The exigencies of our politics requires that electoral competitions are not a staged one-off event, however, it is conducted within a multiplicity of processes that can lead to a triumphant end either through overt or covert means – every moment counts in politics, and every space ought to be contested without the limitation of time. We therefore cannot ignore the lingering-obvious that is poking at us on the heels of “it’s not yet time” while we continue to murmur in our homes, little gatherings, offices etc as to who we should expect to hold the flag of our party in the next Presidential primaries.
It is important that we demonstrate sobriety, integration and not disintegration in every step of the political processes by the various interest-blocs. As such, we must be open to a broader, healthy and progressive public conversation on who best fits to ride on the back of the elephant to victory in the 2024 Presidential elections as a measure of energising and exciting our base, in so far as it is done cordially with the bigger picture in sight while we continue to aggressively pursue the business of running a successful government by helping the President, Nana Akufo Addo, in consolidating our gains thus far– it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.
I am therefore inclined on the premise of the above stated principle to offer my firm opinion on the way forward for our party as far as the upcoming Presidential primaries are concerned. The big question then remains, who is capable of delivering unto us the Presidency with no or little great deal of difficulty in the not-too-distant future? Having gauged the pulse of the NPP members, sympathisers and the good people of Ghana, analysed the strengths and electoral records of the prospective candidates seeking to lead our great party and upon critical and reflective thinking, I am without a doubt that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has a towering advantage that can cement our victory in the 2024 general elections.
With the obvious being stated coupled with the grace and goodwill that comes with the candidature of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia across the rank and file of our party including the generality of Ghanaians, I shall in subsequent paragraphs and the second part of this epistle, detail a cocktail of reasons why in my considered opinion, I deem him worthy of attaining the high office of the flagbearer of our party and subsequently the President of our great republic.
The ‘Bawumia Effect’ – Electoral Record – Personality
To put it more succinctly, it is important that an inevitable factor which ought to be considered in the search for the successor to President Nana Akufo Addo, is one’s electoral record viz-a-viz his personality. Indeed, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s first attempt at launching himself into the national political front was when he partnered with the then candidate Nana Akufo Addo in the general election of 2008 as his running mate.
The NDC had then fielded an established candidate, in the person of, John Evans Atta Mills (as he then was) of blessed memory, who, having been a Vice-President to then President John Rawlings of blessed memory had gained some considerable level of electoral experience having toured every nook and cranny of our country continuously – he had contested three (3) gruelling general elections in 2000 (first and second round) and in 2004 respectively as both a sitting Vice-President and an opposition leader.
That notwithstanding, the running mate who partnered candidate Mills of blessed memory in the general elections of the year 2008 was John Dramani Mahama (as he then was), a man who was not a novice in the context of the Ghanaians politics, a former Deputy and a substantive Minister of Communications with a credit of more than 13 years long standing as an elected Member of Parliament for the Bole-Bamboi constituency.
In contrast to these available facts, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, upon his first attempt as a running-mate was able to help Nana Akufo Addo (as he then was) and the NPP to win the first-round elections with over 4 million votes representing an impressive record of over 49 % on their first attempt. Suffice to say that the NPP with a slimmest of margin nearly won that Presidential election which featured Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on the ticket.
Fast-forward, despite the fact that John Dramani Mahama enjoyed a lot of support as Vice President and subsequently as President from the Northern Region (as it then was), his fortunes in the region has consistently been declining to the advantage of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who has proven to be a force to reckon within the same territory. Dr. Bawumia’s enviable personality and his strategic deployment of political tools to win the hearts and minds of the people of the North and turn what has been factually known since the inception of the 4th Republic to be the stronghold of the NDC to be a ‘playground’ of the NPP. It was not surprising that prior to the 2020 general elections, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, reiterated that the battle ground for the general elections will be in the North. True to his words, the outcome of the elections is glaring for all to see – He has proven to have a demonstrable presence and firm grips of the Northern Region (as it then was) which has now been divided to include the North East and Savannah regions.
Today, one of the significant powerhouses of the NDC has been torpedoed by the ‘Bawumia Effect’. In Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia we have an added advantage to consolidate our strongholds while capturing and making serious electoral inroads in the backyards of what used to be the ‘world bank’ of our main opponents, that is the NDC.
The ‘Bawumia Effect’ – Strong Political Base.
One must understand that in this ‘political enterprise’ it is near to impossible to win an election without a strong political base that will serve as a springboard in propelling one’s chances to victory. We must not endeavour to seek just a flagbearer to satisfy the base or the constitutional requirement of our party, but, more importantly, a tested winnable candidate that can get the votes from the hard-to-reach areas and secure the Presidency. The trajectory of growth in terms of ‘electoral numbers’ from the Northern Region (as it then was) cannot be overemphasized since the emergence of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia onto the political landscape some 11 years ago. These facts are not open to disputes as it is trite knowledge.
The ‘Northern Politics’ used to be dominated by the NDC and to a large extent can be described as one of its ‘world-bank’ where they raked in a lot of votes to shore up both their Presidential and Parliamentary votes as I indicated earlier. However, these electoral fortunes have steadily shifted from the extreme left to the middle which can at best be described as ‘kyempe’ in the Akan language. The ‘Bawumia Effect’ contributed largely if not entirely to this momentous shift-pattern that has boosted our electoral fortunes since 2008.
Statistically, in 2008, the NPP could only boast of 4 Parliamentary seats in the Northern Region (as it then was). Indeed, the Parliamentary seats moved to 9 in 2012 and 13 seats in 2016 respectively. Presently, the Northern Region (as it then was) has been divided into 3 regions namely, the Northern Region, North East and Savannah Region. The NPP currently holds 9 seats in the present-day Northern Region which is equal to the number of NDC seats in the same region. The NPP has 3 seats in the Savannah Region whereas the NDC controls 4 seats in the region. The NPP controls the North East Region with 4 Parliamentary seats while the NDC has 3 seats. Technically, the NDC is trailing the NPP with 15 seats while the NPP has the majority of 16 Parliamentary seats in the Northern Region (as it then was).
The Presidential elections has had its fair share of the ‘Bawumia Effect’, that is, from 39.11% in 2012 to 41.5% in 2016 as its share of the votes from the Northern region (as it then was).
This significant electoral evasion of the NPP in the Northern Region (as it then was) was largely due to the person of the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who has been strategically tilting the grounds, a benefit of which we in the NPP enjoy till today.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as flagbearer of the NPP comes with the Northern Region, Savannah Region and the North East region in the ‘bag’ as a solid base to boost our electoral chances of not only having the majority of seats in parliament but also securing the Presidency as well – these are ordinarily not our traditional base.
Let me also add that the mere fact of a person originating from a place is not conclusive of an automatic support base that is capable of translating into an electoral fortune for the party
especially when one has not tilted, ploughed and natured the place in a manner that is evident in the case study of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Chief Obosu Mohammed, a former press secretary of Alan Kyerematen