The Herald, is informed that, there is a group of Christian clergymen in the NPP, who are strongly opposed to the Bawumia ticket for 2024, and this has been of concern to the neutrals in the party.

The neutrals, feel that the development does not bode well for the unity of the party.

They are worried because a rejection of Dr. Bawumia, will reinforce the negative perception that the NPP is an Akan party and no other tribe can lead it.

They cited how the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama, did eight years under John Agyekum Kufuor as his Vice-President, but interestingly, President Kufuor, ditched him for Alan Kyerematen, half Ashanti and half Fante, as his successor, leaving Aliu Mahama to die a miserable man.

They mentioned what is become a succession plan in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), where a Vice-President succeeds his boss.

The late Jerry John Rawlings, got John Evans Atta Mills to succeed him with John Mahama taking over from Mills when he died.

Mr Mahama, has remained at the helm of affairs since 2013, and likely to lead the NDC again in the 2024 General Election as its flagbearer.

Many feel, a rejection of Bawumia, who has been marketed by the party as an economic wizard among others, will strengthen the "Akan only" party tag of the NPP.

This negative perception they believe, will spark fury among other groups in the NPP, and cause it to be rejected in the five northern regions.

They also fear a rippling effect among other ethnic groups considered to be in the minority in NPP.

They are warning that care must be taken or else the NPP, could go into opposition for a long time.

Interestingly, some influential young men who feel they are representing the next face of the party and see their future political progression under Dr. Bawumia, are getting increasingly frustrated and worried about this development, and are working day and night to have Dr. Bawumia, as the next flag bearer of the NPP.

They feel that, having Alan Kyeremanten as flag bearer, is not in their interest to keep the party in power and also wipe away the negative perception that the NPP is for only Akans.

They feel, Mr Kyeremanten, will return the party to the aged and dying face of party, and they believe that the 57-year old Bawumia, represent the youthful generation of the party.

They are of a strong opinion that Bawimua, had adequately been marketed for the job and must be voted for to lead the party in 2024.

But the counter argument against Dr. Bawumia representing the new face of the NPP is that, he is staled having been around since 2008 as President Akufo-Addo's running mate and about to do another four years with him as his Vice-President.

Additionally, they argue he is carrying both positives and negatives of the Akufo-Addo government, however, the negatives could be used against him, if he sails through to become the flag bearer.

They also dread having two northerners leading the two major political parties – Mahama leading the NDC and Bawumia leading the NPP in 2024, if the two childhood friends separated by politics are elected to lead their respective parties.

Already, Mr Mahama, had in the past signal his strategy against the NPP, when he said that, why Bawumia wouldn't be made to lead the party in the absence of Nana Akufo-Addo, and this could be his campaign theme in 2024.

Political pundits, have said that NPP is at a crossroads now on Bawumia's leadership with respect to his religion, his Northern extraction, the "Akan only" tag and lack of succession plan in the party.

But as the party is plunged into deep thought, Kwadwo Mpiani, a chief of staff in the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor, has described the scramble among cabinet ministers to succeed President Akufo-Addo, as a very worrying development in the ruling NPP.

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Nana Yaa Mensah on Thursday (18 March), Mpiani said, "There's going to be an election for somebody who will take over from the president.

"The law makes it impossible for the president to go for a third term and therefore there is bound to be an election to select somebody who will take over from him [Akufo-Addo] … But I believe it's so wrong to start this early when the government is barely in place."

The former chief of staff advised ministers rather rally behind the president to perform well in his second term.

"Look, if you don't put the party on sound footing, if the government doesn't do well, you may even want to put Jesus Christ there [but] I don't think He can win. So let's support the government to do well," he said.

"You see, the government is in a very unfortunate situation now, because of this COVID-19 and all. The economy is not doing well and it is something universal," Mpiani said.

"So, our attention should be on how to perform well so that when we put up a candidate he will not have too much of a problem. Instead of doing that, when the government is not even in place, we are thinking of who will take over from Nana Addo. It's a misplaced priority."

The former chief of staff did not mince his words, describing the infighting as the product of a lack of discipline and failure on the part of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party.

He mused on the cause, saying: "I don't know why, but maybe [it's because of] over-ambition, or maybe lack of discipline in the party [the NPP]. I think it is so wrong."

He recounted how the party carried out research to identify which candidates were viable after 17 candidates expressed an interest in the race for the party's flagbearer position in 2006.

The move, Mpiani said, led to the party placing limits on the number of candidates who could run for the leadership of the NPP.

The former chief of staff said that although 17 people ran for the position of NPP flagbearer in 2008, that leadership contest took place two years to the end of tenure of the then president, in line with party rules.

The current jockeying for preference is badly timed, badly advised and born of overweening ambition, he said.

Ministers cannot pretend to be working for the current government and yet be pursuing their ambition to lead the party, he argued.

Mpiani said the president would not be wrong to sack such ministers from his government to give them the space to focus on their ambition, and asked that President Akufo-Addo must ask any minister who has ambitions to become a presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to resign.

Mpiani said, "The ministers are there because the president appointed them to help him rule the country. So if they have decided to become candidates and not ministers at this stage, sure, he [Akufo-Addo] has every right to ask them to go and pursue their ambitions.

"So that he can appoint somebody to do the work which has been entrusted to him by the people of Ghana. I think that is the legitimate thing for any president to do," he added.

Mpiani was speaking about the scramble among cabinet ministers to succeed President Akufo-Addo, describing it as a very worrying development in the ruling NPP.

The former chief of staff advised ministers rather to rally behind the president to perform well in his second term.

"Look, if you don't put the party on a sound footing, if the government doesn't do well, you may even want to put Jesus Christ there [but] I don't think He can win. So let's support the government to do well," he said.

"You see, the government is in a very unfortunate situation now, because of this COVID-19 and all. The economy is not doing well and it is something universal," Mpiani said.

"So, our attention should be on how to perform well, so that when we put up a candidate he will not have too much of a problem. Instead of doing that, when the government is not even in place, we are thinking of who will take over from Nana Addo. It's a misplaced priority."

Source: theheraldghana.com