The New Patriotic Party acronymed NPP is one of the largest political parties in Ghana and one of the most dominant in the history of Ghanaian politics, notably under the fourth republic dispensation.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been the presidential running mate of Nana Addo since 2008 and recently he was acclaimed the running mate of Akufo-Addo going into the 2020 elections.
It seems to most political observes that beyond the active political days of Akufo Addo, Dr. Bawumia will be sidelined.
But are such assertions really true?
Brief History of NPP
The NPP was formed in 1992 and traces its roots to the early days of independence and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Dr. J.B Danquah, who contested Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (founder of CPP) on the ticket of the UGCC and lost is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the famed Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition of the NPP.
After the passing of the Avoidance of Discrimination Act into law in 1957 by the government of the Convention Peoples Party(CPP) led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, all the other opposition parties formed a coalition political party under the United Party, with Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia as its leader and Simon Diedong Dombo, the leader of the Northern Peoples Party as deputy.
The aim of the act was to ban all political parties that were formed along regional, ethnic and religious lines as that had been the usual practiced that characterized multiparty democracy in Ghana’s early days.
Thus, J.B. Danquah, Abrefa Busia and Simon Dombo formed the fertile soil from which a more organized NPP emerged on the Ghanaian political scene in the 1990s.
Since the formation of the NPP in 1992, it has participated in all general elections since the beginning of the fourth republic. Consequently, this has prompted the organization of delegates congresses to elect presidential candidates to contest on the ticket of the party as flagbearers.
Such elections are usually closely contested and fraught with numerous political controversies and internal schisms.
With the history of NPP in mind, it is not far-fetched to say that the party observes a strong succession plan that they do not deviate from. .
A brief history of NPP Presidential Primaries
In 1992, Prof Albert Adu Boahen polled 56% whiles John A. Kuffour who later became president came in third place with a paltry 16.55% of total votes cast. Dr. Dsane Selby came in second with 17.3%.
Fate smiled on John Kuffour when he turned the tides of destiny around and defeated Prof. Adu Boahen in 1996 with 51.99% win. He went on to lose the general elections to J.J Rawlings.
Nana Akuffo Addo, the current president contested John Kuffour in 1998 but lost with only 31.64% of total votes cast. The victor, John Kuffour had a landslide victory with 64.6% and he went on to defeat Prof. J.E.A Mills of blessed memory in the 2000 general elections.
In 2008, the time for Nana Addo was ripe and after a closely contested election, he came out victorious with 49.97% of votes cast. John Alan Kojo Kyeremanten came in at second place.
The same outcome was observed in the 2010 Delegates Congress as Nana Addo received an overwhelming support to remain flagbearer.
A close analysis of the results from 1992 will betray an apparent pattern which suggests the NPP has system that checks when particular flagbearers are elected at the right political time. John Kufuor and Nana Addo, who went on to win the presidential seats in the general elections of 2000 and 2016 respectively had to exercise a lot of patience in order to wait for their own time.
The Complicated Position of Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia is an astute economist and arguably the best vice president ever to ascend the High office of the Vice Presidency in the fourth republic. He won the hearts of Ghanaians with his economic analysis and predictions that gave the John Mahama administration a tough time during the electioneering campaign notably of 2016. With his expertise in economics and international finance and experience as deputy governor of the bank of Ghana, he has proven himself to be an able political figure with influence and huge political potential. His contributions to the NPP landslide victory in 2016 elections cannot be overemphasized.
His illustrious personality and sheer excellence has made some figures within the NPP and others outside to tout him as the likely successor to Nana Addo come 2024. As these rumors begin to pick momentum, other political observers think otherwise. I must say, their reservations are not unfounded.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia prior to his selection to be the running mate of the then candidate Akuffo Addo was virtually unknown in the political landscape. Although he has proven himself to be an excellent asset for the New Patriotic Party, he should not let any presidential ambitions to cloud his good sense of judgement.
That will be committing a political suicide that has the capacity to undo all his gains in the political landscape after Akufo-Addo leaves the scene.
I have a few reasons that gives credence to this suggestion.
Firstly, the NPP political history does not give the chance at flagbearer simply because a person is popular among the masses. History will teach us that, Mr. Kwame Pianim, an equally able economist was the favorite candidate but had to lose out due to issues of ineligibility. He never recovered his political stature. History is likely to repeat if Dr. Bawumia decides to ride on the cheers of the masses to his early political grave.
If we are to take history and the analysis of the primaries serious, it is not hard to guess that perhaps, it is the time of John Alan Kyeremanten.
Secondly, tribal politics hasn’t quite left the NPP as alleged by its political opponents due to its adherence to the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition. This allegation gained currency when a siting Vice President, the Late Ahaji Aliu Mahama lost woefully during the NPP primaries in 2008. Dr. Bawumia must take a cue from this. It was alleged that the Asante and Akyem caucus within the NPP would not allow anyone outside the tribe to lead the party as flagbearer. I hope Dr. Bawumia can break that political physics but then he must be ready to risk it all, which I think is not worth it. He should wait for the appropriate time and exit at the end of his tenure, whether its 2021 or 2025.
It is better to leave when the applause is loudest.
Source; opera news