A confidential report on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) running mate, conducted by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) of Ghana’s National Security Council, has made its way into the media. Newspapers are featuring it on their front pages, online portals are buzzing, and radio and television stations are continuously dissecting its contents.

This nationwide survey, conducted over two days (12 June-14 June 2024), involved 5,116 party members and revealed significant insights into the party’s internal dynamics.

The survey aimed to project Dr. Yaw Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, also known as NAPO, of Manhyia South and the Minister responsible for Energy, as the most preferred choice for the running mate by the rank and file of NPP members. However, the report, now public, unveils a striking revelation: 89 percent of party members are open to considering any running mate other than NAPO.

This finding highlights the flexibility in choosing a running mate for Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the party’s flagbearer. Contrary to earlier speculations that around 70 percent of party members were committed to selecting Dr. Prempeh, the report shows a significant majority ready to support any candidate Dr. Bawumia selects.

While 84 percent of respondents view NAPO as the optimal pairing for the flagbearer and 88 percent perceive him as the party’s preferred choice, a substantial 89 percent express readiness to endorse whomever Dr. Bawumia chooses, leaving only 11 percent opposed to alternatives.

The report also sheds light on the decision-making process within the party, particularly questioning the exclusion of prominent female figures such as Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Irene Naa Torshie-Addo, and a notable woman associated with KNUST from the list of potential candidates. Surprisingly, the NIB reintroduced Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and Joseph Osei Owusu into the race while ignoring Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Irene Naa Torshie-Addo, Bryan Acheampong, and others.

Notably absent from the report is why respondents preferred NAPO as the party’s choice or the best pair for the flagbearer. This raises questions about the methodology and conclusions of the survey. Random validation calls by The Hawk across various regions confirmed the survey’s existence but suggested it was skewed in favor of Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh by presenting respondents with only two options (NAPO and Adutwum).

“When I asked the caller (NIB Officer) about the rest of the interested persons, he just responded NAPO, Adutwum, and others,” a Constituency Chairman in the Ashanti Region recounted. This sentiment was echoed across all thirteen regions covered by The Hawk.

According to data from the NIB, NAPO’s ambition fails to excite most party members, resonating with only 36.20 percent of constituency officers.

These revelations underscore the complex internal dynamics and strategic alignments the NPP must navigate as the election cycle approaches. The party’s leadership faces critical decisions that could shape the outcome of the upcoming elections, highlighting the importance of inclusive and transparent processes in selecting key candidates.

The report has since generated intense debate and criticism among political connoisseurs. Some have berated the NIB for allowing themselves to be used to advance the ambition of an individual while piling pressure on the flagbearer to settle on NAPO. Others think NAPO is over-scheming his way out. “It appears NAPO is desperately in need of this nomination to execute a bigger scheme. I sincerely think NAPO and his team are up to some mischief,” one critic commented.

Behavioral analysts suggest that selecting the Energy Minister will bring its own set of issues that could consume the NPP campaign. They warn that the decision may lead to internal conflicts and distract from the party’s overall strategy, potentially jeopardizing their chances in the upcoming elections.

“Even before he is named as the running mate, there are branded pickups driving around town with Dr. Bawumia and Dr. Prempeh depicted as the flagbearer and running mate, respectively,” a pundit revealed in a radio discussion.

Credit: Charles McCarthy