1.0     The intense Lobbying, sponsored or spontaneous, for the position of the Running Mate to NPP’s Presidential Candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, is becoming murkier and acrimonious by the passing of each day. Today, the common denominator in the discussions about who to consider as the running mate has become who has a fat wallet. The National Party, ordinarily, should be intervening to call for order and prevent chaos. Unfortunately, the National Party has become deaf and dumb to these activities playing out in acts and scenes. The popular gossip is that the National Executives themselves have aligned and are engaged in all kinds of engineering for one person using the structures of the party. Whatever step that they take is taken to promote one particular aspirant.

2.0     Did the party act wisely in putting the fate of this great party in the hands of only the youth with little or no experience in management? Or is it the case that the current crop of leadership have some competence but are deliberately misdirecting and misapplying their exuberance in search for their own? We witnessed the era of Mac Manu – Nana Ohene Ntow; Jake and Sir John; Freddie-Blay-John Boadu-Sammy Awuku. What we are witnessing today is something else.

3.0   As is panning out, the names being flaunted now, the-always-on-stage ones are Dr.  Matthew

Opoku Prempeh aka Napo (Minister for Energy), Dr Osei Yaw  Adutwum (Minister for Education), Madam Akosua Fremah Osei Opare (Chief of Staff at the Presidency) and Mrs. Irene Naa Torshie Addo (Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund).

  •  These four are now in cash-waterfall. They variously wield influence and all manner of people respond to their beck and call. Eight years back, who among these four had a deep pocket and was engaged in philanthropy? If to be considered for the running mate was dependent on how much money a person could instantly offload, then the party should not be surprised if money bags took control of the party’s centre, especially, when it has become crystal clear that nobody is concerned about the source of anybody’s supposed wealth.
  • There are serious matters that Dr. Bawumia himself should consider:
  • The Party’s Constitution in Article 13 (1)(7)(a) provides that the Presidential Candidate should be “a known and active member (of the party) of at least 5 years”. If it is assumed that Dr. Bawumia formally joined the party in 2008, it has been at least 16 long years since he registered as a member. He has therefore grown into an adult in the party.

Notwithstanding, some suggest that he is relatively new in the party and therefore needs a much more elderly person, not necessarily in age, though, in the party with considerable experience and who can connect the “Youthful” Bawumia to the elders of the party.

The argument from one school of thought is that the running mate must fit this description.

  1. Allied to the above is the opinion that because the Vice President joined the train mid-way and hence is youthful, he needs a person who is deep in the organisation and operation  of the structures of the party in order to be able to complement the Flag-bearer using his/her deep knowledge in the operations of the party.
  2. NPP remains firmly rooted in the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-Antor tradition. Whoever partners Dr. Bawumia must be well steeped in the tradition, again, to shore the prime candidate up. That is another criterion.
  3. The problems confronting the nation today are mainly economic and governance issues. Dr. Bawumia is an established economist who also connects very well with academia. Whoever is to complement him must be rich in governance issues which will result in transparency and accountability in order that the “blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity” would inure to the generality of Ghanaians. That person should have demonstrated competence in positions that have been entrusted to him and come out without blemish. That will bring balance to the ticket.
  4. The person that the flagbearer chooses must be one who is not tainted with corruption. There should not be any cobwebs in the person’s wardrobe for the NDC to pounce on.
  5. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is well-composed and, perhaps, even reticent. Does he require an equally measured person to partner him in order to relate to issues and resolve them in a dignified manner or, a punch-for-punch, eye-for-eye person who will counter the propaganda and hotheadedness of the opposition NDC?
  6. The Presidential Candidate and his running mate are going to co-habit the Presidency. Their body chemistry should match. The Rawlings-Arkaah relationship, even in the reverse order, would not be helpful.
  7. The Running Mate, given the extreme polarisation in the country, must be one who should be able to reach over to the other political parties and engender support. He or she must be one whose dignity and integrity would go ahead of him/her, one who people can vouch for.
  8. The running-mate must be a person who on his own can attract neutrals to the ticket in order to consolidate the support base of the New Patriotic Party which comprises both conservatives and liberal democrats.
  9. The party aims to “break the 8”, with Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. This endeavour has not been accomplished yet in the 4th Republic by either NPP or NDC, the two parties that have governed the country since January 1993. The hard truth is that, the state of the economy in December 2008 when the party was gearing up to succeed itself was better than the state of the economy in April 2024. Yet, that attempt was unsuccessful. One sincerely hopes and prays that on account of measures contained in the 2024 Budget, the economy will rebound in the next succeeding months to brighten the chances of victory. The entire party shall have to be galvanised to work towards that possibility.
  10. The Presidential Candidates that have won victory for the party, J.A. Kufour and Nana Akufo Addo have contested the national Presidential elections on at least two occasions before snatching victory for the party. The Candidate that Dr. Bawumia selects should be one who will have the humility and forbearance to recognize the captaincy of the flagbearer and support Dr. Bawumia, both pre-December 2024 or post-December 2024, regardless of where the pendulum swings. That person must keep faith with the Presidential Candidate for the sake of unity and tranquility of the party, going forward.

Admittedly, it is difficult for one person to satisfy all eleven of the above criteria, yet these credentials must be pivotal in the consideration of the flag-bearer as to who he chooses to partner him.

Lobbying is permissible but it should not degenerate into spitefulness and running roughshod over other potentials, perceived or real.

Dr. Analytical, Dr. Digital, analyse, digitalise and watch carefully before you leap!

It is obvious that money cannot and must not be the singular deciding factor. As well, post-2024 considerations should also disqualify near-octogenarians. Therefore, let the music play on for Auntie Frema Opare, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, Dr. Osei Yaw Adutwum, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, Mr. Kwadjo Oppong Nkrumah, Mr. Joe Osei Owusu, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Apostle Opoku Nyinah. Dancing steps or mis-steps could also rule some people out!

Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia during the Eid prayed to God to give him the spirit of discernment to make the right choice. The Eid is over, it is now time for the rest of us to pray to God for him to make the right choice for himself; the right choice for the party; the right choice for the country; and the right choice in whom God, his Maker shall be well pleased.

“Henry- I shall return” on this topic. For now though, these are my Kontopiaatan thoughts. Not Kontopiaat of the old order, but the Revised Standard Version Kontopiaat.

By: Kojo Asenso Darko (Kontopiaat)
A patriot since 1982