Feature Article of Thursday, 17 January 2013
Columnist: Agyemang, Kwasi Osei
One other interesting observation I made with the piece by Mr. Haruna Mahama was perhaps, for want of a better word and all apologies to Mr. Mahama, a certain display of naivety on the workings and tradition of the NPP as a political party. The NPP it should be noted very clearly is a conservative party; we have our way of doing things. Fortunately or unfortunately, after the split of 1979 and with the formation of the NPP, the party has obviously come to a workable agreement where leadership of the party rotates between the Busia / Victor Owusu camp and the Danquah/ Ofori – Atta Camp with the Running Mate (No. 2) slot permanently reserved for the Dombo camp. That is the way we do our things and to think that two defeats would cause a seismic change in this well established tradition, is clearly laughable.
The failure of Nana Akufo-Addo who is from the Danquah/Ofori-Atta camp means that going by tradition, the mantle of leadership automatically switches to other faction of the NPP. And to say that Nana Akufo-Addo is totally in control of the NPP so would hand over those structures to Bawumia, is also quite naïve. John Agyekum Kufuor was in total control of the NPP after 1998 but when the need for a new leader came in 2007 and 2010, the NPP followed its traditions and switched to Nana Addo, from the other main camp which forms the NPP; that is exactly what is going to happen in the next context. The NPP believes n queuing and those who are in the queue and are next in line and most importantly from the Busia/Victor Owusu Camp would emerge victorious and after that, no one expects a change in the tradition of choosing a Northerner as Running Mate either.
The article by Haruna Mahama, himself a Muslim by the look of things, also touched on Bawumia’s religion and noted that as a positive for a candidate Bawumia, this assertion and opinion is obviously light years from the truth. While being a Muslim Running Mate to a Christian Presidential candidate can be most advantageous, it would be recognized that on the other hand, a Muslim as main Presidential candidate for a major political party like the NPP would be most disastrous especially in a Christian predominating nation like Ghana. Just as the Akans who are in the majority when the Ghanaian population is analyzed would not settle to play second fiddle, so would Christians who form over 60% of our population agree to be led by a Muslim. If anything, Religion would be one of Bawumia’s weakest points in any event that he chooses to contest. What is even more serious for a Muslim candidate is the influence of powers like the United States of America on Ghanaian structures and elections especially as the USA for example would do everything in its power to prevent a Muslim from leading geo-politically strategic states like Ghana.
In ending, let me state that strategically broadening our Party’s base does not mean we should expand into areas we have no hope. It is clear that the NPP is largely supported by akans who form 50% of the population of Ghana; there are still many areas in Akan regions like the Central and Western Regions where the NPP can win much more votes and which would mean we win all elections; if we have not broadened our support in those areas, then there is no reason and no sense in broadening into areas like the North where our prospects are few.
Let it also be recognized that Akans would not be cowed into submission and into giving away their birth rights just because some part of this country thinks their weakness politically and in the NPP is because of the strength of Akans who have worked so much to build the NPP to where it is now.
Kwasi Osei Agyemang