The time has come for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to either confirm of disprove a rather daring public statement by former President John Mahama that the party would never elect a Northerner as its presidential candidate.
He said the best the NPP can do is to “use and dump” Dr. Bawumia simply because he is a Northerner.
John Mahama, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is on record to have said there is no way the NPP would give a dog’s chance to Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia to become its presidential candidate under any circumstance.
“Sometimes I feel sad when I see some of our Northern brothers running around and also doing this. They (the NPP) will use you and dump you. Eye Zu, Eye Za. I want to live to see the day, you let anything happen today and let our brother Bawumia say he is standing for president in NPP, they would never give it to him, I can assure you”, former President John Mahama has stated.
The NPP, over the decades has been generally tagged as an ‘Akan party’ which would never elect a Northern as its presidential candidate and all attempts to disprove that claim has been verbal attempts so far.
Tomorrow Saturday August 26, is the party’s Super Delegates Conference which would have a carefully selected Electoral Collegeo reduce the 10 presidential aspirant hopefuls to five and among the lot, Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia is the only Northerner.
Among the 10, the first 5 candidates with the highest votes at the Super Delegates Conference are the ones who would contest the November presidential primaries.
Already, there are talks from some party folks that irrespective of the popularity, competence and marketability of Dr. Bawumia, the party should vote for a candidate from its Akan strongholds rather than elect a non-Akan.
If that scenario plays out, it would perfectly play into the tribal prophecy John Mahama gave as far back as 2016, a claim he has not retracted and still stands by.
The 956 delegates to vote at tomorrow’s conference are ordinarily expected to consider the competence and general appeal of each aspirant, as well as the ability to win the 2024 general election.
However tribal and religious factors have not been ruled out.
Strategically, the NDC has over the years, capitalized on this ‘Akan’ tag of the NPP and won almost all the Zongo communities, which are predominantly occupied by Northerners.
That is a rather large constituency which has numbers to sway the presidential results.
The said communities have this time openly expressed their excitement that the NPP has presented a Northerner as an aspiring candidate but there is some doubts if the so-called ‘Akan’ tag would not be confirmed.
Well meaning Ghanaians have preached against the politics of ethnicity and religion but they two continue to play a key role in the country’s politics.
Below is a transcript of what exactly John Mahama said about the NPP’s avowed decision to never elect a Northerner as presidential candidate:
“Sometimes I feel sad when I see some of our Northern brothers running around and also doing this. They (the NPP) will use you and dump you. Eye Zu, Eye Za. I want to live to see the day, you let anything happen today and let our brother Bawumia say he is standing for president in NPP, they would never give it to him, I can assure you.
“When the misfortune hit us and our father Professor Mills passed away, the Constitution said that the Vice President should take over, I did. But then we were close to an election. If it were another party, they would have insisted that we should be a congress and in that congress I would have been contested and they would have given the leadership to somebody else.
“But when it happened, the NDC’s National Executive called a meeting and said, no, there would be no congress, we are passing a resolution, John Mahama is the Vice President and we are going to support him to lead us into this election. And we went into the election and God gave victory to us.
“And so I am proud to be a member of the NDC because I know it is a party that opens opportunities for all people of Ghana, irrespective of your ethnic affiliation or your religious affiliation”