The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been caught in a tumultuous in-fighting along tribal lines as sections of the party, led by the NPP Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu is pushing for a Northerner to lead the party in the 2024 Presidential race.
Last week, Kyei Mensah-Bonsu in an interview with Joy News claim there was a sort of convention in the party that they cannot field an Akan for the third time to lead the party, after John Agyekum Kufour-an Ashanti and President Akufo Addo, an Akyem.
“…I think it may not hold well for a party that is accused by some as being overly Akanistic party [to field another Akan],” Mensah-Bonsu said in what clearly exposed his alignment with speculated plans by President Akufo Addo to select his own replacement by fielding his current deputy, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
But, former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who is reportedly lacing his boots to bid for the NPP presidential ticket, described Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s statement as nonsensical and “foolish” talk.
“…we are fooling. Why are we disturbing the party? For me, normally, I will not mention names, but I am disappointed with the Majority Leader. Are you [Majority Leader] the one to bring this noise to the party? Agyarko told pro-NPP Oman FM.
Meanwhile, an activist of the ruling party, I. K. Boahen, has pooh-poohed the cult playing psychological mind games to project Dr. Bawumia as the bonafide next in line to President Akufo Addo.
In the write-up Mr. Boahen challenges claims that the NPP gained a lot of votes in the 2020 elections from the Northern parts of Ghana because Bawumia is from the Region, pointing out that the analysis rather showed that the party’s fielding of well-resourced appointees did the trick.
“Most of the seats we won from the Northern sector and currently being occupied by NPP were contested by highly recognised government position holders; people who were at the presidency, were holding CEO positions, were deputy CEOs and or were holding highly influential government positions…So are we saying that but not Bawumia factor, these people didn’t use their positions in any way to help their constituents hence their win to become MP?” Boahene questioned.
“Please let’s think about the above well before we conclude that, Bawumia factor won NPP Northern votes. Let’s critically analyse, before we conclude, otherwise, some will also conclude that, the margin of the high vote in the Ashanti Region is not appreciated by the party, and this is dangerous!!!” he wrote.
Proponents of a Bawumia flagbearership in 2024 have advanced many reasons, including the claim that it would deodorize the NPP’s notorious image as an Akan party.
Others have claimed that so far the baton of the party’s leadership has been juggled around the backgrounds of two out of three founding philosophers of the NPP tradition – Busia and Danquah – and that it is now the turn of the third founding philosopher – Dombo.
As Dombo was a Northerner, Bawumia has been promoted as a representative of the lineage of Dombo. However, I.K. Asante pooh-poohs this. “DMB (Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia) is not a true descendant of Dombo is a fact, which is not debatable because that line and tag can’t be used as an arsenal if the real history is unraveled. Factually, it’s not a reality but just a tag.”
Essentially, political watchers worry that the ethnic dimension the NPP’s 2024 campaign is taking could only spell disaster for the ruling party.