Tuesday, July 22, 2008

NPP running mate slot: Nana Addo under siege

As the promised August 14 date for the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to name his running mate fast approaches, the flag-bearer has come under intense pressure from some leading members of the party, some parliamentarians and other party faithful as to who should get the nod.

Credible sources within the party told the Daily Graphic that following in the July 3 edition of this paper which named the Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama, as the frontrunner in a three-horse race, the flag-bearer had come under intense pressure

Housing, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, and the Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, Lepowura Alhaji Mohammed Nuru Deen Jawula, as the two best outsiders.

But, today, even though the Daily Graphic can report that Hajia Mahama is still ahead, the race appears far from settled.

The lobbying going on within NPP circles is so intense that many have advocated a compromise candidate outside the highlyrated ones.

Others, however, argue that if the party should at all cost go for a woman running mate, then it should consider personalities such as Mrs Gifty Menyi-Dadzie, Ms Joyce Aryee, Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie and Mrs
Gladys Asmah.

The flag bearer himself is so excited about the warm and tumultuous reception he is receiving from his campaign tour of the three northern regions and political insiders believe he will settle for someone from that part of the country.

When the Daily Graphic contacted a number of regional chairmen of the party, they expressed various views on the issue.

The Eastern Regional Chaiman of the NPP, Mr Yaw Gyekye Amoabeng, expressed the hope that the flag-bearer would look at regional and religious balance and nominate his running mate accordingly.

In his view, having Nana Akufo-Addo, a Christian from the south, as the flag-bearer made it prudent to select a Muslim from the north to balance the ticket.

He said all the names that had emerged as possible running mates were good materials for the party and so the flag bearer, in consultation with the party leadership should agree on a nominee.

"In all of this, I urge the flag-bearer to listen to the people on the ground and their feelings towards the running mate issue," he said in the telephone interview.

The Northern Regional Chairman, Alhaji Alhassan Addo, said, "As the father of the party in the region, I will be happy if the running mate is selected from the north."

He was of the opinion that such a move would help the NPP to retain power and continue with its good programmes.

He, however, hinted that the party would meet formally and address the issue of who could best partner Nana Akufo-Addo to win the election.

The Western Regional Chairman, Nana Owusu Ankomah, also expressed the wish that the running mate not only come from the north but he/she should be Muslim as well.

He further argued that such a person should come from an ethnic grouping where there was no strife.

"The moment you pick a person from one conflict area, the other group will not support him/her," he stated.

On the question of a female running mate, he said much as he had nothing against that move, he was concerned because women were their own enemies, adding: "I am wondering whether a female running mate will get support from her female colleagues."

The Central Rpgional Chairman, Mr Danquah Smith, said the region was not against the running mate from north. He noted, however, that "it is time we got out of the narrow view of getting a flag-bearer either from the south or north and the running mate from the north or south", saying that such stance would not help the country.

Source: Daily Graphic


1 comment:

The Kuuj said...

I understand the need to play political games such as "balancing the ticket" with nominees from both the south and the north and nominees representing the two dominant religions - as a relatively young democracy, such "power sharing" schemes are inevitable to allay fears that any one group is being marginalized.

When, however, do we as a maturing democracy move from this "narrow view," as Mr Danquah Smith put it, to selecting people based on their capacity to fulfill the duties for the role?

The truth is the current scheme benefits the dominant religions / people groups: what about traditionalists? what about folks from the Volta region (whether they belong to the south or north is unclear to me)? The dangers of this scheme are apparent even in the fact that Nana is being advised to pick from a group in the north "that is not involved in a conflict."

Again, as a young democracy I understand this need for "balance," but how many good women and men are we going to pass up before we start looking at capability instead of the religious & geographic origin of the individual -- as a young democracy we also need capable people.