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General News of Monday, 21 November 2016


Tribal politics: Mahama erred badly - Kofi Bentil

President John Mahama erred badly in his tribal comments against Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the vice-presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kofi Bentil, Vice President of IMANI Ghana, has said.

President Mahama, addressing party supporters in Lawra as part of his campaign tour of the Upper West Region, urged the electorate not to be deceived by the role Dr Bawumia was playing in the NPP because he will never be given the opportunity to lead the party.

He said: “Alhaji Aliu Mahama was vice president under the NPP government. He served faithfully under President Kufuor and, so, when eight years was up and President Kufuor was leaving, the natural order of succession is that he should have been given the opportunity to lead that party, but 17 people contested him and defeated him and that is why I say NDC is a party of opportunity because if NDC wasn’t, who am I? A boy from Bole born in Damongo, who am I to stand here and call myself president of the Republic of Ghana?

“[The NDC] is the party that opens its opportunities to all Ghanaians irrespective of what your ethnic affiliation is. Sometimes I feel sad when I see some of our northern brothers running around and also doing this. … They will use you and dump you. I want to live and see the day. Let anything happen today and let our brother Bawumia say he is standing for president in NPP. They will never give it to him, I can assure you. When the misfortune hit us and our father Professor Mills passed away, the constitution said the vice president should take over, I did. But then we were close to an election. If it was another party, they would have insisted that there should be a congress and in that congress I would have been contested and they would have given the leadership to somebody else.”

But in a Facebook post, Mr Bentil said: “Tribal politics is never a good idea; let’s all eschew it. ... Mr President, you erred badly... See…if northerners were to consider what their kin have done against them in SADA and related scandals, they would vote massively against NDC. ... If Akans were to vote as a tribal unit for NPP, no party would win any election in Ghana!!!”

He added: “Say no to tribal politics!!”