It Will Be Discrimination To Bypass Bawumia For 2024 – Bugri Naabu
A former Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bugri Naabu, has called on the party’s delegates to support Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia for the position of flagbearer in the 2024 general elections.
Although the vice-president is yet to confirm his intentions to take over as leader of the NPP after President Nana Akufo-Addo’s constitutional mandate comes to an end, he already commands some support.
Among Bawumia’s supporters are Northern Regional executives of the party and also Naabu. On Monday, Naabu reiterated his support for the vice-president.
Naabu told an Accra-based radio station: “Already, I have done some consultations with opinion leaders in the Northern Region including chiefs to come out massively to endorse Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia because we in the Northern sector of the party insist this should be our time, and we think that Dr. Bawumia cannot be left aside”.
According to the former regional chairman, if delegates of the NPP vote for another person as flagbearer other than the current vice-president, that will be grounds for anyone to conclude the party is discriminating against a section of its support base.
For Naabu, in order for the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition to be equally appreciated, Bawumia must be the next flagbearer of the NPP.
The NPP views the ethnic and political identities of Ghanaian independence fighter J.B. Danquah, former prime minister K.A. Busia and first and second republic northern politician, S.D. Dombo as the different bases of the party.
Often, members of the NPP who hail from the north of the country identify with the Dombo tradition of the party.
The race for flagbearer
The race within the NPP to replace President Akufo-Addo is seen to be ongoing even though the last election was only about six months ago.
Vice-President Bawumia’s biggest challenger is seen to be Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan John Kojo Kyeremanten. The latter has twice contested to lead the party but in both cases in 2008 and 2012, President Akufo-Addo won the nod.
Meanwhile, a professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Ransford Van Gyampo, has called on the ruling party to adopt a “one-man, one-vote” principle in electing the party’s next flagbearer, instead of relying on an electoral college of delegates.
According to the lecturer, that proposal is more democratically viable is “[a] model that ensures that whoever emerges as flagbearer is acclaimed as the real choice of the party, and not a choice perceived as imposed by the highest bidder, and the one who wields power of the purse, would be democratically sensible”.